While every parent hopes for academic success for their children, most are unsure how to go about nurturing and guiding their children to that success. Students that are successful in the classroom often exhibit similar characteristics, no matter what their age, gender or cultural background. By identifying the characteristics common to successful students, parents can go to work helping their kids develop those traits that will reap the greatest benefit for them in school.
Eagerness to Learn
Children who perform best in school have a natural eagerness to learn new things. According to Education.com
, much of that eagerness stems from parents and others in the child’s life that have offered a world of interesting things to discover. When children are exposed to many different environments at a young age, they quickly learn that the world is a big, interesting place just waiting for them to explore. However, parents that work this concept too hard may burn a child out on the learning process before school even begins. It is also important for kids to have plenty of free time both with other children and alone to create and play.
Love of Reading
The U.S. Department of Education
states that the most important things parents can do to ensure their children’s success in school is to nurture a love of reading
. This process begins while your child is still an infant. Although a baby may not understand the story at this young age, he will quickly learn to enjoy the act of cuddling together and hearing his parent’s voice read aloud every day. As children grow and develop, keep plenty of reading materials throughout the home and let your child see you read on a regular basis.
Willingness to Put Forth Effort
Successful students are willing to put forth the effort to produce quality work at school and beyond. Parents can instill this value at a relatively young age as well, by showing their children the benefits of a job well done. When kids learn to be proud of the work they do, they will stick with their tasks, even when they become hard or challenging.
Respectful to Authority and Others
The Wryte Stuff
encourages parents to teach their children to respect others and their property. Kids need to learn not to take things that belong to others without asking first, and to treat other people’s property with the utmost care. By the same token, children need to learn to respect the adults in charge, by first respecting their parents. Obedience and respect are important values to instill in your children from day one, since they will be called to these values on a daily basis in the classroom.
Solid Social and Emotional Skills
School is a place where it pays to know how to play nicely with others, by exhibiting solid social and emotional skills even when Mom and Dad are not around. These skills can be nurtured long before school begins, through social interactions under the careful guidance of parents or caregivers. Children also need to talk about their feelings, and learn how to appropriately express those feelings to others.
Children need to learn the satisfaction that comes from completing a task independently, so they are ready to tackle those challenging assignments in the classroom with extra help. Parents can provide the groundwork for self-motivation through simple chores around the house that make children feel as though they are a contributing member of the family. Chores that are age-appropriate teach children the importance of pitching in and provide them with the joy that comes from knowing they did the job all on their own.
Successful students know how to follow the rules of the classroom, whether it is raising their hand before speaking or waiting in the lunch line to buy their food. Students need to have rules and structure in the home that teaches the value of boundaries and the security that comes from remaining within those guidelines.
When kids head off to the classroom, they suddenly become responsible for their possessions, homework and behavior at school. This can be overwhelming to a child who has never had responsibility before. Teach your children at home to be responsible for their things, by picking up toys when they are finished playing with them. While young children shouldn’t be bogged down with too many chores or responsibilities, a few jobs help them become independent before the first school bell rings.
Accustomed to Routine
School is all about routines, and students that are accustomed to a schedule often fare much better in those early days. While your daily schedule doesn’t have to be too rigid, having regular times for eating meals, taking baths or going to bed will give children a sense of structure that will help them transition well to the classroom setting.
Learned Study Skills
As children get older, they need to learn study skills
that will take them through the middle and high school years. These skills are picked up rather naturally by some students, while others might need more help from Mom and Dad. The Ohio Education Association
suggests that parents help students develop a study schedule and goals that will keep them on track with their schoolwork.
Successful students exhibit many similar traits, but these characteristics don’t always come as naturally as you might think. When parents work to nurture those features at a young age, they can go far in helping their children enjoy successful and productive years throughout their school experience.