Parents

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This is the parent membership welcome page

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We love watching students grow and get excited about school during our School Skills seminars. Parents do too. Unfortunately, many parents feel empty handed or overwhelmed by the learning struggles their kids experience and can’t attend our in-person training. Telling your child to ‘try harder’ or ‘stop complaining’ has probably produced more arguments than real improvement in day to day learning.  

Join School Skills with a Parent level membership and recieve access to a full range of academic success resources that work!  Sign Up Now!

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Thanks for joining with a [wlm_memberlevel] membership!

Below, you’ll find links to all the important areas of your membership site. Please feel free peruse the site and definitely let us know if you have any questions.

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We love watching students grow and get excited about school during our School Skills seminars. Parents do too. Unfortunately, many parents feel empty handed or overwhelmed by the learning struggles their kids experience and can’t attend our in-person training. Telling your child to ‘try harder’ or ‘stop complaining’ has probably produced more arguments than real improvement in day to day learning.

We would like to offer some things we have seen that work well with parents and students.

First and foremost – partner, don’t push. Students need a friend, mentor and cheerleader to overcome their struggles. Rarely does the demanding Drill Sargent parent see real results. A parent who ‘walks with’ their student becomes a friend and trusted advisor in the learning process. It’s a hard balance. Parents need to provide structure and guidance, while also mentoring and cheerleading.

Here are some ways you can do both.

Tell stories about times you struggled to in school or made mistakes (but not too many). Your student needs to know that they are normal and facing problems that everyone faces. Have you ever flunked a test? Tell your student about it. How did it make you feel? How did your parents react? What did you end up doing to overcome the bad grade and succeed in school? Your solution from ‘back then’ might not be the same solution they need today but they will gain a lot of comfort knowing that you went through a similar situation.

Listen. A lot. Telling your student a story about your struggles in school may prompt them to talk about their struggles. When you student starts talking, you should immediately stop talking. Turn your attention to them and ask gentle, non-judgmental questions about their experience. Why don’t they like Biology? Is it the teacher, the other student? What happened before the test that made them feel stupid? Slow down and make time to really listen. Your student’s issues may seem minor but in their world – it’s a big deal. Take time to understand and find out what really matters.

Find something to learn together. You may have completed your schooling years ago but now that you have children in school – you are ‘back in school’ too. Why not freshen up your learning by working together with your kids? Your student’s science class may be the perfect way to re-ignite your own interest in the scientific study of bugs, atoms and galaxies. Perhaps you can write a Creative Writing story at the same time your student writes one for their class. Then compare the stories and talk about what you like in each.

Learn how to learn. We’re thrilled by the number of parents who buy our academic success book 101 Secrets to Passing Any Test and then read it together with their kids. The short, easy articles are perfect for an evening read around the dinner table and discussion. Pick one skill like “Eat the Frog First” or “The Hidden Traps of Multiple Choice Questions” and discuss the skill as a family. Taking time to talk as a family about how we learn will give your student lifetime skills for learning any subject.

Praise, praise and more praise. The most frequent complaint that we hear from students in our School Skills seminars is ‘All my parents do is criticize’. Now we know that student perceptions of their parents can be, well, biased but psychological research shows that it takes 10 compliments to counteract only 1 criticism. That’s right. Ten. The reason students feel constantly criticized is that the criticism is not given in an environment of overwhelm praise. One compliment for each criticism is not enough. You need ten compliments just to balance one criticism. Increasing the amount of ‘good’ we find in our students can really help them gain confidence and it takes a lot of ‘good finding’ to really get heard. Don’t be afraid to over-compliment. You can’t. Make it your business to find 5 great things your student has done today and tell them about it.

Don’t give up. Progress may take longer than you think. Many of us try a new technique or suggestion for a month or two. When we don’t see changes we give up or move on to try something else. Improving learning skills, however, can take years. Make a plan and stick with it using gentle, persistent encouragement for your student.  Be sure to celebrate the small victories too- like a better test grade or a compliment from an instructor. Every improvement is important.

Make research into a shared exploration. If your child brings home an assignment to learn about Otters, do it together. Don’t tell them where to look for answers and information, instead sit together at the compute and explore different sources of information. Why is one source better than another? Why would you choose to use a specific source? Coaching your student on how to find quality information is a great way to pass along your ‘adult’ wisdom without ‘giving away’ answers.

Schedule homework time for younger kids. One of the most powerful academic success tools is a schedule. Students who plan their study time learn more, spend less time studying and get higher grades. Children who have not yet gained a good sense of time and planning may need you to pick a study slot for them and help them to stick with it. If you plan a daily study time, be sure to stick with it for at least 2 months. After 2 months it should become routine and the complaints from your student should fade away.

Finally we should tell you how important it is to get medical help for medical issues. Doctors and health practitioners have made huge gains over the last ten years with ADHD, dyslexia and other learning challenges. There are excellent resources available and your school or college can probably help you find them. You can often have your child tested for these issues at their school or from a learning specialist. Don’t be embarrassed or hesitate to ask for help.

We hope that you find these paragraphs helpful. These are the main things we have seen work well with School Skills parents and families. Other ideas for student success can be gathered from teachers, friends and administrators at your school. Learning is a team sport. We would love to join your team with our School Skills eMagazine, the 101 Secrets to Passing Any Test book, coaching, speaking or seminars. Just contact us with this link.

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