03Jan
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If you’ve got kids, they’re going to have to be educated at some point in time. You can send them to public or private schools, or you can homeschool them.

The majority of American kids end up in public schools, and the sad fact is that far too many of these schools are subpar. To be a good parent, you’ll want to take an active role in your children’s education. Here are some tips on ways to do that.

Instill a love of learning

This can start before your children even start school. Teach them things and answer their questions. Teach them to question.

There are tons of resources online to help you create activities that are age-appropriate and designed to meet a variety of different interests. Do science projects. Take them to museums. Read to them and then let them read by themselves.

Supplement their coursework

Any kid in a U.S. public school is getting a white-washed version of history. That is simply a fact.

Expand your son or daughter’s history education by talking about significant parts of history that the schools won’t provide. Teach your children about your own culture and that of others.

Teach them kindness, compassion, empathy, and hard work

Talk to your kids about what to do if they see bullying. Talk to them about how not to be a bully.

Spend time with them on the subject they struggle with. Explain that they might not like a subject but tell them about its importance. Congratulate them not for the grade on the report card but the effort that went into achieving it.

Encourage your kids’ passions. Put them in extra-curricular activities that they enjoy and support their efforts.

Tell them they cannot be quantified

As your children advance through school, there will be more and more emphasis on how they score on an array of tests. Teachers are often constrained to a curriculum that only “teaches to the test” (another reason #2 is crucial).

Schools receive funding based on their students’ test scores, so that takes over the educational structure. Then there are tests that determine where they will go to college, as described at http://launcheducation.com). On top of those tests are essays and GPA requirements, and all the other pieces of paper that determine their future direction.

Make sure your kids know they are more than what can be put into a file folder or emailed to a university. Encourage them to do well and reach for their goals, but remind them that they are greater than the sum of their academic track record.

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