So you've taken the first steps with Mastery Genius - your child has taken their MAP Growth assessments for Reading and Math, and now it's time for the hard work to begin: studying lessons from our curriculum partners.
As the parent of a 6 year old, I'm definitely writing this post as much for myself as for all of you. It is hard to keep a consistent schedule. Our school year is busy. We have sports, piano, friends, and just time to sit and relax and watch a movie. Our summers are busy too. Since in our home both parents work, staying home all day isn't usually an option, so it's long days at camps most weeks.
But still, in the summer I don't want my child to slip academically, and during the school year he needs extra practice and an extra boost to excel. We have to carve out the time to practice these concepts.
The times when we have been most successful with Mastery Genius are the times when we follow a few simple rules: set a schedule, treat it like a chore, and earn rewards.
Set a schedule
Just like adults, kids thrive on a schedule. I love this article by the US Government Head Start. Quoting from the article, a schedule or routine helps your child:
- Feel in control of their environment
- Feel safe, secure, and comfortable
- Know what is happening now and what comes next
- Know how to do an activity or task
- Engage in learning
If your child is seeking academic confidence, what better gift can we give them than consistency in our approach and a specific time each day or week to practice Mastery Genius.
The main challenge to setting schedules is... the parents! And the time it takes to sit down and create the schedule. Take time on a Sunday afternoon to creating a schedule, and your kids will thank you for it (one day). At Mastery Genius, we recommend studying for 30 minutes a day. And while this is the ideal standard, even 15 minutes 3 times a week can have a benefit for your child.
Treat it like a chore
In a perfect world, kids would choose to sit and learn in their free time. At least in our house, free time turns out like the image below pretty quickly.
Personally, I don't mind my son doing leisurely activities like playing Switch or watching TV. I also don't want learning to be a dreaded activity, and I know the importance of academic study.
What works well for us is treating Mastery Genius like a chore. That means we make sure certain things happen before these leisurely activities. Before our son can watch shows or play Switch, he needs to do things like practice piano, listen to a story and play with toys, practice handwriting, and spend time on Mastery Genius.
For us, there are times of weakness, where not everything gets accomplished before free time - but we try, and it helps achievement overall.
At Mastery Genius, one of our core principles is that every child is a unique individual. We should never reward our children for how much they grow, or if they get a 100% on a test. Everyone is unique, and everyone is on their own journey.
Instead of rewarding your child based on achievement, try rewarding your child based on effort. In the context of Mastery Genius, that could mean rewarding your child for spending a certain amount of time on the platform. It could mean giving a small gift when they finish a certain module or topic of study.
Whatever you decide, you have to keep the motivation high. It will be more than worth it as your child makes progress in and out of school.
Best of luck in your journey. We are all in it together!