Some children seem to naturally love school and enjoy doing the work. Others see school as a chore and are easily frustrated with it. Most children probably fall somewhere between these two extremes.
Favorable attitudes need careful nurturing. The Bible tells us, “Pleasant words promote instruction” (Proverbs 16:21). Here are nine worthwhile ideas to help parents put that truth into practice.
- Let your children know you expect them to do well in school. They don’t have to get straight A’s. But let them know you expect them to use the gifts God has given them. This includes expecting them to pay attention, do the work on time, and be respectful to the teacher. Make it clear they are to obey the teacher as they obey you.
- Show interest in your children’s work. Know what the social studies unit is about. Learn about the science experiments done in class. Review the Bible history lesson. Inquire with genuine interest, not as an interrogation. Look at papers. Show interest in your children’s ideas. Dads need to be involved in homework too so that children won’t view homework as just a “Mom thing.”
- Be realistic about your children’s abilities. Don’t expect above-average work from a child with average abilities. Praise and encourage the child who finds learning difficult and frustrating.
- Be aware of concepts and facts that may need to be reviewed or re-taught. Quite often, a little more review or practice of a new skill will help improve it.
- Encourage your children to do neat work. If you notice that schoolwork is becoming sloppy, let your children know that if their work does not improve, they will need to do it over.
- Provide a regular time and place for doing homework. Be available during this time to offer help and encouragement, but do not do the work for your children. Avoid sitting down next to your child. If that is done on a regular basis, he or she may expect you to sit there for every homework session.
- Don’t work past the point of frustration. If either you or your child becomes emotional, stop and take a break.
- Make sure homework comes to an end. The entire evening cannot be spent doing homework. There may be times when homework time needs to end before all the homework is done.
- Maintain regular contact with your child’s teacher. Positive communication will go a long way toward a successful school experience.
Image credit: weisanjiang (used under Creative Commons CC0)