How can you as a parent be more involved in your child's education?
It's not hard as you think!
Many of the traditional avenues of parent involvement - attending parent-teacher conferences, volunteering in the classroom, and getting involved with the PTA - are of course wonderful activities that will make a lasting difference in your child's educational experience while increasing the quality of the school. But there are simpler things that parents can do in the course of day-to-day life that can also have a great impact on their children's academic success. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Let your child know that school is important. Be sure to ask questions about school and homework, and set up a quiet place for your child to work.
- Read everything that is sent home from school - report cards, homework assignments, school lunch plans, vacation and bus schedules. Show your child that you are well informed.
- Encourage your child to read at home. Set a good example by choosing to read instead of watching a TV program.
- Explore ways to interact with your child by sharing facts, perceptions and opinions related to things you are reading.
- Challenge your child to read the book before seeing the movie based on the book.
- When your child asks for help with homework, provide guidance, not answers. It's not your job to know your child's classroom material. You can help best by asking questions, giving encouragement, and having your child review class notes, previous homework and completed tests. You can always call or write a note to the teacher if your child is struggling.
- Learn to ask questions and share thoughts that promote critical thinking. Some good questions might be: "What is the purpose of that?" "Why did that happen?" "What do you think the solution might be"? "Is there another way to look at that problem or issue?"
- Be willing to learn from your child, and express your appreciation for the gift of his or her knowledge and enthusiasm.
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