For parents and students, there are two “New Years” in every calendar year.
There is the new school year, when we celebrate moving up to the next grade level with new school clothes and backpacks, ambitious attempts at packing healthy lunches, and high hopes for a great year – and maybe even for a great report card.
And then there is the new calendar year, when we take stock of where we really are halfway through our winter. We stand in front of the proverbial mirror and see which areas of our lives have been neglected and what changes we can make for a better future.
As I reflect this New Year, one of the areas I want to challenge myself in is better supporting my children with their education.
Over the years, I have tried to always be involved with their education, both by trying to motivate them to work hard and by working with their teachers to figure out the best ways to support my kids’ individual learning styles.
As the New Year begins, I am challenging myself to not only keep up with the school routines I have in place, but to refine and re-energize them to better support my kids.
Here are some of the ways I will be helping support my kids’ education…
7 Tips to Become More Involved in your Child’s Education
1. Develop a Strong Relationship with their Teachers
One of the best ways you can support your child’s education is by developing strong relationships with their teachers.
Since my first child began kindergarten almost a decade ago, I have tried to make an effort to work closely with my kids’ teachers, letting them know how much I appreciated them and asking for help and feedback on how to best support my children.
If you work during the day or you have older children who no longer require in person drop off and pick up at school, don’t be afraid to email your children’s teachers. My son is in high school so I rarely see his teachers in person. But through email, we have been able to communicate and work together to help my son.
2. Have Realistic Expectations
As parents, we learn quickly that each child is unique, with distinct personalities, talents and challenges.
When it comes to helping our kids with their schooling, we must be able to be honest about our children, accepting where they are at and where they want to be. It is painful when our children struggle or have special needs or challenges.
While maintaining straight ‘A’s may be a reasonable expectation for one child, for another child just getting through a day at school is a huge achievement.
3. Get Help – Supplement their Education with Tutoring
During high school, when our friends would find out that Susan and I used tutors, they were confused. “But you guys get straight ‘A’s’? Why would you need a tutor?”
But we knew the truth. We got high marks because, not only did we work hard, we had tutors to ensure we thoroughly understood the material. Susan even used tutors in University for her math and science classes.
We figured if athletes can use coaches to improve their performance, then why shouldn’t we use tutors to improve our academic performance?
Whether your child is struggling with their studies or they just want to up their academic game, professional tutoring gives students a powerful advantage.
Susan and I were always so grateful that our parents invested in our education with tutoring.
If you want to help your child get ahead in their education, Sylvan Learning has you covered! Sylvan Learning takes a personal approach to learning. Sylvan Learning determines your child’s exact academic needs and attitudes towards learning rather than assuming your child’s ability based on age and grade. At Sylvan Learning, the teachers are more than just tutors. They’re experts at connecting with students and motivating them to thrive.
4. Utilize Teachers and School Resources
My oldest child has several medical issues and has had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) since he was in grade one.
Over the years, I have been grateful for the extra help and support his schools and teachers have given us. From counseling to after school homework help, if your child needs more support, reach out to your school.
5. Develop a Schedule that Works with your Child
Staying on schedule is one of my biggest struggles — in parenting and in life! I am forever running late and changing plans on the fly.
But I know how important it is for kids to have a balanced schedule, with enough sleep, enough exercise and quiet time to read and do homework.
Work with your kids to come up with a schedule that everyone can live with and then do your best to stick with it, at least some of the time.
6. Practice Goal Setting
The difference between success and failure can often come down to planning. If your child doesn’t know where they want to go, they might never get there.
Sit down with your child and help them work out their education goals and plans on how to achieve them. Keep this list active, checking off their achievements and updating with new checkpoints.
7. Inspire Your Child to Want to Learn
Learning can often get a bad reputation with kids. For some kids, school is boring and homework is painful.
Restore your child’s natural inclination to learn by making learning fun again.
Search online for fun experiments to do with your kids. Find graphic novels that make your kids laugh while they read. And get your kids active with STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Sylvan Learning has a great STEM program called the Sylvan EDGE. Sylvan EDGE classes are hands-on classes geared toward challenging and inspiring kids to master critical skills for the future. Sylvan EDGE classes provide kids with the confidence.
So, this New Year, look past your usual resolutions, and add some of these education tips to your list. The best part is that with these New Year Resolutions you will be helping your child to succeed and you don’t have to vow to stop eating chocolate.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sylvan Learning. Thanks for reading and supporting our site.
Written by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom
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