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Foster children have often experienced some form of trauma before coming into care, which can have a detrimental impact on their education. In some cases, a child in care may not want to attend school for various reasons, but this is something you can help them to overcome as a foster carer. Throughout this article, we’ve compiled several ways that you can nurture your foster children’s education.
Set Aside Time for Reading
Whether you’re exploring the idea of becoming a foster parent or you’ve been on this journey for a while, you’ll know that spending quality time with children in your care is essential. Luckily, educational activities present the perfect opportunity. For example, you can set time aside for sharing books and reading. As well as improving comprehension, reading allows foster children to explore magical worlds and experiences, which may unlock passions and motivation.
Many foster children have missed out on an environment where the completion of homework is encouraged, so they may not feel it’s important or they may find it too difficult but be afraid to ask for help. Therefore, you will need to set clear expectations for finishing homework and make sure you’re always available to help. To do this, try setting aside at least one hour every night for homework, and make sure you’re in the room together.
Encourage Extracurricular Activities
If you think back to when you were in school, the parts you remember most fondly are likely extracurricular activities, whether that be forming a band after school or going on field trips. These are the experiences that you need to ensure your foster children have. To help with this, consider putting some money away each month to support these activities.
Set Expectations for Performance and Achievements
People work better when they have a goal to achieve, and your foster child is no different. Make sure you set clear expectations for their education, including the following:
- Wearing the proper school uniform
- Having 100% attendance
- Completing homework
- Setting realistic grade goals
Having goals to aim for will help your foster child to reach forward and succeed in their academic life, and this is something they can carry with them forever.
Learning to Make and Keep Friends
Forming solid friendships in school isn’t always easy, but your foster child may struggle even more because of unfair stigmatisation and stereotypes. Therefore, you will need to teach them how to interact with others, build friendships and keep them. As well as helping them inside of school, it’s important to allow foster children to see their friends outside of school.
Liaise with School
Some foster children don’t feel comfortable with open communication, so they may not tell you when they’re struggling with schoolwork. Therefore, it’s important to have clear lines of communication with their class teachers. Hearing how they are doing in school will help you to target the level of educational input you have at home.
Experiences with education, both inside and outside of school, help to shape people into the person they will become. Your role as a foster carer is to nurture positive educational experiences, which you can do by following this guide.