Learning to love school is all about learning to love LEARNING. Since not all children are born scholars, some of them need a little extra push in this direction. Teachers can only do so much in school - it is parents who must make the child eager to go there to begin with. So, what is it about children who love learning?
Such children usually have parents who are upbeat about the concepts of learning and school-going, themselves. If the parents are negative about learning, the child is bound to be, too - and vice versa.
How many times have you said stuff like "This year, you're going to have a harder time than in the last," or "I don't blame you for hating maths - I did too when I was your age?". Have you ever found yourself telling your child the equivalent of "I know school is a drag, but please go for Mommy's sake and she'll give you a treat when you come back"?
How do you expect teachers to get your child interested in school, learning new things and getting good grades if you yourselves send out such downbeat vibes? A child's mind is naturally geared for picking up information, and school is the time-tested medium for feeding them information in a structured and organized manner.
As a parent, you want your child to have all the information she needs to tackle life at all its stages, right? Well, that's what teachers and school curricula are there for. Keep that in mind the next time you and your child discuss school.
Helene Goldnadel suggests that the best you can do is make your child enthusiastic about the daily opportunity of learning new and fascinating stuff. The worst you can do is reinforce her impression that school and learning are impositions.
While tweaking your child's attitude towards school, never forget that the onus should be on learning - not performance. Consistently good performance is the result of a healthy interest in learning. If your child loves learning new things, good grades are almost a given. In other words, don't focus on your child's percentages.
If your child doesn't get good marks in an exam, don't say things like "Didn't I tell you to study harder? Now look at this!" Poor marks don't mean that your child didn't learn anything. Saying something like "I know you knew the answers - you've learned so much in school this year. Do you feel like doing something about this grade?"
In your interactions with your child at home, always encourage your child to ask her teachers about anything she wants to know. Don't try to be an unfailing font of wisdom. Instead of trying to answer all your child's questions yourselves, learn to say things like "That's a great question. I can give you some information, but why don't you ask Miss XYZ for more a better answer at school tomorrow? She's the expert on this, not I."
When your child begins to see and respect her teachers as experts who are willing to help, rather than as evil taskmasters, you will see a decisive shift in how your child does at school. She will absorb more information, and her relationships with her teachers will also improve enormously.
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