As a parent you have the added benefit of being involved in your kids schooling. I’m using the word ‘benefit’ loosely… hey, don’t give me that look Margaret, I’m not a fan of homework. But I often wonder what my role is in my children’s education. Besides for paying exhorbitant amounts of school fees, that is. Am I meant to be helping my son build the Eiffel Tower out of matchsticks? (Seriously, who comes up with some of these assignments?!) And should I be checking his homework? How can I help my kids get the most out of their schooling? Here’s what a couple of clever people suggested:
Get to know his teachers
Teachers… meh. Kidding! Teachers are wonderful and, contrary to popular belief, often appreciate it when parents show more interest. If your kid is struggling with a subject, or if you’d like to find out how to help them excel in a particular area, chat to the subject teacher. Chances are you might score some study material out of them and tips that could give your kid an idea on how to prep for that exam or assignment.
I feel like this is a given, but also, I don’t waaaaant to. Having to deal with my kid’s homework is giving me second degree school nightmares. But parents, seriously, the simple act of checking up on them while they do after school work will create a sense of accountability and might even encourage the child to be more intentional with their homework. The aim of homework is to effectively help your child to practice what they’ve learnt in class. It should also point out areas that needs to be worked on. Use it, don’t use it. (Use it… you really should) A clever teacher once advised me that there is no such thing as “I don’t have homework”. There is always an opportunity for your child to practice what they’ve learnt during class that day.
Step away from the assignments
I’m going to be real… I can’t not get involved with my kid’s school assignments! The OCD in me refuses to take a chair when Kyle comes home with class projects that require heavy detail and/or any form of designing or creating. Aaack! I mean, what does he know about making the solar system out of styrofoam? I can do it so much better, right? Except that if you don’t give your kid the centre stage in the crafting of his own assignments, he’ll never learn anything.
If you’re committed to the cause, a great way to test your kid’s knowledge is by making use of flash cards to help them prep for tests and quizes. And hey, double your points by enlisting the child to design and create their own flash cards! It creates another opportunity for them to get the work into their heads. Getting them invested in the project, and even simply writing the work down, really helps with committing information to memory.
Draw up study schedules
Kyle has only recently realized the benefit of having a well thought out study schedule. The study schedule can take into account the amount of days left to study, as well as the amount of work that must be consumed. Remember to pencil in revision time as well. I love using old exam papers to help Kyle revise. I often design my own practice test papers and set up a mock exam room for him. The practice test would normally look similar to previous exam papers, and it would be timed as well.
Talk it out
I’ve found that my kid retains more knowledge if he understands and is geniunely interested in the subject at hand. With that said, I’ve tricked him into learning his work by simply engaging in a conversation about it. One year, he aced an exam based on Ancient Egypt, simply because it had become the topic of conversation during supper, for a whole week. #parenthack See? Parents are clever too.
Do you have any cool/clever/easy tips to share with us wrt helping your kid get the most out of their schooling? What do you feel is a parents role during school years?