Let's Start The Conversation! The Schooling Years
The schooling years are a big part of children’s lives and as parents and guardians, we want to make it the best possible experience for them. One of the biggest concerns parents or guardians can face is how their children are going at school.
Are they measuring up to all the milestones someone else has set for them? How are they doing in comparison to other children their age? Are they making friends?
How can we best play our part as parents? Below are some ways that you could support your child through the schooling years. It doesn’t matter what age they are, it’s never too late to start to implement some of these ideas.
Endeavour to create a positive relationship with your child’s school
Making an intentional effort when the year has just started or things are going well for your child at school can make it easier to help navigate any challenges that you may face down the track with your child’s learning experience. Nobody knows or understands your child like you do, so building a positive relationship with your school can help the school community understand who your child is and what their unique strengths and abilities are.
Attend school events where possible
Sports days and any kind of social days are a great way to show your face around the school and build rapport with others in the school community. Plus your kids will love to show you all the work they have been doing.
Introduce yourself to your child’s friends.
Developing social and emotional skills is a big part of the schooling years and your child’s development. Knowing who your child’s friends are can be a great way to be part of helping them learn the skills to build friendships. Invite them over for a play date.
Meet with your child’s teacher each term or semester
Setting aside some time to meet your child’s teachers to ask them questions about how your child is going at school is a great way to show you have an invested interest in what is happening for your child in the classroom. A couple of questions you could ask are:
- What do you see as my child’s strengths?
- What could use some extra focus at home?
- What are you learning at school this term/semester?
- What is available to support my child when they need extra help?
- What resources are available to support learning? i.e, reading eggs, computer apps
Often there will be therapists that will be able to provide insight to the best practices for your child’s learning. When organising meetings it may become a cast of thousands, choose wisely as to who you would like to attend the meeting
Ask others for support and guidance
There is an old African proverb that says ‘It takes a village to raise a child, which is so true and so important when raising children. It’s good to remember that we are not on our own and there is support and guidance available. Other parents at the school can be good support with understanding the system, learning plans and may have a child experiencing the same things as you.
One of the supports developing an Independent Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Curriculum Plan (ICP) . A plan assists students who require a range of supports with their education.