Well, it’s time for a new school term. Most parents think that it is up to a child to do well in class and on their report cards. They often don’t recognize, however, how their own actions contribute to the child’s progress.
A best practices study shows that the best students do not have tutors or go to Kumon.
They are the products of good parenting.
Home and family are significant factors in student learning and achievement. Studies done all over the world attest to a variety of best practices, ranging from parental involvement in school to various enrichment activities. But how many of them really work? Which are applicable to the Philippine setting -and most importantly, which are already being practiced by the families of our best students? The only way to find out is to ask parents themselves.
As a psychologist-educator, I am often faced with the problem of student mediocrity and underachievement. I try my best to motivate them by using creative and innovative teaching styles, but learning is not the sole responsibility of the teacher. The family environment is even more crucial, especially in forming good habits early on.
Last year, I teamed up with a concerned Ateneo High School parent, Maribel Sison-Dionisio (herself a family counselor), to conduct an extensive study of the best practices in our school. A 100-item questionnaire was given to 823 parents of honor students excelling in extracurricular activities. (These students were selected by administration based on academic and extracurricular performance.) We received 533 responses (a whopping 65 percent rate of return), and conducted a focus-group-discussion with 27 parents. The first local study of its kind of this scope, this truly is a community effort – sponsored by the Parents Union for School and Home, and endorsed by President Fr. Ben Nebres, SJ; Basic Education director Fr. Bert Ampil, SJ; and principal Carmela Oracion. Following are the top 10 strategies to help our children do well in school:
1. Home learning environment
In our tutor-obsessed culture, the most surprising finding may be that the majority of honor students (more than 80 percent) have never had professional tutors after school. (Another 10 percent say they rarely have tutors.) But then again, this may not be so surprising, as internationally, many student achievers seldom rely on professional tutors.
How do these students achieve? Many parents tutor their children until Graces IV or V, by which time these students have already developed good study habits and can study well on their own. In the upper grades, parents act more as guides, and are consulted mainly on complicated topics. Interestingly, many parents in the …