Academic Enrichment Activities At Home (How It Works)

Academic learning does not have to stop once school is out. But how can parents continue with academic enrichment activities while at home? 

Parents can do academic enrichment activities at home by nurturing open communication with their kids, making learning fun while trying out different learning styles, encouraging them to express their interest, and showing enthusiasm about learning.

If you are curious about how you can get involved with your child’s academic enrichment while at home, keep reading.

Enriched Home Environments: What Do They Look Like? 

An enriched home environment allows the child to develop properly in terms of mind, body, and emotion. It consists of various activities and attitudes displayed by the child’s parents. These are supposed to encourage their development at a time in their life when every experience matters.

An enriched home environment has the following:

  • Bookshelves full of books to read
  • Writing supplies
  • Adequate TV time
  • Arts & crafts
  • Painting & drawing supplies

An enriched home environment will encourage various forms of development, and these types of activities will help the child explore his or her creativity in the best way possible.

Parents should pay close attention to how the child’s logic develops by letting them learn about the following:

  • Tools
  • Musical instruments
  • Computers
  • Nature
  • Music
  • Sports

Parents need to provide enough resources and activities to socialize kids through playtime and games, interaction with friends, siblings, and the parents themselves.

5 Ways To Encourage Learning After School

  • Make Learning Fun
  • Let Your Child Choose Their Interests
  • Try Out Different Learning Styles
  • Nurture Open Communication
  • Show Your Enthusiasm

What do each of these look like? Keep reading to find out. 

Try to Make Learning Fun

When you make learning at home fun and exciting, this will offset a certain dullness in those less than exciting classes. 

For example, a history lesson could be easier to digest if you were to introduce puppets and act out certain historical events.

All it takes is a tap into our creativity. Learning about animals is much easier when done outside where the child can see some creatures in action. 

The end result is that the child won’t see learning at home as a chore, but a fun after-school activity to look forward to. 

Let Your Child Choose Their Interests

It is more beneficial if parents let the child decide what they want to learn. For example, if you kids don’t like sports, don’t discourage learning by focusing on sports all the time. Instead, focus on the subjects and experiences our kids prefer. 

Try Out Different Learning Styles

While encouraging our kids to learn after school, we can try out different learning styles to see which is more up their alley.

Other Ways Of Learning

  • Auditory
  • Visual
  • Physical (Tactile)
  • Verbal
  • Logical
  • Social
  • Solitary

Some favor a different learning style for different subjects too. It’s all trial and error until we find the one that makes our kids confident and interested in learning throughout their childhood and beyond.

Nurture Open Communication

Feeling stuck can easily discourage kids from learning. A major consequence of this is that they won’t nurture that curiosity all children have.

It’s important to nurture open communication with our kids to validate their feelings and opinions. Our children have the right to express their likes, dislikes, wants, and needs regarding their education. And our feedback should be nothing but positive and constructive.

Show Your Enthusiasm

It’s our job to keep a positive attitude about learning and show our enthusiasm to set a good example. 

We should find opportunities to share our excitement about learning whenever possible. 

Chances are that the enthusiasm will rub off and encourage kids to continue learning and developing new interests outside the classroom.

Does the Home Environment Really Matter for Academic Growth?

A stressed child who cannot cope with their surroundings isn’t likely to do well in school. 

Our kids require us to show support and create a warm and responsive environment that doesn’t judge but helps them grow into better students. 

We can provide such an environment by:

  • Encouraging creativity and exploring
  • Giving the child learning supplies and toys that pique their interest
  • Planning out the learning process by including both some time for playtime and actual learning

Socioeconomic factors such as income and parents’ education aren’t obstacles to a child’s academic growth. The inability to show interest in our kids’ school activities and value of academic prowess, as well as having a bad attitude and no enthusiasm about learning in general, could hinder it.

3 Possible Outcomes of an Enriched Home Environment

More Curious Kids

Introducing interesting activities and even some positive challenges at home should result in increased motivation and curiosity in kids. They may become more excited about going out on their own and finding new information, interests, and hobbies. 

