Researchers agree that quality teachers are one of the most important factors in a child’s education. This reality does not mean that parents do not have a significant role to play in ensuring that children have the greatest opportunity to learn. The first thing you can to do to maximize your child’s opportunity to learn is to make sure he or she is as physically healthy as possible. Make sure your child eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of sleep and gets regular exercise. Make sure he or she has a variety of healthy snacks to choose from throughout the day and plenty of water to drink. Too much sugar can result in behavior problems in the classroom or on the playground, for this reason you should avoid filling your child’s lunch with sugary food.
Another way you can maximize your child’s opportunity to learn is by making sure he or she can attend school regularly. This means teaching your child to wash his or her hands to avoid unnecessary illness. It also means planning doctor’s appointments and other medical care around the school day when possible. My boys have allergies, asthma, and eczema so I know that it isn’t always possible to avoid being at the doctor’s office instead of at school, but any effort you make in this regard will go a long way, especially if you are careful to keep up with what’s happening at school yourself.
One final thought, everything I’ve written about here, is an expression of our genuine love for our children, but they do not always know it. Children who know they are loved, do better in school than those who do not. Love is not all that is required for learning, but learning without it is one of the biggest challenges children face the world over. Maximize your child’s opportunity to learn, love him or her with everything you have.