Why Go to School? Your Child Needs to Know

Why Go to School? Your Child Needs to Know

When students understand the connection between school and the wider world of future earnings they do more homework!

In a study by the University of Michigan of 600 middle school students found that, when students were asked to consider what they wanted to do in the future before they were given homework, they were far more likely to do the homework that night.

The researchers also found that students who saw college education as part of their career path were up to eight times more likely to do extra homework if they could get extra credit for it.

Obviously, middle school students are able to make the connection between school work and future earnings, and only needed to be reminded of this connection to become more motivated to learn. With younger students the connection might not be so obvious, but there are other connections that can be made.

For instance, younger students can be told that if they want to be like one of their action hero’s they need to work hard in school. Most sport’s personalities (not all!) are excellent role models for young children and often work in schools to encourage children to learn and do well.

But how often do we make sure that children understand the connection between school and life? Too often teachers and parents concentrate on short term objectives – the next test, the next learning benchmark – rather than giving children the bigger picture of why they are in school.

I used to ask children why they had to learn to read. The answers I got were amazing. Some children said they had to learn to read ‘because the teacher says so’, or because ‘ my parents want me to’. I would spend time telling and showing them that teachers were not making them learn to read for the sake of reading, but so that they could learn more and become clever enough to get a good job when they left school. I remember, they were quite surprised and this new way of looking at the reason for learning to read and most of them were more motivated to learn as a result.

So, parents, if you want your child to work harder, to do more homework, make sure that they understand the connection between school and the wider world. Point out what it takes to be successful in this world, and what they need to do to get there.

Do this in a gentle way, the future, and the amount of work students have to do to secure their future, can be daunting and you don’t want to frighten them off. Tell your child that although the path might be long, and difficult at times, you will always be there to support them when they need your help.

But do give them a very good reason for being in school, give them something to aim for, and the means of getting there.

Isn’t that what we all need?



Source by Dr Patricia Porter

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