Education is critical to success in our world. Regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or age. Regardless of whether your kids are in homeschool, public school, or private school; learning is an essential part of life. George Washington Carver said long ago, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” Freedom is being able to have options or the ability to choose to do what you would like to do. Freedom is having control of your own life and education gives you the freedom you need to pursue life as you see fit. I also agree with Nelson Mandela who said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you could use to change the world.” Our world needs change. Our world needs love. Our world needs us to demand justice. Why is change, love, and justice needed? It’s needed because education is not the same for every child who may want it. Classism is real and economics greatly divides our world. Education acts as an equalizer. As an educator, I challenge parents to fully support their children this year. Education is not just for classroom settings, it is the foundation of a well-balanced life. Here are some tips that we should keep in mind as our children enter another school year.
1. Reinforce their education with practical learning
Going to school is just one dimension of learning. Talk to your child’s teacher about this year’s expectation and find out what he or she will be learning. Use what the teacher says as a guide to plan in-home activities and games that will reinforce the lessons learned throughout the year. Pinterest is also a great tool for finding games, apps, and new materials that you and your family can enjoy together to help you make sure your child is on target throughout the year.
2. Support their teachers and school by volunteering and working with the school’s PTA.
Your child’s success and comfort in the classroom can be directly tied to your commitment as a parent. It is imperative to get to know your child’s teacher. Make sure the teacher is aware that you can be reached at anytime and your child’s academic and emotional success is a priority in your life. Sometimes we as parents are not happy with what our children are learning, the only way to direct that frustration appropriately is to be a voice when the time comes to do the planning. Speak up, speak out, and be involved. Don’t complain and fail to diligently work to make your child’s school a better place. Academic success begins with you.
3. Encourage your kids to read during their down time.
One of the best ways for children to excel academically, mentally, and socially, is to be knowledgeable. Reading is one of the easiest ways for kids to gain new information on their own and become self-motivated. Raising a reader is synonymous with raising a leader.
4. Get fresh air and exercise with your children
I’m sure you’ve heard of brain food like fish (omega 3 fatty-acids), peanut butter, and ginkgo biloba, but exercise is also a great way to actively stimulate your child’s brain. Exercising with your child lets him or her know that you are fully supportive. It shows that you are committed and it helps you spend quality time by doing something that benefits you both.
5. Provide continual positive reinforcement
- Prayer – Do you pray for your child? If so, it’s important because our child/children are not around us at all times, we need a supernatural God to help guide and protect them throughout their lives.
- Positive words of affirmation – Most children desire to make their parents proud of them. If you are happy with your child, catch him or her doing things that are good and pleasing to you. Encourage their good behavior.
- Notes of praise – Do you like to be affirmed and receive praise? Well so does your children, adding a little note of praise, love, or positive words like “Have a great day” can mean so much to your child and it only takes a few seconds, to make a difference in their day.
- A letter of clear expectations – Be clear with your child about your expectations. Let him or her know what role you will play and what you expect them to do in return.
- Shower them with hugs and love – Your children need to know you are in their corner. You need to be their biggest supporter. Therefore, I urge you to give them as much love as you can and they will thrive.
Cheers to a great school year!
Reader Question: What are some ways you help your children have a great foundation?
Brainy Quote. Education Quotes. George Washington Carver and Nelson Mandela. Retrieved August 25, 2014 from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_education.html#j1eIAUPgxLVOzWx7.99
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