The Akram-Hussain family: Tracking testing success with Excel
Can project management help parents prep kids for school success? The Akram-Hussain household will show you how tracking can be key to sustained growth and positive reinforcement when it comes to study skills.
Two things become apparent about Abid Hussain when he and his wife describe how they support their children’s educational success: “I work in technology. I love spreadsheets. I’m one of those strange people that love spreadsheets for the fun of it.” That’s right—Dad is something of a project manager when it comes to keeping an eye on how his children are doing in school. “I create[d] a spreadsheet to track [their] exam results.”
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Old-school work ethic with a technology underpinning
A different kind of growth chart
- Lens to scan test papers for tracking and reference
- Teams for the kids to communicate with their tutors—including receiving and turning in assignments
Positive reinforcement through results—and treats
- Extra screen time, such as a minute more with a digital hobby or an extra episode of a favorite TV show
- Tasty takeaway treats, like going out for milkshakes or fun pizza dinner—or the kids choosing a new mealtime adventure
- A brand-new book, chosen from a savvy backlog collection kept by Mom and Dad
- A visit to the prize box, full of parent-curated interactive games and toys
Their family isn’t the only one using this method to track kids’ test results; there are others with whom they share progress. Noreen explains, “At the end of the week they’d all hear what their marks were and, based on whoever did best—and that’s in our family and my friend’s family—that person would get [a] special treat.”