Parental involvement acts as a strong motivator with regards to a child’s performance in school. There is no specific reason for this, but one could conclude that when a child knows their parents care how well they’re doing, they want to try harder to impress. With that said, it’s certainly worth investing some time in proving your commitment to your child’s education, using the following tips from an independent school in the UK.
Communicate with Teachers
With the start of a new academic year rapidly approaching, there’s no better time to introduce yourself to your child’s new teachers and let them know that you would like to be kept in the loop about your child’s education throughout the year, not just at Parents’ Evening. Between you, you should be able to come up with the best solution on how you would like to communicate, such as monthly face to face meetings or weekly emails. Regular communication with your child’s teachers will not only help you monitor their development but will also show your child that you are fully committed to supporting their academic journey.
Attend School Events
Of course, attending Parents’ Evening is a given because it’s a chance for you to find out more about your child’s progress in each subject, but you should also endeavour to attend other events at the school, such as plays, sporting events and school fetes. In doing so, you will demonstrate to your child that you have a strong interest in what they’re getting up to at school, not just in an academic sense but in terms of their extra-curricular pursuits as well. If you have the time, you could even volunteer to chaperone a school trip.
Talk About School with Your Child
At the end of each day, it’s important that you have a chat with your child about what happened at school. Try not to stick to the same mundane questions every day, as the conversation will quickly become stale. You should also try and ask open-ended questions that require more than a one-word answer. Here are some examples of things you could ask your child:
- Which lessons did you have today?
- Which was your favourite lesson today? Why?
- What did you learn about in English/History/Music?
- How did you spend your lunch break today?
- Who did you sit next to in Maths/Science/Geography? What are they like?
It doesn’t have to be a long conversation but showing that you are genuinely interested in what goes on in your child’s school life will go a long way.
Help With Homework
Where possible, try and be present when your child is completing their homework so that they have someone to turn to for support should they need it. If they are struggling with a homework task and don’t have anyone to ask for help, they are far more likely to give up in frustration than if they have someone to help calm them down and work through the activities. Avoid taking over and doing the homework on your child’s behalf, because then the teachers won’t know that your child is struggling. Instead, provide some guidance and perhaps find a different way to word the questions. Sometimes all it takes is a little confidence boost and a push in the right direction. You should also try and emphasise that homework should be prioritised over leisure time and household chores, so that your child knows how highly you regard their schoolwork.
Set Up a Study Space in Your Home
Make sure your child has an appropriate environment in your home where they can complete their homework and exam revision. This space should be free from distractions, like the TV or their games consoles, because they won’t be able to focus their full attention on their schoolwork. The rest of the family should also be respectful and let your child have some peace and quiet whilst they’re doing their homework.
Whilst there’s so much more you can do to become more involved in your child’s education, these tips are a great starting point to take a more proactive approach in your child’s life.