Habit-building for high school and beyond
Approaching later primary school years can be a time of mixed emotions for students and their parents. Independence is emerging in the form of homework and study time, interest in specific subject areas might be developing, and ideas about the world and how to make a positive impact are surfacing.
But with these leaps of development can also come intimidation for what new systems of learning and expectations lie ahead when starting high school.
All of a sudden, class timetables are allocated, each class featuring a different group of students based on subject selection, and exams become a common hallmark of school term calendars, as do academic reports, student bell curves and international performance standards.
By working together with your child to build these 5 actions, habits can be formed now in time to start high school in the coming years, with confidence.
While feedback is often provided in the form of term-based reports directly to parents, seeking one-on-one feedback from a teacher based on a specific project or at the end of a challenging week, can build a student’s resilience when it comes to more formalised reports in future years. Asking for help to improve on areas where gaps might be emerging, not only encourages a student to seek opportunities to self-improve, but it teaches them communication skills to express themselves and to interpret guidance from others.
2. Allocate homework and study time for specific subjects
By starting the habit early, of blocking out “Maths” study time and “English” homework time, for example, students will be well prepared to allocate time after school to manage the demands for each of their subjects. This applies to university studies and the workplace too. Take a university degree for example - often exams and projects are due all at once, and by chipping away at the requirements of each subject, be it a regular case study reading or mini tests before each lecture, exam time will not become an ordeal of months of back-reading. In the context of the workplace, we know from experience that when a new project lands on your desk, other project deadlines do not pause. By learning to allocate time to achieve tasks for each priority subject, students will learn the skill of keeping on track without attempting to multitask all at once.
3. Lean on friends
Soft skills such as collaborating, leading, negotiating and problem-solving are all part of team projects which are assigned throughout high school and university for this very purpose of developing communication skills and emotional intelligence for the workplace. Leaning on peers for advice, reassurance and help, is just as important as being reliable and providing the same support back to peers. With a reputation for being open, motivated and reliable, great opportunities can come from peer-voting in the form of sports captaincy positions, school council representation and more.
4. Establish health and well-being
A routine that includes eating healthily, getting enough sleep and committing to plenty of exercise in the day provides countless benefits for students, that will see them through disruptive transitions such as making the leap to high school. Starting with a balanced breakfast by a certain time, fitting in exercise before or on the way to school and then carving out time for a social activity after the last bell rings, can achieve this. Research shows just how linked sleep is to academic performance. Making sure that there is wind down time at the end of the day too, such as reading a book before sleeping, is a great habit to face the next day with plenty of energy and resilience.
5. Time for reflection
Procrastination can really halt students, especially as a growing mountain of tasks seems inevitable to conquer or when free time can tempt them towards play or any activity other than school work. We are all familiar with the last-minute deadline scramble and know that the outcome is often not as polished compared to when dedicated time has been given to iterate and refine work. By encouraging your child to start or end the day with a reflection on what they are proud of, what they have learnt, and what they are excited for, a jolt of enthusiasm can spark their motivation for the weeks ahead.
Partnering with the NumberWorks’nWords team not only guides students through achieving English and Maths skills-building, but having regular conversations about your child and their progress can unlock a range of practical advice and tips to set them on a path to thriving in the classroom and beyond. Get in touch with your local centre to learn more about how NumberWorks’nWords tuition can help your child build life-long learning habits that deliver results.
Posted on 23/09/2020
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