How to supercharge your kids learning
Are there educational bumps in the road ahead? Why a roadmap of schools advice, academic support and mentoring could supercharge your child's success.
The school bell has rung on a new academic year. After you’ve finished clicking your heels as you speed away from the school gates (oh come on, it can’t just be me), reality kicks in. Where are they going next? Do they need additional tutoring? Will they be happy? How will they cope with exams? Do they need help with uni applications? Questions, worries, stress. It’s an educational minefield.
All parents are wrestling similar issues, so we spoke to education consultancy JUNO Education – a business focussed on finding the right education, schooling and support, including wellbeing, for children from beginning to end. JUNO co-founders Victoria Franklin and Antonia Kudrova call it the ‘Educational Roadmap’. No matter which junction or crossroads you’re at, they can make the most of those transitions. But what is it and how does it supercharge our kids’ education?
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty what is an Education Roadmap and why do I need one?
There are so many intricacies to the British school system! Not only do schools offer different opportunities and experiences but the requirements and timings for applications and entry can vary wildly. That’s where we come in. We offer support to navigate the various options for school entry at 11, 13, and 16, as well as changing schools outside the standard intake years.
As well as school selection, we help with making vital decisions such as subject choices for GCSE, A-Level or International Baccalaureate. It’s paramount students make the most of their education and the decisions made are right for them.
We also help with exam prep and testing for targeted schools, along with interview training. Our coaching helps discover a child’s ambitions and interests to ensure detailed career directives are available. Our support is suitable for any child, not just for those who are struggling. We are also able to provide full SEND reviews as required, without any waiting list.
What are the most common problems?
There are three main areas where we find families need the most support. Firstly, the complexities of the British school system should not be underestimated. We help clarify the steps that need to be taken, and how and when to take them. Choosing the right school makes all the difference and we would urge any families in need of assistance to come to us to get it right first time. Secondly, we see a lot of children with gaps in key subjects and/or a lack of exam preparation. And finally, we find many families are experiencing a lack of adequate SEND support in Maths and English in particular.
Are you now seeing the lockdown scars left on kids?
We are seeing various impacts, from issues with integrating and social interaction, to gaps in learning and memory problems. We are unfortunately also seeing more children suffering from anxiety and panic attacks.
How do parents spot a problem?
You know your child best. If you notice they’ve become withdrawn, have started worrying about their future or seem anxious, it’s important to address this. Equally, if they are prioritising instant gratification through gaming or social media over schoolwork, for example, this is also a warning sign.
Sounds like we all might need help…
As we emerge from lockdowns and restrictions, we have found there’s a lot of demand for helping children to re-engage. Often, they have been spending too much time on social media or gaming, or are experiencing heightened stress and anxiety in the face of schoolwork and exams. At JUNO we work with all children, those that are already excelling, to the disengaged, anxious or bored. Happy children thrive, so tutoring, mentoring, and educational consultancy will help facilitate that.
Mentoring really helps in both the academic and practical sides of school life. A mentor will help identify strategies and goals to negotiate the stresses and obstacles that may be worrying a child and holding them back.
Whereas any child who is underperforming will always benefit from tuition. In an increasingly competitive world, top marks in entrance exams, GCSEs, and A Levels or IB are required for acceptance into the best schools or universities.
Are we in danger of becoming pushy parents?
In a word, no. We occasionally get parents approach us with an unhealthy attitude. However, we find it’s most often the child asking for extra support. These days children are very self-aware and want to do better academically and mentally. They want to achieve their potential and can recognise when something is holding them back. The flip side is that they can also put too much pressure on themselves. So having a mentor and wellbeing support is really important.
Exams are back and so is revision stress…
Children need to focus on long term memory retention by learning and revising consistently throughout the duration of their courses. In this way it’s possible to focus on polishing, rather than learning or relearning as the exams approach. Cramming is never the answer.
A common problem is that teenagers often struggle with understanding what and how to revise. For example, it’s no good practicing with multiple choice questions if the exam requires an essay-style answer. Learning to focus and find techniques that work is essential.
Why do we all need a roadmap?
By using the latest educational research from reliable neuroscience and classroom studies, we have developed a five-step cycle that focuses on the optimisation, activation, and retention of learning. A child who has been through our programme will have attended a school where they can grow and achieve and they will have a clear path to their career. Their grades will open doors to the top universities and careers. Just as importantly, they will show increased productivity, have a healthy attitude towards their mental health and an increased capacity for delayed gratification activities.
A little help from our friends…
We want to help as many people as we can, so JUNO is in the process of setting up a foundation. This will allow underprivileged families to apply for subsidised support. We are targeting both short- and long-term solutions so that we can reach the widest audience.
We are currently looking to partner with companies in the education sector to access amenities and resources. We are very excited about the opportunities!