Helping Your Child with School
Now that the school year is well under way it may be time to reflect on what parents can do to assist teachers with their child’s learning. Following are some guidelines that may assist you to support your child:
Check their homework, and then ask them to explain it to you
It’s not enough to just get the answers right. To make sure your children aren’t guessing or spitting back memorised information, ask them to explain what they did and why. Even if parents don’t understand quite what their child has done, you know that they have completed the task. If your child has to actually explain what they’re doing it lets you know your child’s level of understanding and also helps them learn more deeply.
Don’t compare your child with others
This applies to all children, but is especially important with those who have learning disabilities or other special needs. Don’t put pressure on your child to be just like the child down the street. There’s no such thing as the child that’s like every other child. Everyone is different. Children all have strengths and weaknesses, they all have talents and challenges.
Middle School and Senior School are not the time to take a more hands-off approach
Just because your children are getting older doesn’t mean it’s time to put them on autopilot. This is the point in their lives when they’re trying to sort out who they are. Peer pressure is intense and their connectedness to school can wane. When drugs, bullying, peer pressure and skipping class become more rampant, that’s when your teenagers really need you, your support and wisdom and your rules and values. Remember they are always looking out the corner of their eye to see what you are thinking and how you are reacting. You show them how an adult deals with life.
Don’t do everything for your child
Sometimes it’s faster to do things yourself than wait for your child to complete a task. But by doing everything for them, you’re not preparing them to take care of themselves. If your child is having trouble with something, such as organising his bag, stand next to him and have him do it while you talk him through the process. This goes for time management as well. Parents can empower their children to think for themselves and be more responsible for themselves. They need to figure out: How do I juggle all of the activities and classes but not have to rely on Mum and Dad to step in?
Ask about your child’s day
Stay involved in your child’s education. Even small things, like asking them what they did in school, can be the difference between a child who unplugs at the end of the day and one who continues thinking about what was learned. If a student goes home and everyone says one thing they did that day, repeating it to anyone else in the house will help them remember it. If they say, “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know,” ask them something specific: “What did you do in Science today,” something that will get them talking about what they have learnt.
Proverbs 22:6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Mr Adrian Scott