There’s lots of research that shows children of all ages do better at school when parents take an active role in their education. In our annual parent survey many parents told us that although they already get involved at school regularly, they want to do even more to support their child’s education, but don’t always know how. Here are a few ideas:
1. Reading with tweenagers
Whatever your child’s age, there are lots of easy ways to make reading part of daily life – don’t assume they’ve moved on from stories at bedtime, but if they have, find other ways of reading together, like a family book club or discussing the news at mealtimes. And make sure your child sees you reading for pleasure too.
2. Talk positively about education
Children are like sponges, soaking up huge amounts of what their family, friends and teachers say and do. So whether school was a good experience for you or not, talking positively about it can raise your child’s aspirations. Let them know you believe there are no limits to what they can do, and who they can be – it will really encourage them to work hard and enjoy school.
3. Immerse yourself in school life
Get to know your child’s school and how it works, and think about how you can make a difference. Establishing a good relationship with teachers is a great way to find out how to support your child at home and also shows your child that you are interested in their school life and learning. Sign up to the school newsletter, app or Facebook page, visit the website, respond to surveys and communicate with the school in a way that suits you.
4. Bring learning into everyday activities
Look out for everyday opportunities to have little conversations with your child about your own learning successes, the rewards that come from being persistent, and encourage your child to ask questions and use critical thinking skills. Making a meal together, having a games night or going on a museum trip are all great opportunities for learning.
5. Supporting homework
Supporting your child with their homework can be as simple as setting up a quiet area for them to work, providing good snacks and refreshments, being available if they have any questions, or praising hard work and effort. As well as helping them, you’ll get to know a bit more about what they are learning and how they’re getting on.