If you have school-age children, you already know the challenges of making sure they stay on top of homework, classroom learning, activities, projects, special assignments, and other chores related to academics. Have you ever wondered whether there’s an efficient way to make sure you have all the bases covered? One technique that works for many moms and dads of students is to view the entire world of academics in five separate categories. This big picture approach allows you to make detailed decisions about micromanaging day-to-day school responsibilities, or at least overseeing what your kids are doing.
In addition to the most obvious category, homework, parents need to take a long view as well. That means thinking about college choices, even while the youngsters are still in grade school. Likewise, it’s important to pay close attention to extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and any problems related to bullying (whether your child is the victim or perpetrator). Here are details about each of the five categories.
It’s almost a rite of passage for mothers and fathers to panic when their young charges return home with assignments that are either confusing or include concepts that parents don’t understand. These days, some fourth and fifth-grade pupils in gifted programs study calculus, for example. If you didn’t get that far in mathematics, how can you help your kids with their homework? Fortunately, nearly all public and private schools offer free tutoring. And even if they don’t, consider hiring a private, online tutor for your child if the need arises. This online option is much more affordable than most of the in-person arrangements. Either way, there’s never a need to panic when kids ask for help.
When the time comes to send the young ones off to college, you have many choices. One of the best ways is to help them with at least some of the expenses by taking out a Private Parent Loan to cover costs like tuition, room and board, fees, and books. It’s up to you to decide how much help to give. The advantage of Private Parent Loans is that the student has no obligation on the contract. You, the parent, are the one who is actually borrowing the money. Then, when your kids graduate, they won’t be strapped down with monster-sized education debt from day-one. The other good thing about the loans is that you can start the application process whenever you want, and do everything online.
Some children want to get part-time jobs after school or on weekends to earn extra spending money. For most students, this doesn’t pose a problem unless the job begins to cut into their school performance or cause them to suffer from sleep deprivation. Always discuss jobs with your kids before agreeing to let them work. Consider starting out with just a few hours on one weekend day, or one or two hours on weeknights.
When summer or long vacation times arrive, the restrictions can come off. In fact, children as young as ten can learn many life lessons from taking on a short-term job that is not too physically demanding. Always make sure that you don’t let young ones get in over their heads in terms of job duties and responsibilities. The key lesson for them to learn is the connection between work and money, which no school can teach.
Like part-time jobs, extracurricular clubs and activities can take up a lot of valuable time from a youngster’s schedule. Be careful to monitor the number of clubs and teams they sign up for, keeping in mind that studies should come first. Competitive teams (like volleyball) and social clubs (for chess players or art enthusiasts) offer wonderful opportunities for young people to learn how to get along with others, behave in a socially acceptable way in various settings, work together with teammates toward a common goal, and more.
How do you know if your sons or daughters are being bullied in or around the classroom? There’s no sure-fire technique for spotting a bullying problem in the making. Likewise, how can you find out things to do if your own child is the culprit, the bully? In most cases, the best way to stay in the know is to have regular, frank discussions with your offspring about the topic. Make it clear that you won’t stand for bullying behavior, whether they’re the victim or instigator. Stay in touch with teachers and find out what the school’s policy is on the subject. Today, most schools have strict guidelines about controlling what was once a very widespread problem.