IB Parents: The Best Way to Support Your Child

Anyone who’s completed the IB will tell you the same thing. Things simply get progressively harder as you go throughout the two years. If you’re an IB parent, here are the best ways to support your child deal with the pressure – coming from an IB student who graduated just a couple of years ago!

Expectations on the IB

Perhaps obvious, but ever-more important to state nonetheless. It’s key that, as an IB parent, you aren’t heaping extra pressure on top of the already overflowing pile.

For many, the IB feels more like a plate-spinning exercise rather than a course. There are so many assignments to complete, some of which contribute towards final marks, all the while still learning content and ensuring CAS is on track. As we all know, it’s a lot – and each person deals with that differently.

Allowing IB students space to get on with it is absolutely key. Don’t be too hard if there’s one assignment handed in late, or a target grade isn’t quite reached. Progress on the IB most definitely isn’t always linear, so allow generous room for mistakes. To learn more, take a look at this BBC bitesize article.

Know when to step in

Only you know your child so well, and so you’re likely able to read the signs. There’s no right answer or objective truth here. 

In my personal experience, I much preferred my parents allowing me as much breathing space as possible – even when I was struggling. My method was to ask teachers and friends before concerning my parents, which I communicated to them as clearly as possible.

It’s always a sensible idea to get a hold of your child’s key deadlines, however. With so many tasks due in a short space of time, having a parent there as a ‘second pair of eyes’ could be useful. Perhaps you could even create a wall planner. Fill it in with deadlines as they’re released, and place it somewhere where neither you nor your child can forget about it.

Stepping in

Unless you’re active in a field which overlaps with IB subject matter, it’s fairly unlikely you can properly help with the actual work. Being collaborative, fair and communicative (in the way I outlined above) is a fantastic start nonetheless.

It’s certainly possible, though, to play an active role in the learning process, assuming you can take an interest in the subject matter. Ask your child if they’d like to discuss a topic with you, or even teach it to you. The perfect way to see if you’ve mastered a topic is to see if you’re able to teach it to somebody else.

Beyond this, helping with deadlines and time management, there isn’t much that IB parents can do to be directly involved with their child’s IB process. Of course, each student and household has individual circumstances which might suit more, or in my case less, involvement.

If you’re ever in doubt, however, and don’t know the best way to proceed, Lanterna is perfectly placed to help you out! We have a team of hundreds of successful IB graduates who are ready to step in to help with assignments, content, and basically anything else IB-related. Take a look here to find out what we might be able to do to help you and your child on the rollercoaster IB journey!

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