Modern parenthood is very much different from the one that was common only a couple of decades ago. And while our parents and grandparents also had plenty of worries on their minds, it seems that parents today are too overwhelmed with running around and taking their kids to thousands of extracurricular activities, as well as planning everything to the tiniest detail. Slow parenting frees you from all that panic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find more subtle ways to be involved in your children’s education, and help them with accomplishing academic success.
Words: Brigitte Evans
1. Turn Reading to your Kids into a Beautiful Bonding Time
With all that rush and panic, parents often forget just how important it is to spend precious time with their kids which doesn’t include driving them to soccer practice or doing anything else that seems like a chore. Reading to your kids can be valuable time spent together, while also helping them improve their vocabulary, general knowledge and reading skills. It is also a great conversation starter, because later you can talk about the lesson of the book or the characters.
2. Make Fun Activities Educational
People learn new things every day through the most mundane activities. For example, if you are cooking with your children, you can talk about vitamins, minerals and nutritional values of foods. You can watch history and educational movies and discuss their themes together. Take a walk in the park together and talk about the changing seasons and other interesting things in nature.
3. Provide Educational Tools for Independent Learning
Schools and educational centres have an obligation to provide students with educational materials, such as art supplies and science experiment equipment. If you provide your kids with similar materials for learning at home, they can become more independent learners and become more creative.
4. Use the Available Technology
We often try to move our kids away from the computers and smartphones, but sometimes these devices can become successful learning tools, which are even used in many schools. And they can help your kids learn new things through fun and engaging activities. For example, baseball games can improve kids’ math skills, while word games can help with vocabulary, grammar and literacy. However, children should still have boundaries when it comes to screen time.
5. Talk with Your Children
Communication is the key to every good parent-kid relationship, and if your children are struggling in school, it will be much easier for them to tell you about the problem if you have regular and healthy conversations about everything. This doesn’t go only for older school kids and young adults, but also for the little ones. Help your children express their emotions by sharing your emotions with them. Ask them if something makes them feel sad, happy or angry.
6. Talk with the Teachers
If you want to be involved in your children’s education, you need to pay regular visits to their school and teachers. Develop positive relationships with the teachers so that you could freely ask about how your kids are doing in school and whether there is something you can do to help, as well as share what you are working on with your kids at home, including any changes in progress and routines that could disrupt their success at school. Regular contact with the teachers could also help you get an insight into what they are focusing on at school, so that you can reinforce their learning at home.
7. Encourage them to Explore on Their Own
While it is important to stay involved in your children’s education, it is also harmful to be too nosy. This way you will put a brake on their independence and it’ll take up too much of your time to do it, so it is a lose-lose situation. What you can do, however, is encourage them to study, learn and explore on their own. Tell them there are no wrong ways to learn new things, unless they are harming themselves or someone else.
8. Best Lessons Come from Boredom
Don’t overwhelm your kids with new information, hobbies and activities. Allow them to be bored and they will learn fascinating things and become more creative. It is up to you to supply them with study materials, books, movies and other sources of information. Then just step back, and let the magic happen.
All parents want their children to succeed in school, and it is only natural for you to aspire to be involved in their education. Keep in mind, though, that too much involvement sometimes becomes bad involvement.