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.
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.
Get to Know Your Children’s Teachers and School
Make an effort to introduce yourself to your children’s teachers. Let them know that you take your children’s education seriously, and that they can come to you with any concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask the teachers questions about your children’s performance in class or interactions with other children. 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.
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.
Talk to Your Children About What They are Learning at School
Anderson says, “Communicating openly about school is one of the best ways to ensure that your children are on the right track.” Discussing school early on will help your children feel comfortable talking to you during those difficult high school years. It will also allow you to determine which areas your children are doing well in and where they may need more help. It can also help you find out what your children are passionate about.
Emphasize the Value of Homework
“Making homework a priority is an essential part of achieving success in school,” says Anderson. “One of the best ways to emphasize the importance of homework is to create rules.” For example, you and your children could establish “homework time,” a specific time of day dedicated solely to homework. You could also create a rule requiring that homework is done before your children get to watch TV or play video games. Simple rules like these help ensure that your children’s homework actually gets done.
Another way to stress the significance of homework is by providing an environment conducive to studying. This means creating a quiet area with no distractions. It should contain all of the supplies that your children need to complete their assignments. This way your children will not get distracted when searching for something they need. If possible, this study area should be used only for studying and can be a special area specifically for your children.
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 Your Children to Read
“The ability to read well and understand what is being read are two of the most valuable skills a child can develop,” says Anderson. Encourage your children to read for fun and teach them the importance of understanding a paragraph before moving on to the next one. These tips will not only help your children be successful in school, but in life as well.
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 Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.