Is your student bringing home grades that do not reflect his level of intelligence? Is your child complaining about not liking school? Talking about school being boring? Having difficulty finding motivation to complete homework and school projects? Those may be signs that your child is finding his schoolwork too challenging. Get to the bottom of the problem by having a candid talk with your child and his teacher(s). If you find that your child is indeed having difficulty, here are some tips that can help:1. Have your child’s vision tested. Your child may simply need glasses.2. Have your child’s hearing tested. Hearing can be affected by things such as impacted wax, or injury from prior ear infections.3. Conference with your child’s teacher(s). Find out what specific academic areas need extra attention. “Reading” is vague, but “learning letter sounds”, “identifying compound words” is more specific and helpful to you.4. Ask educational experts for referrals; tutors, learning centers or good supplemental materials in the needed areas. Some excellent experts include your child’s teacher, school principal, a tutor, retired teacher, a children’s librarian, or a knowledgeable employee at a teacher supply store.5. Purchase a notebook to correspond with your child’s teacher. On a weekly basis, ask her to alert you of progress noticed, inform you of upcoming tests or signal a new area of difficulty. If you have hired a private tutor, have the tutor correspond with the teacher as well. Regular communication is key!6. Get your child organized. Your child should organize his backpack, school folders, desk/locker on a weekly basis. Check-in when necessary until a habit has been established.7. Make learning fun! Children are less likely to rebel when learning activities are interesting and fun. Add educational games, books on CD, educational DVDs, educational music and educational software into the mix.8. Get your child out of the house! Find activities related to the academic area of difficulty. Activities will show your child the real-life application of school work and will motivate him to learn. Some terrific educational outings include museums, plays, movies related to a recently read book, extra-curricular science and math classes/clubs, observatories, zoo, arboretums, recycling plant or symphony. The possibilities are endless.9. Break learning up into smaller chunks. For example, before attempting to teach double digit multiplication, one must first know his times tables. Before going through the entire stack of flash cards, teach 3-5 letter names/sounds until they are known by heart and then add 3-5 more.10. Keep up the hard work. It’s tempting to take a break during the summer, but it’s an ideal time to play catch up. While everyone else is on vacation, your child can maintain and gain another two months worth of skills! It’s worth the effort!11. Be encouraging and patient. When your child finally accomplishes something, give due praise. A goal chart is a great way to visually track goals and mark achievements.12. Before beginning the task, set a goal and a reward. Some children require external motivation, especially to conquer a challenging area that they would rather ignore. Explain that the size of the goal is tied to the size of the reward. Some reward ideas are having a soda with dinner, a meal at a favorite restaurant, a new toy, a slumber party, going to the movies with a friend, or a trip to an amusement park. As long as you’re both in agreement, it can be as simple or complex as you want.The main factor in your child’s success is parental involvement. When you become involved in helping your child, you are modeling teamwork, time management skills, organization, the importance of academics, perseverance and optimism. You are in fact teaching your child quality traits that will last his lifetime.
