The importance of keeping your child’s education on track
Even if you’re not pushing your child to be a doctor or a lawyer, it’s important not to underestimate a quality education or the work they perform at school. School is, in a way, the first job any of us will ever work – and while it’s not an accurate predictor of future success, diligence in class often does translate to adulthood.
In the here and now, finding out which classes your child enjoys most can offer valuable insight into their interests. For example, do they prefer art or math? Freedom or structure? One encourages creativity with no wrong answers, and the other values logic and routine.
Alternatively, which subjects do they struggle with? Helping your child with difficult assignments can be a valuable bonding exercise, encouraging for the child, and confidence building, especially when practiced with a parent who is patient and willing to answer questions. Children will often appreciate the time set aside for them, and their grades will see an improvement as well.
A sudden drop in grades could also be an indication that something is wrong. Is your child no longer enjoying classes that they used to? Are they struggling to focus? Paying attention to their schoolwork can act as a diagnostic tool of sorts, alerting you to your child’s needs even if they appear to be doing fine outside of school.
Signs your child’s education may be falling behind
Having said that, how do you know if your child’s education is falling behind, especially if they won’t tell you?
The easiest way to tell is by regularly checking in with their teacher. Schools hold regular parent and teacher conferences for this exact reason.
Even subtle shifts in mood, or a sudden lack of interest in things they previously enjoyed, could be indications, however.
Strategies for supporting your child’s learning at home.
Supporting your child’s education from the house can be as simple as ensuring they’re eating proper meals and letting them know they have a parent they can always turn to for help.
Encouraging your child to read more, can help expand their vocabulary. If your child doesn’t enjoy reading or claims they struggle, perhaps they simply haven’t found a book that interests them or a subject they enjoy yet. Try spending time perusing books at the library together, or offer to read with or to them and host at-home discussions about the material.
Limiting screen time can also be beneficial, especially in America, where the average child spends more time on computers, cell phones, and television sets than they do on homework. Try offering to play a favorite video game together or watching a new and highly anticipated movie as a reward for overcoming difficult assignments or good grades.
And finally, try encouraging active learning. Not all of a child’s education has to take place in a classroom setting. Investing in a new hobby, going to a museum, or even teaching them important life skills such as cooking can be very efficient at encouraging children to grow and learn!