2020 has been a…unique year to say the least. We’ve spent more time at home than anywhere else. The adults are working from home, the children are studying from home and everyone is fighting over space at the table for laptops and iPads. Not exactly what we imagined when we toasted to the end of 2019 all those months ago, is it?
Helping our kids succeed in school has become a more hands-on experience this year but whether you’ve decided to send your kids back to the classroom or are continuing with virtual distance learning, what can you do to support your child’s schooling?
Maintain a Routine
School is built around routine. It starts at the same time every day, classes take place on the same schedule, even lunch takes place at the same time. It’s structured this way for a reason. Studies show that children thrive on routine. For young ones who are just learning to explore the world around them, a routine is like a security blanket. It gives them something unchanging when everything around them might be unfamiliar.
Whether they’re in the classroom or at home, kids can still benefit from a routine. For classroom settings, make sure you’re sticking to the same schedule for waking up and going to bed, as well as things like meals and homework. For home learning, sticking to lessons on a regular schedule can make it easier to keep their routines in place.
Talk To Their Teachers
They might not be scheduling in-person parent-teacher conferences, but that’s no excuse to go an entire semester without having at least one conversation with them. Staying in touch with their teachers can be an invaluable tool for supporting your children and their education. Educators have a different perspective and can help you figure out how best to help your child succeed and thrive in school.
In the interest of social distancing, send some emails or schedule a Zoom meeting with your child’s teacher. Staying connected to them is one of the easiest ways to support your child and their education.
Teach Note Taking
Learning how to take notes is one of the most valuable skills you can learn, beginning in elementary school and continuing all the way through college and into the working world. It’s also a skill that isn’t often taught in school. Teach your child how to take notes, and how to use the notes they take to help with homework and studies.
Taking notes isn’t just important for remembering lessons and getting ready for tests. Studies show that it also helps improve reading comprehension and makes it easier to transfer information into long-term memory so they don’t forget everything they learn as soon as they pass whatever test or assignment they need to complete.
Look for Extra Help Where Needed
You don’t have to be everything all the time for your kid. Almost all schools offer a variety of services to help your children wherever extra help is needed. This could be anything from after-school tutoring to Saturday school to educational plans that help to meet your child’s individual needs.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, especially if your child is struggling with a certain aspect of schooling and you are running out of ideas to help them. These programs are in place for a reason. Utilize them whenever you find you need them.
Encourage and Reward Your Child
We all love getting a pat on the back and an attaboy when we do something right or accomplish a task — and that desire isn’t exclusive to adults. Kids love being rewarded when they accomplish something. Make it a point to encourage your child to do everything they can to succeed in school, and when they put in the hard work and earn those good grades, reward them!
The exact rewards you choose will vary depending on the sort of thing your child enjoys. Bake a cake, throw a pizza party or treat them to a trip to the movies — whatever works best for them and for you. Whatever you choose just make it a point to reward them for all the hard work they put in to earn those grades.
Known When to Take a Step Back
A child’s education is an important part of their young life, but it’s easy to get too involved. You need to know when to take a step back too and let them figure out the best course of action for themselves. Let them know that you’re always there for them and you can always help with whatever they need, but don’t give in to the temptation to do the work for them or find all their solutions. Support them as much as they need, but know when to take a step back and let them figure things out for themselves too.