Supporting your child’s education is one of your most important responsibilities. By cultivating a love of learning and knowledge at a young age, you can prepare your child for success. Here are some strategies to help you build a foundation of learning.
Nurture learning at home
Learning doesn’t stop when the school day ends. A child absorbs as much or more at home and through his or her experiences as through a textbook. Try some of these tips to encourage learning at home:
- Keep to a routine. Make homework part of the routine by sticking to the same spot and time of day. Make sure your child has a quiet place to study.
- Monitor homework. Check your child’s homework every night, not just to see whether it’s complete, but also for quality. Help your child carve out chunks of time to tackle larger projects.
- Praise your child’s efforts. Children learn best by positive reinforcement. Whenever you have an opportunity, praise your child for a job well done.
- Encourage learning at home. If your child is interested in insects, buy an ant farm. Talk about something in the news or a book he or she just read. Fostering full-time learning is one of the best ways to equip children for life after graduation and future success.
Build a relationship with your child’s school
Your relationship with the school will show your child and the school’s staff the importance you attach to education. Even if you relocate often or are temporarily deployed, there are ways you can build a relationship with the school and your child’s teachers to help your child perform as well as possible:
- Meet the teacher. Allowing your child’s teacher to put a face with your name is a great way to show your investment in your child’s education.
- Attend events. Being present at back-to-school nights, school board meetings, open houses and school fairs can help both you and your child feel more connected to the school.
- Volunteer. There are dozens of ways to give your time to your child’s school, so it’s just a matter of finding a way to volunteer that suits your schedule.
- Join the parent-teacher group. Attending PTA/PTO meetings can be a great way to stay in the loop about what’s happening at the school and get involved.
Tap into support and resources
Providing the best possible education for your child is not a one-person job. Be sure to tap into the support and resources of your military community.
- Home-schooling resources are available on your installation. They include school liaison officers, activities through your installation’s Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA, school, and child, youth and teen programs.
- The Head Start program teaches reading, math and other developmental skills to children 5 and younger before they start school. If you are stationed overseas, Sure Start is open to command-sponsored military children who meet specific age requirements and other criteria.
- The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library is your source for free online resources for children, teens and adults — including eBooks and audiobooks on virtually every topic. Use the library to help your child learn and stay engaged and entertained.
- Military OneSource education consultants can assist you with questions about your child’s education. These one-on-one sessions are free, confidential and can provide you with referrals to in-home tutors and tutoring centers in your area as well as public and private school information. Call 800-342-9647 at any time to schedule an appointment. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.
Give your child the best chance for success. Foster an appreciation for learning — it can help your child meet his or her potential and develop life skills that extend far beyond the classroom.