New Year's Day has come and gone, and whether you made resolutions or not, there is one goal that likely stands above all others: helping your child thrive.
The new year is a great time to support your child with fun, meaningful conversations and interactions that will help set the tone for how your family will grow and learn together in 2017 and beyond.
Here are three ideas as you kick off a happy and productive year for your child:
Ask and Share:
What makes your child happy? What are they good at? Where do they struggle? How do they get along with others? Do they feel connected with what they are learning at school?
Whether it's during longer moments like a family meal or while you're running errands, take time to ask your child questions that uncover
more than just yes or no answers
. Try to uncover things like how your child is feeling at school-among friends, with teachers and with school work. For example: ''Tell me about a moment today when you got excited about what you were learning."
Celebrate your child's strengths and successes and talk about how you can work together on challenges. Share your hopes, dreams and concerns as a family to build an ongoing sense of trust and openness.
For more tools and resources to help identify your child's character strengths and promote learning,
Role-model the Joy of Learning:
How can you help your child see learning as a fun part of everyday life and not just something they need to do for school or as part of 'homework'?
As a parent, you have the greatest opportunity to spark curiosity and the love of learning. Be intentional about how you make learning together part of your family culture.
Allow your child to see your excitement as you try a new recipe for the first time or share something you've been wondering about and then take time to research and discover more.
as a family and try to make predictions about the story and ask questions about the characters and plot. Help foster your child's interest in a topic by visiting a museum, checking out books from the library or renting a movie on the topic. Find and create fun games you can play together to practice English and math skills as part of your everyday life.
For practice lessons, videos and more learning tools to help you support your child's learning,
Support Learning Goals at Home:
What is your child expected to learn this year? How can you support your child to make sure they are learning the skills needed to be ready for the next grade?
Now that we are half way through the school year, check in with your child's teacher about your child's progress with the skills he or she is expected to learn in order to be ready for the next grade. You can also ask the teacher about ways to support learning at home. Being focused, making good choices and setting goals are important life skills that you can help foster.
To find out what's expected of your child this year and see examples of how you can help,