Parental involvement is an important factor in your child’s school success, but there is such a thing as over-involvement. While you can do many things as a caring parent to help your child do well in school, there are also things you should avoid. Here are several tips on how to keep your involvement appropriate and ensure it is beneficial.
SHOW AN INTEREST
One of the simplest and most effective ways to benefit your child is to ask about what he or she is learning. Make school a topic of nightly conversation, but do not just focus on where your child is struggling. Ask what your child likes about different subjects and what he or she is working on that’s interesting.
MONITOR HOMEWORK, BUT LET THEM TAKE THE LEAD
Especially when children are younger, there is nothing wrong with monitoring progress, checking their homework each night for neatness or mistakes or helping when they have questions. Just remember that school is your child’s responsibility.
DON’T TRY TO BE THE TEACHER
There inevitably will be times (if there haven’t been already) that your child will need help solving a problem or understanding something in an assignment. While it’s fine to walk your child through the steps, the best thing you can do is encourage him or her to jot down questions or look through notes or textbooks for guidance or clarity. In other words, you don’t need to reteach your child concepts. Instead, help children solve their own problems and advocate for themselves when they are confused.
HELP YOUR CHILD SET GOALS
Goal-setting is an important exercise for students of all ages, but not something many children do on their own. Guide your child through it, but remember not to take over. Let children share with you what matters to them and how they think they can achieve those things. Encourage them to show initiative and support them in their goals.
As adults, it is important to find the right balance between supporting our students and helping them build their independence. The danger of “helicopter parenting” is that your child will struggle to transition into the real world. He or she will not build self-discipline and learn to handle obstacles independently.
Understandably, you don’t want your child to fail, but it is important that your child puts effort into school — on his or her own. Monitoring performance is reasonable, but try not to get overly involved in homework or control everything a child does as a student.
Lastly, while volunteering in the classroom and attending Parent Teacher Organization meetings can be rewarding and beneficial for your community, once again, the most important thing is that you care about your child’s education. Hold children to high standards and encourage them to make school a priority. Let them know that you believe in their abilities and nurture their good habits at home.
The Huntington Learning Center Gulfport is located at 8950 Lorraine Road, Unit E, Gulfport. Contact the center at (228) 206-2353.