Try these strategies to stay on top of the content being covered in school, so you can deal with any issues if they come up.
Parents want to know what their kids are learning about in school, and this awareness is especially important in today’s world, where there is no guarantee that school educators share your moral outlook. How can you stay on top of the content being covered in your child’s classroom and remain informed about what they’re learning?
Even if you have the desire to be involved, it can be hard to figure out the best approach. First of all, you’re probably short on time. Second, you probably don’t want to step on any toes at school.
At the same time, knowing what’s going on in the classroom is important enough to make the time for it. Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers, after all. Yes, it might take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it.
“Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children,” the Catechism says. That means that you as the parent have the ultimate authority over what your child is learning.
Most parents don’t homeschool but nonetheless want to be informed and aware of what’s going on at school. If you have the desire to be more involved in your child’s education, here are 3 strategies to put into practice.
1Ask about what they’re doing at school
Remind your child that you love to hear about what they’re learning. Take an active interest in everything they’re doing at school.
Part of this involves what happens outside of lessons. What’s going on at recess? What conversations are they having over lunch? Ask them about all of these things and show that you really care about even the smallest details.
You can also show them that learning doesn’t just happen in the four walls of a classroom. Extend what they’re learning at home, through conversations, checking out books about their school subjects, or watching movies about the topics as a family.
Another good tactic is to take a few minutes to flip through your kids’ school books from time to time, so you have a clear idea of the content being covered. Instead of looking at this as a chore, turn it into a fun moment of connection as you ask your child what they enjoyed learning about the various topics.
2Get to know their teachers and the school staff
A great way to get involved without stepping on any toes at school is to volunteer your time. Help out in the classroom, join the PTA or PTO, and strike up friendly conversations with their teachers. A little friendliness goes a long way.
These gestures of goodwill make the conversation much smoother if you do end up having concerns about something going on in the classroom. And just as importantly, they demonstrate to your child and their teachers just how much you value their education.
3Foster open communication
Build the habit of good conversations as a family, so your kids keep you up to date on what they’re hearing and learning. Your goal is that they will share with you the things that matter to them or that are bothering them, before you even have to ask.
At the heart of being involved in your child’s education is fostering this environment of honest, open communication. You want your child to feel comfortable telling you if they come across something scary or upsetting. If you listen and pay attention to them in the little things, they will feel comfortable trusting you with bigger things later on.
Talking about what’s going on at school and spending time at school are just two pieces of the puzzle. Most of all, focus on building this kind of candid communication that will strengthen your relationship with your child for the long haul.