Parents are their children’s primary teachers. The role that parents play in their children’s learning is beyond measure. The following are suggestions for ways that parents can help support at home what their children are learning in school.

Scheduling a daily family homework time on weekday afternoons or evenings is an excellent way to offer children needed support and to encourage them to do their best. Gathering the family together for this common time emphasizes to children the importance of education. It demonstrates that parents and teachers agree on the value of learning and that they support each other. It leads to better participation of students at school because they feel prepared and confident. Children relish time with their parents. Sharing learning time is an experience that they will remember with appreciation as they grow older.

Challenging children to think creatively and critically is important to their developing minds. Reading a book with them and asking them “how” or “why” questions about the story expands their thinking and stretches their imaginations. Another excellent activity is to read part of a story and then ask children to predict the ending – or, even more interesting, to have them make up an ending of their own. Recreational reading can be great fun, as well as a great learning experience!

Conversing with children – perhaps over dinner in the evening or while driving in the car – is another way to help children learn. Children enjoy talking about important moments in their day. This may mean sharing stories about what they learned that day, stories about special events, or stories about social interactions. Communicating their thoughts through spoken words in a meaningful and organized way is the first step toward being able to write them on paper.