Parents are their child’s first and often most important teacher. Parental support is important to helping kids get grounded and stay on track on academic success. Ill share a few ideas you can employ in 2018 in order to support your kids this school year.
Attending school events
Kids do better when parents are involved in their school activities such as sports days, drama events, music gala, Christmas concerts etc. It’s also a great way to know the teacher more and find out how your child is doing. You can take advantage of the opportunity to stay up to date with school policies, new policies and any changes happening within the education sector.
Support their homework expectation
Homework is an extension of classroom lessons and are designed to help children develop their skills beyond the class. I mean this should be the ideal situation unlike what are Kenyan teachers use it for- punishment mode or rote learning. The important thing is to tell let your child know that homework is a priority. You need to monitor their progress and be available to help but do not do it for them. Remember, learning from mistakes is part of the educational process.
Sick kids especially preschoolers should definitely stay home. However, as long as your child is feeling well, encourage them to be in school on time every day. Consistent attendance is a huge contributor to your child’s performance in academics, promotes discipline and provides opportunities for learning and bonding with other kids. In 2017, my son missed lots of lesson due to illness which resulted to affected performance in class. I had to put in time to help him out with homework and schoolwork. I realised it true that if a child is missing a lot in school, catching up with classwork and homework may put them under lots of stress.
Talk about their school day
Check in with your child about their school day every day. Take the time to talk and let your child know that it’s also important to you. Ask questions that need more than a yes/no answer to encourage them to talk more. Good examples include:
Tell me something good or bad that happened at school today
What did you learn today that you did not know yesterday?
Did you make a new friend today?
Encourage conversations when picking them up from school, at the dinner table or take a few minutes before bedtime and talk.
READ, READ, READ
Their class teacher will almost always emphasize the importance of reading or studying every single day. So should a parent. Creating 15 minutes every day to read with your child will form a good bonding experience and build their vocabulary, literacy and language skills that lead to later success. Check with your child’s teacher for a book list recommendation and sight words your child can practice.
Escort them to the bus or take them to school
Last year, I began a routine of escorting my four year old son to school, instead of the house help. Little did I know the effect it would have on him. He became a happier child and proud to show me off to his friends at the bus stop. It became a 10 minute session of bonding and interacting with him at the start to his day. The feeling of watching him get onto the bus and waving goodbye became a highlight to starting my day right. In spite of a busy schedule, parents should commit at least one day of the week to do this and see the rewards of it.