Greater Chance of Academic Success

The home environment is a key aspect that influences children’s progress in school. If it’s a calm, nurturing environment that stimulates mind, body, and soul, the child should feel less stressed at school. 

Fewer Behavior Problems and Mental Health Issues

An enriched home environment contributes to proper development by protecting the child from mental health issues later on and negative behavioral changes.

The better parents are at providing for their child, both in terms of material and emotional support, the better the chance of overall life success. 

A bad home environment can cause problems with potential academic success and cognitive development. If it continues, it can cause major issues later on, leaving children unable to become independent people who can hone skills, use them to their advantage, and craft a successful life for themselves.

Summary

We know it can be challenging to encourage after-school learning, but the tips we listed above in this blog make the process a little easier. 

We are passionate about kids and taking their academic potential to the next level. So we created an academic enrichment program to maximize those learning opportunities. 

If you are interested in seeking outside resources to help with your child’s academic enrichment, click here.

What To Do When Your Middle Schooler Is Failing School?

Finding out that your middle schooler is failing in school can be frustrating for parents. 

So what do you do when your child is failing in school? 

First, create a good and safe study space at home. Second, help your kid with their homework and organization for a period of time. Finally, spend quality time with your child and outside of school activities. You can also consider hiring a tutor or enrolling them in academic enrichment programs. 

There are a number of reasons why your child may be falling behind in school. If you think your child may be struggling academically, keep reading to discover how you can help your child with their academics.

Reasons Why Your Child Is Failing In School

Many parents make the mistake of thinking that their child simply doesn’t want to do the work because of laziness or stubbornness but that is rarely the case. There is always a reason why your child’s grades start to plummet. 

The first step is to have a conversation with your child. In most cases, the reasons for your middle schooler failing in school are one or more of the following: 

  • They are struggling with organization. Not all children can keep track of all their assignments. 
  • They don’t know the right way to study. It takes time to figure out the best way to retain information. 
  • They have memory issues. Sometimes children just can’t remember the big chunks of information that schools require them to. 
  • They have a problem in class that prevents them from paying attention. Your child might have had a conflict with one of their classmates or they are being bullied and that’s why they can’t focus on the material. 
  • Alternatively, your child might be a bully. It’s always difficult to accept, but your child might be the one acting out in school. There is an underlying reason for this as well
  • They missed some classes and now can’t keep up. With subjects such as algebra, for example, each lesson builds upon the previous one. So if your child missed a couple, they might not understand the new material. 

They have a learning disability. This does not mean your child can’t do well at school. It just means they will need more help ​​to learn their own coping skills and to receive the right accommodations. But the sooner you discover it, the sooner you’ll be able to help your child.

School Subjects that Require a Little More Attention

Mathematics is often the subject that most kids struggle to learn. Studies show that 37% of teens, ages from 13-17, found math to be their hardest subject. Why is math so hard to comprehend? How can parents help their children with their mathematics?

We put together a brief table listing out the reasons why kids struggle with math and ways parents can help.

Reasons Why Kids Struggle with Math

The Reasons Why Is This Hard? How to Help
Attention difficulties Math problems involve a lot of steps to find the solutions. If kids have a hard time focusing, they may not have comprehended each step of the process and therefore get stuck Participate in daily tasks that require a lot of attention to detail. Put together resources for them to practice at home to get better at multiple step problems
Math builds Math is built on sequential learning. If they don’t understand the previous lesson, they will not be able to comprehend the current lesson Go back to the basics. Help them build a better foundation for each step. Find resources that focus on one step of the problem and don’t move forward until they have mastered that step
Concepts are learned but not understood There is a lot of repetition in math so often times kids will know how to do a problem based off muscle memory but they don’t fully understand how they got there Visual representations with random household objects or real life situations can really help a child comprehend certain problems like multiplication and division. You can also have your child teach you the math problem to make sure they fully understand it
Lack of practice or patience Math is frustrating and when a child doesn’t catch on right away they tend to give up Make math fun for your child! Get creative when practicing math problems at home. Encourage them when they get frustrated and be open to different learning styles to help your child succeed in math
It doesn’t appear relative “When will I ever use this in real life?” Kids have a hard time learning something that they can’t connect to reality  Show them the areas where math is used. Building things, baking cookies, applying a discount when shopping, etc. This will provide your child with some appreciation for the subject

Encourage your child to keep trying, reach out to their teachers for advice on how to help, and if necessary, you can seek outside help from tutors.

