Do you ever feel as though you barely see your children?  With a busy, hectic schedule, you may find yourself rushing them off to school or daycare, working all day long, and then coming home just to eat dinner, speak with them for a few minutes and then sending them off to bed.  Or, you may find that your child spends a lot of time watching tv and videos, leaving you little quality time together.

In this environment, parents often wonder how they can encourage their child’s education.  Here are some helpful parenting tips to include in your daily routines that will encourage your child’s education, while also improving your relationship

1. Read

One of the most important skills for your child’s education is reading.  In order to support this skill, spend time reading at least one book or story together every day.  The internet has loads of free stories for those who don’t have access to books or a library.  Even older children can enjoy this activity as being read to is relaxing and fun.

In addition to supporting reading skills, you’ll encourage your child’s ability to reason as she analyzes the story line.  Concentration time will also be increased as you practice this habit over time. So, even if it’s just before bedtime, grab a book or look up a story and read together with your child.

2. Get Involved

Relationship skills, and your child’s relationship to you increase her confidence.  This in turn affects her academic potential. So, another simple thing you can do is to get involved and show your child you care about her.  

One easy way to make more time for your child is to help her with her homework.  This way you can learn more about your child’s strengths and weaknesses at school.  

In addition, spend time doing things with your child that she enjoys such as playing her favorite game, participating as she plays Nell, or even watching TV.  The more time you spend with your child, the more you can learn about her interests.  Then, you can use this knowledge to inspire other activities.

3. Family Project

Good quality family time can be educational and fun.  Based on your child’s interests, choose an art project, game or sports activity that she will enjoy.  

For example, if your son enjoys watching videos about dinosaurs, make a dinosaur environment diorama together out of an old shoebox.  Decorate the background, build up trees and a volcano and place a model dinosaur in its new “home”.  Have the whole family participate.  

Or, enjoy a game of soccer together outside.  Have your child perform tasks such as keeping a scoreboard and explaining the rules.  This will develop her math and language skills.

4. Limit Technology

While technology is fun, enjoyable, and even educational, if you are able to put some healthy limits on how much TV or screen time your child is spending, this can help encourage her academic success.  Children need time to move around and get creative.  

If offered enough down time, young children can often be found lost in their thoughts, playing in the garden or looking for bugs.  Older children may organize their own games or art projects.  This important time gives them chance to practice both independence and leadership – both important skills for their future success.

5. Fun with Math

For younger children, simply counting aloud together can encourage their understanding of numbers and math.  Anything is fair game.  Count how many red cars you see on the road or how many peas are left on her plate.  

Children also often show interest in money.  If your child is old enough, you can begin playing “store” with her.  Ask her to pick some household items to sell.  Then, you can use either pretend money or simply sticks to play. As the customer, show interest in buying one of the items by asking how much it is.  Then “pay” your child using the money or the correct number of sticks.  

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