Help Your Child Get The Most From Their Education

Three college students a a desk around a laptop.

Helping your child make the right education choices can have a huge impact on their future. Of course, there’s no substitute for what can be learned in the classroom, but a well-rounded education should extend beyond the curriculum too. Read on for our guide to getting the most from education at all levels.

Get computer literate

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills are becoming increasingly important to the global economy. But a 2016 report by Trinity College showed that Ireland is lagging behind in many of these crucial areas. With resources and class time often at a premium, it can be a good idea to get your child involved in STEM subjects outside the classroom. Encourage your child to get involved with initiatives like the Young Scientist Competition or CoderDojo, which aims to teach children of all ages about the fun possibilities of computer programming. It’ll give them a serious head start when they enter the employment market.


Learn a foreign language

Having a second language not only helps when you’re looking for employment abroad, it’s also a major plus for employers in Ireland competing in the global market. Of course, most students will already be learning a second language at school, but it’s often difficult for students to get the extended vocabulary training they need to truly feel comfortable conversing with native speakers. Total immersion is seen as one of the most effective ways to learn how to confidently speak a foreign language, so you may want to consider encouraging your child to spend some time abroad – perhaps during Transition Year. Living Language offer full immersion in foreign secondary schools for periods ranging from 6 weeks to the full academic year, while Stein Study offers immersive language courses for children – and adults – of any age.


Get extracurricular

Extracurricular activities are a fantastic opportunity to develop a host of skills that will be of great benefit to any student – in their third level education and beyond. From communication to public speaking and organisational skills, there are some things that just can’t be taught in the classroom. Encourage your teenager to get involved in activities outside school – from sport to debating to charity volunteering – but make sure it’s something that they truly enjoy. Sit down with your son or daughter and ask them about an activity they would like to get involved with and go from there. The school holidays are also a great time for kids to get involved in something fun – and educational. But don’t force your child to struggle through something they don’t enjoy because if they’re not inspired, they won’t get full value from it.


Get them eating well

Teaching your child about proper nutrition will not only help them perform better in school, it will also prepare them for college – where healthy eating often isn’t on the agenda! Get your teen involved with mealtimes, and teach them some quick, easy, and healthy dinners and lunches. It’ll help them get through their studies and mean they won’t have to survive on instant noodles once they get to college.

Help them through exam time

No matter how accomplished the student, everyone gets stressed during exams. And you definitely shouldn’t be adding to those worries. The key thing is to be there and remain supportive with your child throughout the exam period and the study leading up to it. Help them organise their time by putting together a (realistic) timetable and remember, be patient! If your son or daughter gets worried it will impact on their performance come exam time. And once the exams are over, avoid going back over them in detail. Don’t forget, there’s a lot more to education than exam results and CAO points.


Want to know more about an Education Loan from AIB?

Are you planning for your child’s education after secondary school? If you need help, you can get a decision on an Education Loan from AIB in just 3 hours.

Use our loan calculator to give you an estimate of how much you could borrow, or if you have any more questions, ask on Facebook or Twitter @AskAIB.

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