All parents want their children to be successful at school, knowing that the skills learned in the early years will help them lead a successful life in the future.
Whether your child is struggling or not, it’s wise to take an active role in his or her education. The sooner you can catch any problems, the easier it is to work on solutions.
Talk to Your Child About School Ask your child about what’s going on in her classes. Show some enthusiasm to encourage her to open up about her lessons and her developing friendships. Whether she’s talking about her difficulties in math or how excited she is about the new unit in science, a parent who’s involved is a parent who’s more likely to have the trust of a child. The Australian Department of Education suggests asking specific questions like, “What’s the best thing that happened today?” rather than general ones like, “What did you do today?”
Talk to Your Child’s Teacher About School Work hard to develop a relationship with your child’s teacher and the other staff at the school. Too often, parents shy away from this because they’re worried about being “that parent.” Your child’s teacher spends several hours a day with him and can help you better identify things that are going well or poorly. Let his teacher know if he’s having trouble with homework. Share recent successes, like the news that he’s found a new book series that interests him. Mention any concerns you have about your child’s learning ability or emotional state. Since teachers know what’s appropriate at your child’s age level, she’ll be well-equipped to identify potential problem.
Help Your Child Develop Good Study Habits Learning doesn’t only happen in school. It’s up to parents to establish good study habits early on. Create a space for your child to do homework. In the early elementary years, you may want her to work at the kitchen table so that you can be by her side to offer assistance. As she gets older and more independent, she may prefer a desk in her bedroom. Try to create set times when your child will study and do her homework. Many families like to get this out of the way immediately after school, but some kids need some time to unwind before settling in to more work. If your child is active in sports or other after-school activities, you need to work with her to find the balance. For instance, she may need to do homework in the mornings instead of the evenings. Just make sure that she has enough time to complete assignments without rushing through them.
Get Your Child the Help He Needs While many parents can help children with homework throughout the elementary school years, some kids need a bit more help. For instance, high school chemistry or calculus might be beyond your knowledge. Even in the early years, children who resist help from their parents or who seem to have a specific learning disability like dyslexia can benefit from professional help. Many tutoring companies offer affordable rates. Tutors can come to your home, meet your child in a library or even offer lessons through video chatting. Hiring a tutor shows your child how important it is to seek help when you need it.
Each child is different. Some children need a little support from their parents while others need a highly structured environment and a lot of additional help. The real key to success is to know what your child needs and provide him or her with that help. When you do this, your child is sure to meet their potential.