Investing in your child’s education: it’s cheaper than you think

February 21, 2023 0 Comments

Investing in your child’s education doesn’t always mean starting a college tuition fund or opening a CD in your 10-year-old’s name in the hopes that it will multiply before you get your acceptance letter from college. There are forms other than financial aid that may be more beneficial to your child’s education and won’t break your bank account. The following five suggestions may very well provide a greater return on your child’s educational investment, especially if established early in his or her educational career:

First: homework. There are differing opinions among teachers regarding the amount and type of homework to provide. However, most teachers agree that when a parent is involved in some way in completing a student’s homework, that student has a greater chance of success. Whether or not a child has someone to help with his homework each night is a great indication of whether he will understand the material. The fact is simple: even the best teachers have to teach a whole group of students at once, while a parent can work one on one with the child. This is a very important factor. Teachers will jump through hoops just to set aside a few minutes a day to teach a smaller group of students. Student learning increases dramatically when teachers have fewer students, so the more one-on-one time you have with your child at home, the more your child will learn. Every minute you can take to read or practice or review with them one on one will do wonders for their education.

Second: Respect and support your child’s teacher. When I was growing up, parents and teachers were on the same page. Somehow this has changed where the student and parent often oppose the teacher. This has horrible repercussions for the child’s ability to learn. Working together always works better than working individually. If a parent says one word of disrespect or disapproval at the dinner table the night before, a student is much more likely to discredit much of what the teacher says the next day. By openly showing that he does not support the teacher’s decisions, he is teaching his son that it is okay for him to do the same in the classroom. If a student does not respect her teacher, learning becomes much more difficult.

Third: Use technology wisely. Technology plays an increasingly important role in education today. However, it can also be a huge distraction. Set priorities and rules for technology in your home. This may sound like common sense, but common sense isn’t always so common, and technology is having a negative effect on many students’ education. For example, spending hours and hours on a gaming system before starting homework late at night makes homework much less effective. Children become less involved in homework and completing it becomes a battle with parents instead of a learning routine that is established early in the evening. On the plus side, teach your child how to use technology to enrich and enhance her learning through the use of online resources and materials.

Fourth: Get involved in the classroom. This tip is primarily intended for parents of elementary-age children. Many teachers appreciate parent volunteers. The time you spend in your child’s classroom is invaluable! It will help you better understand the events and situations that occur in the classroom and in your child’s life. It will help you understand different procedures and systems in the environment where they spend most of their day so that you can better help them with any issues that arise socially or academically. It also helps show your child that you value her learning and take the time when you can support him and her teacher.

Fifth: Communicate with the teacher. This is an underused tool in education. Both parents and teachers work toward the same goal of helping the same child learn. Communication is essential! Teachers could use your tips on how to help your child when he is having trouble with something going on at home. Similarly, parents could use the help of a teacher when students are struggling academically. When parents and teachers work as a team, the child can feel the support network around her and the workloads of both adults are lightened. When communicating, a teacher knows that he is involved and appreciates and respects the work that he does for his child. They will include you in more information when they know you are interested. Communication is essential for parents and teachers to work as a team to help the child succeed.

If you can embed these five core principles into your child’s experience early on, then their chances of higher education will increase significantly before they start thinking about college. No matter how large a child’s college fund is, if they don’t have a foundation of respect and value for education, it will be much more difficult for them to succeed.

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