Every child has unique learning abilities. Some children thrive in grammar while others respond best to art or science; some learn better visually while others learn better orally. It is important, therefore, that parents and teachers partner together to find the best approach for the child. Because learning is vital to your child’s success in life, it is essential to be involved in your child’s education and schooling experience.
Here are some tips that can help you communicate effectively with your little one’s teachers and provide your child with a supportive educational environment:
Get to know your child’s teachers.
Your child spends five days a week at school with his or her teachers. It’s important for you to meet the teachers who will have a great impact on your child each day.
At the beginning of the school year, for example, spend a few extra minutes after school in your child’s classrooms and chat with each teacher, or send a personal card or email to let them know that you care and are available for certain activities. Taking the time to talk with your child’s teachers will give you a better sense of who they are, their individual teaching style, and their expectations for their students. Also, your child’s teacher will be more likely to reach out to you if he or she remembers you, and your child will see that his or her education is a priority for you.
Keep the lines of communication open.
Most teachers are readily available by email. At the beginning of the school year, seek out the email addresses of your child’s teachers. In turn, make sure that your child’s teachers and the school administrators have your email address on file.
Most schools now send official correspondence via email instead of postal mail. If you see that your child’s teacher has sent you an email, be sure to reply promptly. If your child is in daycare, you can put a journal or notebook in his or her bag so that you and the day care provider can send notes back and forth about your child’s needs.
Regular communication with teachers enables you to learn of any issues as soon as they occur so you can respond appropriately and in a timely manner.
Maintain a positive approach.
Your words and actions set the tone for your child’s educational environment.
Schooling teaches children how to reason through a problem, think strategically, and broaden their intellect. When your child says, “I’ll never need to know this” about a given subject, remind your child that it’s the combined determination, skills and logic learned that enable overcoming challenges in life.
If your child requires more focused attention in the classroom, keep a positive attitude with both your child and your child’s teachers, and be as proactive as possible in addressing any concerns.
It is completely acceptable to make inquiries about your child’s education and a teacher’s lesson plans. Teachers and administrators typically welcome questions and are happy to answer them. Asking questions will also show your child’s teachers that you want to be involved in the process and care about your child’s needs. If your child is older, encourage him or her to ask respectful and well-thought-out questions. If your child feels a sense of family-teacher interest in his or her education, your child will be more likely to succeed.
Do your homework.
Education changes constantly. Ask your child’s teacher for recommended sources of information. Your child’s teacher may already have literature on hand for you to read.
The Internet also can be a helpful source. Tools such as Google Scholar can focus your online search to scholarly articles instead of a broad variety of websites.
You can utilize educational databases from your local library. Ask a reference librarian which databases you can have access to, and if there are options that could suit your specific inquiry.
The teachers, administrators and educational experts of today may have new and innovative suggestions for you. Seriously consider what teachers and experts have to say, and try to implement their suggestions at home when working with your child. Keeping an open mind is the best way to handle your child’s individual academic needs. Don’t forget to provide helpful feedback to your child’s teacher if there is a particular route that proves to be effective.
Reach out to other parents.
Children learn differently. Many require a little extra attention in the classroom. Due to privacy concerns, it may not be immediately apparent that there are other children in your child’s class who require similar attention. You can ask the counselor at your child’s school if there is a support group for parents in similar situations. You can also seek out other parents through online chat groups or blogs about alternative educational needs. Reaching out and sharing similar experiences will help both you and your child to navigate the school year and beyond.
Remember that being open-minded, positive and informed can greatly benefit your child’s individual academic needs.