Parents and teachers partnering up to enrich the learning experience.
Choosing your child’s school is only the first step in a parent’s participation in the learning process. Besides supporting their teachers, parents can be very instrumental in helping their children succeed by working in productive partnership with their child and school.
Below are eight every day and long-term things that can help:
Each child is unique and has their own individual learning style – whether visually, auditory or sensorial. Work with their teachers on how to encourage your child’s individual learning style at home.
Make sure they get to bed on time and have nine to 10 hours of sleep. And a protein-rich breakfast is a must. Encourage personal responsibility by helping them be prepared with the right supplies to participate fully in classroom activities.
- An Encouraging Environment at Home
Students learn through positive and encouraging environments, rather than through negative remarks or what can be seen as a threatening environment. Parents can help their child to progress faster by asking their children every day about their learning in a supportive and non-judgemental way. Helping with homework, listening to your children’s concerns and praising their efforts, will go a long way.
- Read with Your Child
Studies have shown that children who are read to six or seven times per week are more likely to have better literacy and numeracy skills. With small children, choose a book and read to them. For older children, possibly set up a family book club as a time to read together.
- Attend Parent/Teacher Conferences
Whether your child is gifted, right in the middle of the pack or needs some extra attention, your attendance at one-on-one meetings with their teacher will provide you with insight about their capabilities and can also help in choosing the next steps. With some children, for whom learning in general is challenging, meetings and open dialogue with staff offering specialist support from school is essential.
This might include an additional teacher who is offering one-to-one support or discrete lessons outside of the classroom, or even consultation with a speech therapist, physiotherapist or psychologist.
- Remind Children about Their Individual Aims
In this way students can be aware of their goals, take ownership of their progress and be aware and proud of their achievements. Many practitioners hold the belief that success in itself, and the praise and recognition of others in turn, generates higher levels of motivation and further success. Parents taking part in this process through quiet persistence and practice with their child can enhance and enrich their learning experience. They needn’t be experts in the most effective teaching techniques or methods and really it is preferable that the parents’ approach is more informal and relaxed so the children don’t feel stressed or pressurized.
- Be Involved in School Sponsored Activities
Make time to attend programs, plays, sporting events and awards ceremonies. Your support of school activities will show your child that school – and education – is a priority.
- Show Them You Love Them
And that you cherish them as an individual, and that you believe education will help them to achieve their greatest potential. While the type and depth of each teacher-parent partnership will vary between schools and even between teachers and parents within the same school, there is little doubt that teacher-parent partnerships enrich a child’s learning experience and help in their future progress and achievement. Using a student-centered approach delivered with love, care and understanding can go a long way in helping the student become tomorrow’s humane and global citizen, and become a role model for others to follow.
Leean Woodland is Deputy Head Teacher of Saigon Star International School.