Educational research has shown time and time again that parent involvement has a direct correlation to academic success. It is also a key element in helping children improve skills and encourages learning. Involvement includes providing a routine at home, structuring out of school activities, modeling hard work, providing realistic expectations, and encouraging academic progress both inside and outside of school. There are many online resources that can assist parents to help their children to be successful both academically and in personal growth in all areas of life.
US Department of Education: Helping Your Child Series
The U.S. Department of Education provides an online series called Helping Your Child. The links and information provided on this website include booklets about how to help children at various stages with the different academic subject areas. The tips and information on this page provide a great basis and foundation for parents in helping their children to learn at home. It includes what to expect that their children will learn in school and how they can help them to grow at home.
For example, the science section explains that science is not just memorizing facts and that it actual includes a lot about exploration including experimentation and hypothesis. They also provide ideas of how you can incorporate science at home that include specific directions and materials for parents to follow.
My Job Chart
My Job Chart is a free online resource where kids can track their activities to earn rewards. This is a great system for younger children to learn about routines at home and building structure at home. The chart helps to hold children accountable for responsibilities at home and makes them more independent as they grow older. The chart can be used to document chores like cleaning their bedroom, doing the dishes, or taking out the trash. It can also be used to gauge time spent on video games, watching TV or spent on activities like soccer practice or guitar lessons.
Within the program, parents add the desired activities and then apply points to earn rewards. The points are documented online. Rewards can range from an at-home family game night to earning a trip to the movies. Parents can be creative and develop the rewards based upon interests of the child and family. They do not need to involve money and sometimes children perceive the best reward to be time with the parent. When the child completes the activity, they earn points. Each time the child completes the activity they earn a virtual sticker. When the child reaches the desired goal number, the reward is earned.
Doing Math with Your Child
One of the most feared academic activities for parents is helping their children with at home with math. However, there are many online resources that can help to ease this fear. Math.com provides an entire section of their website devoted to helping parents to help their children with math at home. It provides home activities for math, resources, along with how to communicate with your child’s math teacher. Another great resource is YouTube. You can watch videos provided by eHow and Expert Village to learn how to complete the various problems that your child may be working on in class. The videos are great for families to watch together to learn together. Then you can assist your child without any fear. Plus, keep in mind we all make mistakes sometimes!
Being an active participant in your child’s learning will help them to be successful in school and in life. It is one of the most important aspects of being a responsible parent. The Internet is a wealth of material to assist in helping them to grow.
Article By Laura Ketcham
Picture By ernstl
Free Educational Resources by SmartTutor.com