A primary responsibility for all parents and guardians is to ensure their children get the best education possible, thereby increasing their children’s chances of leading successful, independent, adult lives. Regardless of what grade level your children are in now, Elementary through High School Graduation, there are important steps all parents must take in order to help their children do well in school. Unfortunately, many parents expect school teachers and school systems to carry the entire responsibility of educating their children, allowing other activities and family matters to supersede this vital area of children’s lives. So, what steps can you take, as the parent or guardian, to better improve your children’s education?
Priorities And Setting Goals-
Communicate to your children the value and importance of working hard each and every day, setting achievable and attainable goals, being sure to lovingly encourage and praise your children for each goal achieved. Some parents have a tendency to criticize and berate their children for grades received, labeling their children as “Stupid”, “Lazy”, and other demeaning names which only create poor self-esteem. Having high expectations for your children to “do their best in school” can only be accomplished by taking steps to build up your children’s self-confidence. While your son or daughter may be very good in math or spelling, but struggle with reading or biology, be consistent in your praise for their good education skills. Remind yourself of the old adage, “If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all”.
Identify Problem Areas-
If your children exhibit poor performance in studies, observe your children closely and ask them questions to identify problem areas and offer helpful solutions. A few examples of common problems some children have are:
- Spending too much time on extra-curricular activities
- Waiting until the last minute to work on homework assignments
- Difficulty in understanding study material and teacher objectives
- Slow reading skills or undiagnosed health issues
- Poor diet and sleep patterns – tired and irritable
- Difficulty interacting with other children – being bullied at school
Studies show that parents who create and maintain family routines raise successful students, versus parents that don’t. The study environment is an extremely important aspect of providing your children optimal opportunities for success in school. Where do your children study and complete homework assignments? Consider having your children study and do their homework at a table or desk, rather than curled up on the couch where they are likely to fall asleep. Provide a calm and quiet atmosphere to read or study, without the distractions of a radio or television playing in the background. Make it your family routine that homework assignments must be completed before play time with friends, chores, or other activities.
Provide A Tutor-
There are many benefits to providing your children a Tutor. Providing your child/children a Tutor is an excellent way of showing your children that their education is of vital importance to you, especially if you did not receive optimal education yourself, or you have forgotten portions of subjects your children are currently studying. Opportunities for your children to receive direct, 1-on-1 tutoring, helps alleviates stress and worry for many children, and has been proven to greatly increase grade scores.
Maintain Parent/Teacher Relationship-
When was the last time you attended your children’s P.T.A meeting, or the Parent/Teacher Conference held at your children’s school? Waiting for your children’s school to inform you of how your children are performing or behaving in school, rather than your actively seeking consistent involvement, quickly teaches your children the wrong message. Spend ample time with your child’s teacher, through face-to-face meetings, telephone conversations and email exchanges, keeping yourself informed of your children’s progress at school. Set the right example, get involved.
What Else Does Family Involvement Include?-
Family involvement takes into account many things. Read to your child. Have your child read to you. Have your child see you reading. Limit time spent viewing television or playing video games. Take time to do activities together, such as playing cards or board games, gardening, going to the park or zoo. Find opportunities to use fun times as an educational tool for your children’s benefit, as well as your own. It’s never too late to improve your grades.