4 Ways to Engage in Your Kid’s Education
As a little girl, I loved field trips. I sought out opportunities to travel and learn about the world around me. From visiting the local science center to seeing historic monuments on family road trips, there was always something new to discover. These moments with my family fostered a life-long love for learning through travel and exploration.
Now as a parent myself, I have the opportunity to foster a love for learning in my child like my parents did with me. We often find ourselves exploring beaches, aquariums, and petting zoos where my son learns all about Florida’s wildlife. Not only are these moments we’ll cherish for a lifetime, but that will also help him build real-life connections to the world.
Moments like these emphasize the reality—families play a big role in education. To celebrate the crucial role parents, guardians, and grandparents play in children’s learning, the Florida Department of Education recognizes November as Family Engagement in Education Month. Because when families are involved, children are more motivated to succeed.
So, how can you get involved? It’s easier than you think. Engaging in your child’s education doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. It’s as simple as asking your child about their day and having an open dialogue about what they’re learning. Below are four ways you can get started through everyday activities.
1. Just Read, Florida!
Reading is a crucial part of child development. Just a few minutes a day can launch your child’s life-long love for reading. In 2001, the Florida Department of Education announced “Just Read, Florida!” a statewide reading initiative with the goal of ensuring that every child can read at or above grade level. To help families get started, they’ve provided tips for reading to babies up to third grade students through Just Read, Families!
2. Family Meals
Life can get busy, but family meals matter. Not only are they a great way to fill hungry tummies and reconnect with loved ones after a long day, but research suggests that regular family meals increase students’ academic performance. Here are three questions you can ask your kids to keep an open dialogue about school:
- What was the most exciting thing you learned about today?
- What was the most challenging part of your day?
- Tell me about what you read in class.
3. Support Learning at Home Through Media
Another way to engage your child in their learning is through relevant books, movies, virtual field trips, and more—and just a couple minutes a day is enough to have a huge impact on your child’s learning! Let’s say your child mentions that they’re learning about the Roman Empire in World History during dinner. After dinner, you could take them on a virtual tour of the Colosseum using Google Earth 360° to deepen their understanding of Roman history and architecture! This is just one example, can you think of more?
4. Get Out and Explore
From state parks and national monuments to museums and science centers. There are so many opportunities to expand your child’s learning! Consider setting aside a family day centered around a subject your child is learning about. This could look like a trip to a local park to explore the trees and wildlife or taking time to watch the full moon and discuss earth and space science. The world is waiting to be discovered!
Can you think of other ways you can or already engage your child in learning? Share your tips in the comments below! If you use any of the tips above, be sure to share with us on social media by tagging @FloridaVirtualSchool.
Not part of Florida Virtual School yet? Florida Virtual Full Time Public Schools enrollment for the second semester is now open—apply today!