Top 5 Ways To Help Keep Your Middle Schooler On Track For Academic Success

1. Get Involved With Your Child’s School

Being involved with your child’s school does not only mean volunteering at parties and school fairs. It also means talking to them every day after school, asking them what they learned, if they have homework, etc. 

To dig deeper, ask them about their friends, who they talk to at school, and what they do during recess. It’s important to keep in mind that the social aspect of school can influence academic performance.

2. Teach Your Child How to Study

Once children start middle school, most teachers expect them to know how to study. But that’s not always the case. You might have to take matters into your own hands and teach your child how to study efficiently. 

Make sure they know when exams are scheduled. You can give them a notebook where they’ll be able to keep track of all upcoming assignments and exams. 

Help them plan enough study time. When there’s a lot to go through, make sure they start early enough so they avoid cramming the night before. 

Show them some study techniques so they can work out which one works best for them. 

Possible Study Techniques:

  • Flashcards
  • Re-writing notes
  • Creating practice tests
  • Reading aloud
  • Elaborate on topics and make connections with different ideas to lean how they work together
  • Put all materials away and start writing or sketching everything you know, being as thorough as possible, and then compare it with your study materials 
  • Switch it up and don’t study one subject for too long
  • Look at the visuals provided in study materials and put into your own words what they mean. 
  • Draw your own visuals to describe what you have learned 

3. Ensure Your Child is Ready to Learn

To be able to concentrate and learn properly, children need to have their other needs met first. Make sure your child gets enough sleep and eats a nutritious breakfast to get fuel for the day. Foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein, can help boost a child’s memory, focus, and attention span. 

4. Create a Study Space

A good way to help your child do their work is to ensure they have their own study space. That means they need a quiet, well-lit place to study, away from all the distractions.

Make sure their phone is off during this time as well. And if they need to use the computer, consider installing an add-on that blocks social media and similar sites, such as StayFocusd.

5. Talk to Your Child’s Teachers

Teachers are the ones who actually see your child in the school environment and they are your best source of information about your child’s abilities and potential problems. 

Try to schedule a time to meet with them occasionally and find out how your child is doing in class. You can compare what you notice at home and what they noticed in class and then work from there. 

Some of the questions we recommend you ask a teacher are: 

  • Is my child participating in class?
  • Do they have friends? How do they get along with their classmates?
  • How are they handling the workload and in-class tasks?
  • Was there a change in the attitude or performance?

 

Why Getting Good Grades Is Important For Your Child’s Future

You should teach your child that grades don’t determine a person’s worth, but it’s important to also let them know how getting good grades can help them in the future. 

Here are several reasons why getting good grades matter. 

1. Good Grades Boost Confidence

Getting good grades can give them the confidence that they will be able to do other things in life as well. 

Numerous studies are supporting this claim a study at King’s College showed that students with low self-esteem were more likely to learn less or even be involved in criminal activities later. 

2. Good Grades Lead to a Good College

Middle school is the time when your child should create consistent study habits and develop a healthy attitude toward school. Grades don’t begin to have an effect on your child until they get into high school. High school grades are what colleges are looking at the most.

Remember: good study habits, love for learning, and your child’s wellbeing matter most. Once that is covered, good grades will be easier to achieve. 

3. Good Grades Can Lead to Scholarships

College can be expensive and some kids don’t go because they can’t afford to, or they take out student loans and are paying those off for years to come. 

Good grades can help your child avoid all of that.

Grades can also help in becoming a member of an honors club or organization within the college. That opens many other doors that could be useful for the child’s future. For instance, they can study abroad, become a campus leader, or learn about on-campus jobs before everyone else.

Outside Resources To Consider

School is more competitive than ever so it might not be a bad idea to enroll your child in a learning program that will allow them to reach their academic potential. Here are some outside resources to consider.

