Its not a secret that the more involved you are with your child’s education- the more your kiddo is able to take away from the learning opportunities! Here are some tips on how to get involved, no matter what your circumstance!
I. Take advantage of being your baby’s first teacher.
- Being a new parent can be scary. It is not easy to raise a baby and thinking of the future is intimidating. One of the biggest tasks of being a parent is getting your child ready for school and succeeding through it. You are probably worried that your child might not have the proper skills to do well in the classroom. You might even be worried that you do not have enough money to get her ready for school. These are all real concerns – but do not lose hope. There are many simple ways that you can help prepare your child to succeed in school. You are, after all, your baby’s first teacher.
- Money can be a tight, but it certainly does not mean you cannot provide your baby with a good learning environment. You can do things as simple as reading to your child, spending time with her, and having books and educational toys around your home. Even the way you speak to your baby, and how often you talk to her, can help her become more prepared to learn once she enters school. Read on to find out how.
II. Speaking in a positive way to your child can boost achievement.
- Speaking to your child helps her language development. The more she hears you speak, the more words she will learn. The more words she learns, the better she will be able to read and write as she enters school.
- How you speak to your baby is just as important as how much you speak to her. You want your child to know that her mother cares for her and wants her to succeed. As your baby grows older and tries to learn new things, give her positive feedback by letting her know how she is doing and that it is okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge her efforts to learn and let her know you are proud of her. This will build the right attitude that will help her succeed in school.
III. Create your own “little library” at home.
- Find educational materials you can give your baby. These can be puzzles, toys, a copy of my story It’s Brave to Cry – things that can help your baby exercise her mind. Growing up with these around your home will help your baby learn better and, in the future, do better in school.
- Make the effort to read to your child every day. Perhaps at night, as you put your baby to bed, take time to read one story. Do this until it becomes a habit – as your child grows, he will pick up this habit too. This can eventually help him to read, write, and perform better in the classroom.
IV. Take time for some bonding activities with your child.
- Spending time as a family can help create a secure bond between you and your baby. Doing activities with your child can help him feel secure, knowing that his mom is by his side. Later on, this loving relationship you have created with your child will have many benefits, such as doing better in the classroom.
- Even simple activities like going on trips or playing games with your child can have an effect on his educational achievement in the future. What is important is that you and your child spend time doing these activities together as a family.
V. Get to know your child’s teacher, and more.
- Once your child does enter school, take time to know your child’s teacher. Some parents do this only at the beginning of the school year, or when the teacher holds PTA meetings. It is important, however, that you create a relationship with the teacher – you are partners in your child’s learning. Take time to talk to the teacher about how your child is doing in class and ask what you can do to help her.
- Being involved in your child’s education does not stop in the classroom. Continue the learning at home by helping your child with her homework assignments. Help her study the material and keep track of what she might need help with. Doing this will not only let your child know you care about her education, but will also help her improve her overall grades.
VI. Have high hopes for your child’s success – and let your child know about it.
- Every parent wants to see her child succeed. Sometimes, when things get difficult, we tend to forget to keep a positive attitude. Make the conscious effort to remind yourself that your baby can succeed. This is important, because your child will pick up on your positive attitude.
- Overall, no matter what your circumstance may be, there are so many simple acts that new parents can do to prepare your little one for school. By involved, attentive, caring and present- your child will show improvements every day.
- It is also important that you let your child know you believe in her. As your child grows older, let her know that you have high hopes for her. Show her you are interested in what she is learning and what she aspires to be. Teach her to remain hopeful about her future so she can succeed in school and later on in life.
Datcher-Loury, L. (1989). Family background and school achievement among low-income blacks. The Journal of Human Resources, 24(3), 528-544.
Harper, C., Marcus, R., & Moore, K. (2003). Enduring poverty and the conditions of childhood: Lifecourse and intergenerational poverty transmissions. World Development, 31(3), 535-554.
Mistry, R. S., Benner, A. D., Biesanz, J. C., Clark, S. L., & Howes, C. (2010). Family and social risk, and parental investments during the early childhood years as predictors of low-income children’s school readiness skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 432-449.
Sacker, A., Schoon, I., & Bartley, M. (2002). Social inequality in educational achievement and psychosocial adjustment throughout childhood: Magnitude and mechanisms. Social Science & Medicine, 55, 863-880.
Zhan, M. (2006). Assets, parental expectations and involvement, and children’s educational performance. Children and Youth Services Review, 28, 961-975.