Photo Credit: Daiga Ellaby

7 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed This School Year

Don’t lose track of education in the midst of the school-closing chaos

1. Focus on education, not “school”

School’s point is education, but you aren’t sunk if they’re closed. Even before compulsory public education, there is a long legacy of responsible parents succeeding at producing not only responsible adults out of their children but educated citizens.

2. Play music in your house

Music has an absurd number of benefits, not only to the player but also the listener. Particularly, it helps us de-stress and process difficult emotions that might otherwise be hard to express, feel, or deal with in a healthy manner. Can you think of a better way to use this cabin-fevered time than to connect with music again?

3: Put Facts into Action

Traditional schools and curriculum are long on facts and drill, but surprisingly short on actual skills. The more you can focus on synthesizing what your children have already absorbed and put it into play, challenging it with real-world application, the better their foundation will be.

4: Give Permission to Fail

If failure isn’t acceptable, no risks will be taken. In this life we have a million safety nets, from charity to government programs to mandated insurance and beyond. There has never been a better time to take bold risks as a member of the human race, to forge ahead and experiment.

5: Cultivate Curiosity Through Humility

Curiosity sponsors all learning. Being interested in the world around them comes naturally to children, but by hammering them with facts in every field and leaving little or no energy, focus, or time for exploration on their own we send the message that we already have all the answers. All has been explored, no point in wondering if you can just google the answer.

6: Look at Options Other Than College

College entrance isn’t the real goal, not for a lot of people. It might be socially expected and it might be helpful, but it’s a huge investment of time and money — not to mention overshadowing the last two years of high school when your child’s attention is split between hard courses, a demanding social calendar, extracurricular involvement like sports and clubs, hobbies and performances and competitions, and dipping their toes into the job market for the first time as well.

7: Take Ownership of the Future

Help your child to make plans and set goals for their own life. Hold them accountable and encourage them toward it. Nobody hands you (or them!) the life you want, so teaching them to look to the future and work instead of complaining is a key lesson that will make them happy and successful.

Bonus 8: Discover and Use Alternative Resources

Sign up for the summit I’m hosting where speakers cover all these topics and more. Rest assured, this isn’t just a group of talkers: All are parents and they come from all walks of life. No echo chamber here!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Paul Alan Aspen - I help visual designers get recognized by telling stories of their skills in a way clients will understand - courses & writing services for hire