Parents are always their children’s greatest supporters and their biggest influence when it comes to education.
When parents are actively engaged in the education of their children, studies show that they are more likely to succeed both socially and academically. Research also shows that children are more likely to attend school regularly, have better behaviour and social skills, go on to higher level education and get more top marks in tests.
This last factor is especially important with the new changes to NAPLAN testing that affected students in 2017. Some parents, especially parents with children that have struggles reading, or have dyslexia, believe that if their children don’t sit this test, it’s no big deal.
However, this test is necessary for the government to update teaching and learning programs, and establish the standard of education. This standard of teaching can predict the future wealth of a nation, so experts believe that it’s important for all children to sit this test.
To help your children achieve good marks in this examination and, in turn, have the best education possible, below are some tips that you can use to improve your child’s learning process.
Establish a daily routine
It’s important for children to have a daily homework routine, which is flexible enough to take into consideration any after-school activities they like to participate in.
It’s essential that your child does some reading on a daily basis, as this practice helps children with dyslexia to develop literacy skills. If your child becomes frustrated, reading along with them helps them understand and enjoy what they are reading.
Some important things to establish in this routine are as follows:
- Check and monitor their work – Learning how to check their own work will give them more independence in the future.
- Organise their routine – Developing a comprehensive homework plan which includes homework as well as revision, will help them be organised and not fall behind on schoolwork. It’s important that you encourage them to keep school notes organised, and to write down their homework tasks accurately.
Make learning enjoyable
It’s true for everyone that if we’re not enjoying doing something, we are either not going to do it, or not do a great job of it. Therefore, setting a good example for your children is vital, as children pick up habits from their parents.
Planning, persistence, and organisation are all qualities that are honed in exactly this way. Homework can be difficult or annoying sometimes, so how to get through it? A good tip is to start out setting clear objectives from the beginning and sticking with the plan.
Teach your children how to manage their tasks from an early age, thereby creating an organised and positive relationship with schoolwork.
You can schedule a certain time each day for your children to do their homework, and have this develop into a daily routine. If they need help, you can assist them in getting them through the work without doing it for them, and work your way back to the sidelines as they start building confidence.
It’s important to remember that some kids will need more help than others, so don’t get frustrated if you feel your child is taking longer to complete a homework assignment. Don’t forget to show interest in their work, and always reward and praise them for a job well done.
Practical tips: The daily homework routine should have a set time limit. It’s no use for your kid to sit on the table for hours just staring at a page and getting increasingly frustrated. Depending on their age and how much help they need, set a time of around 30 minutes to an hour and stick to it.
Distractions should be kept to a minimum, as your child should be engaged in what they are doing. To build their confidence, try not to tell them what’s wrong outright, but have them figure out on their own with some assistance from you.
Talk to each other about your day
If your child talks openly about their day with you, they’re more likely to achieve greater educational outcomes. Your daily discussions should not be limited to school work or school activities; it can include TV programs or films they are interested in.
Since children model your behaviour, you can talk about what happened during your day, workshopping your problems and outcomes so they can do the same.
Practical tips: You can start by speaking in the car, as there is no direct eye contact and this can help initiate the conversation. If you do not have a car, then the dinner table is a great option. If they seem reluctant about starting the conversation, a great question to ask is “What was the worst part of your day?”
Read with your child
Research has shown that when parents regularly read out loud with their children, this helps them develop and do better at school. It’s vital that you don’t stop reading with your kids when they start school, as this helps them to focus on a task, and enjoy stories.
Making mistakes while reading is fine, as this shows that we’re all human and making mistakes is fine and not the end of the world.
Practical tips: Grab a book and start reading to your child. It doesn’t matter if the book is school reader level, as it can actually help if the book is something more developed. A more developed book will introduce your kid to new words and therefore broaden their vocabulary.
Involve them and yourself in after-school activities
Getting involved in their after-school activities shows that you have a positive attitude towards school, and your child will mimic that enthusiasm. If you are engaged in school activities, this will also give you a chance to know what’s going on at school.
Practical Tips: School should be more than just a drop-off and pick up zone. Get into conversations with fellow parents and fellow teachers. Try to lend a hand during any school activities, so you are more aware of what is going on in your child’s life.
Is your child struggling with reading? Share your tips in the comments.