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Helping Your Child Prepare For Georgia Milestones

It’s that time of the year again! Georgia Milestones are fast approaching. As a parent, there are several things you can do to help your child prepare for the Georgia Milestones:

  • Understand the test format and content: It’s important to familiarize yourself with the format and content of the Georgia Milestones test. This will help you understand what your child will be tested on and how the test is structured. You can find more information about the test on the Georgia Department of Education website.
  • Create a study plan: Develop a study plan for your child that includes reviewing key concepts, practicing test-taking strategies, and taking practice tests. 
  • Encourage regular practice: Encourage your child to practice the material regularly, using practice tests, review books, or online resources like
  • Practice test-taking strategies: Teach your child effective test-taking strategies such as time management, reading and understanding instructions carefully, eliminating obviously wrong answers, and using the process of elimination to arrive at the correct answer.
  • Provide a supportive learning environment: Create a supportive environment at home that encourages learning and academic success. This includes providing quiet study space, limiting distractions, and offering encouragement and positive feedback.
  • Communicate with teachers: Talk to your child’s teacher to get a better understanding of how your child is progressing in class and what areas they may need extra help with. Teachers can also provide tips for studying and test-taking.
  • Encourage a growth mindset: Emphasize the importance of effort, perseverance, and resilience. Encourage your child to view mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Emphasize the importance of rest: Make sure your child gets enough rest and sleep leading up to the test. A well-rested student is more likely to perform well on the test.
  • Stay positive and motivated: Encourage your child to stay positive and motivated throughout the preparation process. Celebrate their successes and offer support and encouragement when they face challenges.

Remember, the Georgia Milestones is just one measure of your child’s academic progress. Encourage your child to do their best, but also emphasize the importance of learning for its own sake, rather than just for the purpose of passing a test.

Empowering the Young Mind: Strategies for Supporting Your Child’s Education

As children grow and develop, it is crucial for them to continue learning in order to reach their full potential. Learning goes beyond the traditional classroom setting and can occur through various experiences and interactions. By keeping children engaged in learning, they develop critical thinking skills, creativity, and a lifelong love for knowledge.

While the importance of continued learning for children is widely recognized, sometimes parents face challenges in ensuring that their child is constantly learning. These challenges can range from lack of time and resources to a child’s lack of motivation. However, by implementing some simple strategies and techniques, parents can help their children keep on learning and reach their full potential.

Tips on Fostering Learning

A. Finding the Child’s Interests and Passions

One of the best ways to encourage a love of learning is to tap into a child’s individual interests and passions. By doing so, learning becomes more engaging and relevant to the child. Parents can ask their children about their favorite hobbies, books, and subjects and then use that information to guide educational experiences. For example, a child who enjoys math can practice solving equations, play math games, or participate in math competitions.

B. Creating a Positive Learning Environment

The environment in which a child learns can significantly impact their motivation and engagement. Parents can create a positive learning environment by making it fun, comfortable, and inviting. This can be achieved by incorporating colorful decorations, creating a dedicated study area, and providing ample light and space that is free from distractions.

C. Promoting a Growth Mindset

Promoting a growth mindset is crucial for encouraging a love of learning. A growth mindset is a belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and learning. Parents can promote this by highlighting the benefits of making mistakes and celebrating their child’s efforts and progress, rather than just the end result. This helps children view learning as a journey, rather than a destination, and encourages them to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth.

D. Encouraging Curiosity

Encouraging children to ask questions and express their curiosity can be a great way to foster independent learning. Parents can ask open-ended questions, listen to their child’s ideas and opinions, and provide opportunities for them to explore and discover new information on their own.

E. Providing Resources for Self-Directed Learning

Self-directed learning is an approach to education that empowers students to take control of their own learning process. Rather than being passively taught by a teacher or parent, children in self-directed learning environments actively seek out information and resources to build their knowledge and skills. This type of learning has been shown to be highly effective in promoting student motivation, engagement, and academic success.

F. Setting and Achieving Goals

Parents can work with their children to set realistic and achievable goals and then provide support and encouragement along the way. This not only helps children develop a sense of accomplishment and pride but also helps them understand the importance of setting and working towards goals in all areas of life.

How to develop structural learning

A. Daily Routines

Incorporating educational activities into daily routines can help support structured learning and make it a regular part of a child’s life. Parents can find creative ways to make learning a part of daily activities such as meal times, trips, or chores. For example, parents can play educational games, have discussions about current events, or work on puzzles together.

