As a parent, it can be difficult to watch your kid struggling over an essay. The education system can be tough, and you remember how stressful school can be. When different subjects all have coursework with tight deadlines, it can be an overwhelming period of time – especially with college choices looming on the horizon.
However, as a parent, it’s important not to intervene too much in your kid’s school work. They need to learn for themselves and their work needs to reflect their own voice – not yours. Sometimes helping too much can just cause bigger problems further down the line. So, as a parent, what can you do to help your kid write a good essay?
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One of the most difficult areas of essay writing is citation. Many students struggle to understand how to reference, especially as there are so many different referencing methods such as Harvard referencing and MHRA. Generally, most schools will stick to one specific method, which will be explained to the student before they are given the task of essay writing. So, if your kid is struggling with citation, you might want to help to explain it to them. If you aren’t too sure yourself, you may wish to sit down with them and look at a citation tool together. Whilst you shouldn’t do the referencing for them, if they’ve done all their own research and completed the essay, a little help with referencing should be OK. It’s complicated, and they want to get it right.
All writing needs to be proofread, whether that’s a novel, a journalistic article or a screenplay. Even the best writers make mistakes and, when we’re close to a project, those might be difficult to spot. So, as a parent, it might be helpful to offer to proofread your kid’s essay. You will be able to spot any typos or grammatical errors and can advise them on what needs changing. Alternatively, you might want to get them to read their essay out loud to you (depending on how long it is). If they read out loud, they’ll probably spot the errors themselves and you won’t need to tell them.
Limit their Distractions
During exam time, if your child doesn’t want to write their essay or they’re finding the period stressful, it’s important for you to try to keep them focused. They’ll never get the thing done if the TV’s on in the background and their siblings are winding them up. So, you might want to put a few restrictions in place, such as limiting their use of their phones, games or the TV. If they have the incentive to use them afterwards, they might be more productive. Likewise, you can help them to write their essay by taking their siblings out and giving them some peace and quiet at home. Focused, productive time is what they need to get their thoughts out intelligently onto paper.