There’s been a lot of research on the connection between these two elements. Confident children do better academically, but also, those children who perform well academically grow in confidence. In fact, a child’s level of confidence in his or her ability to do well at school is a strong predictor of how well he or she will actually perform.
Here at GEA, we see this link all the time.
When children don’t have confidence, they tend to assume they cannot achieve academically. But when they start to improve their maths and English skills and they experience being able to understand and solve problems, their confidence grows. And this confidence isn’t just in their academic ability but through other areas of their life also.
Watching this growth is one of the most rewarding things about the work we do. And it continues to reinforce for us how important it is for children to have the support they need to achieve their academic potential – it really does improve all aspects of their lives.
Parents can have a huge effect on both a child’s confidence and their academic performance, which is good news, because it means you can take action that will positively impact your child.
One such action is simply to be interested in the maths and English your child is learning. Your interest will impact their interest and willingness to engage more deeply in the subject.
Secondly, have confidence in your child’s ability to master the tasks they’ve been given. If you remain calm and confident that your child can figure out the problems in their homework and formulate the answers or responses required, even if they’re struggling and need extra help, then they will be more likely to believe they can achieve that successful endpoint too.
Finally, having an accurate and realistic understanding of your child’s abilities and potential will help you know when your child is performing at their best versus when they are under-performing. Not all children are going to be top of their class. But all children deserve to be given the opportunity to reach their potential.
Talk to your child’s teachers about their views of your child’s potential, as this can be a good place to start. However, often teachers are stretched and unable to spend the necessary individual time with your child to see what he or she is truly capable of.
Where you’re not satisfied with a teacher’s assessment, or you simply want a more thorough understanding of how well your child is achieving their potential, professional assessments are available. These assessments, like the one we offer at GEA (you can read more about it here), are designed to reveal the student’s potential and highlight any deficits in learning that may need to be addressed.
Such an assessment can be truly insightful and a stepping stone to addressing your child’s needs specifically. We encourage parents to make the investment in understanding their child’s potential more fully. Not only does it make it easier to know how to support your child’s learning and achievement, but we believe it will be a powerful step in developing the confident child every parent deserves.