B. Classes or Programs

Research has demonstrated that participating in structured learning activities can have a number of benefits for children. For example, structured learning can provide children with opportunities to develop new skills and interests. In particular, programs that focus on the arts, such as music or art classes, can help children develop creativity and critical thinking skills. Additionally, structured learning programs that focus on physical activities, such as sports or dance, can help children develop coordination, motor skills, and overall fitness.

C. Reinforce Learning at Home

Working with a child’s teacher can be a great way to support structured learning. Parents can attend parent-teacher conferences, stay informed about what is being taught in class, and reinforce learning at home by completing homework and studying together. This helps create a consistent learning environment and supports and reinforces what is being taught in the classroom.

Managing Gadget and Screen Time for Optimal Learning

A. Limiting the Amount of Screen Time

Balancing screen time is important for a child’s overall well-being and development. While technology can be a valuable tool for learning, it is crucial to limit the amount of time a child spends in front of screens. Parents can set daily or weekly limits on screen time and encourage alternative activities such as reading, playing outside, or pursuing hobbies.

B. Providing Age-Appropriate Screen Content

When children use screens, it is important to ensure they access age-appropriate content. Parents can research and choose educational apps, games, and websites that align with their child’s interests and learning goals. Additionally, parents can also monitor their child’s screen usage and ensure they are not exposed to inappropriate or harmful content.

C. Encouraging Active Screen Time

Encouraging active screen time can also help balance screen time. This can include playing physical games, educational activities, or virtual reality experiences. These activities can be a great way to engage children and provide a unique learning experience.

How Georgia Test Prep can help Your Child Keep Learning

Georgia Test Prep can be a valuable resource in helping your child keep learning. The web app provides online resources and Georgia Milestones practice tests. These resources can help support structured learning and reinforce what your child is learning in school.

By using the practice tests, your child can become familiar with the test format, understand the types of questions that will be asked, and develop test-taking strategies.

Incorporating Georgia Test Prep into your child’s study routine can help improve their confidence and performance on standardized tests. This can provide a boost to your child’s academic success and help prepare them for future educational and career opportunities.

Overall, it is a valuable resource for parents who want to support their child’s learning and help them reach their full potential. By using the resources and practice tests available on the website, parents can provide their children with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Parent Strategies for Improving Their Child’s Math Grade

Math is among the most essential and fundamental aspects of our existence. Before infants even learn to sit, we use mathematics to interpret and describe the forms and spaces around us. Because we all employ mathematical knowledge from the minute we open our eyes to this environment, how we train and improve our arithmetic skills has a big impact on our lives. That is why, in order to promote their children’s future success, parents must understand the importance of arithmetic and explore ways of improving math skills.

Why Is Math So Important For Kids?

Math preparation is similar to the art of playing with numbers. it takes a strong foundation to obtain the correct shape. It’s not just about complicated mathematical procedures and calculations. Many students face challenging or complex arithmetic problems. Still, they did solve them quickly because they obtain adequate mathematical knowledge as children and thus should nurture to advance a good foundation. Knowledge of mathematics can influence cognitive development in other walks of society as well. It has been proven that children with a strong mathematics education have a simpler way of comprehending life and making cause-and-effect connections. The reality is that, these critical life skills rise in direct proportion to one’s mathematical abilities demonstrates. The learning math skills early in life can have a direct impact on one’s future performance. This especially applies to their child’s numerical and future potential, and parents have a significant role to play.

What Can I Do to Assist My Child in Improving His Math Skills?

Master gets the progressive students, and those youngsters are acquiring immense knowledge. They will be strong in maths. Parents can also see if their child has a math preparation difficulty (Dyscalculia) and discover how to support them before school starts. That is why a student’s learning begins at home, and parents have a significant influence on their after-school activity even after they start school. This suggests that parents have a significant impact on their children’s mathematics achievement.

A parent that wants to help their kids develop their arithmetic skills may consider the following suggestions:

Signs that Your Youngster has Difficulty with Math

# Makes Disparaging Remarks About Math – It can be difficult to detect a child who is struggling with math. However, the master can find them out as they are experienced in handling youngsters.

# When it Comes to Math, your child gets Anxious – When it’s time to perform arithmetic, whether in class, on an exam, or on a school assignment, your youngster becomes increasingly apprehensive. Students can understand basic arithmetic. Still, they can face anxiety in remembering whatever they are learning. Practice can help them to remember easily.

