The beginning of the school year is always anxious for parents, children, and teachers alike. What could help make learning participles definition and examples more effective and less stressful? Deborah McNamara shares her teaching and psychological experience.
As a teacher, I looked forward to September, despite the “classic” nightmares I used to have before the school year started. I dreamed about phones I couldn’t reach, students I had lost, lesson plans I had completely forgotten. And yet, despite all the imagined horrors that never happened, the beginning of the school year was exciting for me – it included both anticipation of meeting new students and thinking about how to help them learn.
My summer was spent toiling – I was updating the curriculum and creating new lesson plans, but many of my students, I suspect, were sighing and grumbling as they watched their summer break come to an end. I took it calmly-I was sure that, in time, they would enjoy learning again.
A month into the school year I became convinced once again that it is not just me, the classroom, the methods, and the curriculum that influence learning. And while teachers are responsible for creating a fruitful learning environment, parents play a crucial role in making sure that their child is ready to learn when he or she comes to school.
From a teacher’s perspective, there are plenty of ways parents can influence their child’s learning success. One of them is learning: https://argoprep.com/blog/compound-sentences-definition-and-examples/. Most of these recommendations are obvious, and yet they are usually overlooked and devalued in the pursuit of academic success. Here’s the bottom line: when families and schools work together, learning increases exponentially.
1. provide support and normalize the difficulties that inevitably arise in learning.
Very often when learning, people step out of their comfort zone and find themselves outside of what they know. In the process of learning, we strain and stretch, immerse ourselves in discovery and research, take apart something known and put it back together again, and in the process change. And of course, all of this can come with discomfort because we are moving into the realm of the unknown, the vulnerable and the new.
I have often told students that if a teacher really cares about children learning, they should work hard. The student should not be resentful, but accept as a gift that there are people who believe in their ability to learn and to push their own boundaries.
Parents can help the child accept the feelings of discomfort and normalize these emotions that are part of the learning process. It is important not to try at all costs to “save” the child or to avoid this discomfort, but to reassure the child that you believe: he will do well and you will always help. Similarly, if you scold the teacher for making learning so difficult, it will in no way support his or her relationship with the child and will not help him or her overcome school difficulties.
There are situations when children need help and intervention from adults to help figure out and overcome learning difficulties. Such support will be most effective when there is close collaboration between teacher and parent.
2. Help your child adjust.
There is a lot that can go wrong in school: the breaks end too quickly, a child has to be one of many students who all have their own needs and desires, have to wait their turn, and have to follow someone else’s set rules. You have to face a lot of futility in school – it’s part of life, and there’s no way to control it. Some children are more adaptable than others, and part of that depends on the support they get at home about plural linking verbs.
Irritability often signals that something is not going as desired for a child and frustration has accumulated. Children can unload their frustration on their brothers, sisters and other family members – hence the frequent tantrums after school. Helping the child name their worries and outline exactly what is going wrong can reduce frustration and help them adjust. In the process, tears may appear – and then it is important to support the child with warmth and patience so that he or she can accept what cannot be changed.
3. Strengthen your relationship with your children.
When a child grows up in a secure, caring relationship with their adults, they are less likely to come to school with a “hunger” for affection. A child whose attention is not consumed by the pursuit of intimacy with friends concentrates better and does not seek unhealthy relationships with peers, and is less vulnerable to rejection and ridicule from other children.
The greatest difficulty of modern school life arises from the peer orientation and processes that develop when children come to school for the sole purpose of socializing with friends. Adults in school are often seen as irrelevant, lessons are seen as a nuisance, and children share the values of peers rather than school. When parents are replaced by peers, learning suffers. If parents can maintain a secure relationship with their children, the child becomes able to have healthy peer relationships while following and learning from adults while in school.
4. “Match” the child to the school and the teacher.
When children see that parents like the school and the teacher, it really helps them trust the adults at school. Parents should be active and “match” the child to the teacher – arrange (if possible) a get-to-know-you meeting, speak warmly about the teacher, express trust in him/her, explain the school rules and customs to the child and make sure that the child-teacher relationship is all right. It is best for children when adults themselves introduce them to people who will take care of them. This gives a sense of security and peace of mind, allowing them to focus all of their attention on learning.
