For a parent who values education, seeing your child enthralled by a book or happily engaged in a science fair project is deeply rewarding. Here are a few ideas to promote your child’s academic success during the school-age years and beyond:
Set an example. Demonstrate the joy of learning by including books, concerts and museums in your everyday life. Remember, you are your child’s primary role model. Take time to explore your world and you’ll soon see your child doing the same.
Talk about school. Express interest in what your child learns each day. Ask open-ended questions such as, “What was your favorite part of school today?” A child who hears positive messages about school is more likely to enjoy learning.
Seize the teachable moment. Make the most of informal teaching opportunities. Count lunch money with your kindergartener, chart a road trip with your fifth-grader or discuss current events with your teen. Applying real-life skills produces practical and self-sufficient individuals.
Limit TV time. While the average American home has a television on for about six hours a day, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children watch no more than two hours daily. Rather than passively watching a video screen, try reading a book or playing a board game.
Provide teaching materials. If your child falls behind in certain subjects, you can help by providing teaching materials such as flash cards, games or educational computer programs. Contact your child’s teacher for guidance and additional resources.
Encourage and support. We are all wired differently. Some people love mathematics, while others are great writers. Remind your child that it’s OK not to excel at everything, and that certain skills require extra work and practice. Make sure to acknowledge when your child does something well.