Parenting is not even the tiniest bit easy, but spending time with your child is crucial to their development and even their academic success. But what is the right way to get involved? How much is too much? Are you doing this properly at all? A lot of parents are struggling with the same questions, and you are definitely not alone. So here are all the things you need to know about joining in the long and successful journey of your child’s education.
Know When To Back Off
Before we start talking about how you should get involved, here’s how you shouldn’t. While you are a welcome and much needed companion on this ride, they are in the driver seat, and the control must remain in their hands. They need to understand that they are responsible for their education, and while you’re there to help them with anything you can, you simply cannot learn for them. So if this means letting them fail a test to learn the importance of time management and commitment – it’s a sacrifice worth making.
Make It Fun
We learn best by playing – and so do all other species in the world. But school systems are often antiquated, rigid and unbending, taking all the joy out of something as magical as learning. It’s your job to bring that magic back. Show them how the things they learn are applicable to the world around them. Turn learning new facts into a fun quiz or an exploring adventure. Get a large piece of paper and draw a map of the world to help them learn about it. If they are having fun, they will not only remember more, but they will also be motivated to learn in the future, even if it’s not as fun as it is in that moment. It’s important to create positive attitudes to learning from a young age.
The world we live in is amazing and gives us many different options and opportunities. Mostly, it gives us the gift of technology, a way to connect to anyone and anywhere in the world and explore the things we can’t even imagine. The world is going full tech and your child should learn form a young age, under your supervision, how to navigate technology and the Internet. You can introduce them to educational content such as turtle games which will help them learn new words. It’s important to educate them about how to stay safe on the Internet, and until you decide they are old enough, you should allow them to use technology only under your supervision – or with you joining in the fun! As we said, we learn best by playing, and video games can be extremely good for hand-eye coordination and it is a much better way to remember facts than just watching a video.
Your child should know what is expected of them – either in terms of grades, or, even better, in terms of involvement and commitment. However, if you put pressure on them to be at the top of their class or bring home perfect grades, you will only induce stress and anxiety, which you definitely don’t want. If they bring home a bad grade, be supportive. Try to pinpoint what went wrong and see how you can improve for the next time. And if something is simply not “their subject”, tell them that it’s okay and that you don’t expect them to be perfect in every class. Make sure you compliment them for their accomplishments, both within and outside of school and let them choose what they want to work hard and excel at. Don’t pressure them to go down a certain path just because that’s what you want them to do. Let them choose what interests them and support them in it, whether it’s science, art, sports or something else.
Having a good relationship with your child and their education means that next time they have a problem with something in school, you are the one they will come to, and they will know they can rely on you for help, which is key to any parent-child relationship. If all else fails, remember the days when you were a kid and ask yourself what you would have liked to have from your parents regarding your education, and go from there.