# Having a Hard Time Linking Math Families – Students should start seeing the relationship between different numbers and equations as they learn more arithmetic facts. For example, if your youngster cannot perceive the connection between 2+3=5 and 5-3=2, they may be having difficulty with math.

# Having a Hard Time Keeping Track of  Time – Many parents struggle with time management, so this warning may appear ambiguous. Watch your youngster see if he or she has trouble estimating time intervals, adhering to rituals, or understanding timepieces (analogue or digital).

# Having Trouble Relating Math Ideas to Real-life Situations – Your child may understand arithmetic ideas but struggle to see how they relate beyond the classroom. Study the possibility below:

  • They’re keeping track of the days until their birthday.
  • Estimating the worth of something and the amount of change they should receive.
  • Ask your children to keep calculating house hold activities and note down.

# Problems with Mental Math – Figuring out math problems utilizing mental maths can be beneficial in the early years. This is because, as children grow older, they will be confronted with larger numbers and more complex equations that will necessitate mental math preparation, which finger counting can inhibit.

Georgia Venue for Parents of Children in Math grade (3rd to 8th)

Parents of students in Math grade (3rd to 8th) transition from using hands-on approaches to someone using visual aids to solve math problems.

Students in 3rd grade should use the following strategies-

  • Multiplication and division problems should be represented and solved.
  • Understand the principles of multiplication and how multiplication and division are related.
  • Solve problems utilizing the four operations, as well as recognize and explain arithmetic patterns.
  • To execute multi-digit arithmetic, use place value comprehension and attributes of operations.
  • Develop a numerical grasp of fractions.
  • Appreciate a fraction like a figure on the line segment and use a number schematic view to illustrate fractions.
  • Explain fraction equivalence using visual fraction models and logic. By thinking about the magnitude of fractions, you may compare them.
  • Solve issues that require the measuring and estimation of time intervals, liquid quantities, and object masses.
  • Understand area principles and how they relate to multiplication and addition.
  • Recognize circumference as a feature of planar figures and understand the difference between straight and area measurements.

Students in 4th grade should use the following strategies-

  • Recognize that a distributive comparison occurs when one number is multiplied by a given number to produce another amount.
  • Develop a generalized understanding of place value for multi-digit whole values.
  • Gain a better understanding of fraction equivalence and sequencing.
  • Apply and suggest additional conceptions of procedures on whole numbers to create fractions from unit fractions.
  • Understand and evaluate decimal fractions using decimal notation.
  • Solve problems concerning measuring and measurement conversion from a larger to a smaller device.
  • Draw and recognize lines and angles, then classify shapes based online and angle attributes.

Students in 5th grade should use the following strategies-

  • Using numerical expressions, write and interpret them.
  • Recognize the placing value system.
  • To add and subtract fractions, use fractions as a technique.
  • Within a given system of measurement, convert like measurement units.
  • To address real-world and mathematical problems, graph points on the coordinate plane.

Students in 6th, 7th and 8th  grade should use the following strategies-

Begin with an unspecified number in basic algebra-

  • Graphing ordered pairs is the process of using coordinates to locate locations on a grid.
  • Use fractions, percentages, and proportions to solve problems.
  • Experiment with lines, angles, triangle kinds, and other fundamental geometric shapes.
  • ‘Estimate and round.’

A Parent’s General Advice

To recap, Georgia educators are doing an outstanding job of teaching and maintain the standards set for Georgia’s Test Prep curriculum in the classes. keep cheering up your child for a positive attitude. Your child will be trained with a higher mathematics knowledge.


When it comes to practicing math in home, keep in mind that how you approach your child, it can have a big impact on their motivation. You can suggest them to practice Georgia’s Test Prep. As a consequence, keep an optimistic attitude throughout the process, and you can expect favorable results in conclusion.

Effective Ways To Foster Parent-Teacher Communication

Parental involvement is one of the pivotal aspects in a child’s education. According to a research conducted by Harvard University, it was found that a fruitful relationship between parent and teacher had a direct positive impact on student engagement in the class.

Similar results were out when the University of Warwick researched and concluded that parental involvement helped in child learning and added substantially to the performance.  

Educators around the world believe that effective communication with a child’s parents translates to positive outcomes. Also, a meaningful periodic interaction ensures that the student is doing well in school and outside the school walls.

