Spark Your Child’s Love of Learning: 7 simple ways to help your child succeed this year

It takes a village to raise a child. As parents and guardians, we have to remember this when it comes to our child’s education, making sure not to solely rely on teachers for their academic success. Countless studies show that parent involvement in a child’s education is crucial. When parents are actively involved in their child’s learning, children are more likely to excel academically, be better behaved, have a positive attitude toward school, stay in school longer, and enroll in higher-education programs. Along with the student benefits, parents will likely find they are creating stronger connections and building a better relationship with their child, which is especially important in today’s digital era.

All parents can take simple steps to get involved in their child’s educational success. When parents foster an atmosphere of learning and collaboration with educators, everyone benefits.

Here are 7 simple ways to get involved and help your child enjoy a successful school year:

  1. Implement a routine. Limit leisure technology time. Set a bedtime alarm. 
  2. Bridge the gap between school and home. Explore the projects your child is working on in school to extend the learning at home. 
  3. Communicate. Find the preferred ways to communicate with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s goals and how you can assist. Many teachers use communication apps, making it easy to stay connected. Talk with your child about their school relationships, studies, worries and accomplishments to encourage an open communication channel.
  4. Participate. Volunteer to read a book, lend your skills and talents to help with special projects, prep materials, chaperone field trips, or become a classroom/grade level parent. 
  5. Attend. Stay informed by attending school functions like PTO/PTA meetings, an open house, or science/math night events.
  6. Advocate. Join a parent group, attend a district school board meeting, get involved on a policy-making level, participate in fundraisers. 
  7. Engage in neighborhood and community organizations. Organize a block party, playgroup, or carpool, take turns walking with a group of children to/from school or create a neighborhood study group, book club or parent support group. 

Being involved in your child’s day-to-day to school activities sends a message that school is important to your family, and your child will take notice.

Additional Information and Resources
The National Education Association is a great resource offering content for caregivers and parents to help in these seven areas. Some of the topics include suggestions on delivering feedback to your children, dealing with race and discrimination, recognizing first signs of bullying, understanding your rights regarding special needs programs, testing at your child’s school along with great activities to encourage extending learning with your child.

Contributor: Shanta Bell is currently an Early Learning Specialist working with post-accredited partner centers.