We all know that a great education can lead to a great future. As parents, you can help to ensure your children’s success by taking an active role in their education. While technology is the way of the future, many parents may feel uncomfortable with the unknown aspects of the virtual learning process. A little effort can go a long way when it comes to setting your children up for a success. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Dedicate a Learning Space
The flexibility of online education is a big draw for families with children who thrive in non-traditional learning models. That flexibility, though, can lead to some unhealthy habits if the proper boundaries are not put in place. People thrive in spaces dedicated to specific activities; the association of a specific setting with a specific task primes your brain for focus and execution of the task. Your child’s setting for education should be clean, neat, and free of distractions. Their bed or the couch in front of the TV are not recommended. Work together to find an ideal solution conducive to your child’s learning style.
Help Build Good Habits
Virtual learning presents the opportunity to teach good habits that will follow your children through life and enable their success. The less restrictive format of online learning does not mean that students can succeed without a schedule. Building a calendar and teaching your children self-accountability will go a long way. Regular check-ins of their progress are important as well. However, do not fall into a trap of completing their education for them. Virtual learning is a perfect opportunity for teaching your young adult self-reliance, an important lesson in life that many miss out on.
Communicate Early and Often
As with all things, communication is key to success for the digital school experience. Do not allow the computer screen to become a wall between you and your children’s experience. Keep talking to your children and to their instructors, just as you would with traditional, in-person school. Keep talking about school as part of the daily routine. Encourage your children to share their passions and interests as they learn and explore. By actively engaging with them, they will feel more comfortable engaging with you. The goal is to create a partnership with your children’s teachers, so your children can be as successful as possible.
This is probably the most difficult lesson for any parent. Virtual learning can be a strange factor to adapt to as a family. It puts a lot more accountability on children and requires much more trust throughout the family.
According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Oak Creek and Wauwatosa, “Children are more likely to be successful in school if their parents encourage learning and participate in their education.” Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Help Your Children Set Educational Goals
Setting educational goals can be a fun activity, because it encourages your children to envision their future. You can set short-term as well as long-term educational goals with help from their teachers. Ask them what they want to be when they grow up, and explain how doing well in school will help them achieve their dreams.
It may be difficult watching your children struggle with homework problems, but it is important to give them a chance to solve problems before offering help. If your children are able to answer questions without help, it can provide the confidence they need to solve more complex problems on their own.
Encourage Learning Year-Round
Encouraging your children to learn during summer and winter breaks will help them retain the information they learned during the previous school year and prep them for the upcoming year. However, there has to be a balance. During breaks from school, emphasize fun, active learning. Take a trip to the library to let your children pick out books they are interested in or visit local museums. Take nature hikes and identify birds and plants. There are many ways to make learning fun outside of school. Simply find out what your children are passionate about and help them explore it.
Lead by Example
You are your children’s best teacher. If you show an interest in learning, your children may, too. Show your children how cool it is to be smart. Encourage them to ask you questions while you are performing tasks such as cooking or changing the oil in your car. These are all learning experiences, so take advantage of them.
Education is one of the most important investments you can make for your children. Taking the time to interact with your children and your children’s teachers is a great way to stay in the loop. By showing an interest in your children’s education, you are showing them how important it is. The attention you give your children can spark enthusiasm and encourage them to achieve their dreams. According to Anderson, “The most important way to make sure that your children succeed in school is to just be there for them.”
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers free Parenting Talks and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Oak Creek and West Allis/Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 .