Youth from across the country are celebrating their high school accomplishments and are getting ready to make the transition into post-secondary education. There are almost 400,000 young people in Canada who are at risk of dropping out of high school. Education and graduation are not always hot topics at the dinner table. Research shows particularly in low-income neighbourhoods the high school dropout rate can be as high as 70 per cent.
This graduation season, Pathways to Education, which is a national charity that helps youth graduate by providing mentoring, tutoring, and financial assistance is encouraging Canadians to bring education home. When parents and siblings openly discuss school, it builds an enthusiasm for education and provides essential ingredients for success. Conversations about education are essential, no matter how old our kids are! Talking about education within the family can have a strong influence on student success.
The intention of Pathways to Education’s Graduation Nation movement is to create a place where every child can have the opportunity and resources necessary to graduate high school. To get the conversation going, Pathways to Education has put together five tips for making education and graduation a priority topic in the household.
- Start the conversation: Set up family meetings or consciously make education the first topic discussed at the dinner table.
- Keep it going: Show interest and always be sure to ask questions. Most moms know what it’s like to get a one-word response when asking about their child’s day at school. Try engaging them further by asking what the best part of their day was, or by asking them to share something new they learned.
- Celebrate victories: Children are often more motivated to succeed if their accomplishments are recognized. Try planning some kind of celebration when they’ve achieved something notable, like dinner at the restaurant of their choice.
- Provide solutions: While every parent wants their child to succeed, there are times when they don’t perform as well. Try seeing those moments as opportunities to offer assistance, for example by offering new ways to help study or prepare for an assignment. Taking the time to discuss ways for improvement reinforces the importance of education and provides your children with motivation to improve.
- Get involved: Your child’s school is a great community with plenty of great resources to offer. Try hosting a study group for your children and their friends to help make it more fun.
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