Sunday, January 27, 2008

Paying Students To Study

I read in the Boston Globe ( that two Georgia middle schools have started a pilot in which they will pay a select group of 40 students money to study. It's called a "Learn and Earn" initiative and it's hopes are that the money ($8.00 an hour), will help motivate students to learn, study, go to class regularly, and make better grades. This is in it's infancy stage and will be viewed for the actual results in approximately 15 weeks after the pilot is complete. If successful, it's possible that this can catch on with other public schools as well in a pioneering effort to get students to do better in school.

This made me start thinking about what parents could actually do in the very beginning of children's lives to enhance their school performance from the first day of preschool. It seems extreme to plan so far in advance but we live in a competitive society in which our kids can't afford to wait until later on in their lives to develop good study habits. I came up with three things which are easy enough and are virtually free in costs and should start very early in life.

1. Encourage children to read books by buying fun kid's books for them as soon as their born (can also obtain for free at the library). Age appropriate of course, and they will get the message early on that reading is fun, inspiring, a way of life.

2. Reward and compliment them when they excel in school or are working hard in a subject matter that may be difficult for them. Rewards can come in any manner such as a trip to the local park, a hug, a treat, etc. It does not have to be a monetary reward at all if your budget does not permit, all kids will just appreciate the recognition.

3. Do a regular check in with their school work. Find out if they need your help, a tutor, or extra after school studying in any subject they might find challenging. Don't assume that just because they haven't brought it up, that they aren't experiencing challenges.

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