When a child starts their first year of school, it can be daunting for both the child and parent, and even more so as these years continue on. A parent can easily disengage themselves from their child’s schooling once they learn to complete homework and assignments on their own. However, in order for a child to truly prosper throughout their education, a parent must be aware and involved from the beginning.
Make time to listen about your child’s day
Parents understand how busy their own day is, and actually making time to sit down with your child and listen about their day can seem like another task on a to-do list. However, this task is most important. Parents have to be aware of what their child went through throughout the day, their ups and downs, who they played with or worked with and what concepts they understood and did not. Without that a whole part of the child’s development phases are made unaware to the parents.
Get involved with your child’s education
This can be as small as taking part in a celebration at your child’s school, or as big as being a “homeroom-parent” or joining the PTA. Making time to be directly involved with your child’s schooling is one of the easiest things you do, whether it’s bringing in cupcakes or planning events. Having your child see you integrate yourself into their education keeps them motivated and also allows that immediate connection with them where they know that you know what is going on.
Sit down with them and do homework or help them study
Doing homework with a child is the easiest way to understand what they do not understand. Realizing their struggles and being there to help them through it is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. The direct ability to guide a child through their small hurdles makes you feel good and also makes them happy. Homework help is a bonding experience more than a nuisance. As a child gets older and becomes more independent during their homework time, ask if they would like you to study with them, maybe quiz them using notecards, or offer to proofread an essay. Even the little things with older children will keep you involved and them knowing that you are still there if they need help.
Get to know your child’s teachers
Easy enough, right? However, some parents do not take the time to do this. Getting to know a child’s teacher allows an immediate connection between you and your child’s education. You will know what to expect, what opportunities there are for help if your child needs it, but also builds that respect because the teacher will know that you will want to be involved in your child’s schooling. A simple name exchange, a couple interests, and an update on your child is enough to build a bond with a teacher if you, as a parent, should ever need to consult them for help regarding your child’s education.
If you get excited about things, so will your child, no matter their age. A young child will get excited to do homework if you offer them help, or the promise of them being able to help cook dinner or watching a movie together. An older child will get excited about homework or an “assumingly-boring” event at school if you promise a later curfew or to attend the event with them. It may seem like bribing, but sometimes a child needs that extra motivation to get started or to keep their interest the first few times or when they are feeling run-down. Eventually that excitement will come naturally to them because it will be natural for you.
As children continue to grow, it can be hard to keep up with their education and stay involved, but as parents, you must take that extra step to keep your foot in the door with what is going on. Sometimes a child just needs an extra helping hand with an assignment, while other times, you might be able to catch a learning disability head-on because of your direct involvement. Education is something that children will continue to have and your involvement in that is the first step to them having a prosperous schooling instruction.