Children learn from each and every experience they have. Before they set foot in school for the first time, you as the parent are their very first teacher. Education is not something that ends at a certain age but something your child should pursue throughout his life. If you want your child to become an informed individual, it’s time to start taking their education more seriously, both in and out of school.
If you develop in your child a hunger for knowledge, each and every day will become an opportunity to learn something new. In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways you can help your child maximize his education in 2020 by adapting to his learning style and supplementing his education at home.
Understanding Your Child’s Learning Style
In the early years of public school, there was an assumption that all children learned the same way or, at the very least, material was taught in a specific way. More recently, it has become evident that there are a number of different learning styles and every child is unique. By learning more about your child’s learning style, you can work with his teacher at school and with your child at home to help him maximize his education.
Here is an overview of the 7 different learning styles:
- Visual (Spatial) – This style learns best when they have an image to help them process the information or the opportunity to write out their thoughts.
- Aural (Auditory-Musical) – These learners respond primarily to sound. They may prefer to learn through rhythms or use rhymes to remember information.
- Verbal (Linguistic) – This type of learner does best with verbal instruction and writing. They typically need to read content aloud to learn something or have someone speak it to them.
- Physical (Kinesthetic) – People who like to get their hands dirty are physical learners. They learn best by going through the motions of what they are learning.
- Logical (Mathematical) – These are logical thinkers who often pursue education in mathematics or the sciences. They want to understand the reason behind the content or skills they learn.
- Social (Interpersonal) – This type of learner does well in groups. They like to be engaged with others and ask their peers for feedback in order to learn.
- Solitary (Intrapersonal) - These learners prefer to learn on their own. They are sometimes socially introverted, but not always, and they are concerned with goals and outcomes.
Every child is unique, so your child may not fit neatly into just one of these categories. Take the time to work with your child to figure out how they learn best and share that information with his teacher. You may be surprised to find how quickly your child can excel in school with the right form of teaching.
Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School
When your child goes to school, he becomes the teacher’s responsibility. At least, that’s the way many parents see it. The way your child’s teacher probably thinks of it is that they are simply one of many people who play a role in shaping your child’s mind and his future. By working with your child’s teacher and with your child at home, you can maximize the impact of his education now and for the future.
Here are some things you can do to help your child succeed in school:
- Take the time to get to know the staff at your child’s school. In addition to meeting your child’s teacher, you should know the principal and the support staff. Don’t skip those student-teacher conferences and be sure the teacher understands your child’s learning style.
- Check in with the teacher from time to time. Most schools send their students home with report cards throughout the year, but you can’t learn everything about your child’s progress from a letter grade. Take the time to check in with your child’s teacher once in a while and ask what you can do to help your child at home.
- Make sure your child does his homework. Though school might end when your child leaves the building, learning does not. Make sure your child has the space and time in the afternoon or evening to do his homework and make sure he actually does it.
- Find your child the help he needs. If your child is struggling with a certain class or assignment, get him the help he needs. In some cases, you might be able to help but if you think you’re not the best person for the job, find someone who is.
- Help your child prepare for tests and presentations. Testing plays an important role in your child’s education and you can help them study. Taking into account your child’s learning style, find ways to help them study at home.
- Volunteer at the school and be an active parent. Parent involvement is crucial for a child’s education and your child’s teacher will really appreciate having some volunteers around. Even if you work during the day, you can find evening activities where you can give your time.
- Make yourself available to your child. If you work a full-time job, you may have to put your child in an afterschool program, but you can still be available to your child when you get home. Make your child and his education a priority by taking time to attend events when you can.
- Monitor your child’s television and internet use at home. In addition to making sure your child gets his homework done, you should limit his use of television, video games, and the internet. Make sure your child spends time with other children and goes outdoors.
When your child was born, you became his first and most important teacher. After a few years, your child starts going to school but that doesn’t mean they stop learning at home. Read on to learn how you can supplement your child’s education at home.
How to Supplement Your Child’s Education at Home
Learning doesn’t stop when the school bell rings. Your child is constantly learning whether he is sitting in class behind a desk or interacting with his schoolmates during recess. The entire world is your child’s school and everyone they interact with becomes a teacher. If you want your child to always be learning, make a commitment to supplementing his education at home.
Here are some simple things you can do to supplement your child’s education at home:
- Make sure your child always has books to read. Reading is an essential skill that your child can work on outside of school. Make a family event of taking a weekly trip to the library or use new books as a reward for your child’s good behavior.
- Look for opportunities for educational trips. Something as simple as going to a local art museum or visiting the zoo provides an opportunity for your child to learn outside of the school environment. You might even bring some of his schoolmates along.
- Encourage your child to engage in extra-curricular activities. Whether they are school-sponsored or not, find ways for your child to engage with other children and to learn new skills in activities outside of school.
- Have your child complete small assignments at home. If you don’t feel like your child is being challenged enough in school, find ways to supplement their education at home. For example, have your child research a particular animal or topic and write a short paper.
- Ask your child’s teacher for resources. You know your child best, but your child’s teacher knows his performance in school. If you’re looking for ways to help your child learn at home, his teacher can provide you with valuable insight and maybe a few resources.
- Consider going back to school yourself. If you want to set a good example for your child and encourage them to keep learning, consider taking some classes yourself in your spare time.
Learning should be a lifelong venture and not just something your child does for a few hours at school, Monday through Friday. If you want your child to develop a thirst for knowledge and to succeed in school and in life, follow some of the tips above to ensure that they get the most out of their childhood education both in school and at home.