As parents, how can you help your child be engaged in their learning in school?
We hope you and your child have been talking. But what if he tells you he doesn’t know what to ask the teacher when the subject is a tough one? Here are five questions to start him off on this journey.
Teacher, can you help me understand…?
Encourage your child to clarify with the teacher during lesson or after. He may feel shy raising his hand in class itself to ask questions. Assure him it’s okay to ask for help when he needs it, and this is part of the learning process. Steer him towards taking charge of his own learning and developing an inquisitive mind.
Teacher, can I help you with ….?
Whether it’s helping the teacher with small tasks such as setting up the projector or distributing worksheets, remind your child to be helpful to the people around him and contribute positively to his environment. Plus, this way, he’s learning about how teamwork works. He can try taking the initiative to sweep the classroom floor when it’s dirty, even when he’s not scheduled to do that – or better, getting his friends to help out at this task.
Can we agree on this?
When everyone in the group has different views, what should your child do? If he is older, he can identify the problem statement, and get the group to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Try and guide the discussions towards reaching a consensus. In this way, he learns to exercise good facilitation and problem-solving skills. For younger children, remind them to listen and respect different opinions. If the situation escalates, ask the teacher for help.
Do you need help with this question?
Help him to appreciate that the school experience is richer, when he is surrounded by friends. If he’s ahead in an assignment, he can offer to guide his classmates who’re stuck. Peer mentoring is one way of reinforcing your child’s learning. Otherwise, he can also encourage his friends to speak up and ask the teacher for guidance. Or simply cheer them up on with kind words.
Can you tell me how I can improve?
Uh-oh, did your child completely forget what he had to say for his project presentation? Acknowledge the setback and talk to him about it. Why couldn’t he recall his script? Was he nervous or did he not prepare sufficiently? Help him find ways to overcome his failures, and be unafraid to try again. Also, encourage him to seek out his teachers’ or his classmates’ feedback on what he can do better the next time. When your child is able to pick himself up, he builds up resilience and is more confident of his abilities.