As a teacher, you can reach out to parents to share student’s achievements via phone call or personal notes. Moreover, a detailed description of all the exciting things happening on the premises can be communicated through Newsletters. There are several ways a teacher can keep parents in the loop. We’ll discuss this in the coming sections below.

While parent-teacher communication is important, it is also a difficult aspect to address, say teachers. Communication barriers like physical, psychological, technical, social, or organizational, perception inefficiencies, cultural differences, and lack of knowledge or time keep things unaddressed or unsolved most of the time.

Key barriers in parent-teacher communication

  • Schools and parents report lack of time as the major barrier, however, studies reveal differently. Lack of planning and coordination contributes to ineffective communication more than time. Full-time working parents sometimes miss parent-teacher meets due to office work. 
  • Teachers reflecting their cultural perspectives to parents from different cultures, regions, or languages can worsen the communication gap and act as a catalyst in slower child development.

Two-way communication is the key.

While teachers reaching out to parents remains the foremost thing to constructive parent-teacher communication, interaction from another side also matters.

As a part of the strategy, schools should focus on making parents come to them with questions, ideas, or simply thoughts. The communication from teachers should encourage parents to respond and participate. It would not only make it interactive and goal-focused but also assist in the child’s overall development.

Studies reveal that parent involvement in a child’s learning is directly proportional to a child’s development and achievement.

Effective ways to strengthen the parent-teacher relationship

Here are the most effective ways to communicate better and take the child’s elementary education to an altogether new level.

  1. Understand the line between personal and bothersome

Dropping a personalized message on a parent’s preferred communication channel is a good way to communicate a child’s progress. It not only depicts warmth and affection but also your concern as a teacher towards the child. But don’t overdo it. Try communicating via a personalized video message only when it’s important either good or bad. .

  1. Be proactive to discuss potential concerns

Learn to be proactive. Don’t wait for the problems to swell, rather inform in time. As soon as you notice something which you think needs to be shared with parents – just do it.

If a student is having issues in understanding in class or is falling behind for some reason, make parents aware and work together to devise a solution. Doing so would not only help students in learning better but also help in building trust.

  1. Focus on building trust

Trust is an essential aspect of any relationship. Ensure to build it through the way you communicate. The best way to build trust is by following the practices mentioned in this article. 

  1. Short and precise at times work the best

Instead of communicating through long newsletters all the time, sending short messages about recent grades of the student, attendance, project submission reminders, etc can help in bolstering parent-teacher communication. Columbia University did just that and achieved a 39 percent drop in course failures and student attendance increased by 18 percent.

  1. Consistency is necessary

Regular communication helps parents understand their child’s progress better. They feel at ease and comfortable. It also gives them the impression that you care. On the other hand, if the communication is irregular, then it comes across as disingenuous.

The best way to do this is by creating a communication schedule and making parents aware of the same at the start of the session so they know what’s coming their way.

  1. Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom, says Thomas Jefferson. Be forthright with parents no matter if you are delivering bad news or good. This gives comfort to the communication between a parent and a teacher – even on difficult topics. Ultimately it’ll all be for a child’s better growth and holistic development. Though it’s still important to choose your words wisely while delivering a praise or critique message. 

How does technology help?

The world of technology is propelling every day. We have apps for almost everything today. Apps like SeeSaw and ClassDojo are enabling parents to learn about their child’s learning in real-time. Sharing updates has become easy and hassle-free.

Moreover, preparing for tests becomes easy with an app like Georgia Test Prep, an online practice test tool designed for elementary and middle school students. Aligned with Georgia state standards and/or Common Core Standards, it helps Georgia students hone their skills in the state school curriculum.

Final words

Many teachers believe that reaching out to parents is a daunting task and consumes a lot of time and effort. It’s true, but if done correctly and with the optimum use of technology, communication becomes more natural and systematic, streamlined to the desired objectives.

Plan the routine well, keep communication options open for parents, let them feel at ease, and you’d see a supportive and healthy environment in the making towards child learning and development.

The Science of Keeping Kids Engaged-7 Steps For Inspiring Creativity In Young Minds At Home

Creativity is not an inborn talent, it is an attribute that can be grown and developed, like a muscle. 

Sure, it’s true that some people are born with spectacular abilities—what else can you say about the likes of Picasso, Michelangelo, Jimi Hendrix, or Timothee Chalamet?

But that doesn’t mean that everyone can’t be creative. Creativity simply means the ability to create, to think out of the box, and to allow the mind to wander to places not often explored.

