Regardless of where your children attend school, you can help their education from home. Whether your child is attending public, private, online, or virtual school, you can support and help them in the same ways.
Healthy Start to the Day
Give your children a healthy start to the day. First, make sure they are getting enough rest. Children need a lot of sleep and it’s up to the parents or guardians to make sure they get it. Decide on a healthy bedtime by counting backward from the time they need to get up. Add some extra time because we all know they won’t fall asleep immediately. Explain the importance of getting enough sleep and make it clear that bedtime is not negotiable.
Children also need to start their day with healthy, nourished bodies. While cereal and granola bars make a quick and easy breakfast, they aren’t the healthiest options. Make sure your child’s breakfast includes protein and isn’t full of sugar. A breakfast of sugary cereal like fruit loops is not ideal and stresses their little bodies and brains.
Teach Study Habits and Organization
Lost homework, missed assignments, and forgotten papers all lead to bad grades and poor performance. Help your children learn better and easier by teaching them how to study and be better organized. Study skills like taking notes, listening carefully, and learning how to manage time are hard for young children to learn. As your kids get older, they will be able to do these things better, but young children will need a lot of encouragement and reminders.
Organization is also something that you can start teaching young with a lot of support. With very young children, organization will take the form of instilling habits. For example, every day your child can bring their backpack to you as soon as they come home so you can check for papers, notes, and homework. As your child gets older this habit of daily checking in will already be established.
It also helps to have a designated place and time for homework. For some children, this may not be able to occur directly after they arrive home if they have sports practice or music lessons, but whatever time you choose should be consistent and well-known to the child.
Support your children in their schoolwork by enforcing homework times, requiring homework to be important in your family, and showing interest in their work. Some parents pay their children for good grades, just as they pay them for household chores or extra tasks. Others find this distracts from the love of learning and prefer to encourage effort and participation by talking about their work and showing their pride. If neither of these strategies, try to hire outside help like tutors or writers from best essay writing service reddit. Either way, you are showing that your children’s lives and educations are important to you and that their efforts are valuable.
Don’t do Their Work
While it’s helpful to show support for your children and help them with their homework when needed, it’s just as important to make sure you aren’t doing the work for them. If your children have difficult assignments for a science project or a report, it can be tempting to help them too much in order to have a more impressive product. This usually backfires as the teachers can always tell that the work wasn’t done by the child. In addition, your child misses out on the learning experience, which is, of course, the whole point.
Encourage a Love of Learning
A love of learning will help your child in school more than all the sticker charts, rewards, and praise ever could. Every child is born to love learning. That’s why babies and toddlers are so curious about the world around them.
One of the best ways you help your children retain their love of learning is to model it. So many children think that learning happens only in school, and is only for children. Model a love of learning by being interested in many things, and talking about them with your children. Visit museums, zoos, and other educational places as a family, and learn together. When you go on vacation, learn what you can while you are traveling and share what you have learned.
Another way to encourage your child to love learning is by expressing interest in their interests. Some children lose their desire to learn because they have been inadvertently taught that their interests and passions aren’t important. If your child loves collecting rocks, buy books and kits that help them in that interest. If they love reading, buy books for them and ask about what they are reading. If they love sports, encourage them to learn about their favorite game’s history and famous players.
Help Your Kids Love Reading
Reading at home is the single greatest indicator of educational success. This is more important than family income, the quality of their schools, and parental education. Encourage a love of reading by buying books, having magazine subscriptions, and visiting the library. Let your children see you reading a variety of materials yourself, and when you read something particularly interesting or funny, don’t be afraid to share it with them by reading a section aloud.
For young children, read-aloud time is important. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, reading aloud to young children has a dramatic and lasting effect on their future.
Limit Screen Time
Limiting screen time can help your children be more creative, passionate, and interested in the world around them. It also helps their physical health and the development of their eyes. Parents limit screen time through a variety of methods, such as setting time limits, using screen time as a reward for completing homework and chores, and limiting screen use to specific times of the day. Especially limit screen use right before bedtime as it makes it harder for children (and adults!) to fall asleep and have quality sleep.