While every child may learn differently, one thing is for sure – every child is always learning. Learning starts at the earliest age imaginable and continues throughout one’s entire life. But the early years are when the foundation is built, so it’s arguably the most important stage of learning. Keeping this in mind, it’s easy to see that parents and family are actually the first teachers of any child. That model of a parent as ‘teacher’ also continues throughout the developmental years, and maybe further too. So then, what role do parents play in the education of their children? Moreover, how can parents be involved in their child’s education? We intend to address these questions here in this article.
The Effects of Parents on Childhood Education
Firstly, let’s address the effects of parents on childhood education. Several studies, like the one conducted at the University of Tetova, have analyzed how the home environment affects a child’s development. There is a great range of influences and expectations passed down to children by those within the home. Thusly, when the parents are involved with their child’s education, children become more motivated and confident. If they’re of school age already, they tend to strive harder toward their goals and encourage others around them too. More involved parents lead to better learning outcomes.
How to be Involved in a Child’s Education
With that out of the way, let’s get into how to be involved in your child’s education. Prioritizing your involvement as a parent in your child’s education can be a beneficial part of your everyday responsibilities. Think of it as an investment in their future.
If your child is still very young, one of the best ways to be a teacher is to engage with them in any natural environment. Give yourself the opportunity to spend time with them every day. Be curious, present, and articulate to them with whatever might be going on. Even the mundane stuff makes a great difference. Ask questions to your child and incite their critical thinking abilities. “What color is that?” How many legs does that ant have?” “Should we share with our neighbors? Why?” Things like that. Remember, every moment is a moment in the classroom for young children.
Once your child reaches school age, parents can create partnerships between themselves and the school. For example, go out of your way to spend time with your child’s teachers. Maybe create an email thread or text chat where you can maintain constant communication. Most of all, never give up on their learning process. As you might read a book with a younger child, read out loud about some current events with your older kids and discuss them. Dinner time is a great time to have family discussions about the course of the day, the week, the world.
Homeschooling parents will face similar challenges as working parents, with the added burden of management. Essentially, they are the same as school teachers. Homeschooling parents would benefit from creating a separate space dedicated to learning within the home. Schedules will help a lot (like a school curriculum). Also, remaining somewhat strict is helpful for the psyche of the student. A clear divide between “mommy mommy” and “teacher mommy” will then be made.
What’s great is that they’ve got the opportunity to model learning based on the standard of education, but in fun creative ways. They also can zero-in on the learning of their child who they know so well. Homeschooling parents will find themselves more constantly involved in the education of their child, which is great! Either way, it’s an important job that has to be done.
How To Be Involved In Your Child’s Math Education?
There are many great and easy ways that parents can get involved in their children’s math education. When we consciously think about it, it’s easy to see that math is everywhere! As we’ve stated before, math is necessary to engage with our surroundings. Therefore, it needs no introduction to a child — we are all born as mathematicians. To recap, here are a few tips on how you can always prolong math learning at home:
- Sing songs or read stories that involve counting
- Ask “how many” or “what color is this” when with your child
- Point out shapes whenever you can
- Ask questions that compare and contrast size, weight, or distance
A Final Tip on Childhood Education
No matter the age or relationship, children will do as they see and feel. Consider yourself the first student of your own bits of advice. Be a role model and reflect what you wish to see out of others. That’s actually the best way for kids to become interested in something that you have a passion for. In fact, this is how EMC’s founder, Anna, started the school! Anna wished to share her passion for math with her kids while making it fun and engaging for them. Eventually, more kids started coming along as they saw how exciting math classes can be. Soon enough, a passion project turned into a full-blown nationwide math school.
As a matter of fact, there are many ways you can do this. Even on a smaller scale. For example, if you really enjoy cooking and want your child to become interested in cooking as well, just be passionate and enthusiastic. Cook in full bloom, with a smile on your face. Encourage them to try it out, as you would anyway else. Your little one is likely to give cooking a shot at some point out of both adoration for you and respect for your character. This method of suggestion works a lot better than forcing the hand. Parents are the first and last teachers, and make the difference in what a child might become in their life!
Picture: Anna teaching her kids the AABB riddle.