Studies have shown that parental involvement and an educational, intellectually-stimulated home environment can improve your child’s chance at being a successful student.
How can you accomplish this?
Here are some tips.
Education Is All Around Us
Parents can prepare a child for loving learning by helping their child open her eyes to the learning opportunities around her. Include your child in as many activities and errands as you can, pointing out interesting information along the way.
Depending on the age of your child, you can point out various things and discuss them. If you see a fountain, for example, talk about how the water pump works.
At the grocery store, talk about where food comes from, how cheese is made, or what makes a vegetable so brightly colored.
Outside in nature, there are learning opportunities everywhere, from watching birds to collecting leaves. Open your own eyes to what’s around, and teach your child about it!
Around the house you can help your child learn life skills by allowing them to participate in household chores and tasks that need to get done. Not only are they learning, but they are also helping the family out. One of my favorite tasks to get my kids involved in early is helping to make dinner with the goal of putting them 100% in charge of planning, cooking and cleaning up a meal a few times a month. They learn so much from this task; understanding the importance of planning preparation, following directions and how care in preparing can help them clean up faster.
Many parents dream of having a reading prodigy. But the point really shouldn’t be about showing off; it’s about equipping your child to be the best student he can be, now and in the future. Read aloud to your child regularly, and pay lots of visits to the library. Let your child pick out books that interest him, and pick up a few you think he’d like too. Incorporate reading into your daily routine so it becomes a habit.
Your child will need to enjoy reading and do it well in order to succeed in school. Every subject they study will include reading on some level. Help them find things they are passionate about reading and even extend your willingness to share in that passion. Perhaps you could learn more about Robots or Submarines too?
Did you ever hear about “study habits” when you were in school? It does seem to be true that once something becomes a habit, it feels less like a chore.
If your child has trouble settling down and doing her homework, try to make it a regular thing that happens at the same time each day. It may be a struggle at first, but consider combining homework time with a snack and drink, or other “settling in” aid (distractions such as TV or music are not recommended, but quiet instrumental music is generally considered okay).
It’s a good idea to set aside a special area that is your child’s own space, such as a favorite chair or window-side location. Once this routine becomes established, your student may gravitate toward the homework area from force of habit, even if she doesn’t have any homework that day! If you need more help with good homework habits and what your role should be as the parent, make sure you check out my Back 2 School Survival Guide where homework hassles and strategies are covered in depth with practical step by step solutions.
Know Your Child
Experts suggest fostering your child’s interests to help develop a love of learning. This means really getting to know your child and what he enjoys rather than trying to get him to like something you think he should.
Of course, not every school subject is going to capture his fancy; but seizing on his interests and learning about them may help develop research skills and a love of learning that your child can apply in other scholastic areas and most importantly life in general.
What was the best thing your parents taught you?