How do we, as parents, encourage our student’s growth? It’s not as easy as just stay, “get involved,” it’s more than just that. Student growth is more than just getting a better grade in a certain subject, it’s about fostering and encouraging their love for learning. Encouraging them to go farther.
Here are a few helpful hints to get started.
*The first step is to know what’s going on.
Now, I know it’s not always easy to get answers out of our kids, especially as they get older, but here are a few tips. Don’t ask, “So, what did you learn about today?” It’s too broad and the likelihood of “Nothing” as an answer is pretty big. Instead be more specific. Ask, “Did you use your science journal today? What did you write in it?” For little ones, ask “Did you use your colored pencils today? What did you color?” Start the conversation and be truly interested, ask to see their work, ask follow-up questions (be careful not to interrogate), praise it (don’t compare it to others.) Ask your student what they are proud of, what might they change if they did it again.
*The second step is to make sure you are reading the newsletters that are sent home.
It can fill in the blanks and help you out. When you know what is going on, you are able to make more connections to their education easier.
*The next step is to sit with your student and ask them to show you what they are proud of.
Growing up, our laundry room door was our gallery. Every month, my father would collect our work and tape it on the door for everyone to see. When people came over, I would show it off. I knew my parents were proud of my work and it made me want to do more, work harder. Encouragement from family members is so valuable and inspiring for students.
*The last step, don’t leave all the teaching to the teachers.
There are so many things that can be done at home that can encourage growth in our students. Prioritize time for adventures with your student. They don’t have to be big elaborate events that cost lots of money, it can be every day activities. If your student loves learning about the environment, take a hike with a field guide and point out different plants. Cook together, try something new from the grocery store that you have never had before. Construction or architecture an interest? Walk past a construction site and talk about what you see. Does your young child like to build, check out the free kids class at Home Depot. Seattle museums are free on the first Thursday of the month. There are so many options to extend their learning, peak their interest, it just takes a few minutes, a google search, and openness to try new things.