Although the present parenting generation grew up around computers and technology, it was mostly limited to a desktop PC or a few video lecturers. However, our children are growing up with smartphones, tabs, digital classrooms and the sense of being wired to the Internet 24/7. They don’t think twice before checking up a fact on Google or taking help for their assignments from Wikipedia. Yet, with everyone having access to the same technology, it is important for parents to provide their kids with that extra edge. So what can we, as parents, do to help our kids get better grades in this current climate of digital parenting. Listed below are five simple ways to get you started.
- Open accounts on educational websites: There are quite a few high quality educational websites that offer tailored study material to suit the class and school board of your child. While most of them provide quite a lot of free resources (including solved textbook questions, previous years’ question papers, etc.), some resources, like video lessons and personalized tests may require you to pay a small yearly fee. As a digital parent, do take the time to create an email account in your child’s name or use your email to open an account for your child. Popular educational websites in India are Meritnation (www.meritnation.com), TopperLearning (www.topperlearning.com) and JagranJosh (www.jagranjosh.com).
- Download educational mobile apps: The world of iPhone and Android apps are ever exploding. Spend a few minutes every week to check out the latest offerings available. You need not limit your search to school related material alone. From teaching your child to read the time and learning the mathematical tables through song to online dictionaries and flash cards, there are apps for everything. I have found Duolingo (the language app that teaches you several foreign languages), Math Tricks, EverNote and 4Pics1word (the word guessing game), both educational and entertaining.
- Get them an eBook reader: Reading is the best gift a parent can give a child- more so in the digital parenting age. Once your child loves reading, he or she will never consider studying as a burden. Although an eBook reader is not necessary (printed books work just as well), an eBook reader provides the convenience of being light enough and convenient enough to bring anywhere with you, in addition to saving precious space. Kindle from Amazon and Nook from Barnes and Noble are two good choices to consider.
- Search for educational videos online: Although educational websites provide video study material, there are several other videos that can help in learning. You can find videos for everything- from easy division for finding square roots of large numbers, to songs teaching the French Irregular verbs using the tune of Rihanna’s Umbrella. All you have to do, as a digital parent, is a quick search on YouTube. The Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org) is also worth checking out.
- Opt for online tutoring if needed: If your child requires extra tutoring, online tutoring can be considered as an option. Online tutoring can help you save on the time and energy spent in commuting back and forth from tuitions. Websites like TutorIndia (www.tutorindia.net) and BharatTutors (www.bharattutors.com), offer online tutoring and as well as help in engaging with a home tutor in your city.
While the above tips can be used to help your child get better grades in school, it’s still important to take some time to get to know your child’s syllabus and offer helpful inputs with homework and assignments, when required. Remember, you are your child’s first and best teacher. Please do share your experiences with digital parenting in the comment box below.
About the Author
Mabel M. Jesudian
Mabel M. Jesudian, was teaching Communicative English at a city college, when she discovered the joys of writing for the web. A writer from her school days, she has now turned her hobby into her profession, and specializes in writing blogs and other website related content. With her husband being an avid traveler, she chronicles all her travel escapades, and a few have been published in magazines and newspapers such as Lonely Planet, Outlook Traveller, AutoCar India and Deccan Chronicle. Apart from travelling and writing, her other passions include quilling, crocheting, cooking, baking and most importantly, being a hands-on mom to her teenage daughter.