TIPS FOR PARENTS TO HELP CHILDREN ACHIEVE ACADEMIC SUCCESS.
WHY DO HOMEWORK? (Go To Top)
• Homework encourages students to learn good habits and attitudes which will apply in later life (life long learning).
• Homework teaches children to work independently and encourages discipline and responsibility.
• Students who do more homework, on average, do better in school. As children move up through the grades, homework becomes even more important to school success.
• Homework provides an opportunity for parents to get involved in their children's education.
• practice what they have learned in school.
• get ready for the next day's class.
• use resources, such as libraries, research material, internet, etc.
• learn about other interesting things that they may not have the time to explore at school.
Some Examples of Homework:
1. Show That You Think Education and Homework are Important. Children are more eager to do homework if they know there parents care that it gets done.
2. Monitor Your Child's Work
Check to see that assignments are started and finished on time. If you aren't home when the homework is finished, look it over when you get home. (This will vary upon the age of your child and his/her previously demonstrated responsibility.) Limit TV viewing and socializing. Help your child to maintain a balance between social/sports activities and academics.
3. Provide Guidance
Encourage good work habits. Help your child to schedule homework time. Talk about assignments and ask questions. This helps your child think through an assignment and break it into small, workable parts. Give praise when she/he has done a good job. Provide helpful criticism when your child hasn't done his/her best work so that there can be an improvement.
4. Talk with Someone at School if Problems Come Up
If homework problems do arise, everyone needs to work together to resolve them - - the school, teachers, parents, and students. Different problems require different solutions. Maybe the homework was too hard or too easy for your child? Perhaps your child likes to procrastinate. Comments from parents can provide teachers with insight into the child's homework difficulties. The teacher, together with the parent and child can develop a plan to encourage homework success.
A CHECKLIST TO HELP YOUR CHILD WITH HOMEWORK (Go To Top)
Be Sure Your Child has:
• an appropriate work place.
• a regular time each day for doing homework.
• basic supplies, such as paper, pencils, pens, markers, and ruler.
• a clock to monitor use of time.
• a completed agenda book.
• What's your assignment today?
• Is the assignment clear? (If not, consider calling a classmate.)
• When is it due? How many marks is it worth?
• Do you need special resources (eg. a trip to the library or access to a computer)?
• Do you need special supplies (eg. graph paper or posterboard)?
• Have you started today's assignment? Finished it?
• Is it a long-term assignment (eg. essay, research project or science project)?
• For a major project, would it help to write out the steps or make a schedule?
• Would a practice test be useful?
• Have you caught up on any missed assignments/notes when your were absent?
Other Ways to Help: (Go To Top)
• Look over your child's homework, but don't do the work! Ask your child to explain what he/she has done.
• Meet the teachers early in the year and find out about the homework policy.
• Review teacher comments on homework that has been returned and discuss with your child.
• Observe your child's style of learning and try to understand how he/she works best (eg. by using visual aids or by reading aloud, etc.)
• Contact the teacher if there's a homework problem you can't resolve.
• Attend school information sessions on curriculum, parenting skills, etc. as offered by your school.
Congratulate your child on a job well done!
One of the most positive ways in which you, as a parent can influence your child is through the modeling you do at home. It is a well known fact that "actions speak louder than words." The more often your child sees you in an active role as a learner, the greater the likelihood that he/she will follow your lead.
1. See your child's teacher.
2. Ask a peer tutor or learning buddy for help.
4. Refer to other study skills brochures available at your school or on this site
Ten Traps of Studying (Go To Top)
1."I Don't Know Where To Begin"
Take Control. Make a list of all the things you have to do. Break your workload down into manageable chunks. Prioritize! Schedule your time realistically. Don't skip classes near an exam -- you may miss a review session. Use that hour in between classes to review notes. Interrupt study time with planned study breaks. Begin studying early, with an hour or two per day, and slowly build as the exam approaches.
2. "I've Got So Much To Study . . . And So Little Time"
Preview. Survey your syllabus, reading material, and notes. Identify the most important topics emphasized, and areas still not understood. Previewing saves time, especially with non-fiction reading, by helping you organize and focus in on the main topics. Adapt this method to your own style and study material, but remember, previewing is not an effective substitute for reading.
3. "This Stuff Is So Dry, I Can't Even Stay Awake Reading It"
Attack! Get actively involved with the text as you read. Ask yourself, "What is important to remember about this section?" Take notes or underline key concepts. Discuss the material with others in your class. Study together. Stay on the offensive, e specially with material that you don't find interesting, rather than reading passively and missing important points.
4. "I Read It. I Understand It. But I Just Can't Get It To Sink In"
Elaborate. We remember best the things that are most meaningful to us. As you are reading, try to elaborate upon new information with your own examples. Try to integrate what you're studying with what you already know. You will be able to remember new material better if you can link it to something that's already meaningful to you. Some techniques include:
5. "I Guess I Understand It"
Test yourself. Make up questions about key sections in notes or reading. Keep in mind what the professor has stressed in the course. Examine the relationships between concepts and sections. Often, simply by changing section headings you can generate m any effective questions. For example, a section entitled "Bystander Apathy" might be changed into questions such as: "What is bystander apathy?", "What are the causes of bystander apathy?", and "What are some examples of bystander apathy?"