Resource Their Website Their Ratings
Excellerate Learning Studio https://excellerate.studio/ 5/5
OkGo SANDBOX https://okgosandbox.org/ 4/5
Google CS First https://csfirst.withgoogle.com/s/en/home 5/5
The Concord Consortium https://learn.concord.org/ 4/5
NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/ 5/5

 

Summary

So, what do you do when your middle schooler is failing in school? Don’t panic!  

We understand it can be terrifying for parents to learn their child is struggling academically. We also know that there is a multitude of reasons why they may be struggling. Parents need to be proactive in their child’s life in order to see the real issues at hand, avoid any potential setbacks, and let their child feel their love and support.

If your child is falling behind in school, we can help. Here at Excellerate, we are passionate about helping kids reach their full academic potential. We are dedicated to maximizing your child’s learning experience, providing them with one-on-one coaching, and technology to support independent learning skills. 

To contact us today, click here.

Academic Enrichment Activities For K-12: What They Are, Why They Are Important & How to Start

Academic enrichment activities will expand your child’s learning abilities and help them acquire information in a fun, interesting way.

But what exactly are academic enrichment activities and how can they help your child? 

Academic enrichment programs are any activity that helps advance your child’s critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and overall confidence. Creative writing, research projects, legos, robotics, and coding are some examples. 

A national evaluation found that more than 40% of students improved their reading and math grades simply by attending enrichment programs. 

At Excellerate, we offer some amazing K-12 online or in-person academic enrichment programs that can give your child the best learning experience. Call us at 312-820-4578 or email us at welcome@excellerate.studio if you have any questions. 

Continue reading if you’d like to learn more about academic enrichment and how it can help your child!

What are Academic Enrichment Activities? 

Academic enrichment activities are specifically made to help students retain more information by learning about important topics in a fun, engaging way. If your child has a thirst for knowledge that cannot be fulfilled in school, then our academic enrichment activities are the answer you’ve been looking for. 

Our activities will challenge your child in ways that will help keep them focused and eager to learn.

Academic Enrichment Activities for High-Achieving Children

Having the ability to grasp new concepts quickly can be a blessing, but only if it is utilized in the right way. 

If your child is ahead of other students in math, reading, or other subjects, there is a good chance they aren’t feeling challenged enough, which can lead to them feeling bored. In most cases, a bored child may be disruptive during class, which could seem as if they’re exhibiting some behavioral problems.  

Unfortunately, school teachers have a lot on their plates and aren’t able to discern whether a child is acting out due to behavioral problems or boredom. 

What’s more, teachers cannot work with each child individually in order to meet their needs. This is why academic enrichment programs are highly beneficial and can help high-achieving students live up to their full potential.

Academic Enrichment Activities for Children Who Need Extra Help

While academic enrichment programs are incredibly beneficial for high-achieving students, they are equally beneficial for children that need a bit more help with their studies. 

If your child is behind their peers in school, an academic enrichment program can help get them back on track. We offer help with school assignments and provide academic support that will not only improve your child’s learning abilities but also motivate them to keep learning. 

Academic Enrichment Activities for Children With Drive to Succeed

Some children need help in order to live up to their full potential. At a young age, it can be quite difficult to determine what they want to excel at, and they likely need a bit of a push in the right direction. 

Our enrichment programs expose children to new activities that will open them up to new and exciting opportunities. We offer a safe space where they can have fun trying out new activities and discovering what they like and what they dislike. 

Your child will discover new interests that will motivate them to do their best in school, and achieve everything they dreamed of in life.

The Purpose Behind Academic Enrichment

There’s no doubt that school is a place where children can gain a wealth of knowledge in an array of different topics. The problem is that not all children are able to learn at the same pace. 

Learning Studios such as Excellerate can help children not only keep up with their schoolwork but also advance their knowledge in a particular subject. 

The purpose behind our academic enrichment programs is to help provide a safe space where your child can work on improving their critical-thinking skills and help them build up their confidence.

A typical classroom relies heavily on memorization which can make it incredibly difficult for some children to keep up. It’s not uncommon for students to memorize a concept without fully understanding it.

