Read the statistics. Ask the teachers. Ask the youth ministers. Parental involvement and encouragement are huge, whether considering your teenager keeping their faith when they reach adulthood, or your child or teenager embracing learning and education. Parents, please don’t underestimate your power of influence here, and the volumes that your example will teach your children.
If you are homeschooling or your children go to public or private school, here are some ways that you can actively engage in their education as you encourage them to be lifelong learners.
I will admit that I often resist technology. Just ask my husband. I like physical books with real paper, substantial weight, and musty aromas. I get frustrated with many aspects of technology and some of the changes that it has brought about in society. But, I am learning that there are many useful aspects of technology, especially when it comes to education. Even YouTube offers some incredible educational content, if you can wade through all the unsavory, weird, creepy clips . . . and of course endless cat videos.
I am a believer in limiting screen time and not giving our kids cell phones any sooner than necessary. I also very much believe in monitoring and being aware of what our kids are doing on their phones and computers (this is where open conversation and training come into play). But, there are some great education apps available today. When you do allow screen time, why not include fun, education games? Technology is the way of the future, like it or not (talking to myself). We cannot hide our kids under a rock. We need to help them learn how to properly use it. One cool app I just learned about are the revision apps for mobile devices. Whether you are homeschooling and want to make a customized quiz over your curriculum’s content, or are a parent helping your student study for a big test–this app is a smart way to test your child’s knowledge.
Be Involved With Their Schoolwork
Being involved in your children’s schoolwork is not the same as doing it for them. Push back against the temptation to “over help”. It takes away their opportunity to learn. The key is to be involved from a perspective of support. Setting up guidelines for finishing homework at a certain time, or sitting down with them and talking about what they are studying in school can go a long way. A note on expectations: there are positives and negatives to this approach. I do believe in having high expectations for our children. It is a way of communicating that we believe in them. But, be careful that you don’t place too much pressure or performance-based acceptance on them. That will only do damage and create other issues.
Read Books Together
Reading with your child is one of the best things you can do to help their education. The sad thing is, not many parents read. Why would your child want to do something that you don’t even do? Your example will stick with them. Read them stories when they’re little and surround them with books. Chances are, once your child reads one good book they’ll want to find another. They don’t all have to read educational books. Reading fiction helps them develop empathy, creativity, vocabulary, critical thinking, problem solving, and much more.
Remeber All Life is Education
Education is not limited to “book learning” and school. Look for teachable moments every day. There is huge value in children learning to do chores, budgeting and managing money, gardening, cooking and following recipes, serving others, and so much more. These moments develop life skills, character, and work ethic. There are also daily opportunities to talk about math, science, english, history, and to apply it. This will help nurture a lifelong love of learning.
These ideas are simple, but is doesn’t mean they are easy. Above all, they take intentionality. But it’s SO worth it. Don’t give up!
What would you add to this list?