Every parent wants what’s best for their son and there are many different ways parents can assist their sons to achieve academic success. Andrew Fuller, child psychologist and author, provides multiple insights in his book ‘Help your child succeed at school’. We have adapted our favourite tips from this book to provide you with 7 simple tips you can implement at home that will have a significant positive effect on your son’s learning.
Our top 7 tips for helping your son achieve academic success are:
1. Ensure your son has an organised learning space
Most boys will not naturally set themselves up with an organised space and will need some assistance from you. Help them to set up an area where they can concentrate and encourage them to maintain this space so that it remains organised.
2. Choose a space with suitable lighting
It is not recommended that students study under fluorescent lights as they are connected to increased cortisol levels, which can lead to anxiety and agitation. Instead, children should study in an area with natural lighting or under the light of a desk lamp.
3. Keep television time limited
While we definitely don’t encourage children to spend hours each night in front of the television, a limited amount of time spent viewing suitable programs has been linked to academic achievement. It can also be a great way for your son to have a break or reward himself for completing his homework. At Trinity Grammar School, we recommend no more than 1.5 hours per day after the age of nine, no more than 1 hour after 13 and no more than 30 minutes after 17.
4. Encourage a good night’s sleep
To achieve optimal brain functioning, boys need a good night’s sleep – no less than 8 hours. During sleep, your memory consolidates and processes information. Boys who sleep less than 8 hours each night do not have as much time as other boys have to process information.
5. Provide a healthy breakfast
Boys need a healthy breakfast that contains protein (eggs, low fat dairy products, lean meat) and low GI index carbohydrates (e.g. porridge, muesli, bran-enriched cereal, fruit) to assist them in their day’s learning and concentration.
6. Give your son feedback about his learning
Instead of giving your son general praise, rewards or punishment, we encourage parents to watch how your son has completed a task and in a positive way, constructively, show them how they could improve the way they complete similar tasks in the future. Work with them to see how they can overcome any obstacles that they have faced so that they have more confidence in completing the task in future.
7. Play games with your son
Concentration, memory and sequencing are skills that are valuable in a boy’s life at school. Playing games such as Snap, Uno, Concentration, Battleships, Monopoly, chess and jigsaw puzzles will assist your child in developing these skills. Computer versions of these games have been proven to not be as effective.
It is critical that boys have a home life where study and learning is encouraged and monitored to ensure that they are able to achieve their very best at school.
To learn more about how every boy can discover and develop his skills and talents through Trinity’s extensive range of world class educational programmes and personalised approach, download our prospectus.