Active Parents take education seriously. They understand that it is about more than just grades; it is about developing an appetite for learning. When a child’s curiosity is sparked, when they get real pleasure from discovering something they did not know, or reading a poem that moves them emotionally, or experiencing the joy of the “a-ha” moment when it all comes together and they “get it,” or creating something with their own hands and mind that never existed before, a child has a good chance of becoming a lifelong learner. They have a good chance of thriving. Here are 3 tips to help you foster this love of learning in your child.
1. Support your child's school and teachers
There are a ton of things that go into a child's academic performance, but the one that over 200 studies identify as the most important is "Parents' involvement in the child's learning." While this can mean a lot of things, it starts with showing up. Go to parent-teacher nights and meetings, volunteer, and participate in moving your child's school in a good direction.
Also support the the teachers educating your child. Everyone needs encouragement, especially teachers. When you make the effort to show appreciation to teacher their spirits lift and they teach at a higher level. They are also more willing to attend to your specific child's needs. Take the opportunity at open houses and parent-teacher meetings to ask them about themselves before jumping into academics. Remember that teachers are people like you. They like to share with people they find supportive and genuinely interested in them. Be one of those people and you will find that everybody comes out ahead.
2. Structure homework time
Kids like homework as much as teachers like grading it, not very much. That's why it's important that you structure a time and space for your child to get their work done. Setting up an area and specific time for your child to do homework helps them create good habits. When they get home they don't need to make a decision on what to do next, it's homework and then they can play. Anywhere can be a homework space as long as it's free from distractions like TV or loud music, a little background music is fine if that helps your child focus.
3. Monitor and limit your child's media
With the explosion of technology, we are constantly connected with people near and far. Every day, new websites, apps, games and devices come out and they have shaped the way we learn and find information. But with great power comes great responsibility, and new media can be distracting and dangerous. Active Parents filter and limit what they can, but they realize that the best filter is the child’s own brain. So they also teach their children how to make good decisions for themselves. You can do this by making specific "family internet guidelines" and talking to your kids about the proper use of the internet.
These three tips will help set your child up for success and are just a portion of the 6th chapter of Active Parenting 4th Edition that focuses on school success. For more information and tips check out a full parenting course.