6. "There's Too Much To Remember"
Organize. Information is recalled better if it is represented in an organized framework that will make retrieval more systematic. There are many techniques that can help you organize new information, including:
7. "I Knew It A Minute Ago"
Review. After reading a section, try to recall the information contained in it. Try answering the questions you made up for that section. If you cannot recall enough, re-read portions you had trouble remembering. The more time you spend studying, the more you tend to recall. Even after the point where information can be pe rfectly recalled, further study makes the material less likely to be forgotten entirely. In other words, you can't overstudy. However, how you organize and integrate new information is still more important than how much time you spend studying.
8. "But I Like To Study In Bed"
Context. Recall is better when study context (physical location, as well as mental, emotional, and physical state) are similar to the test context. The greater the similarity between the study setting and the test setting, the greater the likelihood tha t material studied will be recalled during the test.
9. "Cramming Before A Test Helps Keep It Fresh In My Mind"
Spacing: Start studying now. Keep studying as you go along. Begin with an hour or two a day about one week before the exam, and then increase study time as the exam approaches. Recall increases as study time gets spread out over time.
10. "I'm Gonna Stay Up All Night 'til I Get This"
Avoid Mental Exhaustion. Take short breaks often when studying. Before a test, have a rested mind. When you take a study break, and just before you go to sleep at night, don't think about academics. Relax and unwind, mentally and physically. Otherwise, your break won't refresh you and you'll find yourself lying awake at night. It's more important than ever to take care of yourself before an exam! Eat well, sleep, and get enough exercise.
1. Arrive early and take a moment to relax and reduce your anxiety. This brief time period will boost your confidence and give you time to think positive thoughts and focus your mind.
2. Listen attentively to last minute instructions given by the instructor. The teacher will almost always give you some valuable information just before handing out the test. Don't miss them because your anxiety causes you to talk to a classmate.
3. Read the directions very carefully, looking for specific instructions on how to proceed. Watch for details. You may find that more than one answer may be possible on multiple choice or that you only need to answer three out of the five essay questions given.
4. Plan how you will use the time for the test. Estimate how many minutes you will need to finish each test section and finish in the total time allotted. Bring your watch and pay close attention to the passing time. Follow your own pace and do not let the pace of others cause you to become nervous. Be confident in your plan for completing the test on time.
5. Determine which test sections will receive priority. It is generally best to do the section that is easiest for you especially if it has a high point total. It is not a good idea to do the most difficult section first. Often, a student following this method will not leave enough time for questions that would have been sure points. Leaving essay and sentence completion questions for last can often be beneficial because you find answers among the already completed objective questions. However, if essays are left for last, be sure to leave enough time to outline your thoughts, and then write the answer clearly.
6. Keep a steady pace and do not let more difficult questions affect your attitude and steal your valuable time. Students often cloud their minds by lingering over difficult questions. Moving on and finding success with other questions is a better method. If you are not penalized for wrong answers, guess and move on.
7. Rely on your knowledge and don't watch for patterns. Noticing that the last four answers are "c" is not a good reason to change an answer. One cannot be sure that the teacher varied the answers. It is better to trust knowledge to help you answer the questions.
8. Change answers only when you are certain. The answer which comes to mind first is often correct. Reviewing with an anxious mind and changing answers when you are not certain can do more harm than good.
9. When you have completed your test, use the remaining time effectively. Review the difficult questions you left. Proofread your essays. Check your grammar and spelling. Make sure you answered all questions. More than one student has turned in a test and received only 50% because there were questions on the back side of the paper.
Learn from your tests! When tests are returned, go through them thoroughly and see if your plan worked. Look at each section to identify your fault patterns. Do not be a defeatist. Consider every test a practice session. Do you need to pay more attention to multiple choice facts? Talk with the teachers regarding essay questions and find out how to describe your ideas, provide examples or be more clear. Test taking is an art, one which needs refinement. One can not refine the art without practice and serious thought.
1. There is no substitute for the truth. Many concentrated hours of study to force facts into your memory is the best way to prepare true-false questions. Teachers, however, often try to test your memory of the material by slightly altering it. In this case, practice and some test-taking skill will help.
2. When you do not know or can't remember information to determine the truth of a statement, assume that it is true. There are generally more true questions on true-false exams than false questions because instructors tend to emphasize true questions. If there is specific detail in the statement, it may also tend to be true. For example, the statement "There are 980 endangered species worldwide" has specific detail and is likely to be true.
3. Carefully read each question, looking for any factor that will make it false. It is easier for the instructor to add a false part to an otherwise true statement. Students often read the question and see some truth and assume that the entire statement is true.
