Supporting your child’s early education can be a vital component to his or her school success. Your support can make a difference in how your children think and feel about learning from the time they enter preschool. The following are some suggestions on how you can support your child’s early education:
Talk with your child about the importance of going to school. Make sure your child understands that an education is what leads to a good career and success in life. It is vital to start telling children this at a young age so it can become a part of their value system-in other words, a part of who they are and become. Also, let your child know about the consequences of not having an education. The attitude you express about education will affect how your child perceives school.
Read to your child daily. Knowing how to read is the most important of all academic subjects. It is literally a handicap to not be able to read. Our society is full of written language, and if you can’t read, you will have a difficult time doing anything. Read to your children books that they would enjoy and would love to hear over and over again. Repetition will help children start to recognize words and their sounds. In time, they will be able to read the book that you have repeatedly read to them.
Play academic games with your child. Children can have fun and learn at the same time. Some academic games include: dominos, matching/sorting games, and mathematical flash cards.
Attend your child’s open house. The open house is a chance for you to see your child’s work. It also makes your children feel good to see that you are interested in what they are doing.
Offer to volunteer and share ideas with your child’s teacher. See if you can help the teacher out during school. Share some activities you or the teacher can do in the classroom. Volunteering in the classroom is a great way to see how your child is doing in school.
Let your child’s teacher know about any physical, socio-emotional and cognitive concerns you may have about your child. Being up front about your concerns will give the teacher an idea as to what to expect from the child and also gives the teacher the chance to see if there need to be changes made in the teaching style or material presented.
Attend parent meetings. Parent association meetings provide a wonderful opportunity to give feedback on the program and any ideas you might have. At such meetings, parents usually talk about upcoming activities such as field trips, fundraisers and classroom projects. These meetings also give you a chance to meet other parents.
Have ongoing communication with your child’s teacher. Find out how your child is doing. What are your child’s strengths and weaknesses? What can you do to further enhance your child’s learning experience?
Further educate your child by reinforcing the school’s curriculum at home. For example, if the teacher is talking about animals you could take your child to the zoo. Discuss the name of each animal and what type of food it eats. You may be surprised how many enriching activities your community has to offer.
Attend parent-teacher conferences. Make every effort to be at your child’s conference. Consider it a priority. These conferences give your child’s teacher the opportunity to review with you, one on one, how your child is performing academically. Your presence may be an important factor in deciding what happens next in your child’s education. It also gives you another opportunity to consult with your child’s teacher regarding any questions or concerns you may have.
You are making a big difference in your child’s life by taking an active role in his or her education. Start today (if you haven’t already) by mapping a plan on steps you are going to take to support your child’s education.