Impacting your child’s education is not just a job for their teachers, it’s a job for you — in fact, it is your job. When parents are involved in what their child learns and, more importantly, the way they learn it, the better chance their son or daughter has of attaining great success at school and past it.
If you want to make an impact on your child’s education, no matter what age they are or what stage they are at with their learning, then you need to be proactive in everything that you do. To see what needs to be done specifically, read on.
Forge a relationship with their teachers
By having a relationship with your child’s teachers, you give yourself a chance of staying up-to-date with everything that is happening in regards to their education — this is pivotal because, no matter how close you are with your child, there are always going to be things relating to school that they hold back from you. When you forge such a relationship, you also give yourself an advantage when it comes to tackling homework and quizzing your child about the curriculum that they are studying. So, whether there’s a language barrier or not (if there is, get the school to organise an interpreter), make sure you are, at the very latest, in contact with your child’s teachers.
Always be positive about education, no matter your stance on it
Education is not for everyone, and adults, having been through it one way or the other, know what side of the fence they stand on in regards to it. Children, however, are in school or college until they are legally told that they can leave. For this reason, they might as well make the best of it, and you being positive, regardless of what you think, is going to help them do so.
You have to put your prejudices aside and stop protesting that ‘you’ve done just fine in life without good qualifications from school’ — yes, you may have done well irrespective of your school performance, but that doesn’t mean that your child can’t do well in it. The point is, always try to be positive about the school experience, and your children will be far more likely to enjoy and then succeed with it!
Reward them with gifts of substance
Rewarding your child for educational success and expanding their learning is not a bad thing, but only if you are rewarding them with gifts of substance. This means avoiding gifting them with sweets or even video games (or anything else that they really want), and instead of handing them things that are a measure of just how hard they’ve worked. For instance, you could have a set of customisable coins created by Military Coins, and you could then gift your child with one every time they meet a specific milestone with their education — for every math problem that they figure out, there could be a different coin to commemorate their achievements. This kind of continuous rewarding, which could, in the end, result in them getting a prize of their choice come the very end of that specific learning journey, will see them never remain happy with what they have and always ready to strive for more. This is because they will always get the validation they need as well as the feeling that they are working towards something and that their journey is not over until the subject is finished, as this is essential if you don’t want to see them peter out halfway through the term.
Establish a growth mindset within them
It’s no good allowing your child to be provided with a subject to learn and then leaving them to their own devices to learn it — you don’t have to be an experienced teacher to know that that doesn’t work. Instead, to make a real difference in the potential your child has for academic achievement, you need to be establishing a growth mindset in their learning.
This means that, as well as the curriculum that they are taught, you need to be ensuring that your child understands the important roles that effort and persistence play in their learning. You need to ensure that they not only develop their understanding of the topic they are being tasked with learning but also with how they work as a learning human, as well as how who they are can help them to work out the tasks that they are set. To do this, you should avoid praising intelligence, and should instead focus on praising the planning and trying aspects of learning.
Teach them how to learn
To make a difference in your child’s achievement, then you need to give them an appetite for learning. To do this, you must teach them how to learn — and this is harder than it sounds. You need to teach him or her how to self-regulate the way they learn and how to set their own goals, as this will give them the confidence they need to achieve them; you need to help them to develop their own strategies for learning, as this will help them to avoid copying others and then getting disheartened when they do not get the same results; and you need to teach them to reflect on their performances by themselves.
Let them have free rein to be creative
Whether your child is learning about a creative subject or not, when you allow them to be creative with the way that they learn, there will be better results. An example of doing so is allowing your child the chance to work out math problems using paint — yes, let them paint their room. By doing so, they will figure out just how much paint they are going to need, which will hone their fine motor skills. Creative subjects go a long way in terms of developing an individual’s imagination and determination to be themselves, so encourage this at every opportunity and let your child express themselves through whatever platform they choose.
Don’t just leave it to your child’s teachers to guide them through their education; make an impact on it yourself and be part of your child’s journey to success in discovering who they are.