Parents are a child’s first and most influential teachers. Children’s lives begin at home and throughout their formative years, most of their time is spent there and its where a surprising amount of education can take place. Parents can help kids excel academically by taking the following steps:
1. Quality Time Together
Every parent is busy and has demands to meet. Despite those demands, it’s vital that parents carve out quality time to spend with each child. During this time, parents should ask their children about their day and about their studies. Every parent needs to take an active, interested role in the life of his or her children in order to nurture that child’s academic prowess.
2. A Supportive Home Environment
Every child needs a safe place where he or she feels loved and accepted no matter what. Parents should focus on creating such an environment at home. Stressful home environments where yelling, bickering or fighting are common can cause emotional distress and hinder a child’s academic abilities.
3. Unconditional Encouragement
Whether a child is a straight-A student or has difficulty passing classes, that child needs to hear words of encouragement from a parent. Parents can help their children do their best by complimenting each child and showing unconditional positive regard.
4. Communication with Teachers
Involved parents are able to help the children excel by communicating with teachers and other educators. At minimum, parents need to attend regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences. Keeping open lines of communication with teachers and a child’s school helps parents learn more readily when and if academic issues arise.
5. Monitoring Study Habits
Kids will be kids, and few of them actually enjoy studying. Parents need to monitor their children’s study habits and help them get assignments completed. This doesn’t mean that parents have to have all the answers or be able to do a child’s algebra homework. It does mean that parents take the time to make sure kids are studying rather than playing computer games. Providing small rewards such as a snack or active playtime between study segments can help to motivate and encourage struggling students.
Education begins at home. While parents send their children to school to learn even more, paying attention and remaining involved in a child’s education can help kids excel in any classroom.