As a parent, your involvement in your child’s academic activities will give his performance an enormous boost and put him on the path to success. With more engagement in your child’s schoolwork, you will not only instill a lifelong passion for learning in him but shape his psychological development and create a learning environment that prioritizes his happiness and educational attainment.
How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Here’s what you can do to support your child’s academic learning:
Know your child’s teacher
You must partner with your child’s teacher to bring out the best in your child. This will not happen if you do know who your child’s teacher is. Because you know your child better than anyone else, you can open up to his teacher about whatever it is that might affect his academic performance.
The start of the new school year is the best time to establish this line of communication with your child’s teacher. If your child has health issues or a form of learning disability or a preference for a particular subject, then you can tell his teacher. Partnering with your child’s teacher will propel your child towards distinction.
Ensure your child does his assignments and homework
Parents have a responsibility to make homework one of your child’s priority at home. Be there to guide and support, provide explanation and interpretation, crosscheck and proofread the assignment for errors. Take heed not to do the homework in place of him. Furthermore, you have to create a conducive and distraction-free environment that will optimize concentration and mindfulness during the time your child is working on his school work.
Communicate with your child
Effective communication is a way of building a great relationship with your child. Apart from allowing you to bond with your child, it will enable him to develop his language and verbal skills; a prerequisite for success in school. Listening and talking to your child will give you the chance to understand him thoroughly. You will also have a good knowledge of your child’s progress in school as you communicate more with him.
Attend parent-teacher meetings/ open-house
Every year, schools create parent-teacher meetings and open-house to acquaint you with the chance to meet your child’s teacher and offer suggestions, concerns and feedback that will lead to your child’s success in school. Do not ignore or undervalue that fantastic opportunity to assist your child in doing great at school.
How can parents help at home?
Limit the amount of time your child spends browsing the internet and gaming
There is a link between addiction to gaming or internet browsing and poor academic performance. So, as a responsible parent, you will want to limit your child’s screen time activities. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that time assigned to media consumption (especially video games) should be less than an hour during school days and not more than two hours on non-school days. You should also ensure that screen-time should be after your child is done with his school work and any other house tasks, not before.
Promote reading culture
Encouraging reading in your child will put him on the path to succeeding in school. It can broaden your child’s imagination and spark his creativity. Reading will also improve your child’s vocabulary and language skills.
Set up a daily schedule/routine
A daily schedule is very beneficial. Though it may seem monotonous, a structured day is excellent for you and your child. It can help your child become more organized, positively influencing his behaviour and instilling a sense of responsibility in him. But ensure you include early sleep time and playtime in the routine.
Healthy eating is known to boost physical and mental development in children. Research has shown the benefit of vegetables, fruits and proteins to the brain. Food rich in essential vitamins, amino acid and zinc can improve cognitive abilities and concentration. Malnutrition can negatively impact your child’s mental health and obstruct his learning. So, a healthy diet is a necessity for your child.
Why aren’t parents involved in their child’s education?
If parental support in children’s education and academic learning is of great benefit, then why do a lot of parents show apathy?
Lack of time
In a family where both spouses are engaged in work, then they may find it difficult to untangle themselves from their time-consuming schedules. This scenario can affect a child’s success at school.
A language barrier between educators and parents
This issue is common in immigrant families where parents find it challenging to communicate in English. This situation can lead to a total disconnect or reluctance to engage in their children’s academic affair.
Some parents leave the responsibility of educating and imparting knowledge and skills solely in the hands of the teacher. To them, their child’s education is their teacher’s business. The source of this issue may be cultural differences.
Lack of resources
In low-income families, parents may be willing to participate in their children’s school activities but are deterred by lack of resources. They might not have access to a car or transport facilities.
Negative personal experiences
Parents who may have dropped out or have an unfavourable school experience may not feel the need to get involved in their children’s education. With their limited education, they might feel discouraged and find it hard to guide their children’s educational path. The situation is worse when the parent has minimal knowledge of the English language.