Tips for Making School Work Easier and More Interesting



Since the early 1600's and the establishment of the first public school on American soil (then still under English rule) in Boston, Massachusetts, education has steadily become more and more available. The ability to attend school used to be viewed as a privilege.


Education was the gateway to a better life. Though this is still true in many areas of the world, in America school has come to be viewed (at least by many of the school children) as a necessary annoyance. The great privilege of receiving an education tends to get lost in the endless tests and pressures of the modern school system.


While changing the system as a whole might seem daunting, there are things you can do as a parent to help make school work easier and more interesting.


Invest Your Time and Attention Early


We are all busy. It can be easy to just sit back and assume that your child’s school system and teachers have everything under control. The truth is, if you want to ensure your child is receiving a personalized educational experience, you have to invest yourself in the process. Meet with teachers. Look at the curriculum being used. Find out how to track your child’s performance. Don’t just sit back and wait to be informed if things aren’t going well.


Many teachers will tell you that the most successful students are supported by a three-part team: parents, teachers, and the student themselves. And by working directly with your child on their work, you can find ways to liven up the experience: a trip to the zoo while studying animal biology; a viewing of the local planetarium show while learning about space. There are endless ways to make your child’s experience more interesting and meaningful.


Homework

The work your child brings home is your daily window into what they are doing and how well they are understanding it. On one hand, you don’t want to fall into the trap of doing your child’s homework for them. (And believe me, as a former teacher myself, I can assure you that we know when little Johnny’s mother did most of his work for him.)


On the other hand, a completely hands-off approach isn’t successful either. Turn homework time into family time by creating a schedule in which everyone sits down together to get their work done. You can catch up on emails or read a book while your child does their English or math worksheets. That way you are readily available for questions and can get a first-hand look at whether or not your child is tracking with the lessons. Catching and addressing confusions early is the best way to ensure long-term success in school.


Equipped For Success


To succeed in anything, it is important to have the right tools. In terms of educational success, don’t underestimate the power of the right school supplies. Think back to your school days. Do you remember the feeling you got when you had a brand new binder, your favorite pencil case filled with nice, sharp pencils and pens of all colors, and a great backpack to put it all in? You may not have been looking forward to school, but having all that new stuff made you feel equipped for success.


These days children have so many great options to choose from. There are mechanical pencils, colorful index cards, gel pens to make written work fun, colorful rulers and protractors, etc. Investing in school supplies every year may seem like an unnecessary strain on the family budget, but if you take a moment to put yourself in your child’s shoes and relive that new-school-supplies feeling, I think you will agree that it is worth it.

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