Tips for Making a Difference in Your Child's Education

By: Gene Roehlkepartain, Guest Blogger

Education dominates the lives of most school-aged kids and teens, and yet moms, dads, and other parenting adults don’t always know how to talk about school, grades, and school problems. Sometimes kids are learning things in school that we don’t understand, so we may think we don’t have a lot to offer to help our kids succeed in school.

Yet the research is clear: Children and teens are more likely to be successful in school if their moms, dads, or other parenting adults are actively engaged in their learning. That doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in what they are learning. Rather, you can show your support and commitment many different ways, from being involved in the school, to encouraging learning at home, and providing other opportunities for your child to grow and learn.

You have a lot of influence on how your child does in school. And though participating in parent-teacher meetings and volunteering at the school are important, what you do at home is even more important for your child’s success in school. Here are a few ways you make a difference:
  • Be a learner yourself. Read books and other materials. Investigate questions you have. Take classes. Pursue your own learning goals. Show that learning is important and interesting throughout life.
  • Make your home learning-friendly. Set up quiet places and times to study and do homework. Have materials to help with learning (book, magazines, internet) available.
  • Talk about learning. Ask members of the family about what they’re learning and want to learn. Ask questions about what’s happening in the world and in your neighborhood.
  • Connect with others who teach your child. Get to know your child’s teachers in school and other places. Talk about what you can do together to help your child be successful in school and overcome any challenges.
  • Get involved in school. This can include coming to meetings, attending parent-teacher conferences, volunteering for classroom or school activities, or getting involved in school policies and decisions.
  • Eugene C. Roehlkepartain is Vice President of Research and Development at Search Institute, and creator of the 9 Parenting Strategies. Roehlkepartain is widely recognized as an expert in child, youth, and family development in community contexts. Particular areas of interest include family strengths, community supports for families and youth, spiritual development, service-learning, youth philanthropy, and linking youth development with financial literacy. Join Gene for a free webinar about the 9 Parenting Strategies presented by ParentFurther on Wednesday, January 30 at 12PM, CST. Learn more >>

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