It isn’t uncommon for children to feel shy and nervous about asking questions and offering input during class discussions. They might be scared of giving an incorrect answer or they may be uncomfortable being the centre of attention.
As a parent, you must play a very active role in your child’s intellectual development. It’s not just the teacher’s responsibility to keep students motivated and active in class; parents should be equally involved.
Here are some effective ways in which parents can ensure their child participates actively in the classroom:
Regularly discuss your child’s school-related problems
To keep yourself informed about your child’s academic progress, it’s very important to maintain free and open communication. Let the child know they can always come to you for help and advice.
No matter how busy you may be, take some time out to sit with your kid and ask them about school. Encourage them to tell you how their day went, what subjects they studied, and their opinions about their teachers and classmates, etc. Talk to them about school and gently lead the conversation towards the underlying problem. Once you know what’s stopping your child from participating actively, it will be easier to come up with solutions to overcome that issue.
Make sure your child is prepared for class
If the student hasn’t studied for the lesson, they obviously won’t raise their hands or speak up in class. Try to familiarize yourself with your child’s courseload and the homework they are assigned. Engage them in discussions about their studies and which concepts they find challenging. Organize home tuition or home study sessions whereby you can get your child quizzed on their problem areas. Once they understand the concepts, they will soon become more comfortable participating in class.
If you feel your child learns better in a classroom-based environment, enrol them in a good tuition agency where they will get the addition attention and focus they need.
Encourage the child to sit in front
Sitting in the back isn’t always conducive to good academic progress, especially if your child is already shy and introverted. Encourage them to sit in front or as near the front as possible so they can ask questions without attracting too much attention. This will help to improve the child’s self-esteem issues and will enable them to participate more actively in class.
Stay in contact with the teacher
As a parent, communicating with your child’s school teachers is a great way to develop a good strategy on how to help your kid over their reservations. This also allows you be aware of how your child is progressing academically and what issues they are facing.
Try meeting the teacher on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to review the child’s performance and discuss ways to boost their participation in class. Working with your child’s teachers makes it easier to identify the root cause of the child’s problem and to devise an effective solution.
For instance, the student might be worried that the teacher will scold or criticize them in front of the entire class if they get an answer wrong. Fears like this are common. Perhaps the teacher could call on the child when asking certain questions that have no right or wrong answer. This way, the child won’t be under pressure to give the right answer, so they will speak more comfortably. This will better help them get over their qualms.
Find other opportunities to engage your child
Encourage the child to participate in activities outside the classroom. For instance, they could sign up for debates, arts, creative writing or drama clubs. Such activities are very beneficial as they help children diversify their interests and boost their self-esteem. It has been frequently observed that students who remain quiet and withdrawn in class visibly open up and shine while participating in extracurricular activities. This is because they don’t feel as much pressure to excel as they do in the classroom. Because of this, they are able to interact more comfortably and will eventually come out of their shell.
Class participation is very important for the development and growth of your child’s personality. All the above-given suggestions can help you in encouraging the child to participate more actively in the classroom.