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The Importance of Parental Engagement in a Child’s Learning and Development

A child’s education comes from many sources, of course a traditional school environment is important, but learning in the home and from the family also plays a crucial role in child development. According to a recent Australian study, the home has an up to 80% impact on student achievement, where parental engagement can make or break a young learner’s development. Greater input from parents has been shown to lead to: higher grades, lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates, and a higher chance of further education.

How can I engage in my child’s learning and education?

Take an active role in your child’s education both inside and outside the classroom.

It all starts from the simple step of talking to your child to understand their studies as well as their concerns. You can help them by creating a plan of studies together, a simple wall calendar where they can write their homework or projects is a great way to begin. By understanding their workload, you can alleviate their concerns easily and bring lessons into the home.

Maybe your child is learning about the food pyramid in science class, that could be a great opportunity to have them help you prepare a healthy meal for the whole family. They will actively learn many skills through this simple task: decision making when they think of a recipe the family will enjoy, time management as they juggle many kitchen tasks, communication as they ask for help preparing the food, the list goes on, but most importantly these skills will filter back into their schoolwork with topic knowledge.

By showing an interest in your child’s work, they are also more likely to be interested themselves, and be more driven to working hard.

What if I don’t think I have the right skills to help their development?

Don’t panic, we all have our own skill set, and other skills that we can work on.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, think about what you already do well and can pass on to your child. For example, if you are athletic, develop a connection through a back-garden obstacle course with your child, and develop coordination and teamworking skills through active play. Or perhaps you hold a lot of meetings and presentations at work, encourage your child to develop their own communication and management skills through presenting their art project to you, or the family, telling you how and why they painted a certain way. All you need to do is think about the skills you use daily, and how you can adapt these to help your child.

By teaching your child through your own existing skills you will see that as a parent you already have a wide range of abilities that your child can benefit from, and you might learn a thing or two from them in return.

If you are looking for more tips on how to engage with your child and develop their entrepreneurial skills, take a look at the #parENTrepreneurs blog for more tips.