Every parent wants their child to have an excellent education and to do well at school. After all, if they do well at school, this means they will go on to become successful adults – or at least, that’s the hope. Plus, a child who is engaged with their learning will simply get more out of the school environment and find more opportunities not just for learning but for fun too.
This is why many parents will want to do what they can to help their children do better in school. The issue is, how can that be done in a sensible, effective way? You don’t want to end up doing their homework for them, so where is the line to be drawn, and what actions can you take? The good news is there are a number of avenues you can explore; read on to find out more about some of them.
Set Positive Expectations
Sometimes children just don’t know what is actually expected of them from their parents, so they’re not sure what they should do to live up to those expectations. This is why it’s crucial for parents to set out expectations right from the start. These should not be simply what you want your child to do; they should be created with the child in mind. In other words, you might want your son or daughter to achieve straight As, but if they are not academically minded or they fall in the middle of educational levels (as many do – the vast majority, in fact), make sure what you’re asking of them is achievable. It’s actually more damaging to set unrealistic expectations than it is not to set any at all.
Try not to focus too much on the grades themselves, as this can cause stress for everyone involved. It can even cause problems for your child when they try to learn and push themselves too far. Instead, see where they are and set expectations related to that level and support them as much as possible.
Help At Home
Teachers do a huge amount of work, and they are a crucial part of the educational system – imagine a world without teachers; it would be chaos, and the future would be bleak. However, just because your child has a teacher or teachers who are there for them at school, that doesn’t mean you can’t help out at home. This might be a case of creating a comfortable environment for homework to be done in, it might be reading to your child every night, it might be showing them how to study or how to research whatever it is they might need to know. Perhaps you can investigate the educational kits from Generation Genius that can supplement lessons learned in school.
Again, how you help will depend on the child themselves and what they need. It will also depend on what you are able to offer. However, sometimes just being there and letting the child know that can be enough.
Reach Out To Teachers
The way children are taught these days is likely to be different from how you were taught at school. Even if the same information is given out, the way it is offered might be different (especially in a subject like math, for example), and of course, technology will play a big part. This can mean that some parents who want to be more involved in their child’s education just don’t know how.
If this is the case for you, the best thing you can do is to reach out to your child’s teacher. Find out exactly what – and how – they are being taught so you can be of more assistance when they need extra information at home. Plus, you don’t want to give your child out of date information that will only cause them problems in class, even if all you wanted to do was to help them out at home.
Speaking to your child’s teacher is a good practice to get into; it will help to determine any issues before they become too much of a problem, and it will give you more confidence when it comes to helping your child do better at school as well.
Let Them Make Mistakes
It can be hard to watch your child making mistakes, and many parents will automatically step in to prevent this from happening. This might be the emotionally correct thing to do, but it’s not necessarily the most useful thing in terms of learning. If a child never makes a mistake, they’ll never work out the right way to do things. If they’re always told what to do, they’ll never think for themselves.
Mistakes are actually important for children, and as much as parents might want to protect them from those mistakes, that could actually hinder their progress rather than boost it (even if their grades are good as a result).
In other words, you need to trust your child to do what they are meant to do and trust that they will ask for help if and when they need it.
Talk To Your Child
Something that would help a lot of parents and children when it comes to doing better at school is communication. Parents need to talk to their children rather than simply assuming they know the situation and what should be done. And children need to be comfortable talking to their parents about any issues they might have. Equally, a child should be able to let their parents know they don’t need any help and are quite happy to get on with their learning in their own way.
However, this also means that parents need to understand their children and notice when things are perhaps not going as smoothly as they might like. This will give them the opportunity to have a conversation about that and get to the heart of any issues.
All in all, two-way communication is a vital factor when it comes to helping your child do better at school, no matter how academically minded they might be.