5 Practical Ways to Involve Yourself in Your Child’s Education
Though much of your child’s education takes place outside of home, their learning community isn’t necessarily limited only to their classmates, teachers, and school administrators. One thing that you should remember as their parent is that you have an equally important role to play in their school life. While their instructors are responsible for teaching them new concepts, and while their classmates serve as their peers and friends, you can wear the hat of their chief supporter, cheerleader, mentor, and chaperone. There are a number of creative ways that you can show your parental support for your child during their formative years, all while striking a balance between being totally uninvolved and being too stifling.
What are the most practical ways to involve yourself in your child’s education in Singapore, especially during their elementary and secondary school years? Below are five helpful tips for the proactive parent.
Learn about Their School’s Curriculum
You may already know a bit about the school’s curriculum if it was a contributing factor in your choice of school for your child. But over the years, some interesting changes may unfold in the curriculum itself as well as in the teaching pedagogies used to deliver it. If your child is enrolled in a forward-thinking institution like the Stamford American International School, you have the benefit of knowing that educators are constantly striving to keep their delivery methods fresh and relevant. It would be a good idea to keep as up to date about the educational program as your child is. That way, you’ll know more about what exactly they’re learning in school, how they’re being instructed, and what the future of their overall learning experience might be like.
Provide Learning Enrichment Opportunities at Home
Another practical thing that you can do to support your child is to extend their learning experiences beyond the classroom. You can help them go on a deeper dive for the lessons that they really like and provide them with enrichment activities that they can enjoy at home. Some examples are an ongoing scrapbook project for a child who loves their art class or a set of math games for a child who likes working with numbers. This doesn’t have to apply only for the lessons they like or the subjects they’re good at; you can also take the opportunity to use enrichment activities to tutor your child in the subjects where they’re experiencing some difficulty. In some cases, a little more time to digest the subject—plus a fresh take on its application—will be just what they need to become more confident in that particular area of learning.
Support Your Child in Their Co-Curricular Life
It’s understandable for a parent to be worried about their child doing well in their lessons, but academics shouldn’t be the only thing involved in a child’s school life. Co-curricular activities will allow them to learn lessons that they won’t pick up as well from the classroom—for example teamwork, healthy attunement with their bodies and minds, how to be creative, and how to think quickly on their feet. You can take on an active role in your child’s holistic development by encouraging them to pursue co-curricular activities like sports, academic clubs, theater, the school paper, or the school band. If they’ve found a co-curricular activity that they love, let them know how proud you are that they’re pursuing their passion. Also make sure to be there are support them through games, competitions, or other special co-curricular events.
Join the School’s Parent-Teacher Organization
Parents who have the time and who are particularly interested in getting more involved with their child’s school community will find it a good idea to join the school’s active parent-teacher organization (PTO). The PTO is one of your best springboards for advocating for your child’s interests and for making sure that the adults in school are looking properly after them. This is not to say that parent-teacher interactions in a PTO need to be combative; on the contrary, most PTOs tend to inspire a lot of camaraderie and cooperation between parents and teachers because both want the best for students.
Kindle Your Child’s Passions Outside of School
Lastly, to be more involved in the most important outcomes of your child’s school life, you can find additional ways for them to develop their interests and to settle on a future for themselves. For elementary school-aged students who are just discovering a love for the natural sciences, supplement their lessons by taking them camping or scheduling a visit to the nearest nature trail or aquarium. For high school students who are choosing between degree programs and career paths, join them in a physical or virtual tour of their dream university or take them to an event spearheaded by professionals they admire. Your child’s education is not just a matter of learning in the present—it’s also a matter of deciding on a future. They will be happy about you showing support for their dreams and taking an active role in helping them settle on their vocation.
Now that learning models have evolved to become more digitally-driven and hybridized, it’s all the more important for you to understand your role as a parent and how you can be more involved in your child’s schooling. Along with the tips listed above, you can seek out additional resources to help you become more proactive about your child’s learning experiences in the digital age, such as the Singapore Ministry of Education’s online parent kits.
As long as you observe a proper balance, you won’t regret stepping up more when it comes to your child’s education. One of the greatest honors you’ll experience as a parent is your child’s gratitude for being so involved, and for helping them become who they were always meant to be.