Academic enrichment programs are put in place to teach your child how to apply certain theories and concepts by offering a hands-on learning experience. This allows them to absorb more knowledge and learn in an advanced capacity.

As your child gains a better grasp on the materials, their curriculum will become more challenging, thus pushing your child to achieve its full potential.

What are examples of Enrichment Activities? 

Enrichment activities should prepare your child for their future by providing them with space where they feel free to express themselves and help open their minds to new possibilities. 

Some examples of enrichment activities include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Creative writing
  • Book Clubs
  • Debating
  • Puzzles/board games
  • Research projects
  • Legos
  • Robotics
  • Coding

A List of Enrichment Activities for Elementary Students

Elementary school students will be introduced to the basic concepts of learning during this time in their academics. Some of the most important subjects are: 

  • Introduction to creative writing 
  • Critical thinking activities

Introduction to Creative Writing

Writing is an incredibly useful enrichment activity that doesn’t require a lot of preparation to get started. In fact, there are several easy writing assignments that will do wonders to help your child develop beginner writing skills. For example, asking them to answer a simple question such as: Would you change your name? If so, please explain. And if not, also explain. 

Activities such as this one spark your child’s imagination and make them elaborate their thoughts in a concise manner. Other benefits include:

  • Improves self-expression
  • Improves stronger communication
  • Leads to job success
  • Boosts thinking skills
  • Fosters empathy
  • It is fun for kids

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a necessary skill that should be taught to children at a young age. This skill will help your child with:

  • Understanding the links between ideas
  • Learning how to solve a problem by using a step-by-step approach
  • Determining the importance of presenting ideas and arguments
  • Identifying errors and inconsistencies 
  • Analyzing and identifying alternative ways to solve a problem and choosing amongst them
  • Quicker decision-making

One of the most important skills necessary to develop critical thinking is the ability to ask questions. Every child should be encouraged to ask questions, and these courses will help them learn to do just that. 

Academic Enrichment Activities For Elementary Students to Engage In:

Enrichment Activities for Middle Schoolers

Once your child finishes elementary school, the curriculum will slowly become more difficult. Some children find it easy to keep up with the workload whereas others will have a bit more difficulty staying on track. 

Regardless of which category your child finds themselves in, the following activities will help them succeed with their studies:

  • Debating
  • Intermediate creative writing
  • Critical math thinking
  • Robotics

Debating

Debating is an active, engaging activity that requires research, reasoning, and public speaking skills. 

Teaching middle-schoolers to debate will result in them learning to plan an argument, choosing how to present it, and defending it. These skills will prove to be very useful in your child’s future and will do wonders to prepare them for high school. 

Intermediate Creative Writing

Intermediate creative writing takes the skills your child has learned from beginner-level writing and improves upon them. 

Through these creative writing activities, your child will overcome their writing inhibitions and get inspired to explore different writing styles 

Critical Math Thinking

The purpose of math is to help children learn how to solve problems by using different approaches. Math is far more creative than we give it credit for. 

When trying to find the “right answer” to the problem, we have to come up with a system that will get us there. This will often require some outside-the-box thinking.  

Robotics

Robotics in the classroom has proven to be a consistent way to teach students the STEM skills needed to prepare them for the future. We have highlighted 2 key benefits for enrolling students in a robotics program.

1. Robotics Can Help Students Discover Their Passions

There are many different pathways to take while building a robot. Some students discover a passion for coding or 3D printing, while others enjoy the mechanical aspect of building robots. 

It’s amazing to watch students build their own learning pathways because robotics offers them an open platform where they can decide where to go with their experimentations.

2. Robotics Teaches Strong Teamwork Skills

It takes a team of determined students to build a well functioning robot. Robots won’t work if students don’t know how to collaborate well with their teammates and communicate their ideas efficiently. 

Enrichment Activities for High Schoolers

This is the time when your child should be thinking about their plans for the future and absorbing all the knowledge they can. These are some useful enrichment activities you should consider:

  • Career related activities – shadowing/internship
  • Academic competitions – scholastic bowls, math competitions
  • Advanced Creative Writing
  • Conducting research 
  • Debating/Competitive Speech
  • Coding

Career Related Activities

More and more students are exploring opportunities for internships. Studies show that 70% of companies offer their interns full time jobs at the end of an internship. 

