Honor Roll – More Than Just a List of Names
February 14, 2011 ~
While it can’t hurt to hope your child’s name is listed on the honor roll, it isn’t what makes an outstanding student. If your child decides to strive for honor roll, remember that not everyone will make the cut, and it’s an aim your child must desire, not just you. Getting on this coveted list requires hard work, dedication and an outstanding comprehension of the material in the subjects he or she is studying. Here are some tips to help focus your child on making honor roll while emphasizing that it’s also about improvement and personal achievement. Children are still successful if they manage to accomplish any amount of growth.
Make a Plan Sit down with your child and take a good look at what it would take to make honor roll. Ask your child what subjects he or she needs the most improvement in to raise their grade point average. Then together talk with your child’s teachers to find out what kind of grades your child would need in order to reach this goal. Knowing what kind of scores your child needs to get will help give you both a clear target to shoot for. Being Realistic Discuss any sacrifices you or your child must make in order to give enough study time to meet the new goals. This might mean fewer hours of video games or TV time. Be realistic; if your child is behind, it could take two or three semesters to earn this distinction, so make sure your child understands both the short- and long-term goals. If that’s the case, work with your child to help him or her see the long-term benefit of this short-term sacrifice. Determine a reasonable amount of time each night that will be spent studying; this should be in addition to the normal homework time your child has and will provide your child a steady schedule to follow to improve his or her grades. Support the Cause It may be that your child will need additional help to make the grades. If so, various resources are available. Many schools offer study groups where students gather, sometimes together with a teacher or other peer tutors, to get a better understanding of a subject. This offers a more one-on-one experience, as the groups are smaller than a class. Here students can go over specific problem areas or tough material at a slower pace in order to better grasp the ideas. At home, tutors are another option. Many teachers tutor students privately, and university towns are filled with possible tutors. Tutoring can provide direct help on virtually any subject, giving your child the extra edge.
Unfortunately, private tutoring can be quite costly and not incorporate the same regimen of routine that helps a child hone certain skill sets. One of the most effective tools for students looking to get ahead is an after-school enrichment program such as Kumon. In this environment, your child would arrive after school to practice his or her skills and hone accuracy. Repetition in learning has been a proven method for getting children to above-average reading and math levels as well as promoting successful testing. The great benefit of an enrichment program is that your investment will generally lend itself to all areas of your child’s growth and remove peer-to-peer pressure as each child is placed at his or her individual level and growth goals are established based on the child’s personal abilities rather than the whole. Renew Spirits From time to time your child will get discouraged or suffer a setback with a grade that doesn’t meet agreed goals. When this happens, express to your child how proud you are that he or she is working towards the goal. Go back and take a look at how your child has improved. Pull out old tests or papers and compare them to current work. Clearly point out how much your child has learned and gained through this experience. When your child sees this, he or she will be more energized and feel ready to keep moving forward. Reward Achievements and Progress Setting up a reward for making the honor roll will help motivate your child. Decide together what the reward should be. Whether your child makes the list or not, remember that a reward should also be provided for his or her progress and growth.
Achieving a goal takes time, and not reaching the honor roll on the first attempt provides children with important life lessons that will help shape them and their attitude about goal-setting. Often in life, when you work hard toward a goal, it doesn’t always mean you will achieve the end result. Oftentimes, you have to continue trying. Share your own personal story from work or from your childhood.
Part of truly enjoying success is also learning from our failures or setbacks. Failing to reach honor roll on the first, second, or third try doesn’t mean the end to trying to reach this goal. In this process, always recognize your child’s hard work. On your own, choose a reward your child will receive just for doing his or her best. Have a special family dinner in appreciation of your child’s many months of studying and practice and present him or her with a prize after the meal.
Trying to earn a spot on the honor roll will give your child the opportunity to grow in many ways. If your young scholar succeeds, he or she will have proved that he or she deserves to be listed alongside all the other hard-working students who have toiled over their books to become high achievers. If your child falls a little short of making the list, he or she will have tried and should be equally as proud. You should also be proud no matter what the outcome is. There is always next year. When your child finally reaches honor roll – this year or the year after – you will both look back on the journey and marvel at how much you both have grown.