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The impact of home life on a child’s education

A commentary by Cuthbert Sandy

My teacher education in the years 1976–1978 at Corinth Teachers’ College still serves me in good stead, notwithstanding from that time to now there have been major improvements in technology and an explosion of the social media.

The basics remain the same. My concern is the need to remind parents of the impact of the home life on the education and the eventual success or otherwise of their child. I do proffer some tips.

You want your child to grow up to be healthy, happy and exceptional adults, but for that to happen your children need to be properly cared for, guided, loved, disciplined, taught and encouraged along the way.

Parents have the responsibility of encouraging, modelling and reinforcing appropriate behaviour. It is important that parents understand their role in the development and establishment of these behaviours.

A child’s education starts from home. Parents are their first teachers and they have a key role in shaping their character. A balance of education at home and school will mould a student’s actual learning. Parents need to be a helpful hand in the child’s educational journey and travel with them with true inspiration.

A child’s learning scale is highly related to how they are treated at home. A few ways which parents can adopt to help with their child’s education:

Be a role model: Children would be easily inspired by what their parents do. So it would be good to be a role model in their learning phase. Show them how exciting and meaningful a school life can be if they give of their best.

Read together: Parents doing things together with their children give them a sense of support and confidence. It is a good idea to visit the library together and share quality books to help them get additional knowledge than classroom lessons.

Oversee a child’s activity: It is important to have an eye on the child’s activity in school and home. Their general habits are closely linked to how they perform in their studies. Balancing the time between lessons, play time and rest is important to have a quality student life.

Provide a pleasant atmosphere: Parents should ensure that their children are provided with a peaceful and pleasant atmosphere at home. Avoid discussing family problems in kid’s presence. If you notice that your child is not performing well or giving less attention to studies, correct that situation. Don’t spoil their peace of mind with ill words, give constructive criticism if you notice any downsides. Make them understand what is right and wrong rather than simply blaming them.

Help them with home assignments without actually doing it for them. Help them prepare for exams with good guidance and support. Reward them for good results. Maintain parent/teacher relationships. Don’t skip parent/teacher meetings. When you show an interest in your child’s matters, it gives them a good feeling.

Set aside time: Working parents would be busy with their tight schedules, however you need to set aside time for your children. Monitor and prioritise the child’s learning. Avoid unnecessary trips or functions that can affect their school schedule. Don’t allow them to take unnecessary leave from school for silly matters.

Share your personal experience: It is good to share some of your school life experiences with your child. This can include positive and negative experiences to help them understand the importance of learning. Inspire them with your success stories to teach them the importance of hard work.

Talk with your child: Spend enough time every day to talk with your child. Learn from them about their concerns or doubts about any thoughts or scary things and give them moral support for the problems they are facing. Be a good friend. Give your child an opportunity to share what is on their mind and to express their true feelings.

Besides school learning, parents’ active role during their child’s study life can help them to grow up with better social skills and improved behaviour. Many studies and surveys have noted the importance of parents’ involvement in the child’s education. Students with good support from home have achieved more success at school and grew up with a higher self-esteem.