There are many influences in a child’s life which help make education successful.
Ironically these are not always to do with study, teaching, curriculum, or the things we associate with learning itself. And, having been involved with both teaching and home educating, I’ve noticed that these influences cross over both communities.
For the important things which influence a child’s achievement are as much to do with the experience the child has with learning as with anything else. And are also things which the parents and the adults around them can influence.
Here are some of them:
- It is important that the curiosity children have naturally about their world when they are young is not destroyed by our dismissal of them. Their curiosity is, in fact, the foundation of learning which aids the education process. Keep their curiosity alive by taking an interest in what they’re interested in and you keep them motivated to learn.
- It’s important that they are listened to and connected with, so that they know what they say and feel matters. That they matter and are not slaves to a treadmill or a set of outcomes demanded by someone else. This will help children feel we are on their side and interested in their concerns.
- It’s important that children see a love of learning, an interest in finding out, and the desire for personal development, in the people around who matter to them. Demonstration has the biggest influence on their attitude to learning and education.
- It’s important that they are encouraged, stimulated and supported in all areas of their lives; their own pursuits and interests, ideas and creative activities, so that they have a rounded life not one just narrowed down to study and educational targets as if it was the only thing about them which mattered. A rounded life teaches valuable life skills which enhance achievement and makes their education transferable.
- Equally, it’s important that they have some choice and control over the decisions made about their education so that they feel that their education is theirs and not solely ours. This helps them feel involved and remain engaged. It also develops independence both in taking their education on for themselves and with regard to later life decisions.
Wherever they are educated this support from parents and the significant adults who guide them will help that process towards successful outcomes.