Doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur; Butcher, baker, candlestick maker… we just don’t know. We just don’t know what our children may grow up to become, but we MUST give them a fighting chance out of the gate.
I must admit that my son makes it very easy for me, as far as his schooling goes. He has been an A/B Honor Roll Student for most of his school life. He is currently in the 5th grade, and during the past two years, he has escalated to an A Honor Roll Student. He has loved school since kindergarten.
Whether your child is partial to school or not, there are things that we, as parents, can do to better equip them for a good education.
When Colby was just a fetus in my tummy, I played Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for him. I would lay the headset on my belly and just let it play. I did some research regarding the effects of playing classical music to a fetus. There is not too much evidence to support the fact that it heightens your child’s intelligence. Some experts say it does and some say it doesn’t. They are certain, however, that children (3 and 4 years old) who were tested benefited a great deal. For example, piano lessons may enhance children’s spatial reasoning skills.
On BabyZone. Com, one doctor said, “Diversity of different kinds of music are essential and can be useful for the baby’s future writing, reading and language skills.”
I am no expert, but I do know this…I have four children, total. My older kids – now in their late twenties – are very smart, don’t get me wrong; however, they did not have the love for learning that my youngest has. They were not A/B or A Honor Roll students. The only thing, I did differently during my pregnancies was to play music for my youngest while in my womb. Perhaps, that contributed to his academic achievements…I’m just sayin’. If you decide to do so, researchers warn about over stimulation. It’s not the quantity, but the quality of time you spend with your unborn child bonding.
I realize that there is more to it, though. It’s a continuous effort. Please don’t think that you send your child to school, and it is solely the faculty’s responsibility to teach them…it’s not. You, too, play a role in your child’s education.
Here are some ways to make a difference in your child’s academic life:
1.) Reasonable Bed Time. Make certain that your children are well rested for their school day. Set a reasonable bed schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Children need structure and routine. I’ve always been consistent with a specific bedtime – depending on my son’s age. We’ve gradually worked up to 9:00 p.m. If we don’t set that boundary, our children will be tired and won’t be able to concentrate to perform at their highest level.
2.) Breakfast. It is important for your child to have a nourishing breakfast. It helps them to focus better. It doesn’t have to be a big sit-down spread. It can be difficult just getting out the door in the mornings, so toast and juice, or even a breakfast bar, will do…as long as they have something in their belly. Where my son attends school, they provide a free breakfast for the students, but they must be there by a certain time, which brings me to my next tip.
3.) Get Them to School. If they have breakfast provided at their school system, make certain they arrive on time, so they can eat. Also, make certain they are punctual to avoid getting a tardy. I know a young girl – this is the absolute truth – who had 15 tardies one semester and 17 tardies the very next semester. Seven tardies make an absent, so guess how many absentees she received. That is just not fair. It can be very stressful for them, trying to catch up with the other children who have already gotten their day started. Please don’t let that happen.
4.) Help Them with Their Weaknesses. My son’s strengths are science and math. His weakness is spelling and vocabulary. Well, what do you know, I am just the opposite! Those are subjects in which I can give him guidance. I’ll study his words with him and give him funny little anecdotes to help him remember the spelling and meaning of words.
5.) Be Involved. Be involved in school activities. I know it is difficult because you probably work full-time, but you can stay connected to your child’s teacher. I communicate with my son’s teachers, via e-mail, whenever I have comments or questions. Let them see that you very much care about your child’s education, and guess what, they will, too! Chaperone field trips when you can, and always – I mean always – be present for any performances that your child has, such as plays, etc. Help them with school projects. My son just did a science fair project about how long it takes for food dye to dissolve in still water. He had to research it, do the experiment, and complete a science project board. I was his assistant the entire time! We even took a snack break together and then went back to work. Not only was he proud of the results of his work, we had great bonding time.
6.) Lastly, Be Their Biggest Fan. Let your child know how proud you are of them. Tell them they are great! That will build up their self-esteem and give them the confidence they need to achieve whatever they desire.
You are the wind beneath their little wings. Help them fly.
Written by Alice Monterio