Teachers cannot – and shouldn’t be expected to – do it all.
There are not enough school hours in a day for a learner to be introduced to new content and to learn it well at the same time.
These are not the only reasons why parents should actively support their children – the learners – with revision as well as learning for examinations.
Many studies over many years and in many parts of the world have proven that parents play a critical role in a learner’s classroom and examination performance.
In a nutshell: when parents are involved in their children’s learning at home – and also at school – they do better in school.
Research has also shown that when parents are involved in their children’s education, there are numerous additional benefits too:
- These children tend to have a better attendance record.
- They have higher self-esteem.
- They foster healthier relationships with others.
- They are more engaged with their schoolwork.
- They stay in school longer.
- They achieve better learning outcomes.
There is no getting away from it: Knowledge and skills that are taught in the classroom must be reinforced at home. This means that parents and teachers have a shared responsibility for the academic success of each learner.
General rules parents should follow to support their child’s learning – revision and homework – include:
- Act as a role model.
- Demonstrate a positive attitude about education.
- Share your own school and learning experiences – don’t focus on the positive only, include the negative as well. You don’t have to reveal all though!
- Encourage your child to read and to extend their vocabulary. This is important at any age.
- Create a positive and supportive atmosphere at home.
- Set time aside that should be used for schoolwork only. Don’t be afraid to monitor their learning if it is needed – keep an eye that the time set aside is used correctly but don’t ‘hover’ over them. Also monitor device use or going to bed far too late if it seems to present a problem.
- Be available to help with an explanation or a word of encouragement when needed.
- Keep communication channels open.
- Ensure that criticism is always constructive.
- Know your child’s interests and accommodate these whenever possible and practical.
- Ensure that home schedules are balanced and that life at home is organised. More than half a day is spent at school; the rest of the time should be allocated to homework, revision, chores, relaxation and rest. Adapt schedules when preparation for test series or exams needs to be done.
- Maintain parent-teacher relationships to demonstrate your interest in and commitment to your child’s school career.
- Teach your child to be ambitious and to strive to do well. An occasional reward will not go amiss but shouldn’t be the reason why they commit themselves to their studies.