The following article has been written by the teaching team at Education Perfect.
With children learning from home more than ever over the past few months, parents around Australia had to step into a split role, both parent and educator. Families were setting the table whilst setting the schedule for learning. It feels overwhelming because it is! But it’s important to look at some positives – being at home gave you the ability to get hands-on with your child's education.
Even when you’re out of lockdown, continuing to engage with your child’s education can help them become a successful lifelong learner. Research has shown that children's motivation and grades dramatically increase when there is active parent engagement in their education.
Here are five top tips about how your involvement can really make a difference.
Your role in your child’s learning is incredibly important. The best way to look at it is by considering yourself a ‘team’ with your child’s teacher. Keep communication open and let them know how your child is doing academically and socially. Don’t hesitate in reaching out via email or booking in a call, even if it’s not time for official parent-teacher interviews. Ultimately, the better the connection you have, the better support your child will get at both home and school. It’s also important to understand that your child's teacher is dedicated to many other students. Be patient and remember – you’re a team!
Research shows unequivocally that parent engagement matters. Engagement doesn’t mean you have to be the household Einstein, answering every question. Even if you don’t know much about the subject or it’s too advanced, don’t be intimidated! Just showing interest and asking questions is enough to fuel learning. Make time each day to ask your child about their learning and fit this in with your family routine – perhaps on the walk home from school, or even over dinner. Try asking them specific questions – ‘What was surprising? Confusing? Interesting?’ Rather than just ‘What did you learn today?’
It can be tempting to step in, but it’s important to allow your children to learn independently, make mistakes, and find their feet. Even if you can see they’re making a mistake in their homework or they’re going to miss a deadline – try to avoid intervening. To help build independent learning habits, use a growth mindset when talking to your child about their learning. Your words ultimately become their inner monologue, and the way you talk about their learning matters! For example, focus on progress, not the final achievement. Support drafting, learning, and improvement rather than just focusing on scores and grades. When applicable, do celebrate a good grade! Who doesn't love a bit of recognition?
Where possible, understand what learning apps and tools your child is using both at school and for homework. It’s important to know how they’re using these and what for – ask the teacher if you’re not sure. Understanding how they work will help you to support your child if they need a hand. It will also help you get a sense of the level of work they’re doing. The more you know about how they learn and what works for them, the more you can help support them!
Consider purchasing education software to use at home alongside schoolwork. Platforms such as Education Perfect (EP) come with over 35,000+ pre-built and automatically marked lessons, aligned to State Curriculums. You can set up weekly lessons for your child directly related to their learning at school to help support any areas of weakness. Used by over 1,200,000 students and trusted by over 55,000 teachers around the world, Education Perfect (EP) can be the perfect home learning supplement. Over 1,500 families have started using EP to support their child's learning from the comfort of their couch this year. Jump in and join them!
Education Perfect is a great tutoring platform for children in grades 5-12. You can start a 30-day free trial here.