Home education can greatly benefit from the help and involvement of your family. According to the Harvard Family Research Project, getting your relatives involved in your kids’ education can make a big difference in how well children adjust and how much they learn. But what exactly is family involvement and how can you make your relatives important in your kids’ education?
Find out how your kids learn – Before you seek to involve your relatives, find out how your children learn. Not all children understand things in the same way, so if your child is a visual learner, he will need different help from an auditory learner. For more information about your child’s unique learning style, you can check out Scholastic. Once you have established this, it will be easier to prepare activities and exercises that are suitable to your kids’ needs.
Set structure and routine – For successful parent and relative involvement, you need to set certain activities and timetables for your kids. Setting structures and routines at home – for example, every Tuesday afternoon, Uncle Edward teaches Spanish, or every Sunday the grandparents come to read stories – makes learning a priority. Be as consistent as possible in maintaining that structure.
Don’t shout or argue in front of the kids – Fighting in front of your kids, whether with your spouse or other family relatives can be detrimental to their learning. Children learn what they live, so it’s important that everyone in the family is on the same page and leads by example. When children struggle, it’s easy to become discouraged, and that may have a further negative affect on your kids’ learning. A positive and enthusiastic attitude is contagious and will yield better results.
Create a family website – This is a great activity to do together as a family and serves to keep your distant relatives involved in your children’s lives and education as well. If they live in different countries, it’s a great way to share cultural snapshots, geography, tastes and languages. It’s also an excellent way to get your children enthusiastic about writing and taking photos.
Make learning fun – Try to include as many games as possible into your kids’ learning plan. While not everything can or should be turned into a game, rewarding your kids for learning new concepts, sticking to their studies and implementing family values is a great way to keep them motivated.
Eat dinner together – Although it’s simple and you might ask what this has to do with learning, inviting your relatives around once a week places importance on family and will encourage relatives to bond with your kids, which will make them better teachers.
The more active your relatives are in your kids’ education, the more successful your children are likely to be and the more united as a family. But remember that it’s not all about learning, remember to make time for family fun as well, and let the kids play outside, ride their bikes, or simply enjoy a family occasion without getting the books out.
Guest post by Michael Peggs. Michael Peggs is the founder of digital marketing agency Marccx Media, where they specialize in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.