Internships are a great way for students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to real life situations in a professional setting. 

Employers often use internship experience as a differentiator when trying to decide between two equally qualified applicants. 

Academic Competitions 

Participating in academic competitions can spur students to achieve excellence in their academic careers. Preparing for competitions can get students excited to learn more about academic content and the preparation will help them retain more in the classroom.

Advanced Creative Writing

Advanced creative writing should teach your child how to craft compelling yet believable characters for a variety of genres. 

Advanced writing is meant to mold their writing skills and apply all their previously acquired knowledge to create an exciting narrative.  

Conducting Research

Students will have to conduct a lot of research when they go off to college. So it’s extremely beneficial to give them opportunities to increase their skills in research at an earlier stage. 

Some of the benefits of research include:

  • Fostering critical thinking and analytical skills through hands-on learning
  • Defining academic, career and personal interests
  • Expanding knowledge and understanding of a chosen field outside of the classroom

You can encourage your student to pick a topic they find fascinating and start researching everything they can about the topic.

Debating and Competitive Speech

There are numerous benefits behind students participating in speech and debate. So what are they?

Benefits of Speech and Debate:

  • Gaining broad, multi-faceted knowledge cutting across several disciplines outside the learner’s normal academic subjects
  • Increasing learners’ confidence, poise, and self-esteem
  • Providing an engaging, active, learner-centered activity
  • Improving rigorous higher-order and critical thinking skills
  • Enhancing the ability to structure and organize thoughts
  • Enhancing learners’ analytical, research and note-taking kills
  • Improving learners’ ability to form balanced, informed arguments and to use reasoning and evidence
  • Developing effective speech composition and delivery
  • Encouraging teamwork

Debating provides experiences that are conducive to life-changing, cognitive, and presentational skills. It also helps students see the power of deploying rational and reasonable arguments. 

Coding

Coding is highly sought after by employers in a variety of career fields. Students who have even a basic understanding of coding will advance far in their careers. 

Some of the benefits of coding are the following:

  • A better understanding of technology 
  • Enhances problem-solving skills
  • Complements creativity
  • Improve career prospects
  • Helps retain good attention to detail 

Coding isn’t for everyone but it’s worth a shot as it can significantly increase your skill set.

How to Get Started in an Academic Enrichment Activity for Your Child

If you’re excited about your child’s academic prospects and are ready to provide the best opportunity for them to learn at their own pace, we encourage you to sign them up for our academic enrichment program at Excellerate

Our programs are suitable for high-achieving children, ambitious children who have yet to determine their interests, and children that just need help with their school work. 

If you’d like to take advantage of our enrichment program, we encourage you to sign your child up for a free 2-week trial. Also, feel free to schedule a personal consultation to discuss your child’s needs. Our mission is to help your child achieve their goals and live up to their full potential.

An Academic Enrichment Activity Lesson Plan

Depending on your child’s needs, you can sign them up for our comprehensive writing or STEM programs. 

Academic Enrichment Writing Program

Our academic enrichment writing programs first teach and then improve upon your child’s writing skills.  

Introductory Writing Course

Our introductory courses are meant to make writing the fun, creative experience it deserves to be. Most students complain about not knowing what to write about, or they are not confident enough to express their thoughts.

For that reason, our introductory courses are meant to:  

  • Reduce your child’s writing inhibitions
  • Help them explore different writing styles 
  • Inspire creative thinking
  • Help increase writing comfort

Advanced Writing Course

Once your child fully understands the basics of writing, the next step is learning how to write quality material with the help of our advanced writing courses.

Through these courses, students will learn how to:

  • Use the Institute of Writing Excellence curriculum
  • Recognize keywords 
  • Create reading outlines 
  • Develop high-quality reading summaries
  • Apply style and structure techniques
  • Use rewriting techniques

Students who are struggling with putting their thoughts into words will be challenged to develop and express these thoughts through quality reading and academic discussion. 

After completing the course, your child will be able to create meaningful essays and apply critical thinking to their ideas. 

