Here are 10 ways you can help your child to be successful at school.
1. Be sure your children leave home prepared for the day’s learning. The day will get off to a good start if they have a good breakfast, are properly rested (eight to 10 hours of sleep), and have their backpacks prepared the evening before.
2. Schedule time for homework. Determine the most effective study area — quiet, well-lit, spacious, and free of distractions.
3. Monitor your child’s work. Don’t do it for him or her, but answer directional questions for particularly difficult problems. And don’t wait for report cards to check up on how things are going in class. Communicate with teachers. Let them know you are interested.
4. Attend school functions. Your attendance and interest in school activities shows that you view the school as important. In a 10-year study Laurence Steinbe found that parents who regularly attended school functions were much more likely to have achieving students.
5. Never make disparaging remarks about your child’s school or teacher in their presence. When there is a problem at school be proactive. Contact the teacher to see how you can help to resolve any problem. Teachers tend to give more attention to a student whose parents take an interest in their child’s schoolwork.
6. Volunteer at school. Helping out at school as well as assisting in a variety of ways puts you in direct touch with what is going on and how your child is doing. Again, this sends a message to your child that school is important.
7. Realize that your child’s school is not a perfect environment with perfect people. Unfortunately, educators these days have many things to deal with beyond academics. Teaching is a very demanding profession. Be realistic in your expectations.
8. Model the value of learning, self-discipline and hard work. Children are great imitators, and usually follow example rather than lecture. Parents who are lifelong learners and achievers should have high yet realistic expectations for achievement. Set goals and standards that are age appropriate.
9. Monitor out-of-school activities. Many children today are far too busy with out-of-school activities. While music lessons, sports, dance, and a variety of other diversions may be worthwhile activities, students need adequate time for homework, meals, rest and downtime. Be careful not to over commit your children.
10. Show appreciation for teachers and other school personnel. Teaching is a difficult and demanding profession. Nothing is more appreciated by a teacher than a thankful and supportive parent.
Admittedly, these principles that may be difficult to realize, given our hectic schedules, but for the sake of our students educational success they are important principles to strive for.