5. Limit screen time.
Children reach for gadgets – it’s how they fight boredom and socialize with friends or distract themselves from problems (exactly like adults). Establishing and maintaining healthy gadget habits is a guarantee that they won’t steal the time allotted to prepare lessons, play or communicate with family members. Many parents are determined to limit screen time at the beginning of the year, but as the year winds down, control often loosens. Parents should be thoughtful and firm in setting boundaries and rules about gadget use.
Teachers and school administrators should also set rules about the use of gadgets, which will create a safe and productive learning environment. Rules vary by age, and it makes sense for parents to know and support them. Increasingly, schools are having to resolve conflicts between students related to social media. All of this has a negative impact on the learning environment. The digital world is blurring the lines between school and home, which is why parental supervision and assistance is so important to prevent problematic situations.
6. Maintain school schedules and routines.
Schools have their own schedules and routines that are made ahead of time, curriculum to learn, and holidays to celebrate. When parents help their child get used to school routines, lessons go more smoothly and the child can focus better on learning.
When children are repeatedly late for class, forget school supplies, when parents don’t make sure homework is prepared, don’t replenish stationery on time, or go on vacation in the middle of the school year, it makes the learning process more difficult for both child and teacher.
Parents can help by ensuring their child has a healthy lifestyle and routine so he or she can come to school rested, full, and ready to learn.
7. Allow children to play.
Children work hard at school, although many teachers try to make learning fun and interesting. Children need a break from this hard work and play to recuperate and help absorb new knowledge.
And while children can attend various clubs after school, they should also have “unorganized” time, free also from stimulation that interferes with self-expression and curiosity.
For adults, this may seem like a waste of time, but it is what provides the rest that allows children to work again in school. When we put too much pressure on children to work, they may have defenses against learning, and this can have a negative impact on our relationships.
There is time for work and there is time for play. The job of the parent is to help organize the day so that the child has the opportunity for both.
8. Where possible, delegate responsibility for homework to children.
Fighting over lessons is bad for relationships and does little to help nurture a child’s intrinsic motivation to be responsible for his or her own learning. If your child shows signs of responsible behavior, help him decide for himself when and where he will do his homework and what kind of help he needs from his parents.
When parental demands (lessons must be done) are not explicitly demonstrated, and the child’s own will (where, when and how to do them) comes to the fore, the child feels less coercion and resistance.
The parent’s goal in preparing lessons is to help build routines and structure and take on a supportive role, not to engage in control battles that undermine parental authority and the child’s desire to learn.
9. Interact with teachers and maintain relationships.
When parents and teachers have a good relationship, the child benefits from it. Ideally, you should interact with each other while the problem is not yet great.
Often I have wished students or their parents had reached out to me earlier when the problems first started, because often I could have helped them much better. It is helpful to keep in mind that parents and teachers see a child in different circumstances, and looking at the situation from different angles often makes a big difference.
When there are problems, it’s important to try to maintain relationships and good intentions-and that takes maturity on both sides. The most effective encounters in my practice have occurred when adults have tried to understand the child instead of blaming each other and looking for someone to blame.
10. Support your child if he or she is having trouble with peers.
In the school environment, it’s almost impossible to avoid hurtful confrontations between children. There are times when they are not accepted, hurtful words are heard or gossip is heard behind their backs. If problems arise with peers, it will be good if parents can bring the child to tears at home, help them find words to describe what happened.
But the most important thing is for the child to know that an adult believes in him or her. Let the teacher know that your child has difficulty interacting with peers – the teacher can do a lot both in the classroom and by looking after the child during recess (as long as the teacher is willing to help).
The most important thing every child who goes to school needs is a relationship with an adult they can turn to at home. Certainly teachers need to create a safe, bully-free classroom environment, but they cannot and should not see absolutely everything that happens in class or recess. The good news is that when a parent has a secure relationship with a child, the child is more resilient and less traumatized by the immaturity of others.
When parents can take care of a child’s need for affection and support his or her emotional development, teachers can tap into a child’s natural desire to learn new things and overcome challenges. Learning does not happen in a vacuum, and when parents and teachers join forces, we create the best possible conditions to help our children reach their learning potential.