"How was school today?"
"Did you learn anything new?"
Who hasn’t experienced some version of this conversation? We want to be involved in our kids’ school experience, but how do we really open up communication?
Talk about school
Try some specific questions:
- "Tell me about one fun thing you did today."
- "What was the most boring thing that happened in school today?"
- "Who did you like the best today?"
Share stories about your own school experiences
Bring out a picture or two of yourself at that age. Talk about experiences that were like the ones your child is having; then, empathize with what your child is going through.
Lead by example
Enroll in a class or start a new hobby yourself. Your children will see your eagerness to learn, will begin to view learning as a good thing, and will want to do it too. A child who views learning as a lifelong practice will live a fuller life.
Keep an open dialogue with your child's teacher. Know what events are happening at school, and participate if you can. If problems arise, talk to the teacher right away. Conversations with teachers can clear up problems if you handle them well.
What if there are signs of learning difficulties that can’t be addressed at school?
Anxiety over homework, slow reading, and trouble following directions are a few signals that your child might need some personalized help. Look at the Literacy & Language Center's list of symptoms for more information.
Stay involved through each level of education. Whatever your children’s ages they need your help to make the most of their years in school.