In the April 2014 issue, The Atlantic published an article called “Don’t Help Your Kids with Their Homework.” This article provides snippets of new research regarding how parents can most effectively help their children excel.
The bottom line? Kids don’t need helicopter parents. You don’t have to attend every school function or check every piece of homework before it gets turned in. (Thank goodness. Who has time for that every night?!)
Most measurable forms of parental involvement seem to yield few academic dividends for kids, or even to backfire—regardless of a parent’s race, class, or level of education.”
(Atlantic, April 2014 "Don't Help Your Kids with Their Homework")
*Reading to your children
(Woohoo! This is a fun one!)
*Demonstrating the benefits of academic success
(Talk about how enjoyable college is, the excitement of being able to choose a career, the lifestyle choice that academic success provides...)
*Encouraging thoughtful questions and critical thinking
(When they ask for a pet, respond by asking for a persuasive argument as to why this would be a good idea.)
My take-away: Kids are ready to succeed- they need you to provide the tools. They need to be praised for critical thinking, given situations that provide opportunities for exploration, and an environment that reminds them of the importance of education.
The article did stress the importance of a good classroom teacher. Unfortunately, I don't think we all have the option to hand pick our child's teacher. This is one of the great opportunities tutoring can provide. Find a tutor who connects with your child. Ensuring your student has the resources- academic support- they need can make a world of difference.
I also see tutoring as a great opportunity for parents to demonstrate the importance of academics without saying a word. Hiring a private tutor shows children, “Look! We have a special person coming just for you! This person is here solely to make sure you understand, and enjoy, learning! Academics are something we value in our home.”
Please check out The Atlantic article here & share your thoughts in the comment section below!