Alarm goes off, late again. Quickly brush your teeth, wake the kids and hurry them into the bathroom. Snap your fingers because they aren’t moving fast enough. Jump in the shower yourself and look in the mirror. Those dark circles didn’t vanish overnight. Pack the kids lunches and make sure their backpacks include last night’s science project. Boss is going to be upset again for being late. Kids want pancakes, but too late, cereal it is. Snap your fingers again because they are going to miss the bus. Suzie left her jacket on her bed. How many times do I have to remind her? Jump in the car, take a deep breath, and put your head in your hands. Sigh, will it ever end.
Suddenly you picture your child behind Donald Trump’s desk and those infamous words creep into your mind, “Mom, Dad, you’re fired!”
Come home from a long day at work, or long day of running other kids to lessons, changing diapers, and blowing noses. Talk about their day. Suzie got an A on her science project and Toby struck three people out in baseball. Laugh at the dinner table, read stories, and snuggle before bed. Kiss Suzie on the forehead and turn out the light. Didn’t have enough time to fix Toby’s bike today or play Suzie’s game. Parent fail again! Pause before closing Suzie’s door and hear her say, “Mom, Dad, you’re doing a great job. I love you.”
Those three words couldn’t mean more to parents, especially when life gets crazy and seems to be spinning out of control. You may feel like you are failing as a parent, but studies show that interactive parents and parents who are involved in their children’s lives and expose them to real life situations actually raise the level of their child’s academic achievement.
More than anything, family environment is strongly related to student achievement than any other factor, including school quality. Parents who are highly involved in their child’s daily life (not just with education), improve their child’s attitude and can generate more excitement about learning. Fostering a love of learning for your children at home is what makes it possible for teachers to teach successfully.
When feelings of inadequacy creep into your mind or when seeds of doubt are planted about your parenting, remember we can and should always do more, but doing a little bit at a time goes a long way. Just like a marathon, a love of learning isn’t developed overnight, but it can be taught over long distances. The secret is to not give up, surge on, and keep using methods of involvement in your child’s education, physical activity, hobbies, nutrition, and cognitive development. Just be involved and be proactive.
Here are some ways you can invest in your child’s academic journey:
Make a Real Difference: Even when life gets busy, kids still want your company and want you to listen to them. These opportunities rarely knock twice and as children grow older, they have less and less time for these critical moments. If you want to make a real difference in your child’s academic achievement, take advantage of listening to their stories and create a happy activity you can do together. This time together says to a child, “I care about you. I want to spend special time with you. I want to hear what is on your mind and what you are feeling. You are important. You are needed.” Children need to believe in themselves and the people around them.
Be their Cheerleader: Children need certain basic skills like reading, writing, and math to succeed. For children to learn and keep learning basic skills at school, they need continued enthusiasm and support at home. A parent’s guidance is more important than a mere suggestion. It is essential!
Too Many Questions: Education is Never Finished. A child who is curious and asks a lot of questions is a good thing. We want our children to seek answers and to keep asking questions so they can know and understand more. Education is never finished.
Follow the Boy Scout Motto: We don’t know for sure what our children are learning today and what they will need tomorrow, but we do know children need certain skills and abilities to take what they know and put it together in ways to solve new problems. Since we can’t always control their learning environment, we can teach them to be prepared with ways to solve problems. Teach them how to adapt and provide them with knowledge-enhancing skills that prepare them for difficult situations at school and in a future career.
The Long Haul: Every parent and teacher wants children who are smart, motivated, responsible, cooperative, good listeners, contributors with self-confidence, self-discipline, and good judgment. Ironically, these are the very qualities our nation needs in our future workers to beat our international counterparts – learners who can and who want to keep learning. Our goal is to encourage learning over the long haul, for a lifetime, not in the short term. Remember that marathon?
Not Just the School’s Job: In recent years, education has become the primary job for schools, and schools alone. As parents, it’s time to take education into our own hands to pave the way for our child’s future success. Education must be a home and school team effort. Even today, the home can do a lot more than your child’s school.
When to Know: Many times parents can’t always tell when their child is learning because changes can be subtle. When children start saying things to you like “Let me try. Let me show You. Now I understand Let me. Let me,” those are pretty good signs they are prepped and ready for more challenges.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs