My Child's Educational Progress: A Case Study
Children learn at a varying paces, take to particular subjects more than others and thrive on different learning methods. Every student progresses at a different rate and in different ways.
Each child is an individual. With this in mind, it can be difficult for parents to know what to expect of their child at any given stage in their school or college career. Remember to see your child as an individual and to visualise their skillset and progress as a personal profile.
Do encourage them to develop their interests and abilities but try not to compare them to their fellow students. ehomework.co.uk spoke to Caroline Beard about her experiences as a parent of a young learner. Caroline is mother to Sarah, an eleven year old only child who has recently started secondary school.
Q. Has Your Daughter Always Been a Keen Learner?Sarah has always loved school and enjoyed gaining new knowledge. Having said that, she does have to put in a fair amount of time and effort in order to feel confident with new skills, information and ideas. For example, it did take her a good while to conquer her times tables a few years back. She would repeat them each night at the dinner table and got very angry with herself when she made mistakes.
The key thing is that she persevered; she has always been a conscientious and hard worker. At home, we try to foster this by creating a comfortable environment in which she can complete homework tasks in peace and rest after a tough day at school.
Q. Is Sarah Frequently Tested at School? Do You Think Such Tests Are Useful?Throughout school, Sarah's teachers would set short, straightforward tests for their classes. These mostly seemed to be designed to encourage the students to learn new sets of information thoroughly, so on the whole I think Sarah found them useful.
She used to leave revision to the night before such short tests but this tended to make her stressed, anxious and not as productive as she might otherwise have been. She has learnt to pace herself and to review what needs to be learnt well in advance. Her Year 6 S.A.T.S. were the biggest set of exams she has sat to date. Although they were hard work, she seemed to relish the challenge. She found it rewarding when she realised all that she had learnt in her years at school and the huge progress she has made.
Q. What Are Sarah's Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?Writing is a real passion of Sarah's and she has a natural flair for it. She is always writing short stories and funny poems. Drawing is also a talent of hers. She takes quickly to creative skills.
Although Sarah enjoys Science and Maths, she does find them more difficult than other subjects. In the past, she could be rather shy in class and did not always ask for clarification if she was unsure of something but as her confidence grows, she increasingly feels comfortable enough to put up her hand and seek further explanations.
Q. What Are Sarah's Aims for Secondary School?Sarah is really excited that she now has the opportunity to study a number of different languages. She hasn't learnt one in depth before and is very keen to be fluent in Italian! I know that she is keen to work hard at all the new subjects she will take on over the five years. However, she has also thrown herself into a whole host of extra-curricular activities. She is on a number of sports teams, including the netball team.
I'm really pleased about this. It is so important for students to maintain a good balance between work and play. What's more, exercising regularly helps her to relax, refresh and concentrate.
Sarah's academic progress clearly proves the point that each child is different from the next and requires help and encouragement in different areas. For this reason, it is important to talk to your child regularly about their classwork and homework. Be sure to find out what they enjoy, what they dislike, the problems they are facing and their wishes for the future. If you understand your child as an individual, you will be able to effectively support them as they progress as an independent learner and give them the advice and help they personally require.