Parents as partners in reading preparation

It is imperative to stress the role of the parents as primary educators. Various opportunities for further reading skills exist within the informal education situation of the child’s home.

Parents must take an active role by assisting their children in guaranteeing success at school. Your support and encouragement is the most important part of your child’s daily success during the current as well as any other school year. This also offers you as a parent, the opportunity of forming a valuable relationship with your child. Accurate relationships do not merely happen naturally. It takes time to really put in an effort into such a relationship. Use the time at your disposal to show your child – not only through words, but also in deeds, that his/her life, fears, dreams, and future are of importance to you. The correct patterns which you build into your relationship now will yield the right fruit in future. Remember, if you plant a peach tree today –you cannot expect to pick oranges in five years’ time.

10 ways to support your child at school

Your child enters a new classroom with new friends, books and learning opportunities every year. This is an exciting time of the year. Excitement is high, and there are many opportunities for new discoveries.

This is also an important time for parents. At the start of a new school year, you will probably want to contribute to the success of your child’s year.  The following ten proven ideas and activities can help you to contribute to the success of your child’s academic year:

  1. Listen to your child every day. Encourage your child to share what happens at his/her school and outside of the house. Show that you’re a good listener. Be positive under all circumstances and teach your child to be an optimist.
  2. Support your child in his emotional and physical development. Give lots of love, hugs and positive encouragement daily. Ensure that your child gets enough sleep and prepare healthy meals for him/her. Encourage enough physical exercise, as well.
  3. Read to, or with your child on a regular basis. (If possible daily.) Encourage your child also to spend time with your child to chat about what he/she has read.
  4. Explain the importance of education to your child and encourage him always to give his best.
  5. Monitor the time your child spends in front of the television. The average child spends around 5½ hours in front of the television. Rather encourage your child to read or play during this time. The optometrists association of Australia suggested that children up to the age of three should not be allowed to watch television at all. The development of the muscles around the eye is very important to enable your eye to move smoothly across the page. Therefore playing activities should include correct eye movements! You can play fun games to assist in the development of your child’s eye muscles.
  6. When necessary, offer your help with homework, assignments or projects. Ensure that your child has a specific place to work and study. Communicate with your child’s teacher regarding expectations concerning homework assignments. Help your child – but don’t do the work for him/her! In this way, you are preparing your child to handle the responsibilities of adult life.
  7. Make use of your public library on a regular basis. Change it into an enjoyable outing. Ensure that every member of the family has a library card and uses it regularly.
  8. Cater for reading opportunities outside of the home. Visit museums, zoos, parks and historical places. This can lead to valuable learning opportunities.
  9. Encourage your child to write every day. Diaries, shopping lists, notes and letters are valuable opportunities to practise important linguistic skills.
  10. Co-operate with your child’s teacher. Teamwork between the home and school plays an important role in the academic success of your child.

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