4. Look for extreme modifiers that tend to make the question false. Extreme modifiers, such as always, all, never, or only make it more likely that the question is false. A more complete list of extreme modifiers follows
Identify qualifiers that tend to make the question true. Qualifiers (seldom, often, many) make the question more likely true. A more complete list of often used qualifiers follows.
Watch out for negative words and how they may affect the truth. Statements containing negative words may be true or false but you must see them to make that determination. The prefixes (un-, im-, miss-) will alter the meaning of the statement. Double negatives make the statement true. For example "not uncommon" actually means common. Don't let this language dilemma cause you to make a mistake. Questions that state a reason tend to be false. Words in the statement that cause justification or reason (since, because, when, if) tend to make the statement false because they bring in a reason that is incorrect or incomplete.
1. Read each question with the intention of answering the question without the alternatives which follow. Focus on finding an answer without the help of the alternatives. This will increase your concentration and help you read the question more clearly.
2. Use the process of elimination when you do not know the answer for sure. Eliminate two alternatives quickly and then make the decision between the two remaining. This increases your probability to 50/50. Another helpful method of elimination is to use the true-false methods described in the previous set of guidelines. When you can determine a likely false alternative, eliminate it. The true-false elimination method is particularly helpful when more that one answer is possibly true.
3. When numbers are in each alternative, choose the numbers that are in the middle range, not the extremes. For example, if the height of Cascade Mountain is requested, eliminate 20,000 feet, and 3,000 feet. Then choose between 8,000 feet and 11,000 feet. Remember, the best results are obtained when you have studied and know the exact answer is 11,000 feet.
4. Choose answers that are longer and more descriptive. These answers stand out from the others. Instructors will often give you descriptive detail to help you identify the truth.
5. When two very similar answers appear, it is likely that one of them is the correct choice. Test makers often disguise the correct option by giving another option that looks very much like the correct one.
6. Watch out for negative words in the instructions or in the main question. You may have been told to select an option that is not true. Remember to reverse your procedure and eliminate truth, not falsehood. When looking for negative options look for extreme modifiers that make them false (always, never, all, etc.)
Multiple choice Quiz . Choose the answer that completes the question most accurately, and check the circle that precedes it. Then check your answer.
1. Examine both lists to determine the types of items and their relationships. The test maker uses many terms or a large number of facts on a matching type test to discover if you have mastered a subject. There are usually two lists that need to be matched. Take a look at both lists to get a feel for the relationships and build your confidence.
2. Use one list as a starting point and go through the second list to find a match. This process organizes your thinking. It will also speed your answers because you become familiar with the second list and will be able to go straight to a match that you saw when looking through the lists a previous time.
3. Move through the entire list before selecting a match. If you make a match with the first likely answer, you may make an error, because an answer later in the list may be more correct.
4. Cross off items on the second list when your are certain that you have a match. This seems simplistic, but it helps you feel confident and stay organized.
5. Do not guess until all absolute matches have been made. If you guess early in the process, you will likely eliminate an answer that could be used correctly for a later choice.
1. Read the question with the intent to give an answer and make the sentence grammatically correct. In this process it is important to focus on how the sentence is written. For example, if the blank is preceded by the article "an," you know the word that goes in the blank must start with a vowel.
2. Concentrate on the number of blanks in the sentence and the length of the space. The test maker is giving you clues to the answer by adding spaces and making them longer.
3. Provide a descriptive answer when you can not think of the exact word or words. The instructor will often give you credit or partial credit when you demonstrate that you have studied the material and can give a credible answer, even when you have not given the exact words.
1. Organize your thoughts before you begin to write. A short outline on a separate piece of paper will improve your thinking. There is usually a main idea or issue, several supporting issues and examples to illustrate the issues.
2. Paraphrase the original question to form your introductory statement. This benefits you in two ways. First, it helps you get the question straight in your mind. Second, it may protect you from the teacher. If you have re-phrased the question, the teacher can see how you understood the question. Perhaps you understood it to mean something other than the teacher intended. If so, the teacher may give you credit for seeing another perspective.
3. Write your answer clearly, so the reader will be able to decode your writing and understand your ideas. Without clearly written words your chances of a good grade are severely diminished. Write or print clearly, using a dark-colored erasable ball point pen. Avoid crossing out words or sentences, and don't smudge your paper.
4. Read each essay question with the intent to identify the verbs or words that give you direction. These are the verbs that describe the task you are expected to complete. Circle the direction verbs in the question to make sure that you are focusing on the desired task. Sample direction verbs or adjectives, and their generally intended action or task, are listed below.
5. Use the principles of good English composition when answering all types of essay questions. Form a clear thesis statement (statement of purpose) and place it as near to the beginning as possible. Provide supporting issues to back up the main concept you present. Underline or highlight the main and supporting issues. Examples will improve your answers and set them apart from other students' answers. Remember to save some space for a brief but adequate summary.