Anthony J D’Angelo, an American author, once said, “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow,” and he is correct. Education doesn’t stop after school ends. The world is full of learning opportunities, and it is crucial that you instill the desire to continue learning in your children.
That passion that Mr. D’Angelo spoke about has to start at home and with your help. With your encouragement, your children won’t look at learning as something that is boring or a necessary dullness meant to ruin their playtime – they’ll look at it as an adventure or a challenge.
In this article, we want to provide you with a few tips parents like yourself can employ to get your kids to embrace learning, especially once high school is over.
Tip 1. Express Your Interest at Home
When your kids are young, you want to show your children how interested you are in their education. Set aside time every night to help them with their homework or talk about the things they are learning in school. Start this routine at the very beginning: kindergarten.
Candace Lindemann, an Educational Consultant, and former teacher suggest when you are discussing your child’s day, “Begin and end with your child’s achievements. Praise any effort in the right direction.”
For example, If your child mentions they had a test and failed, but you know they have been studying hard, praise them for those efforts. You don’t want your child to become discouraged, and your praise will let them know that you recognize they are trying their best.
Tip 2. Encourage a Love For Math
Of all the subjects in school, many students struggle with math. In 2012, it was reported that 7 percent of all students have the learning disability called “dyscalculia.” It is the math equivalent of dyslexia, and it has been overlooked by educators (especially in public schools), but researchers are receiving grants to try and understand the learning disability.
When you child mentions that they are no good at math or that they don’t understand it, don’t brush it off because it gives them the impression that math doesn’t matter. Instead, play a game like Chutes and Ladders.
In an article published on PBS.org, they report that Carnegie Mellon and the University of Maryland conducted a study in 2009 that discovered when preschoolers played Chutes and Ladders, their math skills improved significantly in comparison to students who played another game, or completed non-math tasks.
If your child is struggling with math, that doesn’t mean your child cannot excel in STEM programs.
It is believed that Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and even Ben Gates are thought to have math deficiencies, but they have gone on to be incredible thinkers in math and science. The key to learning is the attitude to which you approach it.
Tip 3. Become Involved With Your Child’s School Community
Networking isn’t reserved for climbing the corporate ladder. By becoming involved with your child’s school community, you’ll have a better sense of what is going on within the school.
But you will also become familiar with the parents of the kids your child plays with, but you’ll be able to meet PTA members, substitute teachers, classroom volunteers, and even members of the faculty.
By being active in your child’s school, you’ll be able to stay informed about what is going on within the education system, but it can also benefit your child, too. Examples of how being involved with your child’s school can benefit your child include:
· Preadolescent children will share the same excitement for learning when their parents share the same enthusiasm.
· Parents who are involved in school-related issues can help the child become more accountable to themselves and their education.
· A child may be more open to sharing their day-to-day life in school and even their socio-emotional experiences.
· Children whose parents are involved will get relevant support in their education, but also receive encouragement for extra-curricular activities.
· A child will feel more secure in knowing their parents are aware of the school’s expectations.
Tip 4. Encourage Summer Programs
For children who enjoy learning, you can enroll them in summer programs that focuses on STEM programs. An example of what these programs can cover includes courses such as:
· Environmental Science
· Computer Science
· Electrical Engineering
· ...and more.
High school students who live in the New Orleans area can attend Tulane’s STEM summer programs for high school students, where they will get a hands-on learning experience that will help them understand the connection between improving the community and scientific knowledge.
Tulane isn’t the only option for these types of programs either. There are programs all over the country that encourages students to become interested in STEM programs.
For parents whose children are interests in science, technology, engineering, or math, you can find programs that caters to children between 7th and 12th grade.
Tip 5. Use Scholarships to Help Achieve Greatness
When you hear about students getting a full ride to the college of their choice, we often think it is because of an athletic scholarship. Although the 1 million boys played football at their high school in 2008, only a very small number (28,000) of them received scholarships to a Division I or Division II college.
Of those students, even fewer will go on to become a professional athlete. What’s more telling is that while they may receive a scholarship, it isn’t going to cover all of the annual college expenses.
So what does this mean? This means that your child will need other scholarships or grants to help pay for school.
This is where academic scholarships can come into play. There are so many different scholarship possibilities, your child doesn’t have to rely on just their ability to play sports.
There are scholarships for almost anything you can think of!
You just have to look for them and apply. We recommend applying for all the scholarships your child can qualify for to minimize the amount of money you have to come up with.
As a parent, we want the very best for our children and we want them to succeed. The success of our children shouldn’t rest solely on their shoulders; you have to take an active role in their education at all times.
This means taking time out of your busy day to show enthusiasm over what your child has to say about their school day. It means helping them with their homework and doing your best to make it fun and exciting. It means being involved at school and help them plan for their future.
When you become an active role in your child’s education, you may be surprised by their enthusiasm to have you show interest.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.