As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. How you support your child’s learning matters. Watch a video of Dr Justin Coulson talking about how you can make a difference. Dr Justin Coulson is an Australian parenting expert and a dad.
Dr Justin Coulson talks about how parents and schools can work together (3 minutes 41 seconds)
Hi, my name is Dr Justin Coulson. I work with parents all over Australia to help them to raise healthy and happy children. Being engaged in your children's education doesn't mean that you take on the role of teacher or that you start doing their homework with them or in some cases for them. What being engaged in your children's education does mean is this.
Firstly, you know what your child's learning at school or pre-school. Secondly, you connect your child's learning at home with what they're learning at school. Third, you have a good partnership with your children's teachers, educators, and with the school or pre-school. What can you do? Well, teachers, schools, and pre-schools provide the professional expertise. They provide the structure around your child's education, but you are the real constant in your child's life. You know your child best.
You are their first teacher. As a parent, you shape your child's values, aspirations, and attitudes. One of the most vital things that we can do as parents is let our children know that we value education. That's why we engage in it and we can do this in a number of ways. First, we can show interest in what they're learning and how they're progressing. Second, and vitally important, we can make sure that they're in school every day when they're supposed to be at school. Third, we can talk to their teacher.
Good relationships are at the heart of learning. Encourage your child to build strong, healthy, positive relationships with those around them, family, peers, and teachers. When they have good relationships, that also encourages them to engage more at school and do their best. Help them to build strong relationships with other caring adults in the community, particularly in your family. As they feel like they belong to something bigger than just them, they'll feel secure, they'll feel safe, and they'll be more open to learning.
As a bonus, as you model respectful, positive, caring relationships with the people around you, whether that's family or people in the community, you teach your child how to have similar positive, healthy, caring relationships with the people around them. As a parent, you can help your child to explore their world and give them brand new learning experiences every day. You'll do that based on the age and experience and developmental ability of your child. You see, your children are learning when they play in the park or go for a walk.
When they go for a bike ride, explore somewhere new or even explore somewhere they've been a lot of times with somebody new. They're learning when they sing or when they dance, when they cook. They're learning when they participate in community events, religious events, social and sporting events. The great thing about all this is that learning doesn't have to be difficult and it doesn't have to cost money. If I was to sum up, here's what I'd say.
Your engagement in your child's education matters while they're young and it matters just as much while they're teenagers. As your child grows, the way you engage in education with your child will shift and change. That's normal. That's how it's supposed to be. I encourage you to be engaged in your child's education. Get to know your children's teachers and educators and communicate with them about what your child is learning. Communicate with your child about what they're learning and work together as a team to help your child thrive at school.
Hear from Justin Coulson about the benefits of parent engagement (1 minutes 24 seconds)
Hi. My name is Dr. Justin Coulson. I work with parents all over Australia to help them to raise healthy and happy children.
Why is being engaged in your child's education so important? Well, research shows that there are many benefits to being involved in your child's education. These include, when you're engaged in your child's education, your child's teacher gets to know your child better, which means they know how to help your child best. Research shows that your child will do better at school academically and socially. Your child will be more motivated, which means that they're probably going to do better at school and go on to do more study and more learning as they get older.
Something else that I find fascinating is that research shows that when we're involved in our children's education, they form better friendships at school, and they have better relationships with the adults that are educating them.
Lastly, your child's more likely to feel happier, more confident and included. I encourage you to be engaged in your child's education. Get to know your children's teachers and educators, and communicate with them about what your child's learning. Communicate with your child about what they're learning, and work together as a team to help your child thrive at school.
Email: education.ParentEngagement [at] sa.gov.au