If you ask any parent what their ultimate goal is, they would likely say it’s to provide an incredible life for their children. They want their kids to be happy and healthy at all times. They make sure their kids eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, get enough exercise, and get a good education.
Another way to raise a happy and healthy child is by being a supportive parent. Being a supportive parent means more than making sure your kids eat organic produce and get to school on time. It means making the decision to be active in your child’s life and help them develop habits that they’ll use for the rest of their life.
So, how exactly can you support your kids in school? Where’s the line between being supportive and being too involved? These are valid questions, and ones that parents have had for generations.
If you could use some guidance, here are 10 simple ways you can support your kids in school and why it’s so important for their development.
Stick To A Consistent Schedule
One of the best things you can do for your children is to create a schedule they can rely on. Make sure they wake up, eat breakfast, do their homework, and go to bed around the same time each day.
Kids can easily become overwhelmed at school. They’re constantly learning new concepts, and because of this, school can feel random and unpredictable. Having a consistent schedule at home can help curb some of this anxiousness. They may feel a little off-center while furthering their education, but they know they can rely on things at home being consistent and supportive.
Having a consistent schedule also gives your children something to look forward to. For example, you could plan a family brunch each Sunday. This allows you to bond with your family more, and it also gets your children excited about what’s to come.
The more consistent and familiar your schedule is, the better. This is especially true for parents with younger children. The more structure a younger child has, the more stable their foundation will be. Their schedule will change as they grow, but having a reliable schedule when they’re young will do them plenty of good.
Help Your Children Manage Their Homework
It can be difficult for children to manage their homework. The older they get, the more homework they get. That means they have more responsibility for their schoolwork, and if they don’t keep up with it, they could fall behind.
Teach your children early about the importance of doing their homework. Then, help them craft a strategy for getting all their work done on time. The earlier children know how to properly manage their homework, the better they’ll be.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should constantly be looking over your child’s shoulder when they’re doing homework. Part of helping them manage their homework is trusting them to do what they can on their own. For starters, have them work on the subjects they’re most confident in. Then, if they need your help, you can help them with the more difficult subjects.
Crafting a homework strategy that works for your children will be a huge help for them. It will also teach them valuable habits they can use for the rest of their lives. If they’re taught to properly evaluate their workload right from the beginning, it could save them from becoming overwhelmed and stressed in the future.
Make Sure Your Children Get Their Checkups
Children can’t focus on their education if they’re feeling sick. Part of being a supportive parent is taking them to the appropriate doctors for checkups. This includes an annual checkup and visits to get appropriate vaccinations for school.
Also, remember that it’s important to listen to your children if they have an ache or pain. Some parents are quick to brush off a child’s complaints, but their complaints could indicate that something more serious is going on. If your child is constantly telling you they have an earache, consider taking them to an ent for children. If they say their teeth hurt, take them to the dentist. Sure, it may end up being nothing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. At the very least, you can give their doctor a call and explain what’s going on.
Your child’s dental health is an important part of their overall health, so make sure you take them to their dentist appointments, too. Your child’s dentist will tell you if they notice anything off about their dental health. Often, dentists are also the first ones to suggest looking into braces for kids. These are important health updates you may miss if you aren’t diligent about getting your kids to their dental appointments.
Monitoring your child’s health is one of the most important things you do as a parent. If a child isn’t feeling well, they have a difficult time focusing on their education. When they come to you complaining of an ache or ailment, be supportive by listening to them carefully.
Help Your Kids Develop Time Management Skills
Teaching your child time management skills at an early age will make it easier for them to manage their responsibilities as they get older. Even if your child is in kindergarten, you can still work with them to craft a time management strategy that works.
The first thing you can do is help them carve out a set amount of time for their homework each night. Then, as they get more comfortable, you can incorporate times for playing or reading into their schedule, and have them pay attention to how much time they’re dedicating to each activity. Teaching them how to prioritize their time will help them tremendously in the long run.
As they get older, don’t be afraid to start incorporating goal setting into their time management routine. Teaching them how to set attainable goals (such as reading one chapter of a book per night) will make their time management skills even better.
