Parents in Singapore want their children to excel at school. This is no secret. You pull out all the stops to make sure that your child is the best – like hiring primary school tuition. You hire a tutor for private tuition sessions. You are on personal terms with the school teachers. You ensure that your child has the best books and study materials. At some point, all the effort you are putting in isn’t about the future of your child. It is about what you want. At least, that is how the child will start to see it.
It is not wise to force your kids to excel in school. Children have minds of their own. They know what they want and how to go about it. Forcing something on them doesn’t make them love it. Forcing academic excellence in them will make them hate school. Your kids may start to even dread going to school. There is this pressure on them to be the best, and they don’t like it. Not one bit. It is a good idea to teach your kids good study habits. It is unhealthy to push them to be the best. More so if your reason is simply that you want them to be the best.
There are better ways to help your child excel at school. You don’t have to force them. The following points are things you should consider when setting study goals for your kids.
1. Study Goals Only Work When Your Kid Personally Wants to Reach Them
Personal motivation goes a long way in making someone succeed. If your kid isn’t personally motivated to succeed at school, your tactics may not work. Every kid has that thing they like about school. It could be a certain class or a particular subject. Focus on that. Encourage them to study so that they can be good at that.
Create a cosy little nook just for their ‘study time.’ Outfit it with a desk, a chair, and a bright lamp. Arrange pens and pencils in a cup. Set out some reference material for their use. Even give your kids snacks like apples or nuts to eat while they study. Make studying interesting. Not ‘do or die.’
2. Set Practical, Realistic Study Goals
Now that you know your kid really wants to succeed, it’s time for phase two. As you set your study goals, they should practical, realistic, achievable goals. You as a parent are cautioned to be realistic. Now it is your turn to tell your child to be realistic. Your kid may be having a rough time with a certain subject. In Singapore, arranging for a tutor and tuition isn’t difficult. But if your child wants to tutor immediately after school until nightfall, seven days a week, calm him down. Tell him that he should take it easy. Go for the B grades first. Once he gets those, he can aim for A grades. This way, the goal doesn’t seem all that hard to get.
Do take note that your kid’s focus shouldn’t be on only the subjects he is weak in. Those he is excelling in also need study time. However, you can encourage him to take part in extracurricular activities. Clubs, competitions, and even games that are relevant to those subjects he excels in. He should join them.
3. Be Involved
You don’t have to hire a tutor to tutor your kid. You can do it yourself! Getting involved in your kid’s studying gives you more time to spend with each other. As parents in Singapore, make time out of your schedule to study with your kids. Give them tuition classes yourself. Subjects you are good at, you can study with them. Turn the kitchen or a nature walk into a fun study session. You will always know your child’s progress this way.
4. Make a Visual Chart
Now it is obvious that your child wants to do well in school. They are committed to realizing their study goals. There are some things you can do to help him or her. For instance, you can make a visual chart. This chart is a schedule or timetable. It shows him what he needs to accomplish and what to do to accomplish them. The chart will also contain time frames in which he needs to meet his goals.
These goals are also different. Some of them will have to be achieved by the end of a school semester. Other goals are related to the full school year. This chart will be a reminder, a tracker, and a motivator.
Then create another chart. This one shows all of his achievements. They also show him going through the process of reaching those goals. These could be photos of your kid studying. A stub of the fifth pencil he has gone through. His report cards showing the progressive difference in his school grades. Evidence of the school projects he successfully finished. This chart is a celebration of his progress. This chart is as powerful a motivating factor as the other one.
5. Rewarding Your Child
It is important to celebrate your child’s study goal achievements. It doesn’t matter if the goal was a big one or a small one. The important thing is your kid put in the time and the effort, and succeeded. This celebration is in form of a reward. Buy them their favourite ice-cream. Get them that book they always wanted. Take the whole family out for a treat and the kid’s honour. Give them an extra hour of TV time. Rewarding your child boosts his/her confidence in his/herself. It also pushes them to do more. Not because of the reward, but because they felt good succeeding.
Bearing these things in mind, it is easier for parents in Singapore to set study goals for their kids. Get them personally motivated to succeed. Don’t force them to be the best. What other healthy ways do you encourage your child to excel?
There are more study tips to help your child in the articles here: