Help your child succeed in a STEM education program at school

Help your child succeed in a STEM education program at school

Though the United States leads other countries regarding advances in technological innovation, the younger generations are falling behind their counterparts in other countries. There is a push for education reform, focusing on STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These are the four core subjects that are necessary for students if the country is to remain technologically competitive.

President Obama laid out guidelines to direct the education of children in the country. Many students struggle with these subjects, and many parents find them to be just as difficult and complex—struggling to help their children understand the material. In order for your child to achieve academic success in a STEM education program, the following advice will help you help your child in his or her schooling. 


Do

Do get to know your child's teachers in these core classes

Do this at the beginning of the school year and find out what expectations the instructor has. Ask about homework and testing schedules, so that you can help your child to prepare a study program that will make certain they do not fall behind. 

Do consider hiring a tutor

You can search for a local high school or college student who excels in these subjects to meet your child at the library and give a detailed explanation of the assignments. Alternatively, there are many websites that offer tutoring for a minimal fee. These are a great alternative because help is available at all times of day. 

Do have your child learn the STEM topics by explaining the relevance

Virtually all kids in the US depend upon their computers and other technological devices for entertainment, and communicating with family and friends. Point out the connection between these products and the necessary knowledge to repair them, and develop other products. 

Do stay on top of your child’s grades

Rather than waiting for report card time, request that the teacher provide you with more frequent updates on the progress of your child. This will allow you to discover any problems before your child falls behind the rest of the class. 

Do continue to learn more about the STEM education program

Watch how it is being implemented in your school district. Go to school board meetings with a proactive voice and encourage them to promote these programs at your child’s school and district. 


Don't

Do not assume your child will struggle in the same subjects as you

Just because you did not do well in these subjects, doesn’t mean your child is genetically predisposed to follow you. All children are capable of learning these technical processes. While learning styles may differ, with the right instruction, your child can find success in the STEM courses.

Do not think that it will be super easy for your child

If your child has done well in these subjects before, it doesn’t mean the STEM program will be easy for your child. The current drive is to push students beyond the previous guidelines. Your child may find themselves struggling to move through the material at a more rapid pace. 

Do not assume that you will be able to help your child with their homework

There have been major innovations in technology since you were in school and your knowledge is likely outdated. Unless you work in a related field that utilizes these subjects, you may quickly find yourself in over your head. 

Do not blame your child or become frustrated

The subject matter is challenging and your child will pick up on your emotional cues. If you say negative things about the assignment or the teacher in front of your child, it may encourage them to ignore the assignment. IF you name call or blame them for not being able to figure it out, you may discourage them even further. The goal is to build them up and encourage them to do well in these subjects. 

Do not think that girls are not capable of learning this material

Too often, girls fall behind in these subjects due to teacher prejudice and how the curriculum is presented. If you have a daughter, do not allow her to think her gender limits her ability to learn. In fact, if you are able to hire a female tutor who has done well in these subjects, it could encourage your daughter even more. 


Summary
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Many parents struggle to understand the education system and how it works for their children. There are frequent changes, and some school boards implement them faster than others. The STEM education program is a great advancement in how children in the US are to be educated.

The more students are able to excel in these topics, the better off the individual and the nation. If you want the best for your child, become actively involved in their education, getting to know the instructors and attending school board meetings. Encourage your youngster to learn everything possible to help ensure their future academic and financial success. Remember to always be supportive and to seek help when necessary.


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Dr. Patricia FiorielloK12 Education Expert

Expert K12 Education Consultant providing learning solutions for the education community and online resources for parents, teachers and students....

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