Nor is it solely about producing a work of art. Creativity is required for scientific inquiry, math, finding solutions to everyday problems, and even social and emotional intelligence. Creative people are, therefore, better equipped to take advantage of the many opportunities they will be faced with in life.

Besides, creativity is an essential component of health and happiness overall. That makes it a core skill to develop in children.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to send your kids to “creativity class” or force them into an activity they don’t like. Children are naturally creative, so a large part of what you have to do to help them develop that attribute is just let it grow.

This post is going to give a few tips on how you can help grow creativity in your kids at home.

1. Give them the resources they need to be creative

It isn’t just about getting your kids “things” that can help them be creative, it’s about giving them a time and space for unstructured exploration. 

A lot of what they will learn in school is structured education, and all of that stuff is very important because it lays the base for them to understand the world around them.

But creativity requires a lack of boundaries and structures, and yes a few simple tools can help. Give your kids a time, and if possible a space, that is dedicated for them to do what they like without any parental guidance. Let them paint, play with Legos, tinker with an old camera, and so on. Resist the urge to “show them how it’s done” and let them stretch their imagination.

2. Slowly add more tools to their inventory

You don’t need to dump every kind of art medium and toy on your kids at once. But access to a wide variety of tools gives them a chance to stretch their mind in different directions.

Besides, you’ll be able to see what they take to quite easily. If you’ve bought a clay set and you don’t see them using it after a few days, then you know you don’t need to invest in that later. But they will show an affinity to certain other things, and you’ll know that’s where you need to focus.

Also, it’s a good idea to convince at least your family and close friends that birthday gifts ought to be art supplies, cheap electronics, building supplies, and other raw materials that can be “worked on” rather than toys to simply be played with and forgotten.

3. Tell your kids that it’s OK to fail

The fear of failure is perhaps the single greatest threat to any creative effort. This fear starts developing early in a child’s life. But if a child can’t mess around and figure out what works and what doesn’t, then who can?

In fact, the greatest young entrepreneurs of the current age who went on to start some of the world’s biggest companies—Uber, Spotify, Amazon, and more—are certain that the key to success is to “fail fast and often”. That is, to try things out quickly, see if they are working, and move on if they aren’t. Maybe 1 out of 10 ideas will come to something, but it’s that one that launches them and their business to the next level.

So tell your kids not to worry too much about the output. Tell them to go ahead and start that painting, put those blocks together, write that story, and not worry how it will turn out. It’s the process of the activity that is more important than the outcome.

4. Ask them to share

Kids are always eager to show what they’ve done, so this probably won’t take that much encouraging. But be sure that they also share what went wrong with you. Again, it’s important to emphasize process over outcome.

Ask questions that will probe into their creative process. Something as simple as “How did you come up with the idea for this?” has the potential to turn into a very insightful conversation.

And remember, conversation is a two-way street. Be open about your feelings, and feel free to share your opinions. Give your kids the benefit of your years of knowledge and insight. Make sure that they know what you are thinking as this will encourage them to be more open.

5. Let them disagree with you

That is not to say that you should let them disobey you!

Rather, it helps to allow them to display divergent thoughts. So instead of outright saying “no, it’s like this…”, indulge them. Talk it out with them. Avoid thinking “it’s quicker to get them to listen right now, I’ll talk it out with them next time” because that next time doesn’t come.

Differences of opinion should be celebrated, not shot down. If children are scolded every time they have a divergent thought, they internalize this response and are less likely to question things later as an adult. This leads to conformity, doing what the herd is doing, and ultimately is the death of creativity.

6. Get involved in their creative pursuits

Nothing encourages creativity like getting your hands dirty with your kids—figuratively or literally, as required.

It shows them that you are interested and that being creative is OK. As far as possible, and as far as your child desires, get involved in their projects. You don’t need to be an expert in whatever they are doing, that isn’t what the creative process is about—it’s about being in the process of creation.

You may even find some benefits of this exercise rubbing off on you!

7. Encourage, don’t reward creativity

Lest they begin to see it as an easy way to get goodies and kudos, you don’t need to reward your kids every time they exhibit creativity. After all, as adults we know that the result of creativity is often its own reward.

Or at least, that’s the perception we want to set up. Our output-focused culture often robs us of the sheer joy of creating something for its own sake. Hobbies are seen as a waste of time unless they can somehow be turned into a money-making enterprise, but that was never supposed to be the point of being creative. That is not to say that one shouldn’t profit from their creativity if they can, but it shouldn’t be the sole motivation. 

