You know your child needs your support but do you know why and what to do about them? Check out these ten reasons – and the actions you need to take to deal with them.
Schools can’t do it all – I was a teacher and I know that even the most dedicated teacher, no matter how hard they try, can’t give every child in class the attention they need. This is especially true now that students are learning on-line.
Action – Be prepared to provide the support that schools can’t offer, accept that you need to fill in the gaps and find out what those gaps are. Does your child need more motivation? Or a new learning skill? Or adjustment to a new way of being taught? Or help from a tutor?
Take this free assessment to discover your child’s learning needs. https://leadingtolearning.com/quiz-why-is-my-child-underachieving/
- You are your child’s first teacher. You taught your child to walk, talk and be social. You set the scene for learning by ensuring your child is ready to learn and to benefit from schooling.
Action – Understand your role. Your child loves you and wants to be like you so model good learning behaviour by asking questions, reading and learning something yourself.
- You are more important than your child’s teachers. Research shows that up to 80% of your child’s success in school depends on what YOU do at home.
Action – Create learning experiences for your child every day such as reading together, making the time to talk and asking questions that promote critical thinking skills. Respect what teachers tell you, but question how they teach your child. Make sure your child is in the best school for their learning preferences.
- You have a special role to play in your child’s learning life. This is a role that only YOU can fulfill. If you don’t provide that important support, they will never reach their full learning potential.
Action – Don’t try to be your child’s teacher. Your role is to set the scene for learning, to ensure that your child is ready to benefit from their schooling. (See point #7,8 & 9 for ideas.)
- You know your child better than anyone else. Trust your instincts. You are often the first person to realize that your child needs extra support.
Action – If you think your child is having difficulties in school find a way of getting them the support they need. Don’t wait until a minor learning difficulty becomes a major problem. Set up a meeting with your child’s teacher to discuss what extra support the school may offer and find out how your child can access it.
- Your child needs an advocate. Education systems are cumbersome and complex. You child needs you to make sure they find the best way through it. Make sure that your child gets the education that matches their specific needs.
Action – Stay in close contact with your child’s school and let teachers know about any concerns you may have. Set up a meeting with the teacher or Principal to talk about your concerns and how the school can help.
4. Bridge the gap between home and school to ensure your child doesn’t fall between the cracks. Some children are quite happy to keep their parents and teacher apart. But this could mean important information about the child’s progress or learning and behavioural issues can get lost. Communication is important.
Action – Set up lines of communication with your child’s teacher. Use email, meetings or whatever the teacher suggests. Then use them.
- Children need extra support. All children need extra help at some time in their learning career. If schools can’t provide it (see #10), you must. There are many options to consider. Does your child need an educational assessment? Extra tutoring? Help with learning issues? You have to determine what type of help your child needs – don’t guess – or you’ll be wasting your money and your child’s time.
Action – Not sure what type of support your child needs? Take this free assessment https://leadingtolearning.com/quiz-why-is-my-child-underachieving/
that will point you in the right direction. If your child needs a tutor, ask the teacher where to find help. If you’re not sure what help your child needs, contact me and we can talk.
- Children need to know that you care about their learning. Research shows that parental expectations are one of the main indicators of school success.
Action – Don’t set expectations that are so high they cause stress. Do expect that your child best efforts. Remind children often that this what you expect of them and that as long as they do their best, you‘ll be proud of them.
And … the most important reason of all…
- Your child needs to learn how to learn! Children need to develop and use foundational learning skills. Without these skills children will never reach their learning potential. Teachers teach the curriculum and, if they have the time and know-how, help children learn. Parents help children develop the skills that lead to learning.
Action – Discover the 12 vital skills that lead to learning. This post tells you what they are. https://leadingtolearning.com/2020/06/12/what-makes-a-good-learner/
Are there any skills that your child doesn’t use or hasn’t developed? Think about how you can integrate them into daily life.
I hope these reasons help you understand just how important you are in your child’s learning life. You’re more important than your child’s teachers because you ‘set the scene’ for learning by making sure that they are ready to benefit from schooling.
When you support them in ways that work, teachers can concentrate on delivering the curriculum and helping children learn everything they need to pass exams and move onto a wonderful future.
It took me a few years to truly understand just how powerful parental support can be. I was a teacher for many years and I thought that ‘school learning’ was more important than ‘home learning’. Through experience, training and research I came to understand that without the ‘home learning’ that only you can provide, ‘school learning’ becomes much more difficult for the child – and the teacher.
How do you support your child’s education? If your support is working, stress free, and fun you are doing everything right. If you feel stressed and your relationship with your child is deteriorating contact me and I will offer help.