How to nurture a love for school in your teenagers

09 October 2020

Do you have a teenager that believes SCHOOL
stands for:
Six Cruel Hours Of Our Lives?!

Does your teenager believe in their own motto of:
Be Cool & Say I Hate School?

If the answer to the above is a resounding yes, here are some tips of how you can try to change the status quo:

Nurture a love for reading

It’s undoubtedly true that strong reading skills are fundamental to academic success in school and being successful later in life. It also makes it easier to enjoy school if you enjoy reading.

Fill your home with books and other reading matter. Make sure that you read often and that you read widely. Read for pleasure, to gain information, to connect with others on different levels. Read, read, read.

The more your teenagers see you read, the more they will realise how important reading is.

Read the same book as your teen once in a while. Talk about how the two of you view what you have read. Agree to disagree at least some of the time. Share, discuss and recommend your reading experiences. Make connections between what you are reading and everyday life/what is happening in South Africa at the moment or in the world out there.

Make time to talk about school and the school day

Your teenager spends most of the day at school whether in class, attending extracurricular activities or, indirectly, with their class mates.

Set time aside to talk to your teen about their school day and school in general. Focus on the positive at all times but also keep an ear open for when they need your motivation.

Ensure that you listen to what they have to say. Ask questions so that there is two-way communication taking place. This is a sure way to stay connected with them and to convey the message that school and what happens there is important to you and to them.

When teenagers realise that their parents are interested in their academic lives, they are more likely to foster positive feelings about going to school. Also see Tip 3.

Know the school (and its website)

Do some ‘homework’ so that you know more of the school and the way it operates e.g. the physical layout of the school building and the grounds, who the teachers are, what extra-curricular activities are offered, special events, dates of test series and exams etc.

This will ensure that you have some background information when your teenagers talk about school. It will also demonstrate that you are interested in what is going on at school.

Ready for school , ready for life

Many researchers believe that 7 out of 10 high school learners do not get enough sleep. If teenagers go to school rested, being at school feels so much better! It also boosts their attention span and concentration.

This might be difficult but do encourage a bedtime routine free of electronics. It is recommended for teenagers to go to bed at the same time and to wake up at the same time.

A nutritious breakfast provides fuel for the day and gets them ready to tackle the day with more energy and positivity. Pack ‘school food’ such as fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt or a healthy sandwich to add an energy boost to the day.

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