Motivate your child

CHILDREN are naturally curious and eager to learn.

CHILDREN are naturally curious and eager to learn.

By making school and homework as pressure-free as possible, parents can help protect their children from stress and boost their academic achievement by:

l Showing enthusiasm for your child's interests and encourage her to explore subjects that fascinate her. If she's a horse nut, offer her stories about riding or challenge her to find five facts about horses in the encyclopedia.

l Ask children about what they are learning, not their grades or test scores.

Ask a child to teach you what she was taught at school today.

l Help your child to organise school papers and assignments so they feel in control of school work.

l Build a sense of responsibility by allowing children to choose extramural or extracurricular activities, assigning them chores, and asking their input on family decisions.

l Ensure that children have plenty of time for unstructured play.

l Celebrate their achievements, no matter how small. Completing a book report calls for a special treat or finishing a book allows them an hour of television viewing.

l Focus on a child's strengths, encouraging a child to develop talents, even when they didn't ace the math test, they may have written a good poem in English class, or improved in the spelling score.

Or, check in with your child regularly to make sure they are not feeling overloaded, and if this is the case, help the child to prioritise their work. - From Parent and Child Magazine