Being a busy parent frequently comes with the inevitable waves of guilt. Having to organise lift-shares with other mums and dads or having to juggle the school run with morning meetings can put a lot of stress on your day-to-day life. This stress can become particularly heightened when faced with the prospect of building on your child’s education.
Book in mock tests
Learning how to work according to a particular marking scheme is just one extra area of stress you don’t need when it comes to being a parent. Learning how to mark like an official examiner is a specific skill – one that you don’t necessarily need to learn! Booking in professional mock tests will allow your child to work through official exam papers, without having to source and mark them yourself. Mock exams are perfect for allowing your child to practice, learn and know how to learn from their mistakes after each attempt at a paper.
Make it fun
You may feel that you already have a limited amount of time to spend with your child. It’s perfectly understandable not to want to make that valuable time with them devoted to silent study. Taking them to museums and educational days out means that you are spending time together, but without the added expectations that studying can bring.
One of the best ways to create more time for yourself as a parent is investing in tutoring for your child. While you as a parent may be able to provide some education and insight, it is an extra workload to read up on what exam boards will want to your child to specifically learn.
Get involved with the school
When possible, it’s always a good idea to get involved with school associations. Showing up for committees and organisational meetings for school trips will keep you in the loop. Even if you have to hire a babysitter to do so, you will have a more direct influence on how your child is educated at their school.
Befriend other parents
Your reason for being so busy with work may be for financial reasons – and so reaching for a babysitter might not even be an option. Chatting with other parents and finding a way to share lifts to and from educational or after-school activities will make your life much easier, as well as saving you the price of a sitter.
Ignore the pressure
If you’re keen to get your child extra education, but already feel weighed down by the pressure of other school activities, then try and take the pressure with a pinch of salt. It’s been said that the peer-pressure to be ‘involved’ with extra-curricular interests is partly a middle-class expectation, not one that is necessary. Take your foot off the gas for a second and relax. Reassess what you need to prioritisefor your child and put your energy and focus into that.
Supporting your child’s education when you are a busy parent can feel incredibly stressful. It’s important, however, that you stay focused on what really matters. Remember to prioritise their needs first – not what other parents think.