One of the most important things you can do as a parent is send the message that education is important. However, it’s not enough to say these words to your children. Your actions must demonstrate that you believe in what you say.
Make Your Home a Supportive Learning Environment
Children under age six learn at a rapid rate, even if they don’t have formal assignments yet. There are many opportunities you can take advantage of throughout the day, such as asking your preschooler or kindergartner to help you count the ingredients you need to make a meal.
You can help foster a lifelong love of learning by remaining sensitive to your child’s interests and helping him or her find the resources to learn more about them. If you don’t have the supplies your child needs at home, make it an adventure to go out and find them at a store. This helps to reinforce the message that learning can, and should be, exciting.
Form a Positive Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher
As your child’s first and most important teacher, you know him or her better than anyone else. When your son or daughter first enters a preschool or kindergarten class, ask the teacher if you can schedule a short conference time. This gives you the opportunity to share your child’s strengths and fears, what you hope he or she learns this year, and any additional concerns you want the teacher to know.
Even though drop-off and pick-up times only last for a few minutes, these are ideal times to observe how your child interacts with the teacher and peers. If you notice something that concerns you, make a mental note of it and bring it up with the teacher privately. The start and end of learning sessions are usually too noisy to have a meaningful conversation. Also, look for written communication in your child’s backpack every day. This helps you know the activities the class participated in while you weren’t there to see them.
Try to Attend Special Events and Volunteer in the Classroom
There are few things that make a young child more proud than participating in a school event and seeing mom and dad in the audience. This bolsters the child’s self-esteem and says that what he or she participates in is important. Whether you work full-time, part-time, or are a stay-at-home parent, make every effort to attend your child’s performances outside of school hours or during the regular course of the day. You should also seize opportunities to volunteer. You can participate by playing music during our music days, reading a book during our library days, or you can join our official non-profit PTA where we host events for the community such as the Green Market Festival, the Back to School Festival and the Halloween Festival. All of our PTA event proceeds benefit a non-profit organization such as Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Parent Involvement is the Single Biggest Indicator of School Success
Children whose parents show enthusiastic support for their education can often overcome significant barriers. This is true even when the parents don’t have a high level of education themselves or the child lives in poverty. These kids typically are motivated to do well in school, have few discipline problems, and make positive life choices for themselves throughout their school career and into adulthood.