As a closing thought, let it be reiterated that the outcome of a creative project is not that important. Not everyone is going to be able to make a sustainable career out of their creative pursuits, but that is not the point of creativity anyway.

The point of creativity is to be in the process of creating something. It is about experiencing those emotional ups and downs that occur in that process, and about allowing your mind to wander into new territory. That’s what creativity is at the end of the day—a mind game, one of the most important your kids will learn to play.

Georgia Test Prep web app for students launches new GA Milestone test practice feature

Georgia Test Prep is a leading online practice test tool designed to help Georgia students hone their skills in the state school curriculum and ace standards tests.

The tool is now launching a brand new feature that mimics the actual visual layout of the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS) tests. This will enable students to get familiar with the user interface of the GMAS test so that they will feel right at home with the real thing.

The Georgia Test Prep tool gives visibility into students’ progress with their analytics dashboards and provides a personalized learning experience for each child, allowing them to proceed at their own pace. The content on Georgia Test Prep is presented in a simple format for an optimum learning experience.

The new feature presents realistic GMAS math tests for grades 3 to 8.

Georgia Test Prep is the leading tool for GMAS Practice Tests because it is designed in Georgia, for Georgia students, by Georgia state teachers. It contains thousands of practice questions for grades 3 to 8. Practice test material adheres perfectly with the Georgia state school curriculum, so the questions are based on what students are actually learning in school. The tool can be accessed on any device and the question bank is being constantly updated, making Georgia Test Prep a more convenient, far more economical, and more comprehensive option than practice books. The Georgia Test Prep subscription gets you 24/7/365 access and support from the Georgia Test Prep team for less than 10 cents per day.

For a free trial join now!

About Georgia Test Prep

Georgia Test Prep is a web app designed for elementary and middle school students. It is tailored to help parents solidify what their children are learning in school.

Students can practice answering questions on various topics that are perfectly aligned with Georgia standards. Students will have thousands of questions to practice from in each and every subject for their grade level.

Media Contact  

Ashley @ Georgia Test Prep

5 Ways To Help Students Struggling With Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension isn’t about being able to string words together, it’s about deriving meaning from the text. In other words, just because a child can read a text doesn’t mean they truly understand it.

It’s the difference between reading Shakespeare and getting Shakespeare.

But the implications go far beyond appreciating literature. Comprehension is about reading between the lines, understanding vocabulary and figurative language, inferencing, verbal reasoning, grammatical development, and oral expression. It’s about being able to understand the reason something has been written, or what the stance of an author is on a particular subject. 

In this day and age, the ability to comprehend text is more important than ever. Being able to look beyond the written words of a text can, for example, help a reader differentiate between fake news, biased news, and genuine news.

Catching a struggling reader early is relatively easy, but students who have trouble with comprehension may go under the radar and only be found when they fail standardized comprehension tests. But all hope is not lost. This post is going to give you five ways to support students who are struggling with reading comprehension.

1. Try different subjects

Sometimes all it takes to get a student to comprehend what they’re reading is to get them to read something they are genuinely interested in. Feel free to look beyond what is traditionally considered “school material”. It could be fiction, it could even be a comic book. The point is to see if they are really able to absorb the matter.

Ask your child to pick some reading material for themselves, and get involved with their reading. Younger students may also be open to reading aloud for you. Every now and then, under the guise of curiosity, interject a question that will ask them to think about the meaning of the text. This will give the student an opportunity to become “the explainer” and subtly ask them to practice comprehension.

2. Teach vocabulary

One of the most basic ways to make for a richer reading experience for your child is to bolster their vocabulary.

Get a word-of-the-day calendar, use flash cards, or anything else—there are dozens of ways to help improve a students vocabulary, more than we can cover in this post. A simple game that you can play almost anywhere is to say a simple definition of a word and ask your child to identify the word.

Additionally, a strong vocabulary enhances fluency. We’ve all experienced it— we come across a new word, and that interrupts our reading flow. This can be especially frustrating for a child who is already having trouble comprehending a text.

So the other side of teaching vocabulary is to frame these instances as positive. Assure your child that even you don’t know all the words. Encourage them to view these instances as an opportunity to learn a new word.

3. Oral essay questions

Older students may not be comfortable reading out loud for you, but there’s more than one way to get involved in their reading.

