Should you let your kid make mistakes? Of course, it depends on the mistake. You wouldn’t allow them to mistakenly burn the house down, right? But some mistakes can be great for learning!
So what are some common mistakes kids make? And when should you intervene vs. step back?
Mistake 1: skipping breakfast
The first mistake kids often make starts before the school bell chimes. Does your child eat a good breakfast every morning? Teenagers are especially guilty of skipping breakfast or eating something unhealthy.
But breakfast is so important for students! Kids who don’t eat breakfast miss out on important nutrition. This makes them less healthy and more tired during the day. It’s hard to focus when your stomach is grumbling!
The verdict? No doubt about it: step in to make sure your child eats a healthy meal before school. 🥣
Mistake 2: studying wrong
How does your child study for a test? I’d be willing to bet that they spend time rereading their notes from class, right? Well, it’s time to stop that. 🚫
Just rereading doesn’t help kids understand the material deeply. They need to do the work!
So if your child has a maths quiz for example, they should complete practice problems to prepare. Will they need to write a persuasive essay? Debate with them from the opposite opinion to give them practice defending their argument.
You can also help students retain information by setting up the environment for success. Make sure there are no distractions and that they are focusing only on their school work. Multi-tasking rarely works as well as we think it does! 🥴
👉 The verdict? It depends. You should teach your child the skills they need to succeed and provide guidance. But then it might be good to step back and let them see the difference studying well can make.
Does your child need extra help studying in a specific subject area? 📚 Find the perfect GoStudent tutor for your needs.
Mistake 3: misusing grammar
Does your secondary student confuse “there,” “their” and “they’re”? Or are they writing “alot” (it’s two words: a lot 😉)?
It’s time to nail those down once and for all! We all make spelling errors and have typos, but teachers definitely notice when students make common grammatical mistakes. It can affect grading now, and will certainly be noticed by universities.
👉 The verdict? Step in and help your child learn the proper grammar. And no judgment if you need a refresher too - this is a great chance for you to model learning something new with your child! (A GoStudent tutor can help too).
Mistake 4: being a speed demon
Hurry, hurry, hurry. Is your child rushing through their school work? ⌛When students try to get things done too quickly, their work is sloppy and they make more mistakes.
As a teacher, I can always tell when an assignment was completed as fast as possible. The quality is always lower! Kids also can’t remember the material as well when they don’t take their time.
👉 The verdict? If your child has a need for speed, help them recognize the difference in work quality when they take their time. This might mean slowing down, or maybe just doing a reread when the work is done.
The biggest mistake of all: not learning from their mistakes
👉 The verdict? Step in. But also step back 😜
Students need some help to learn how to learn from mistakes. Be specific about what the mistake was and help your child make a plan for next time. Then, let them take the reins and go through with the plan. Don’t jump in and remind them! Afterwards, talk it through and help them notice what worked and what didn’t.