A typical class at Excellerate Learning Studio lasts 50 minutes. We will meet with your child two times a week (eight times per month). Our goal is for each student to leave this course with the confidence to fully express themselves through creative writing. 

Academic Enrichment STEM Program

One of the core subjects in STEM programs is math. As we all know, learning multiplication and applying the correct formulas in the right places are all skills that can be difficult to master, especially when the method of teaching isn’t interesting. 

Unfortunately, a school teacher’s job isn’t to make things more interesting but rather to teach children the information they’ll need in order to pass the grade. To be fair, some teachers may try to enhance the learning experience, but those are far too few. 

Our academic enrichment STEM program focuses on creating a stimulating environment where children can learn important information in an engaging way. What’s more, our lesson plans don’t include the use of boring flashcards and pop quizzes. We like to focus on what’s important, which is:

  • Teaching your child how to use critical thinking in everyday situations
  • Showing them how to enhance their problem-solving skills
  • Exploring your child’s interests
  • Helping them gain experience in real-life challenges 

When you sign your child up for our STEM classes, we will meet four times per month (one class per week). This will give your child enough time to process the new information, and get ready to learn more. 

Summary

Every good parent dreams of their child excelling in school and in life. But the current education system and lack of quality and affordable academic enrichment programs stop that dream from ever happening.

At Excellerate Learning Studio, we offer online group and private sessions for K-12 students that teach strong learning skills and habits not taught or used consistently in our education system today. 

Each parent receives a custom roadmap tailored to their student’s specific needs that are proven to get results. Now parents can sleep easy knowing their child will receive a quality learning experience and become the person they’ve always meant to be.

Contact us directly with your academic question by phone at 312-820-4578 or by email at welcome@excellerate.studio. We’d be happy to help!

Why Study Skills for Online Learning Are Essential to Your Student

Understand why study skills are essential for online learning as they will be a big part of students’ lives even after this school year.

This past academic year has been marked with all kinds of challenges for parents: trying to protect the physical and mental health of the family, helping kids to continue their academic progress, and balancing the demands of work and home while keeping some sense of normalcy. With the pandemic rate of infection subsiding and with the substantial effort with vaccinations, we can optimistically predict the normal school year will be back this fall. School districts are already exploring options to bring more students back to school before the end of the current school year. 

However, we know that this pandemic has changed not only our view of the way we work, travel, and shop. The education system as a whole has experienced tremendous changes, too. The development of education technology has been growing steadily in the last few decades, but the past year’s experience has shown us the need for a new way of learning. In the recent podcast titled “How COVID Could Permanently Change Public Education” from Innovation Hub, Paul Reville, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, talks about how technology will have a tremendous impact on these three areas: expansion of the boundaries of schooling (location or time), family engagement, and personalization.

Whether you like it or not, online learning will continue regardless of the geographical location or time and it’s important to think about how your student and you as a family will adapt to this change. In this article, we will review why gaining the new type of study skills for online learning is important.

1. Study skills in online learning are essential because they create benchmarks to measure the growth and success of students as well as a framework to communicate with parents and educators.

For those who can see it, the new technology gives this generation of students a rare opportunity: they can visualize concepts, practice, and achieve mastery in much less time. It can provide students with insight into their strengths and how they best learn on a much deeper level than in the pre-digital learning era. Effective and efficient instruction and assessment also enable educators to incorporate non-cognitive areas such as social and emotional learning and executive functioning skills, essential parts of  21st-century learning skills

This approach provides students, parents, and educators the opportunity to see students as whole learners, not just letter grades and test scores. It gives a more accurate picture of who they are and goes beyond the surface level to show the students’ underlying struggles. Learning these essential study skills will help students work smarter and allow parents and educators to support them better at home and school. 

2. Study skills in online settings are essential because they build agency and self-efficacy in students, essential qualities for classroom and remote learning environments.

What are some of these study skills that are so critical for online learning? A partial list includes goal setting, time management, note-taking, resource management, critical thinking, communication, flexibility, and adaptability. These are the skills students should have for even a traditional classroom environment. Still, now with the possibility of asynchronous and flipped class instructional methods, these skills become even more essential for learning. 