Get your child’s buy-in to do this exercise—it could be seen as an invasion of privacy if you just dip into their reading material, no matter how good your intentions, and that will be the end of the whole thing right there.

The point of getting into their reading is to pose essay type questions now and then. Dig into the “why” of something that happened, what does your child make of a certain event or certain action that a character took, what real-world parallels can they draw, and so on.

A word of caution, however: be sure never to give spoilers. Nothing is worse for a child reading a beloved book.

4. Urge note-taking

This is a practice that we use even as adults. Any time we see something interesting, we mark it. If we come across a passage or term we don’t understand, we highlight it so we can come back and look it up. We jot down points of interest that will help us summarize a text for a presentation. We are always taking notes, in some form or another.

Urge your child to take notes and make marks when they need to read for comprehension, no matter how trivial the text may seem. This will get them into the habit of looking out for and identifying pieces of text that could be important for its comprehension. There is no shame in writing in the margins, and in fact it’s a skill they will use more and more as they progress through life.

5. Summarizing

One the best—and simplest—ways to test comprehension is to ask your child to summarize a text.

Ask for a 1-page book report on whatever they are reading. It doesn’t even have to strictly be a book. But you’ll be able to judge if:

  • They can identify the main points of interest.
  • They can tell you what the text is about.
  • They can draw out the meaning or intent behind the text.

You can make it a fun experience with a little bit of gamification and some kind of reward mechanism. For example, 5 satisfactory summaries earns a special treat.

Final thoughts

As with any method to help a child, the main thing to remember is to be patient. Remind your child that struggling with reading comprehension is merely a facet of processing information, and not of intelligence. Like all subjects, any child can get better at it with practice.

The best thing you can do is try to bring the areas your child is struggling in into daily life. Take it “out of the classroom” and give it real world context. You can test comprehension on a movie, or an episode of a cartoon. If they are watching the half-time analysis of a basketball game, you can ask them to summarize the main points. Make it fun and relevant to your child and you will see them develop the skills they need to succeed in school.

7 Important Learning Habits To Build In Your Child For Success

Many of the habits that we carry throughout life, for better or for worse, are developed in childhood.

American philosopher William James wrote, “Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.”

But what does a child know about these matters? They can’t possibly know what they’re getting themselves into. They merely observe their environment and adapt accordingly from a very early age. In fact, research has established that many fundamental processes that have to do with thinking, reasoning, and learning are present and fully functioning at birth or develop by the time a child is 4-5 years old (Goswami, 2008).

As parents, we need to help inculcate good learning habits in our children. It’s not only about doing their homework every day, which is no doubt important, but also about how they learn. After all, homework will one day end, but learning never does, and developing a positive attitude towards learning is paramount for them to have a successful life.

Habits form early in a child

Habits form and get entrenched in the human brain automatically based on an individual’s environment unless there is a conscious effort to shape them.

Once habits set, they are very difficult to break, because repeat habits set up a dopamine release loop in the brain which creates a feeling of pleasure and strengthens the habit.

When it comes to kids, you need to catch them while they’re young—research shows that children develop habits by age 9.

But that doesn’t mean you should wait until you think they know what you’re talking about. Kids pick up on more things than we realize, and as mentioned above it starts from an early age.

While study habits can be built later in life, start with teaching your kids self-control. Research has shown that children who learn self-control at an early age are set up for more success later in life. Children who exhibit tendencies like impulsivity, aggression, and hyperactivity struggle emotionally, socially, and academically throughout life (Spira & Fischel, 2005).

However, this post is going to focus specifically on developing successful learning habits in young school-going children.

Habits take time to develop consciously

It’s a popular internet-fuelled belief that it takes 21 days to form a habit. But a study out of University College London suggests that the truth is not so simple.

While the 21-day rule may be applicable for simpler habits, like drinking a glass of water after breakfast, a more complex routine can take the better part of a year to cement itself.

As you work with your children to develop the following habits, understand that it will probably take some time for them to stick. Forming a habit isn’t easy, but once the initial inertia is overcome your child will benefit from it for the rest of their lives.

Now let’s get into the 7 essential learning habits that every child should develop.

1. Designate a study area for your child

Help your child create a study area, a place that is dedicated to school work and projects. As they become habituated to this space, it will help set the tone for concentration and productivity.

The “real” study area is, of course, in their mind. The ability to dip into and out of “focus mode” will serve them immensely later in life.

