In Raising College Grads…Part 1, (Read Here) I discussed how many college success skills are developed or strengthen outside of the classroom during their k-12 years. Skills like reading comprehension (not just reading), writing, and critical thinking take time and consistency to develop. “Smartness” and college success just doesn’t happen. It takes a lot of behind the scenes work. I heard all the time growing up that I was smart, like it was this unattainable thing that everyone couldn’t reach. Well, that’s not my philosophy. Being “smart” is not something nature or genetics hands to anyone on a platter. It has to be nurtured consistently.
Below are some simple strategies parents can use to increase their child’s potential for academic success in K-12 and beyond.
- Subscribe to positive magazines to help encourage reading such as Jet, Ebony, Time, and National Geographic. Reading can give students broad knowledge that will help them, in general, learn easier. Reading expands the vocabulary and builds imagination needed to think critically. Students also become well-rounded when exposed to current events and cultural issues.
- Make TV viewing educational. Ask your children to write and read aloud a summary of what they have just watch. Check for details like characters’ names, descriptions, and events. A critical level in higher order thinking is the ability to summarize details and pick out main ideas. This is also a top college study strategy. (This may take some incentive).
- Choose a word of the week that the family must spell, define and use in a daily conversation. Expanding your child’s vocabulary will make reading comprehension, writing and standardized testing easier.
Stay tuned for more strategies that you can use to increase your child’s potential for success!