Giving your child an advantage in school is part of proactive parenting. If you as a parent are not able to excite your child in the learning process; there are strategies that you can adopt that will encourage your child to have a love of learning.
One of the most important things you can do for the middle school aged child is encourage them to interact with adults who express excitement over learning. This could mean encouraging your child to spend time with an uncle who is a civil war enactor or a neighbor who is a docent at a local museum. Studies show that kids do better in school when they have an adult mentor who is excited about the ongoing process of learning. If you are one of the many adults who have returned to school recently because of the recession; talk about the things you have been excited to learn as an adult with your child.
Encourage your child to learn about your community. Check with the local historical l society to find out about festivals and events that teach your child about their town’s past. Visit local museums as a family outing, and show your interest in the things you see. Yes, the children take field trips at school to local museums, but showing your interest in local culture and history will reinforce the importune ongoing learning for your child.
Encourage your child to read books that are not just related to school work. Too many of us in the day of information online; have neglected to introduce our children to the public library. Reading for recreation is a learned habit. Read to your child nightly when they are young and take your child to story time at the library. Try to get to know your child’s interest. If your child is interested in a particular sport or pet; help them check out books on these topics. If your child has a research project, use real books and not just internet research for the project.
Teenagers these days have very busy schedules with extracurricular activities and part time jobs. The teen years are one of the points in school that grades matter in the future plans of the teen. Good grade are essential for most teens to get into the college or trade school that interests them most. Unfortunately, the teen years are also a time when many times friends and activities matter more than school to the majority of teens. There are things you can do at home to help your teens focus more on their school work.
Create a space for your teen to study in that minimizes distractions. This may not be your child’s bedroom. This should be an area that electronic distractions are kept to a minimum. If you’re teen does their homework on laptop ask them to log off of their instant messaging. You should also ask them to turn off the cell phone and put away the iPod. Your teen will object, but texting or gaming during homework time is a distraction that will affect the quality of the work your teen produces.
Encourage your teen to use a assignment planner.It is unlikely with a heavy class schedule your teen will remember every class assignment. Have your teen check the planner nightly for homework. Encourage your teen to use the planner to actually plan a head and not just study for a test the night before. If your teen is very technically oriented; consider getting them an electronic planner, they may be more likely to enter information into a gadget than a paper planner.
Lastly, give your teen a support system. Encourage them to get the name of at least one student they attend class with and their contact information. This way your teen has someone to call if they are not sure or do not understand an assignment. If your school provides parents with the ability to track a students’ progress online you should check the site with your teen so they know where they stand with various classes. Lastly, if the teen can email the teacher for clarification of an assignment; it saves the teen and the teacher from using valuable class time for individual homework issues.
There are various kinds of homework help lines and online resources your teen can use for homework support. In some communities churches or other organizations will offer homework help after school. There are also paid services you can use to teach your teen good study skills and organizational skills.
If you proactively encourage your child to develop positive lifelong learning skills, your child will be a success in school and homework will not be a dreaded work for you or your child.