Letter to ALL parents....
Educating your child is YOUR job. You must create ways to help YOUR children learn. This seems to be a daunting task for some, so I will offer a few suggestions.
First things first, when you children are home, ask them to discuss what they learned at school. If you are not home, make sure they call you and take 5-7 min. to discuss this daily. This task alone will help your child understand that you care about their days’ activities. It might also help them to pay closer attention while at school since they will have to answer your questions about their day.
Schedule time each day to check their backpacks. This is extremely important for students in K-8. Teachers often send reports, notes, or assignments that parents should review. Your child is precious and awesome, but they can be very LAZY if YOU do not PUSH THEM ON PURPOSE….in other words most young people will not do more than they are required to do.
If doing homework, completing projects, or getting documents signed is not something that YOU require, it will often be neglected. Simply checking their backpacks each day will help you to keep up with what is happening in your child’s classroom and it will help your child stay accountable and current.
*If your child is in high school, please be aware that high school teachers often assign homework and projects. If your child says, “I don’t have homework!” they are LYING to you! If there is no actual homework, there are notes they can review, chapters they can reread, projects they can start, etc. Please make constant contact with their teachers to understand how YOU can help. Again, most youth will only do what YOU require that they do.
YOU ARE THE PARENT, so YOU SET THE STANDARDS!
HOMEWORK: If your children need help with homework and you cannot provide that help, don’t get discouraged! There are usually free tutors available at their school, your church, the local library, or (I betcha) if you ask for help in your Facebook status, someone WILL help. ASK and you shall receive.
Make your presence KNOWN!
If your children believe that you (or any family member) might “pop out from behind any bush on them” they will be less likely to do a lot of things….
YES “being everywhere at all times” might interfere with your work schedule, but it is better to miss a few hours from work to put “the fear of God” in them than to miss a few days because they are suspended or worse. “Popping up” is especially important for older children. Often, parents believe that since they are older or in high school that they are old enough to “know better”. From experience, let me tell ya….just because they are taller than you, with a deep voice, shapely, or have mustaches....this DOES NOT mean that they are grown! They need YOU even more!
Finally, please read to/with your children. Ask them to write simple stories, poems, or their thoughts/goals. Practice simple math problems with them. Play Mozart or Coltrane while they sleep (after you anoint them and pray over them, of course;-) There is a multitude of evidence that suggests that any and all of the aforementioned activities will enhance brain activity (both conscious and subconscious), help your child thinking creatively, and even help them figure things out that might have been problematic before.
Mind you, if you have NOT been doing some of this, it is not too late to begin! Your kids might fuss, rebel, etc. BUT YOU ARE THE PARENT! YOU set the rules and THEY have to follow. Don’t get discouraged and keep in mind that though it will take a lot of work, time, and energy it will ensure that your children’s future is as secure as YOU can help make it! Furthermore, it truly does take a community to raise a child! So if you ASK for extra help, you WILL recieve it!
ALL of the above suggestions will enhance you, your children, and your entire household…..this enhancement will extend out to your community, your church, your nation and ultimately the world.