Recently, I was at a friend’s braai under the shade of an enormous tree on a very hot summer afternoon. While helping out with the braai, I overheard a parent talking to another parent, wondering which university to send his son. To my surprise, his son is only six years old. Well, a thought came to mind, what a lovely topic to write on… “Mapping your child’s future”.
Starting to think about which university to send your 6-year-old to might seem extreme, but if we break university acceptance down, we’ll see that it’s necessary to start planning right from the start!
Perhaps a good point to start on the topic is:
Life Skills Development
Countless surveys have shown that money doesn’t necessarily lead to job satisfaction. For many people, enjoying what they do at work is much more important. As your child progresses through the school years towards high school, so they have been slowly but steadily developing as an individual, gaining new insights, talents, abilities, and self-awareness. They have also been expanding their social skills, their own brand through the technology of digital media and have by then already have put in place their personality and psyche stamp, so to speak, garnered a network of contacts and delved into university courses and other career options.
Coming back to the six-year-old boy mentioned above, what is no doubt important, is to first master their home language.
A core skill necessary for excelling at school and obtaining that university acceptance, is literacy. You can begin your child’s literacy development from a young age, through an introduction to books, regularly reading to your child, and encouraging a love of reading. Here are what some of our famous literates had to say on the topic:
There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
–Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
And remember: “All great Leaders are Readers!”
Developing a passion for reading will enlarge your child’s vocabulary, improve their grammar and writing skills, allow them to communicate eloquently and increase their creativity. All of these skills will end up helping your child when they start writing tests and exams.
It is important to ensure that your child is adequately prepared to start school. This will prevent a great deal of stress and perhaps the necessity of your child being “kept back” a year due to not coping at school.
If you’d like to ensure that your child is ready to cope with the rigors of “big” school, you may want to try the BrightSparkz Little Sparkz school readiness programme. Developed by qualified ECD experts, this programme will give your child that little extra boost to ensure they meet the milestone levels for starting school, all done in a fun and interactive way.
In Grade 3, children will start writing tests, which will build to writing exams in later grades, and the need for study skills, and possibly “burning the midnight oil”. Excuse the pun in these days of load shedding!
The following tips might be helpful to a child facing tests and exams:
- Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help
- Sleep well before exams, so that you’ll stay alert
- Don’t doubt yourself – often your first answer is the right one
- Study hard – short bursts of studying, with large bursts of concentration, work best
- Know your learning style and find appropriate study methods
- Don’t try to learn everything the day before the exam, but give yourself time to go over your work multiple times
Wow, after writing and passing Matric with flying colours, what is next? Most matriculants aspire to tertiary education. What does it mean to live a University life, “freedom”? Well, yes, but the important thing to remember is to survive the first year with all its distractions and to excel in the subsequent years, perhaps then studying towards an Honours Degree.
Graduating from University sets your child apart from the rest. Employers are likely to see a University degree and think: this is someone who is equipped with sound financial skills and the ability to think laterally. University graduates have a strong ability to problem solve, are able to think critically, have a sound theoretical base of knowledge, and are able to apply this knowledge. This offers a distinct competitive advantage, career-wise!
To assist your young graduate to navigate the job-seeking minefield, watch out for our Mind The Gap programme for graduates, coming soon.
Aim for the End Product!
Although university may be many years away for your child, remember to keep this final goal in mind: There is more than one way of getting there, and the most important thing to keep in mind is your child’s happiness and passions.
Our skilled tutors will be able to assist you and your child in achieving their best possible results. Our friendly consultants can help you to decide on a tutor who best suits your needs, as well as your child’s personality. We also offer Study Skills Crash Courses, to teach your child how best to study according to their learning style, as well as several language Boot Camps, designed to bring fun into learning a language. If your child is still at the beginning of their journey, our Grade R readiness course can help start them on the right foot. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you!
Written by: Dor Yen Low, BrightSparkz Tutor & Blog Contributor