Many of us lead busy lives, so when it comes to our child’s education, we leave the brunt of it to our child’s teachers. After all, that’s what they’re paid to do, right?
But as parents, there are specific reasons why we should get involved with our child’s education. In a moment, we will look at some of the ways in which we can do this, but first, let’s consider the benefits of our involvement.
Why you should get more involved with your child’s education
There are three very good reasons as to why you should get involved with your child’s education.
1. You can bond with your child
There are all kinds of ways in which you can bond with your kids, some of which we looked at here. And getting more involved with your child’s education is another way. You might sit down with your child and help them with their homework. You could help them work on a class project. You might even get more involved in the classroom, perhaps by volunteering your time one afternoon a week, as this shared experience of your child’s school life will give you something to talk about.
2. You can increase your child’s chances of academic success
According to this article, the biggest factor surrounding a child’s academic success isn’t to do with your family’s socioeconomic status, or how prestigious the school is. It’s to do with parental engagement, as the studies discussed within the linked article suggest this is the biggest predictor for a child’s academic achievement at school. The more you can do at home to help your child then, the better their chances of getting good grades and moving on to a better career post-school.
3. You can ensure your child gets the help they need
Some children have special educational needs, be that because of academic struggles they might have, or because they are especially gifted students who need additional support to live up to their high-flying potential. By monitoring your child’s education and by speaking to your child’s teachers, you will get a handle on how well your child is doing. You can then push for any support that your child needs, ensuring that they don’t fall through the cracks because the school has failed to cater to your child’s individual requirements.
How you can get more involved with your child’s education
There are all kinds of ways you can get more involved with your child’s education. We have briefly alluded to some already but consider the following too.
1. Place value on your child’s learning
Did you enjoy going to school when you were a child? Chances are, you may well have hated getting up every day to trudge back through the school gates. Maths again? Bah!
And the same might apply to your child.
However, if you can place value on your child’s learning at home, you might increase their enthusiasm at school. Talk to them about their school day. Listen to them when they share stories about what they have learned. Look at their homework and help them if they require assistance. And find ways to make learning fun at home. If you can muster up some enthusiasm about your child’s learning, then your attitude might rub off on them.
2. Volunteer in the classroom
We mentioned this already, as it can be an excellent way to bond with your child. However, there are other benefits. For one, you can find out more about what your child is learning at school. You can then find ways to continue this learning at home, perhaps by watching YouTube clips together or by playing games that back up certain lessons.
By volunteering in the classroom, you can also discover more about your child. If you notice they have difficulty making a social connection with others, for example, you will then have the impetus to speak to the teacher about the issue, and have reason to teach your child social skills at home.
You will also get the opportunity to actively help the school because if you can teach a particular skill in the classroom, you will both the help the teacher and help the students in their care.
3. Take part on Career Day
If your child’s school has a Career Day, get involved and let the children know more about your job. This is a great way to encourage other students to try harder at school, as you might be able to explain the benefit of a good education in getting into the career you are involved in.
You will make your child proud too, as they will be able to show you off to the other children in their class. Well, assuming you don’t do or say anything too embarrassing, of course!
4. Attend parent-teacher meetings
Parent-teacher meetings are usually held once a term and are a great way to find out how your child is doing at school. Make the effort to turn up to them, no matter how busy you are, as you can then hear first-hand stories from your child’s teachers, find out more about what your child is learning, and gain an understanding of any particular issues your child might be having.
You can then take the appropriate steps to help your child at home. These meetings are especially useful if your children clams up every time you ask them about school. They might tell you everything is fine, but the truth might be far different.
5. Just show up!
When your child’s school has a fundraiser, be there, and rally your support. When your child takes part in a school performance, be there on the front row. When chaperones are called for, offer your assistance, be that for a school trip or a Christmas party.
The more interest you show in your child and their school, the greater an asset you will be for both, so find out what is going on, and be an active participant.
Today then, consider how you can help your child with their education. Not only will this help them in the short-term, but it will benefit their long-term future too. And hey, you might get to have some fun in the process, and who knows, you might actually learn something yourself! Follow our suggestions then, and share any further ideas you have with us.
Thanks for reading,
Josh – Contributing Author