Well it is that time when the joys of Christmas and New Year are fading and in the distance the return to school is looming. In the spirit of New Year Resolutions, what are your aspirations for your child/ children at school this year?
Every parent wants the best for their child. Everyone would like to do more but it seems over whelming and with so little time available.
It is comforting to know then that there are six things you can do to really assist your child this year with their schooling. These have been proven by different research studies (Goodall, 2013; Stacey & Fox, 2014) to actually have an effect on your child’s achievement.
So what are they? The six effective and simple strategies are:
Teach them the value of education
Have high aspirations for them and realistic expectations
Lead learning in the home
Take an active interest in what they are doing especially into secondary school.
Make sure you have communication with the school especially your child’s teachers
Authoritative Parenting – The most appropriate parenting style is authoritative or nurturing. This involves a balance between love and caring and boundaries. This style leads to more mature, independent, achievement oriented students than the others (Goodall, 2013). I am not a parenting expert and have my good and bad days of getting this balance right the same as all parents. A good book to read on this topic is Michael Carr- Gregg’s Strictly parenting. Michael Carr-Gregg has a quiz you can take to identify your parenting style.
Teach them the value of education and of life long learning- things are changing so fast these days that to keep up they need to continue to learn throughout our lives.
Have high aspirations for them and realistic expectations. The best way to do this to look at their last year’s report card and notice their strengths and areas of concern and discuss these with their new teacher this year.
Lead learning in the home- take whatever teachable moments come along to pass onto your child the things you think are important. Read to and with your child.
Take an active interest in what they are doing especially into secondary school. Take an active interest in their schooling and their interests. Making a ritual of the main meal of the day with all seated at the dinner table allows conversations to develop. Rules such as no TV while dinner is on or idevices at the table helps.
Make sure you have communication with the school especially your child’s teachers. The first few weeks of the year are an important time to establish contact with your child’s teacher. It should be a 2 -way conversation where they share their aims for the year and you share you hopes and concerns for your child.
These six strategies have a direct effect of your child’s belief in their academic ability and level of achievement. The value you place on learning is the value they will place on learning. Having high aspirations for your child will affect their attendance and level of achievement at school. What you do in the home affects your child’s self-efficacy and confidence in their academic competence. Your interest in their school-work and interests effects their motivation and level of engagement in their learning. From your modeling they will learn the skills they need for learning and persistence when faced with obstacles.
Research has shown that these strategies have a direct effect on your child’s motivation for and the development of the skills needed for learning and in doing so has an indirect effect on their academic achievement especially literacy and numeracy, their mental health and well-being and overcoming disadvantage.
If you would like more information on these 6 strategies or services offered go to:
- Fox, S & Olsen, A. (2015). Parental Engagement. Retrieved from Education and Training Directorate, http://www.det.act.gov.au/teaching_and_learning/parental-engagement
- Carr-Gregg, M. (2014). Strictly Parenting everything you need to know about raising school-aged kids. Penguin Group, Australia.
- Goodall, J. (2013). Parental engagement to support children’s learning: a six point model, School Leadership & Management: Formerly School Organisation, 33(2), 133-150, DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2012.724668
Government App: Learning Potential – contains really good activities that you can do with your child at different ages. Available free from App store.