How to go from good to great – Spotlight News – The home of The Spot 518

METERAny parent, even those with gifted children, wonders if there is more room for their child’s academic growth. The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to assess where your child is and set the stage for an exceptional year. With a few adjustments to your child’s work habits and their perspective of school, they have the potential to be exceptional artists.

These are just a few ways to help your child become all they know they can be..

include activities
outside school

Children need more in their lives than just schoolwork. Let them pursue their passions outside of the classroom. This gives them a mental and physical release and a chance to reboot. That in turn allows them to learn better when it’s time to focus on school. Some extracurricular activities, such as music and sports, have a proven benefit to education.

However, even something like video games also has a benefit. It doesn’t have to be an activity where you see clear educational value. They may be learning in ways you can’t see. It’s also good for your emotional well-being to have time to do what you love.

support staff

Not all children can learn in the same way. Making small changes in study habits to suit your child will make a big difference.

For example, some children will want to sit at a desk in complete silence, while others may choose to be in the kitchen while you cook dinner to get some background noise. You will find that some children need a break after school; others can jump straight to the task. The learning format may also vary for each child. One child may choose to read to retain information from her while another may need to see pictures or hear information. Support your child and her decision about where and how to study.

Set clear expectations
for your son

If your child is a B student and you’ve praised him for it, you may not see him challenge himself to get A. be sure to let him know there is room to grow. Set clear expectations so they know what you expect, but make sure you are supportive and positive.

Focus on your skills and not on qualifications. You want them to know that it’s about what they can achieve and not just about getting a better grade. They may lose motivation if it comes to grades.

Cheer up a bit
to take risks

Taking a child out of their comfort zone encourages intellectual curiosity. It is this curiosity that can make a child a truly exceptional student. They look at all angles of the information presented to them and actually process the information instead of just memorizing it.

Encourage them to ask questions in class and ask for assignments that may seem difficult but pique their interest. This will translate to all areas of learning. You’ll see pieces of writing that shine with personality and not just text that regurgitates the information they learned.

Problem solving will involve thinking outside the box. They may also be more engaged in class because they are less afraid of making a mistake.

Above all, let your child be himself and lead the way. Be involved and supportive throughout the process, but remember that it is your process. You’ll be amazed at all the areas your child can grow in. It can come in the form of them taking ownership of projects, completing assignments on time, participating in class, being excited to go to school, or coming home and sharing the information they have learned.

Have an exciting and growth-filled year!

Vanessa Banks is the co-founder of Kernel Creative Media and a marketing strategist for Sylvan Learning of Clifton Park and Albany. For more information, visit

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