Join The PTA
If you want be actively involved in your child’s school, something you can do is join the PTA, also known as the parent teacher association. PTA groups consist of parents and teachers who want to make their community’s school the best it can be. They do things like plan fundraisers, create education programs, and provide other important resources for families.
Being part of, or even simply supporting, the PTA can help make your child’s school a better place. According to pta.org, studies done over the last 30 years show that kids do better when parents get involved in school. An effective way to support your child is to support the school they attend.
You don’t have to be president of the PTA to make a difference in the school. You can start out small, like baking cookies for a bake sale or share your opinion on designs for the upcoming school dance. The small activities add up, and your child will notice how much you care about their school.
Subscribe To The School’s Newsletter
This is a simple, but effective, step to take to support your kids in school. By subscribing to their school’s newsletter, you’re making an effort to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the school. A school’s newsletter can include event reminders, school-wide announcements (like if the air conditioning is busted in the middle of a heatwave), and important dates for families to remember, like spring break.
Keeping up with what’s happening in your child’s school will help you support them and their education. The more you understand about your child’s learning environment, the better you’ll understand what you need to do at home to support their educational needs.
If your child’s school doesn’t have a newsletter, see if there are other ways to get updates about the school. Some schools use their social media accounts to make important announcements, while others will text parents any important updates.
Check The School’s Website
Along with subscribing to the school newsletter, make it a habit to check the school’s website. The school’s website will provide you with important information you and your children should know. It’s here that you can learn about the dress code (are ear piercings are allowed in the classroom?), changes to the lunch menu, or if your child’s band concert is still scheduled for Thursday night.
When your children are at school, they’re focusing on their education and hanging out with their friends at lunch. They may not be paying attention to district-wide announcements and important event information. That’s why it’s important that you keep up with as much as you can. The more you know, the more you’re able to support your child’s needs.
Actively Engage In Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-teacher conferences are a great way to get information on how you can further support your children at home. Your child’s teacher knows what your child is doing right, and what they could improve on. Take the time to sit down with their teacher and listen to what they have to say.
Some parents think parent-teacher conferences are a waste of time, but they simply don’t have the right mindset. A parent-teacher conference is your chance to get another perspective on your child’s education. You hear about what they learn about in school from their perspective, but it’s good to hear their teacher’s perspective, too.
This is also a good chance to talk to their teacher about ways you can help them achieve their academic goals at home. They are professionals at educating, so they’ll most likely have a tip or two about how you can further support your child.
Encourage Participation Extracurricular Activities
While it’s important for your child to focus on schoolwork, it’s also important they participate in extracurricular activities. These activities include sports, music, art, and drama.
These activities provide many benefits to your child. First, they allow your child to meet other children their age and socialize. Participating in extracurricular activities can also help their performance in the classroom. For example, students who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.
Extracurricular activities also give your child something to look forward to outside the classroom. Yes, education is important, but it shouldn’t be the only thing in a child’s life. Part of being a supportive parent is identifying opportunities for your child to grow. They’ll grow by participating in activities they like and learning new skills along the way.
Have Open And Honest Conversations With Your Children
One of the best ways you can be a supportive parent to a school-aged child is to have open and honest conversations with them. Ask them how their day was, what they learned, and if there’s anything on their mind they want to talk about. They may have a lot of questions they didn’t necessarily want to ask at school. This is your chance to step in and support them by giving them some answers.
Remember, conversations are a two-way street. Give your child the chance to talk about their day, instead of simply telling them how they should be feeling and what they should be learning. Your child may have a lot on their mind, so let them express their thoughts and feelings candidly. This will improve your overall communication with your child while learning more about who they are.
In the end, every parent has the same goal: to raise happy, healthy children. Part of raising a happy and healthy child is being a supportive parent. The definition of a supportive parent may vary from person to person. For some, it means taking a keen interest in their child’s education. For others, it means teaching children how to be independent and manage their responsibilities.
The important thing to remember here is that no two children are exactly alike. That means parents will have different processes for supporting their children, and that’s okay. You know your child best. You know what they need, and how you can best support them. Trust yourself, and being a supportive parent will come naturally.