For the Parents
Thank you for visiting the Opihi College Japanese Department website! Anyone can do well at Japanese, but learning a second language can be demanding and your son or daughter will need your help at home. They will have to do daily homework and revision in order to achieve. I challenge you as parents to tick the following boxes:
Show You Think Education and Homework Are Important
Do you set a regular time every day for homework?
Does your child have the papers, books, pencils, and other things needed to do assignments?
Does your child have a fairly quiet place to study with lots of light?
Do you set a good example by reading and writing yourself?
Do you stay in touch with your child's teachers?
Do you know what your child's homework assignments are? How long they should take? How the teacher wants you to be involved?
Do you see that assignments are started and completed?
Do you read the teacher's comments on assignments that are returned?
Are TV viewing or computer games cutting into your child's homework time?
Do you understand and respect your child's style of learning? Does he work better alone or with someone else? Does he learn best when he can see things, hear them, or handle them?
Do you help your child to get organized? Does your child need a calendar or assignment book? A bag for books and a folder for papers?
Do you encourage your child to develop good study habits (e.g., scheduling enough time for big assignments; making up practice tests)?
Do you talk with your child about homework assignments? Does she understand them?
Talk With Someone at School When Problems Come Up
Do you meet the teacher early in the year before any problems arise?
If a problem comes up, do you meet with the teacher?
Do you cooperate with the teacher and your child to work out a plan and a schedule to fix homework problems?
Do you follow up with the teacher and with your child to make sure the plan is working?
Please remind your son or daughter that there is either assigned homework or revision work every night. Daily 30 minutes of homework or revision is a much better way to make the new material stay in your memory than trying to cram the day before tests or quizzes.
If you ever have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call me at school or email me here.
Here are some additional websites which may be helpful:
The following research is also very interesting:
How to stay focused and motivated at school
The latest research reveals some surprising findings about how parents can help their kids study better.
Sleep – research reveals that this is the most important study tool going around. All students need at least 9.25 hours as long-term memory is consolidated during stage 4 sleep and the master molecule of mood (serotonin) is replenished which is why when you don’t get enough sleep you wake grumpy.
Eating Breakfast – research from the University of Ulster found that students who had nothing to eat for breakfast performed very poorly on tests of memory and concentration when arriving at school. Just eating toast boosted their scores. The biggest boost to cognitive powers was from eating toast and baked beans!
Studying at the same time and place each day – the research shows that if students can get in consistent pattern of study their bodies acclimatise.
Chewing gum helps with concentration – scientists from the University of Northumbria, in Newcastle upon Tyne, have found that chewing gum improves memory by 35% brain performance, because chewing raises the heartbeat, which causes more oxygen and nutrients to be pumped into the brain and triggers the production of insulin, which stimulates a part of the brain involved in memory. This is very useful to making the most out of homework and studying for tests.
Use a kitchen timer – to regulate study time. Study periods should be no more than 50 minute segments and followed by at least a 15 minute break in which students should relax. This study period should be repeated twice.
Sipping water – the brain is 80% water and students who sip water at least every 20 minutes while studying hydrate their brain, improving their ability to focus, concentrate and stay motivated when it comes to homework.
Part Time Work – Research from the USA found that students who have up to 15 hours of part-time work a week, perform better at school than those without a job.
Exercise – research has found that students who do 3 lots of aerobic exercise a week perform much better than those who do nothing.
Eat brain food – during the school year, students should eat fish at least three times a week, along with eggs, yoghurt and blueberries all of which have been shown to improve brain function.