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7 Great Ways For Dads to Support Education

5 Mins read

After the impact of the pandemic on students, it is more important than ever for parents to find ways to support education.

According to a study by The Fatherhood Institute, during Spring 2020 (during lockdown) 78% of fathers spent more time with their children and 68% spent more time than usual on home-schooling and helping with homework.

Research* also shows that involved fathers can significantly improve the progress of their child’s education. To help give your child the best start in life, Ian Thompson, a father of two and a Maths tutor at Tutorful, the experts in online tutoring, gives his top tips of how dads can support their child’s education:

Help Your Child Catch Up On Lost Education

New research reveals that 78% of secondary school parents feel the pandemic harmed their children’s education. With parents believing that their child is a whole school year behind (9.5 months). Online tutoring platforms like Tutorful has over 11,000 tutors to choose from. Parents can choose one to help gain back lost time, and support education.

The benefits of using online tutors include:

  • Being able to find tutors from all over the UK (not just in your local area);
  • Use of interactive white boards to digitally learn; and on Tutorful a new video recording rewatch and relearn feature will soon be launching.
  • Private tutors can help across all subjects including Maths, English, Science, Languages and more.
  • Tutors can help pupils get the best grades possible at GCSE and A-Level

You have to find the tutor that suits your child best. With relevant experience and the personality that works with them. Sometimes when I teach we spend the first lesson just getting to know a little bit about their school experience. However, in many instances, just a few lessons can give a young person back their confidence. For me, as a tutor, that is a life changing event.

Get Your Child To Teach You

Asking your child to teach you about a subject can help you test them in a more creative way. They can choose a topic that they have recently learned about in school. Any questions they are not sure about you can find out together. Get them to help you search online or by reading a relevant book. Allow your child to have fun as the role of the teacher. You could get them a whiteboard and pens. Let them set the rules – make it fun!

Discussing classwork outside of the school environment will immediately give you an informal insight into what they are learning. The amount of homework set and what subjects they find difficult. Give your son or daughter plenty of time to show you what they can do. Remember, things have changed a lot since we went to school and kids are taught in different ways not! So don’t be too quick to say that’s not the right method. This can also be a great tool for revision. Teaching someone else will help them remember everything they’ve learnt, and can work better than re-reading notes for some kids.

Game Based Learning Can Support Education

An adventurous way to learn is through educational games that can help children with non-cognitive and cognitive skills. Whether it’s an entertainment video game, or games that teach skills like coding. Game based learning often motivates children as there is a competitive element.They can help with grammar, new concepts and building knowledge.

  • ARC Maths is an app that helps ages 11-16 with Math content (and it’s within the GCSE syllabus across most exam boards).
  • FunEasyLearn app teaches languages for 10 years plus
  • CodeSpark Academy teaches about stem and code.
  • Apps like Words Master, helps with sounds and letters, and develop skills for reading, writing, and spelling.

Go To Cultural Activities Together

Take your child to the theatre, art exhibitions or workshops to teach them that learning is not limited to the classroom. There are lots of free events that you can find on platforms like EventBrite. For example, if they are a history buff, take them to a museum or archaeological site. Exposing children to activities outside of their school curriculum can help them discover passions and talents that they might never have known otherwise. The trips contribute to a well-rounded educational experience. They encourage children to use their imagination and help them express their feelings and opinions with you as their sounding board. 

Take your Teenager Somewhere New to Revise

Ahead of exams – sitting in a bedroom, surrounded by the same four walls, isn’t always the best place to revise. The good news is that revision doesn’t have to be boring! And bad days do not have to correlate with GCSE revision.

Why not offer to take your child to a cool cafe or coffee house? Grab a hot drink, log into the wifi and start studying! Something as simple as a change of setting can be great for the brain. A change of setting can be great for the brain. Often it motivates us to explore new ways to achieve our goals. Letting your teen choose where to go will be empowering. Which will help them to feel like they’re completely in control of their success.

The chances are, they’ll also see adults working with their laptops too. Sending a hugely important message that hard work is something that we choose to do, to achieve success throughout our lives.

Not a fan of a coffee shop? If the weather is good, why not try a park? Or a finding a quiet, pretty spot in the country side? Fresh air, and a change of scenery can be great for learning.

Acknowledge Hard Work with Rewards

If your child has been working hard on a subject (even if they are struggling with it) make sure you acknowledge their efforts. Children, whatever their age, want to feel seen by their parents and acknowledgments show you care.

Although children need to pass exams to progress in education. Remind them that character traits like determination, resilience and perseverance aren’t counted in tests! These are all signs of success that aren’t measured by the exams they take. And will also help them longer term when they reach the workforce.

If you think your child needs positive reinforcement, a reward can be as simple as cooking their favourite dinner. Or watching a movie, allowing more screen time, or maybe a small token gift? But don’t forget, simply saying words like “I’m proud of you” is a great reward for a child. And these can be morale boosters to help them stay positive.

Support Education with Life Skills

There are certain life skills that can help your child develop that can be taught from an early age. From learning the basics of cooking e.g. how long to cook an egg and pasta; to gardening like growing your own food and herbs. Also teaching them about local wildlife or doing the laundry. And as they get older understanding the cost of living like a loaf of bread, milk, bills etc. This can help prepare children for when they move out or go to university. And it will help them feel better prepared to set them up for success.

Final Thought…

I wasn’t always a teacher and didn’t expect at 18 years old that one day I would become one! However, somebody in education gave me a chance and realised I had the Math knowledge and the ability. The only thing lacking was confidence.

I owe a huge thank you to my friend Paul. One day he gave me a whiteboard pen as I walked into a room. Then he said that he had an appointment to go to. He threw me in the deep-end, and left me in a room to teach 20+ students. The rest, as they say, is history.

It took me a while to find what I wanted to do, and be. But, I did and I love it. An important part of being a teacher, is remembering that not all children will learn at the same pace. Or in the same way. The most important way to support education, is to give your child space to shine.

More on Ways For Dads To Support Education

Are you looking for more ways to support education? Or maybe you want to learn about Great Ways For Dads To Connect Through Educational Support? Maybe your little ones are transitioning to school or nursery and you’re starting the formal education journey?

Whatever you’re looking for, we have some really great information about education across the site. From more great blog posts, to brilliant Dad Chats about Education.

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About author
Ian is a full time tutor living in East Yorkshire. Having spent his career working in schools, colleges and the local community as a teacher. Ian works with Tutorful, a website dedicated to helping parents find the right tutor for their child.
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