We all want to assure a bright future for our children, and one of the most effective ways to do this is taking a more active role in their education. Studies have shown time and time again that parental involvement has a very powerful impact on a child’s academic performance, and despite what you may think, taking a more active role doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complex. Here are a few great ideas for more active involvement…
Talk About their Day
Most of us will ask our kids “how was school today?”, and be met by a one word response like “fine”. To get a better idea of what they’re actually getting from their time at school, try asking more specific questions. With younger children, you may want to ask about special activities you know about, or who they played with during their break. It can help if you go out of your way to find out about your child’s school-day routine. For instance, if there are special classroom “jobs” that change frequently, you could ask about what your child had to do that day. The conversation doesn’t have to be long and detailed, but getting into a routine of simply asking is a great foundation for taking a more active role in your child’s education.
Monitor their Work
You know as well as any parent that kids bring home bags full of papers and projects. No matter what stage of education your child is in, it can pay off to make a point of monitoring their work. Don’t ignore that mass of papers, and don’t wait for your child to show you their work themselves. Instead, take the time to look through it, whether by yourself or in your child’s presence. Ask questions about the work to gauge how well they’re doing, and make specific, encouraging comments about what they’ve done well. You may even want to talk to their teachers about seeing all the work that doesn’t come home. Education is becoming more and more influenced by technology, with moodles and online school backup becoming the norm in schools and colleges all over the country. Being able to keep tabs on everything that happens in the classroom may be more straightforward than you think.
Establish Supportive Routines
Having supportive household routines is excellent for making sure your child gets the most out of their education, from primary school all the way up to college. One routine that will be easy enough to establish in the early stages is reading together every day. Have a window before bed where you turn off the TV and games consoles, and get them to read through a good book. You should also go out of your way to make sure your children are active during the day, have a healthy diet, and get the recommended amount of sleep. This is going to be much harder as soon as they hit their teenage years! Getting into the swing of these routines can be hard at first, but it won’t take long for them to become the norm.