Five Quick Tips to Help Your Child Succeed In School
As a parent, I am always a little bit sad when September rolls around and it is time to say goodbye to the more relaxed schedule and pace of summer. Here are five quick tips to help you and your child get back into the school routine and start the year off right.
Tip # 1: Teach and Reinforce Good Study Habits. Help your child to understand the importance of developing good study habits. Some students run into trouble because they simply do not know how to study, and have never learned good study habits. It is never too early to start teaching your child the study skills he/she will need to succeed in school. Some things you can do to support your child include:
* Share examples of effective study strategies that you used when you were in school.
* Develop an understanding of how your child learns. Is he a visual learner who learns best by observing, a kinesthetic /tactile learner who learns by doing, or an auditory learner who learns by listening? Develop study strategies that build on your child’s preferred learning style.
* While your child is studying, make sure that she is not distracted by the television, radio, internet, cell phone, or other outside factors.
* Ensure that your child has a designated study area that is organized and quiet.
* Provide a healthy snack to keep your child focused and energized.
* Assist your child with studying for tests by helping to organize the material to make it more manageable, and by quizzing him/her.
* If your child needs to use the computer to complete an assignment, make sure that he/she stays focused on the task at hand. It is far too tempting to surf the internet or go onto social networking sites.
* Be available to answer questions and provide assistance to your child while he/she is doing homework.
Tip # 2: Check Your Child’s Home Work. Many parents feel that if their child is being taught how to complete an assignment in school, he/she should be able to transfer this knowledge and work independently at home. That may or may not be the case. Some children require more help than others, while others simply rush through their homework and make careless mistakes. By reviewing your child’s homework, you will also have a better understanding of what he/she is learning, and subjects that may need extra effort and attention.
Tip # 3: Communicate with Teachers. If your child is having trouble with a particular subject, take the initiative to contact his/her teacher. It is also important for you to communicate with your child’s teachers regarding any family issues or other outside factors that might impact your child’s behavior and performance in school (divorce, recent move, death in the family, medical concerns, etc.). Let teachers know that you want to work in partnership with them to help your child succeed.
Tip # 4: Get Involved. Simply put, get involved by joining the PTA, attending school functions and meetings, volunteering your time and talents, and being a positive presence at your child’s school. Studies have consistently shown that parental involvement at school is associated with higher levels of student achievement.
Tip # 5: Encourage and Support Extra-Curricular Activities. Extra-curricular activities provide children with a much needed break from academics, and make them more well-rounded individuals. Activities like basketball, football, baseball, soccer, cheerleading, dance, music, and theatre help children to understand that repetition and practice enhance learning. This important skill can be transferred and applied to success in the classroom. Many coaches also help reinforce the importance of good grades and good work/study habits. In most schools, children must maintain a certain GPA to be involved in extra-curricular activities such as sports.
No matter what grade your child is in, it is important for you as a parent to show interest, offer support, stay informed, and be involved. Taking an active role in your child’s education is essential to academic success!