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For parents: How to support your child at school

What are the most effective ways to support your child at school?

When I was at school, the pressure for my parents to be involved in my education wasn’t particularly high. They would help me occasionally with homework, but I never remember my class teacher telling them that they should be doing more with me at home.

The curriculum we have been handed is a challenging one, for both the children and the teachers. There is significant pressure on schools to churn out excellent results and in turn, teachers want parents to be as involved as possible in their child’s education. But, what are the best ways to go about this?

Talk to your child

Easier said than done. A typical response to ‘”How was your day?” can often be met with “fine” and nothing more. Usually, everything will be fine. They will be getting on well at school and they’ll be happy. But this shouldn’t stop you from talking to them about how things are going.

As a teacher, I’ve been able to spot subtle changes in behaviour and have brought this to the attention of parents. This has then, in turn, sparked a conversation at home about difficulties that they are having.

Wellbeing awareness and mental health issues are both increasing, so now is an important time as any to discuss how your child is doing in school. MentalHelp offers 7 ideas …Communicating with your child’s teacher will help you to understand how you can support your child best at home.

Parent-teacher relationship

The teacher can advise parents on where their child might be struggling, and some of the best strategies to use at home to support them.

Informing the teacher as well of any change in circumstances at home can also be highly beneficial. For example, maybe a parent is away on a business trip or there has been a bereavement in the family. This will simply give the teacher a warning about any unusual changes in behaviour that may occur in the classroom …

Homework

Homework will often give you a good idea about what is being taught in school. It will often be difficult to get constant feedback from your teacher about what your child is confident with or finds challenging.

Use homework to gauge this. Discuss your child’s homework and encourage them to discuss it also with their teacher if they are finding things difficult.

All teachers appreciate students talking to them about their homework rather than struggling through. If there is a serious problem with homework at home, go to the teacher. Talk to them about the problems. It is possible that a compromise could be made to make the homework process an easier experience. Consistency in behaviour management is important so that children do not get mixed messages.

Behaviour

Behaviour is an underlying issue which stops children from succeeding in school. This doesn’t always have to refer to disruptive behaviour but their learning behaviour as well.

Are they focused in class? Do they challenge themselves? Do they apply themselves well to their work?

However, what if their behaviour is disruptive to their education? From the perspective of a teacher, it is important to me that I communicate any concerns with home and that conversations are followed up with the child by parents or carers. It is this consistency that can have a big impact on a child’s education.

The overarching theme here is good communication. With this as a starting point, everything else will start to fall into place.

Article thanks to teachertoolkit.co.uk

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