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Beat the Winter Blues
Inspire Your Child to Learn with These Helpful Tips
By: Gina Pugh, Center Director, Sylvan Learning Center
How did your child do in the first half of the school year? Were you pleased with his performance, or do you think there is room for improvement? No matter what letters appeared on your child’s report card, January is the perfect time to help him get excited about going back to school and learning.
This can be accomplished by creating an atmosphere in your home that encourages learning. Here are a few tips on how you can be involved with your child’s learning process and help motivate them in the new year.
• Have family reading time at least once a week. One great tool that can help families develop a family reading time, is Book Adventure, a free Sylvan-created interactive, reading motivation program that can be found at www.bookadventure.com. Students choose their own books from more than 7,000 titles, take short comprehension quizzes and redeem their accumulated points for small prizes. Book Adventure also offers teacher and parent resources and tips to help children develop a lifelong love of reading.
• Set aside a specific time for homework and studying. Take advantage of this quiet time to sit with your child and work on your paperwork. This visually demonstrates the importance of “work time” to your child.
• If homework was a struggle during the first semester, set up a reward system for this semester. For example, deposit change in a small jar when homework is complete. As soon as the jar is full, treat the whole family to something everyone will enjoy.
• Refresh your child’s “study space.” Make sure that all materials, such as pencil sharpeners, erasers and extra paper are easily accessible and in adequate supply.
• Create study plans. Have your child do his most challenging assignment first, while he is most focused, then have him work on easier tasks. Finish each homework session with a fun activity.
• Search the Internet with your child to learn more about topics being covered in school.
• Invite your child to participate in cooking or shopping to strengthen her math skills.
• Encourage your child to choose a classmate with whom he can study and swap reading books.
• Get your child organized inside and outside of school. By being organized, your child will have plenty of time to complete all assignments, and she will also learn the value of time management.
• Talk to your child’s teachers. The second half of the year can be more challenging than the first. Find out if your child needs extra help in a specific subject in order to keep up with the class.
For more educational resources for children in grades pre-K through 12, please visit http://tutoring.sylvanlearning.com or call 1-800-EDUCATE.
Gina Pugh is the Center Director at the St. Petersburg Sylvan Learning Center, a leading provider of in-center and live, online tutoring at home to students of all ages, grades and skill levels. For more information, call 1-800-EDUCATE or visit http://tutoring.sylvanlearning.com.
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