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Hoping for Academic Success? It’s Everyone’s Job

Almost without fail when parents enroll their children at a new school, they state

that achieving academic success is a very important factor in their decision to choose that school. This is the case in almost all countries I have visited. It seems that having said that, and having successfully enrolled their child in the school, parent soften then step back and leave it all to the teachers. However, the reality is, that both school and home are involved in a partnership which seeks to achieve the best results in all areas of a child’s life. Research tells us that one of the keys to educational achievement is engagement. This means that regardless of intelligence, economic status or other social or cultural factors, students who are involved and active participants in their learning do better in school than students who are uninterested. Oh yes, and it’s not just teachers who need to be aware of this, parents need to be engaged, and engaging, too! So how do you ensure that your children are engaged? 1. Create a home environment of acceptance, firmness and responsibility. Parents are the primary factor in their child’s academic success. It is their belief in their children, their firm and fair discipline and their determination to ensure that their children accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant consequence for those actions that seem to be key factors in academic achievement. 2. Make sure your children place first priority on their education — before sports, leisure and other activities. You can do this by making your home a place of informal and formal learning. Be a direct participant by choosing to teach or assist your child personally. Speak the future into them. Tell them about the kind of person they can become. Declare character rather than performance. 3. Adopt a parenting style that contributes to your child’s school success. We know that “authoritative” (not authoritarian) parents provide a balanced environment of acceptance and discipline. This style is most conducive to children’s success in life. Parents who are controlling and bossy are less likely to see their children succeed that parents who are firm, fair and loving. 4. Remember that your children are not measured by their marks. Children, students, young people are made in God’s image; this is what gives them value. This is what gives them hope even when they are not considered to be academic. Knowing that they are created by the living God and are loved by Him and that they have a purpose in life regardless of their marks, their profession, their family, race and culture brings them purpose and hope. Tell them. Remind them. God thinks they are gorgeous! He thinks you are too. Sue

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