During this pandemic period, students, parents, and educators all experienced the challenges of online learning. They were not prepared for such drastic change in such a short period. But coming out of the situation, we hope to have a better plan for the future. One of the biggest challenges reported for students has been engagement and the need for offline executive functioning skillsets. Equipping students with appropriate study skills will address these issues and help them learn better with technology, whether in distance learning or the regular classroom environment.

But most students need to be taught, and these skills can be taught. Just as adults on a new job receive job training to perform at the expected level, students need training in these all-important study skills so they can perform at a high level and become independent learners. When students start setting goals and can reflect on their own learning, the whole process becomes much more personal and meaningful. When parents know what specific skills to address with their students, and when educators know how to encourage students to have productive struggles and measure their progress, we are providing a measurable benchmark that shows more precisely how to help the student in online learning settings. 

3. Study skills in online settings are essential because they set students up for success in academics and their future careers.

Lastly, these same study skills are more important than ever for the changing job market. A recently published research article, “Good Jobs in Bad Times” by Burning Glass, lists 14 foundational skills key for all graduates. 

Human Skills

  • Communications
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Analytical Thinking

Digital Building Blocks

  • Analyzing Data
  • Managing Data
  • Software Development
  • Computer Programming
  • Digital Security Privacy

Business Enablers

  • Business Process
  • Project Management
  • Digital Design
  • Communicating Data

Even recent college graduates who are just starting their careers often find themselves without these essential skills since they are not traditionally taught in the classroom. This disparity between the skills required for success in jobs and the skills actually taught will only get wider unless we address this issue with our current elementary and secondary school students. We must incorporate ways to increase these skill sets while embracing educational technology as a part of the new normal.

When students, parents, and educators are trained to use the right study skills for the digital learning environment, the learning experience will be personalized to meet each student’s needs and create the building blocks for future career readiness. 

Would you like to know what the essential study skills are and in which areas your child needs to be supported? Take this self-assessment questionnaire. We will send your results with tips on how to improve in those areas. Or schedule a free trial to receive comprehensive diagnostic results in Math, Language Arts, Reading, and Writing.

WHAT WORKS BETTER THAN JUST BEING “SMART”?

A dentist knows dentistry and a lawyer knows the law, but does a student really know how to study? Professionals go through training to excel in their field, but most students are never taught the tools of studying and learning. Someone with strong, consistent study skills and learning habits will eventually thrive more than someone who is “just smart,” especially as school subjects become increasingly difficult.

Jimmy Kim – cofounder of Excellerate and More Than Scores And Tests – underscores four essential study skills: 1) goal setting, 2) note taking and organization, 3) time management, and 4) self-regulation and social competency.

With goal setting, students are able to: set realistic goals; think and plan how to meet each goal; persist with positive motivation and focus; and synthesize and reflect on their own learning.

In note taking and organization, students are able to: prepare in advance for their learning; organize the information and instructions given; identify where they need help; and work in an organized way to solve problems and retain their learning.

Through time management, students are able to prioritize learning by: committing to specific times for academics, practicing consistency and punctuality, engaging without procrastination, and working at an appropriate pace. Students understand that the schedule and how they spend their time is a not just a reflection of what they need to do but more a reflection of who they want to become.

Self-regulation refers to students’ ability to regulate their emotions, delay gratification, control impulses, and struggle productively—with flexibility and adaptability—when they’re lost, confused, or “bored” amidst academic work. With social competency, students are able to advocate for support when needed.

The next four articles will detail each study skill and highlight checklist items in which students can assess how they’re doing in each area. Don’t miss one of these important articles!

To get hands-on training in coming alongside your children as they learn how to learn, register for our FREE workshop, Time Management: Study Skills Support Training for Parents!

Through a method developed at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Innovation Lab, academic coaches teach these essential study skills in Excellerate, an innovative K-8 math and reading and enrichment program. To find out more about Excellerate, visit excellerate.studio.

More Than Scores And Tests offers a sought-after “Essential Study Skills” course and teaches study skills as a key part of ACT and SAT test prep services; to learn more visit morethansat.com.