As parents we want our children to succeed and have the life they dream of having. No matter what their dreams are, their education is an important stepping stone to their future. Too often we confuse education and learning with school. School is the institution our children attend in order to receive a formal education.
Learning is a skill our children need to acquire. For some children, learning is as natural as breathing. They hear information and they retain it, or they read a passage in a text and it sparks an interest that sets them on a path of exploration and research. For other children, learning is a struggle. A concept or skill can be introduced, and it can seem like they will never master it over and over they try, and over and over they miss the mark.
When effort meets with less than personally satisfactory results, frustration is the result. As parents it is difficult to watch our children struggle and become frustrated. It makes us feel somewhat helpless. Truthfully, we are not helpless when it comes to our child’s learning. We have the power to support them and facilitate the learning process.
There are a multitude of ideas available for supporting learning. For a frustrated parent who feels helpless, the choices can feel overwhelming. Where do we even begin? Here, we will discuss seven things we as parents can do to support our child’s learning.
- Let them know their education is important to you. From an early age, children want to please, and even impress, their parents. Letting the children know that their parents value education will help them to value education. Be positive when speaking about their school or their other educational interests.
Ask them what they learned that day. Exhibit an attitude of excitement about school and learning in general. Perhaps at dinner they could give you a recap of what they talked about at school that day or what they learned from a book they are reading. Even if they only learned one seemingly small thing, praise their efforts.
- Encourage them to read. Daily reading helps to expand a child’s vocabulary and imagination as well as providing them a picture of the world outside their window. A fluent reader will perform better in other subject areas such as history or science. A child who reads often typically performs better on tests as well.
Encouraging reading is not as difficult as it may sound. An easy way to encourage a child to read is to provide them with books. Picture books, comic books, classic literature, popular novels that are appropriate for their maturity level, magazines, newspapers or anything with words provided freely helps to foster a habit of reading. For younger children, reading aloud to them teaches them to connect words with concepts. Continuing the habit as they grow older helps to increase vocabulary and spelling skills. Letting your child see you read also encourages them to form the habit. Trips to the local library are an inexpensive way to encourage your child to form a habit of reading every day.
- Have conversations with your children. Talking to and with your children helps them to develop language skills that will be necessary for communicating with others throughout their lifetime. Conversations with your children will help them learn to both express themselves and develop active listening skills. Additionally, talking with your children will help them with their reading skills. Conversations with your children can be simple. The point is to model active listening and communication.
- Monitor how your child interacts with technology. Video games, television, computers and mobile devices are more readily available in today’s world. many children have access to advanced technology at an early age. Devices have some educational benefits when used appropriately, but it is wise to know how your children are using their devices. Some parents choose to severely limit screen time. Others choose to manage which applications or programs children are using. Still others choose to use both methods of monitoring usage. Regardless of the monitoring method, children who have limits on their use of technological devices have a tendency to more actively participate in learning activities.
- Foster active learning in your children. Allow your children to pursue the extra-curricular activities that spark their interest. Encourage imaginative play with friends or siblings. Let them create kitchen science experiments or home history projects. When children are encouraged to ask questions at home, they are more likely to feel comfortable participating in classroom discussions. You can create active learning experiences by taking your children to a museum, gallery, bookstores or historic landmarks. Events such as plays or concerts also provide active learning for children.
- Encourage independent learning. As they grow older, children will be required to complete assignments with less assistance from teachers. At home you can foster independence by requiring them to take responsibility for managing their time and for completing homework or projects. If necessary, show your child how to dissect a project into smaller parts, so they can more easily manage the work.
- Become a presence at your child’s school. Attending parent/teacher conferences and open house events will reinforce the importance of your child’s education. If you are in a position to do so, volunteer to help in your child’s classroom or with the parent/teacher association. Keep lines of communication open with your child’s teacher. Ask questions about your child’s assignments and subsequent progress. If your child is struggling, don’t hesitate to request extra assistance. For a Gold Coast tutor Ateam Tuition offers professional assistance to facilitate your child’s improved learning success.
Parental support at home and at school helps children to achieve their learning goals. Whether learning is easy or is a struggle for your child, your involvement in their learning journey will help them to have the confidence to continue to seek new learning opportunities. Learning can become a lifelong adventure