Dad, here’s a sneaky reason not to miss Back-to-School Night. Sure, you’ve been there and done that. It can seem like the same old blah, blah, blah.

But you really should meet your children’s teachers. And you really should sit in their tiny desks, experience this part of their world, and envision how they spend their days. When it comes to father involvement in school, here’s one sneaky idea to help you as a dad.

Father involvement in school: one sneaky idea

One of my favorite questions to ask a teacher is, “What’s your favorite part of the school year?” Their answer provides a little insight into their passions or lack thereof.

Most importantly, while you’re there you can gain information that will help set your child on the path to greatness. And it’s not that difficult. Just don’t tell your kids you’re doing it.

At Back-to-School Night—or perhaps through the school district’s website—make note of a few of the concepts your child will be covering in the coming year. Then in the next few weeks, you casually introduce your child to those concepts ahead of time. Not with a lecture. Not as more homework. But as a serendipitous discovery you made or a natural part of some conversation.

Suddenly—before anyone else in the class—your kid has a head start on topics like opposites, multiplication, centripetal force, the three states of matter, the solar system, clouds, suffixes and prefixes, adjectives and adverbs, the Magna Carta, the Mason-Dixon line, photosynthesis, Venn diagrams, and anything else you come up with that might be on the school district syllabus for the upcoming year.

Moms have been doing this for years. They get their preschoolers ready for kindergarten by teaching them numbers, colors, animal names, and even some phonics. But after formal education begins, most parents lose track of what’s coming up in the next school year. Rather than anticipating, they simply respond to the daily homework that the entire class is doing.

I know this idea is a bit of a con game. Your kid may or may not actually be any smarter than the other kids. But, really isn’t this just another way of helping your child become a lifelong learner? Plus, in the process, your child just might discover their dad sometimes provides the information they can actually use!

Also, it’s not a bad thing if their teacher and classmates look at your son or daughter as a leader and scholar. Everyone in that classroom—including your own child—will have heightened expectations for their performance.

Funny thing about expectations. They tend to come true.

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