If you are reading this article, I assume that you are a beginning golfer and are looking for tips in order to approach the game and really enjoy the experience. Well I applaud the fact that you are choosing this direction because so many people begin playing the game and experience a high degree of frustration. In this article I, a perpetual beginning golfer, will share some important perspectives for you to think about as you approach the game. Some will strike a cord and some will not, just take it for what it’s worth and hopefully you will gain the knowledge to help enjoy the game as you increase your skill.LESSONS When I first started playing the game my wife provided lessons for me along with a set of beginner clubs. This was very helpful on one hand, but ended up being a waste on the other hand. Why? Not because she did anything wrong, she did everything right. What happened was that I took the lessons, didn’t practice outside of the lessons, and was too intimidated to venture onto a real golf course. At the time I didn’t have any friends that played golf and therefore there was no one to help me with the etiquette (do’s and don’ts of golf) and I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. In terms of lessons, I got the most out of lessons by applying a combination of elements; One – read a few books, looked at a few videos, began to understand the lingo, and tried swings on my own. At this time I had been playing for a few years so I had also gained lots of experience on the golf course itself. In the end, when I took the lesson, I understood much better what he was trying to convey and with practice on and off the course, I was able to apply it and see a real difference in my game.EQUIPMENT I started out with beginner clubs in my bag and played with these clubs for some time. For a beginner I think this is fine because typically you haven’t acquired enough skill and knowledge to make detailed club selections like the pros. I would suggest starting out with some beginner clubs and over time add to the set as you find you need the additional selection. Don’t spend a ton of money on your newly added clubs, just go to the local second hand store or discount chain and buy something from the bargain bin. At this point your swing has more effect on the game than your clubs, so save your money for now. As your game improves, you might upgrade your driver and 3 wood first. This is because of the ego boost it gives you while you’re playing. You get to hit the ball off the tee and potentially enjoy the thrill along with your friends. Eventually get yourself another set, but remember, you’re not a pro so second hand is fine unless spending the money is not a problem for you.ADVICE FROM FRIENDSAll of my friends have seen the golf channel, read books and magazines and been advised by other friends. When you play golf on the course, you will be will a group of friends or a group of strangers that the course paired you up with. Either way, because your skill level will be very obvious as you slice, miss the ball, pick the wrong club, your companions will not be able inevitably provide you with more advice than you can absorb. Handling this is a case by case situation. Advice on etiquette is valuable because you now learn how to proceed with confidence on the course. Advice about technique should be listened to and taken based on the skill of the person giving and the length of time they’re taking to give it, you can’t turn a golf round into a lesson (unless that’s the purpose). Try to listen politely but try to stay consistent, especially if you’ve been taking lessons and are trying to reinforce newly learned techniques. Sometimes you have to pretend to do what the friend says to get them to leave you alone so that you can get back to what you really want to do. Follow your own judgment and have fun along the way.PRACTICEThe golf swing has a very unnatural feel to it and therefore must be practiced in order to allow it to begin to feel natural. As you learn more aspects of the swing, practice is important to create muscle memory around the swing. The challenge with practice is that as a beginner it is very likely you will practice incorrectly and actually reinforce the wrong movements. Because of this danger, I think it’s very important to take lessons and practice the swing in small steps versus trying to master the entire swing at once. Also training aids can help with this if you get the right ones. They provide feedback that helps you to know you are swinging or practicing correctly. Video is also very useful if you are a technology kind of person. I have done this before and found it very useful. By reviewing the video I learned that I was doing some pretty ugly things that I corrected early before reinforcing it.OTHER IMPORTANT ASPECTS TO ENJOYNot a lot say here, I just learned over time that although I enjoy the game of golf and the challenge of figuring the game out from a technique and strategy standpoint, I have found over time that I love the setting of the game and the social aspect. The setting is usually absolutely beautiful because your out in nature among trees, manicured lawns, and hopefully blue skies. As a beginner, I would literally make sure I had snakes and pops (or beer if allowed) with me as I played. This made the game into a picnic because my ball was all over the place at that time. The social side is obvious. Being with friends or meeting new friends. Remember its more than just hitting a ball around.MONEYGolf can become very expensive because of the lessons, equipment and greens feeds at the course. For this reason, as a beginner you must not let it get out of hand otherwise you’ll find yourself spending lots of money for not a lot of enjoyment. And spending the money can actually diminish the enjoyment you could have had. Try not to buy expensive equipment as a beginner. Try to avoid high dollar courses as a beginner. This may require passing on invitations from more experienced or more affluent friends. Try to avoid playing many times per week or limit it to 9 holes. Use the driving range to practice, not the golf course. Don’t be afraid to pass on golf outings that usually double the price of playing unless the purpose of the outing has meaning for you personally.PRIORITYKeep your priorities in line. Don’t rob your family of your valuable time playing golf. In my personal experience, golf became a bad word around the house and looking back on it; I made some bad priority calls. Make sure your family always feels valued above your golf game and try to play during times when it doesn’t conflict with family time.