Under the provisions of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), for both Secondary and Senior Secondary levels, students must select a minimum of five subjects with at least one or at most two language subjects). The complete subjects list is exhaustive and gives students ample options to play to their strengths so that they can get great grades. But how does one select the subjects? It is important to know which subjects challenge the child to push themselves and which subjects the child excels at effortlessly. School is not just about grades and studies; it is the place for personality development and building strength of character. The child’s long-term aspirations and career choices must also be taken into consideration, as school subjects lay the foundation for many subjects the student will study in the future.
Recognizing the child’s innate abilities
Every child has a talent and as parents, the role is to give them opportunities to hone the right skills and support them in mastering their talent. So, if the child is a good artist, has a special talent for words, has an analytical mind, or is a good craftsman, parents can help them explore their talents. If a child says they want to be an astronaut when they grow up, even if the child is speaking frivolously, parents should treat it seriously and feed their interest. Tell them about planets, how the rocket works, and calculate distances.
A few ways one can recognize the child’s innate abilities are –
• Talking to the child and understanding what makes them curious or drives their creative impulses. Often, what teachers, family and friends say about the child also guides one to understand their passions.
• How well the child masters a subject or how much they love it.
• Expose them to new experiences and talk to them about different subjects to give them ideas and find interesting activities to use their natural talents in a structured manner.
• Study the child’s behaviour and teach them the values of honesty, perseverance, and enthusiasm.
Know your child’s knack for any subject
Encourage the child to ask questions and understand a subject. From a young age, children start displaying certain traits which guide their inclinations. For instance, some children are extroverts who constantly seek company and are very active, while some children enjoy being by themselves, reading, painting, or even talking to themselves. Children are constantly giving hints about their preference for toys, the type of stories they enjoy, and subjects they absorb and retain information about.
By enrolling a physically active or restless child in some form of sports, parents can guide them into a career in sports. Even if they do not take up the sport as a profession, they will learn discipline and cultivate other essential habits that will teach them to cope with stress.
Developing effective study skills
Even if a child has a deep interest in a subject, their interest may change over the years, and often when the subject gets tougher, the child’s interest may vane. It is important to help the child maintain focus, and this can be achieved by helping them develop effective study skills.
Some ways to develop effective study skills and make children consistent is to –
• Create a designated time and space for learning
• Be regular with homework and time must be designated for some self-study
• Create a timetable and a planner to help the child be mentally prepared for the day’s study plan
• Teach them the art of effective note taking
• Rather than cramming, help them understand the logic behind concepts
• Help them to ask the right questions and not be afraid to ask for help
• Have a constructive, unsupervised play time where the child can play with their friends
• Interaction with TV and multimedia must be restricted to a certain period every day or over the weekend.