2. Keep short breaks between bursts of concentration

Sometimes referred to as the “Pomodoro technique”, this famous and well-loved productivity technique recognizes that the human brain cannot focus for too long without getting exhausted. It’s just nature.

Instead, your child can focus for a long period, typically around 25 minutes, followed by a short break of 5 minutes to allow the brain to rest and recuperate for the next burst of concentration. After 3-4 cycles like this, a longer break of usually 15 minutes follows.

Having to sit and concentrate for hours together can feel like a daunting task. This method, among other things, tricks the brain by setting a shorter time limit. 25 minutes doesn’t seem quite as long as 2 hours, so it doesn’t feel as daunting. The short break then rejuvenates the mind and makes it easy to keep going.

3. Understand how long work will take and prioritize

Encourage your child to learn how much time a particular task will take for them. They need to familiarize themselves with their working styles (while always improving simultaneously).

Then they can prioritize their tasks. Perhaps they want to do the ones that will take longer earlier in the day, and keep the shorter ones for later when they will have less energy.

We often don’t worry about these skills until we are in a professional setting, so helping your child form these habits will give them a massive head start.

Additionally, by developing learning habits that enable them to be in control of their work, you encourage them to realize what they actually enjoy more. This will help them make a more carefully considered career choice later on.

4. Let them solve things by themselves

It’s a natural tendency for parents to “come to their child’s rescue” whenever the child is faced with a problem. But doing this too much will make them over-reliant on outside help.

Instead, get them into the habit of solving things for themselves. Don’t just hand them solutions, guide them. A major part of learning—and life in general—is experimenting with solutions, figuring out what works, and even sometimes failing.

This kind of habit also can also help spark a natural curiosity in your child.

5. Build a growth mindset in your child

This mostly has to do about how you praise your child. We have covered this topic more extensively in our post on growth mindset, but here’s the gist:

  • Overly praising them for doing well can make them think that everything should come easy to them.
  • Overly praising their effort can also be damaging. 
  • Instead, focus on praising the process. It’s not so much about the result, it’s about how they achieved it.

Promoting a growth mindset produces in your child an attitude that intelligence, creativity, and personality can be cultivated through effort, makes them resilient to the specter of failure, and emboldens them to face challenges.

6. Foster creativity and curiosity

Creativity and curiosity are not always innate characteristics. Sure, kids like to explore and discover things when they are young, but some researchers believe that this is not indicative of inherent creativity.

Encourage your children to seek new forms of stimuli. Show them the thrill of discovering something new. You might even share some of your own hobbies, if only to show them how much joy it gives you.

Creativity and curiosity do occur naturally in spades in some children, but they are also habits that can be developed with constant stimuli.

7. Help them to be gritty

As an adult, you know that to succeed in life you have to invest a lot of time in what you do. This takes grit and determination. It’s very important to develop this habit in your child, especially since we live in an age of instant gratification.

Grit can be defined as “passion and perseverance for especially long-term goals.” Research from psychology Professor, Angela Duckworth found a correlation between grit and rank in the US National Spelling Bee, educational attainment, grade-point average in Ivy League undergrads, and retention of West Point cadets.

It’s easy to be interested in something initially and then quickly lose interest in it. But if your kids want to see the rewards, they have to stick with it. They’ll be naturally inclined toward certain things, so help them connect a purpose to their hard work in that area.

The best habit they can have

The habits discussed in this post are all geared towards making your child a resilient and strong learner.

It is important to build these habits in your child from an early age when their brains are still very impressionable. At that age, it’s far too easy to fall into bad habits that can stick around for a long time (possibly their entire life).

It’s paramount that parents guide their children. But we aren’t the only influences on our child’s mind. Our children’s minds are constantly bombarded with input from the media, other kids at school, their teachers, and other adults. There is no stopping this, whether we like it or not.

So the best habit you can give your child is to question everything. 

They might be influenced by something they saw on TV or something someone said at school, and they can’t possibly have the knowledge and experience to inform them of what they might be getting themselves into.

Teach them that this is OK, and in fact completely normal. Teach them that no one has all the answers, not even you, and that life is about figuring these things out bit by bit. Ensure them that when they have a question, they can rely on you to figure it out together.

After all, life is a constant game of learning. 

The habits discussed in the post, taken together, will give your child the tools they need to maintain curiosity, spark creativity, and find success in life—whatever that winds up meaning to them.