7 Ways to Give Your Kid a Personalized Education

Teachers aren't magicians or super heroes. They can't freeze time and they can't read minds. Therefore, they can't possibly give every student a personalized education. Too many students, too little time. But time and we see that for children to reach their potential as students, they must be interested, engaged and given plenty of one-on-one help. You can help give your child a personal education plan with some basic steps and a little bit of free time. You can't do the job of all your child's teachers, but you can certainly join the team.

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By Meg Butler

“One size fits all” is a great philosophy for T-shirt manufacturers, but it doesn’t always work in schools. Teachers can’t give specialized attention to each student, and kids aren’t always given the tools they need to reach their potential. But that doesn’t have to happen to your child … because he has you. We’ve got a list of the tips and tricks that you can use to customize your child’s education and build a learning environment designed just for him.

See the Counselor

Once a year, spend a day at the school and visit your child’s counselor to check up on his educational needs. Getting a faculty member’s point of view on your child’s progress will help you zero in on problem areas, and get additional tips on how you can help him succeed. Bonus? Your efforts will help your child stand out in a sea of students.

Pre-teach a Lesson

Who couldn’t use a free do-over? If your little learner’s struggling in a subject, skip the tutor. Instead, sit down together and go over next week’s lesson this week. In class, he’ll hear the material the second time around and be better prepared to understand and ask relevant questions.

Take it Outside

It’s hard for anyone to spend a gorgeous day stuck indoors—kids included. In fact, some kids actually learn better outside of those four walls. A 2002 University of Florida study found that some students need the stimulation of a field trip to increase their motivation and retention. If your pride and joy struggles with a concept, try a trip to the park swings to discuss pendulums or visit your local pizzeria to discuss fractions. Who says math doesn’t have real-world applications?

Discover What He Loves

Let’s face it: Learning how to convert fractions into mixed numbers isn’t exactly thrilling for anyone. If school isn’t holding your child’s interest, rekindle his academic fire by exposing him to enjoyable learning experiences outside of school. Watch for online deals on art exhibits, law classes, tide pool explorations … the sky’s the limit! Exposing your kid to a range of experiential learning outings will help him find his passion—and see school as a vehicle to his dreams.

Take Back Gym Class

The childhood obesity epidemic combined with disappearing physical education programs is a recipe for disaster—but you have the final say in how much your kid sweats it out each week. Make a standing appointment a few days a week for a yoga class, community sports league or just a jog through town the whole family can enjoy.

Monitor His Progress

Newsflash: Most schools don’t teach everything in the curriculum—often to accommodate standardized test preparation. Download the year’s curriculum from your school district’s website, and keep track of what your kid is actually learning in class. If the teacher skips lessons on music or drama that you think are important, consider supplementing with an instrument instructor, or do it yourself by helping your budding thespian pen a play and recruit his pals to put on a performance for neighbors.

Scour the ‘Net

Jazz up your child’s least favorite subjects using the wealth of information you can find online. Read about particle time travel to make physics more fun or start a lively debate about kid-relevant legislation to spice up social studies. Every subject is interesting when you dig deep enough. Try to breed a love of learning that most kids don’t experience until college.

As a parent, you’re in the best possible position to give your kid a dynamic, personalized educational experience. All it takes is a few hours per week and a great attitude. The extra interaction alone will let him know that you care and drive him to work harder to keep your expectations high.

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