While your child may have already adjusted to their new back-to-school routine, waking up for school each and every morning doesn’t necessarily imply that your child truly understands why they go to school in the first place (especially the younger children).
For some children, school is just seen as a dreaded and mechanical obligation more than an opportunity to enrich his or her mind. Viewing school so negatively at an early age can have serious long-term consequences—your child may begin to lose motivation at an early age, may drop of high school if given the chance, or may choose not to pursue a higher education.
Whatever the case, it’s important that parents don’t place the entire burden of explaining why having a strong foundation in education is imperative on their child’s school teacher. Parents should take the initiative to teach their children how school can actually benefit them in the future—it’s not just something that is done to occupy their time.
While there are many different approaches, below are some simple ways you can make sure that school always resonates well with your child.
1. Talk about School in a Positive Light. First and foremost it’s important that you never talk about education or school in a way that your child will start to develop a bad stigma about the idea of school or a particular subject. Prime example, if math was not your strongest subject in school (and if even grade school math makes your teeth cringe) don’t go on and on about how you hate the subject.
The truth of the matter is that younger children like to imitate. If you continue to voice how much you hate math, your child may just start to hate math as well.
You also don’t ever want to treat school as if it’s some sort of tedious and annoying thing. For example, you may get annoyed that you have to rush after work to pick up your child from football or theater practice every other day, but try to keep comments about how you hate having to rush to a minimum.
The same idea can be applied if you have to leave an event early that you brought your family to because your child has to study for a social studies test for example. School should come first anyway. Instead, focus your energy on teaching your child various studying techniques that you learned growing up.
2. Participate in School Activities. This can include far more than the obvious choice—joining the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). Accompany your child to school sporting events (if they are not on the team); accompany your child to the school play; volunteer at the school library; work as a chaperone for the school dance; join the booster club; or help out for a fundraising event. Your involvement can be even as minor as attending “open house” during the first few weeks of school.
It’s understandable that some parents will have more time to participate /attend more events than others, but try your very best to contribute even a miniscule of your time. However you choose to be “involved” your participation can really encourage your child to get more involved themselves—if they see that their parents care, they’ll care as well.
As a bonus, building stronger relationships with teachers and administrators can enable you to monitor your child’s progress more closely.
3. Share your School Stories—the Good and the Bad. Lastly, and most importantly, it’s important that you are open about the experiences you had in school, no matter if they were good ones or bad ones. If they were the latter, you can still manage to explain how your hard work and determination enabled you to get into college and then eventually earn a degree and get the job that you love. Or, you can use this time to thoroughly explain where you think you messed up (maybe you didn’t get the chance to attend college) and how you want your child to have more opportunities.
Your child will feel motivated after hearing that you struggled and survived school or that having a good education really is in their best interest.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.