Like adults, if kids are not interested/engaged in what’s being taught they are less likely to learn or pay attention.
In education, student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism and passion that students exhibit when they are learning or being taught by an instructor. Research has demonstrated that student engagement is positively correlated with the students motivation to learn and thus their academic achievements. In other words, students that are more engaged in their learning achieve higher academic standings.
To ensure your child’s academic success, here are some tips on keeping your child engaged in learning outside the classroom!
1. Get Involved!! – parents that are active in their child’s education make
Parents that are active in their child’s education make a huge difference in their success. By getting involved, it shows your child that you care and support them, and this in turn motivates them to stay engaged and perform better in school. Ways to get involved:
- Talk to your child about what they did/learned in class that day
- Doing so will provide your child with the opportunity to use their own words to explain what they learned and this in turn will help them solidify what they learned in class
- Help them with their homework
- Ask them questions to get a sense of how well they know/understand the content
- Share your enthusiasm for learning, as this will rub off on your kids and make them more enthusiastic about learning as well
- If you can go and support your child at their school events
- Get to know your child’s teachers
- Again if you can volunteer to help set up/run school events
Most often children who develop a love for reading, develop a love for learning. Reading not only helps kids develop their reading skills or enhance their vocabulary, it also teaches them how to process information presented in a formal manner. It’s also been proven that students who read well are also able to learn better in all subjects. To help your child develop a love for reading, let them pick their own books for which they show an interest in.
To keep your child engaged in learning, make learning fun by incorporating it with games (ex; educational video games/board games/Jeopardy etc.). When a child is actively engaged with a game, their mind associates fun with learning and this in turn helps them retain information better. In addition to games being fun there is also a competitive aspect to games. So by incorporating learning with games, it encourages participants to perform at a higher level so that they can win the competition.
Provide Real-Life Applications
You can keep your child engaged in learning by demonstrating to them that what they learn in school are actually useful in real-life. Show your child that there is a reason that they go to school. Also try to link/reference what your child learns in class with things that they are interested in (pop culture, music, TV shows etc..)
Focus on Interests/Strengths
To keep your child engaged in learning and to make them better learners, identify the academic areas in which they excel in and help them expand their knowledge in that particular field (by sharing videos or books about the topic they are interested in). Often the academic areas in which your child excels in, our the areas of study that they are most interested/engaged in and therefore they will be more motivated to continue to learn more about that particular area of study.
Find the Right Learning Style
All students are different, and therefore they all have different combinations of learning styles that best works for them. Identifying the right learning style for your child will enhance their performance in school and this in turn will keep the motivated/engaged in learning, as they want to continue to perform well.
Praise Effort and Achievements
No matter how big or small it’s always important to recognize and celebrate your child’s efforts/achievements. This is especially important for younger kids that require constant positive reinforcement to keep them motivated to learn and perform at their best. Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to push your child to learn and perform their best. Parent with multiple children should not be tempted to compare their child’s achievements, but rather recognize their child’s individual achievements.
Focus on What Your Child is Learning NOT their Performance
Instead of always asking for your child’s test scores and comparing how your child did relative to the rest of the class, focus on what your child is learning and the areas in which they are struggling. Doing so will reduce any performance stress your child may be feeling and will also teach them that results aren’t everything and that the actual learning experience is what’s actually important.
When you as parents become involved, school becomes something you and your child share together! Your daily participation in your child’s educational success shows them that you care, support them and believe in their ability to succeed both in the classroom and in life.