Being busy is no excuse for not being involved in your child’s school life. It might just require a need to become more organized, to organize your child’s life better, and to set the right priorities. But, once you instill the value of education in your child, he will require less monitoring and less effort on your part.
Here are the seven ways to become more involved in your child’s school life and instill the value of education:
- Keep in touch with your child’s teacher and other school personnel Give your child’s teacher and principal both your cell phone number and your landline number. Let them know that you value your child’s education and that you will be playing an active role in it.
- Tell the teacher that you want to know when your child is behaving well as well as when his behavior is troublesome. Let your child’s teacher know that you are interested in knowing when he is behaving as expected and applying himself as well as when his behavior is posing a problem. Keep in mind that both you and his teacher will get more of the behavior that is recognized and given attention to.
- Designate a certain time each day for your child to engage in educational activities regardless of whether or not he has homework. Set aside at least an hour each day during the week for educational activities. Let the child know that this is the time to engage in educational activities (including computer games) whether or not he has been assigned homework. Make sure he understands this is a fun time for learning and that homework is not to be viewed as drudgery or punishment.
- Expand on your child’s learning experience by taking the child to the library or other outside institutions or events. Look for opportunities to expand on your child learning outside of school. If your child is having a unit on geography, a great way to expand on this subject would be to take him to the natural history museum. Here he would have an opportunity to look at the countries or parts of the world that he is learning about in class from a different perspective.
- Find TV programs that extend your child’s learning which you can watch together. At the beginning of the week, look at the TV guide and identify some TV programs that you and your child will watch together. Let this be a program on the history channel, geography channel, or even a movie, but have a conversation about it later.
- Talk to your child about the subjects you enjoyed best and found easy to grasp and those which you didn’t like and had the most difficulty with. Don’t hesitate to bring yourself into your child’s learning experience. Let the child know what subjects you enjoyed best in school — what gave you joy in learning and both what was easy as well as what was difficult. Let him know that it’s OK to experience difficulty learning a subject, but that the difficulty can be overcome with effort and determination.
- Help your child understand that learning is a lifelong activity and help your child to find the joy in learning. Let the child see you reading whether it’s for pleasure or just for information. Be a role model when it comes to reading. And, let the child know that you view learning as a fun-filled lifetime experience which will always be a part of your lifestyle.