How involved are you in your kid’s education?

By Tajinder Singh

Do you know which subjects your kid is taking at school? Do you know which of them your kid loves the most? Do you know the name of your kid’s best friend in school?

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/495427

School going kids spend 60-70% of their waking hours, including the weekends and holidays, outside of their school. Time and again it has been seen, the more the parents gets involved with their kid’s education and school, the better their school results have been. The parent’s active involvement helps in emphasizing in the kid’s mind, that the home and school are inter-connected.

There are several ways you can get involved. As my wife and I go about parenting our 2 kids, who are in the 10th and 7th class, here are few tips (that we got from others) that are working for us.

Show consistent interest in what they are doing in school. We continue to learn a thing or two from our kids or sometimes have a good laugh, when they come home excited to tell what happened in school today. This conveys to them that you value what is happening in school.

Get passionate and learn up about any sport, activity, hobby that your kid is crazy about, and participate whole heartedly in it. Yes, it can be an online/video game too! The enthusiasm and camaraderie that you will build here will help you have better conversations around their learning and education.

Sometimes, have conversations with them on what they don’t like about their school education or what worries them. It will identify issues that you might be in a position to help and fix. However, be mindful that there will be some lame excuses here!

And of course, visit their school regularly, especially when they are participating in any school activity or sport. That goes a long way in boosting their confidence.

So how are you involved? Do share your thoughts, and we would love to learn from your tips.

About the Author:

Tajinder Singh Sidhu is a Founder and Director at Learnhive. He has over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles designing and managing complex technology solutions. Prior to Learnhive, he worked for over 14 years at Goldman Sachs in New York. He holds a BTech degree in Computer Science & Engg from IIT, Delhi, and a Master’s in Computer Science from College of William & Mary, Virginia. He has taught students as part of the NSS scheme in India, and currently is a volunteer teacher with the Literacy Volunteers of America.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

 

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About Tajinder Sidhu

Tajinder Singh Sidhu is a Founder and Director at Learnhive. He has over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles designing and managing complex technology solutions. Prior to Learnhive, he worked for over 14 years at Goldman Sachs in New York. He holds a BTech degree in Computer Science & Engg from IIT, Delhi, and a Master's in Computer Science from College of William & Mary, Virginia. He has taught students as part of the NSS scheme in India, and currently is a teacher with the Literacy Volunteers of America.

11 comments on “How involved are you in your kid’s education?

  1. Aditya on said:

    Its always difficult to cover a complex topic in one article.
    My experience and observation is this
    1. First understand and respect the fact that each child is different. My son never likes to talk about what he did in school but likes to talk about his friends in school. Contrary to that some kinds rattle out all they did in school
    2. Ask yourself what are you trying with your children? Experiment and see what gives results, if reading a story every night would be the mantra why don’t we all apply that and see the results. My firm belief is to try something new with your kinds always and see what kind of results is it giving. We may have to try for all our life. Do we think we know our selves well enough?
    3. Give them Maximum Exposure. If there is a drawing class, music concert, sports event, cricket match take them and expose them all the good things in life they will mature any make the right choice for their life.

    After all the Gyan let me confess a few things
    1. I’m still trying to understand my kids and I guess I am 1% successful but I’m committed to do this all my life. Why they do what they do?
    2. Experiment. I love this part and try various things are home, some are a terrific hit. Recently I did a Treasure Hut for my kids at home where I kept clues all around and challenged them to find the next one. They love it. I have many more ideas up my sleeve if you need some write to me.
    3. Exposure: I think I can do more of this. Last year on 26 Aug I made my son get on to a Army Tank and he was thrilled

    • Tajinder Sidhu on said:

      Agree, Aditya. It is too vast a topic to cover in a small blog. The idea was to stimulate parents to write about what works for them, and in the process we all become richer in terms of what else we could continue to try with our kids. And couldn’t agree more with your take on the Exposure part – it makes for a very, well rounded kid.

      I will catch up with you offline on your email to get a peek into your ideas. May be you can post your Treasure Hunt clues and our other readers might just love it.. Keep them going!

      And thanks for your insightful posting.

  2. Vani on said:

    Very true, I met with my 4 year old’s teachers today and they appreciated the things she takes for show and tell. They usually have a topic they cover every month and so we try to make something related to that. She helps me make the different things .I would like to share some of them with you . For instance the topic for last month was body parts . One week she spoke about teeth, where she took pictures of a new born, a child and an adult and spoke about how babies are born with no teeth and how, children have 20 and adults 32.
    The next week she took something on legs, where we taught her about different living beings having different number of legs, for instance humans and birds have 2, animals have 4, insects have 6, spiders have 8, and crabs have 10 and she learnt two things from this, even numbers and the number of legs each living being had ☺. We made a small diorama, with small models of each of the living beings. She might be too young, but they say a child brain is like a sponge and absorbs a lot at this age so just keep teaching a child most of all make learning fun.

    • Tajinder Sidhu on said:

      Brilliant idea, Vani !! Love it.. Will suggest this to my sister and brother-in-law to to try this out in school with their 5 year old twins. Keep these ideas coming.

  3. Shiv Shankar on said:

    Great article and practical advice Tajinder!

    Here is an excellent research report that has hard data.
    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/1/49012097.pdf

    Summary:
    1. Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all.

    2. The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socio-economic background

    3. Parents’ engagement with their 15-year-olds is strongly associated with better performance.

    • Tajinder Sidhu on said:

      Very interesting report, Shiv. As they mention here – “Students are never too old to benefit from their parents’ interest in them.”

  4. Karthik on said:

    It’s certainly important to be involved with what your child is up to – what with the information age revolutionizing the way kids think and do things! Every child’s potential has gone up tenfold and discovering that potential at a younger age is the key to helping them grow in life. More than anything else, I’m sure every child loves to talk about his/her day at school when they get home. Well written! :)

    • Tajinder Sidhu on said:

      Thanks, Karthik. You bring up an interesting angle about internet and all the information that is available there. Now more than ever, plenty of learning can happen online and that is a powerful medium where the parents can engage with their kids.

  5. Karan Bahadur on said:

    This is a very interesting article and so True!! some realization comes when we read or hear individuals sharing their experiences and then we act upon it.
    I have a son who is 19months old and learning for me is that I need to be as involved as the kid is in his studies and other activities to know his likes, dislikes and encourage and motivate in those he is interested in.
    Community like Learnhive would be a wonderful platform for kids and for parents to nurture them right.

    • Tajinder Sidhu on said:

      Karan, I also learned some of these from others, as our kids grew along. Cherish (and photograph) those moments as your son will attempt lots of activities for the first time.. and then you will see him like and naturally levitate towards one or two activities more than the others. And yes, we are building our Learnhive platform towards a more inclusive engagement of the parent getting involved with the kid’s learning.

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