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It’s a new school year and you’ve done all you can to help your child get off to a good start – you re-established their school year sleep routine you’ve adjusted their screen time, you’ve established clear and reasonable expectations and rewards. It’s going to be a great year! Right?!
While you’ve positioned your child for a great start to their school year, it’s only the first step in helping your child succeed in school. It’s important to be involved and aware of what’s happening with your child at the start of the school year. This is the time to act before your child gets too far behind or to correct behaviors that will become detrimental if they continue.
Meet your child’s teacher.
Develop a partnership with your child’s teacher. Get to know who’s who at your child’s school. Attend Back-To-School nights and parent-teacher conferences. Visit the school and become familiar with the website. Ask questions. Find out how your child is doing. Apply for special services if your child needs them. Learn your rights as a parent. Learn and understand disciplinary policies. Let your child’s teacher and/or the school know if you have concerns.
Talk to your child
Make time to talk to your child about school. Be fully engaged with your child during these conversations, avoid multitasking while you chat. Practice active listening skills. Watch your child’s expressions and body language as you talk about their day. Ask questions beyond yes or no answers. Demonstrate a positive attitude toward education. Praise your child’s efforts. Praise their persistence and handling of difficulties. Help them negotiate crises of confidence. Help them learn to solve their problems.
Read with your child
Talk to your child about what they are reading. This helps build a foundation for comprehension, oral language skills and a love for reading. Encourage your child to use the library.
Support Homework Expectations
Create an effective study environment. Different kids do well in different environments, so tailor your child’s homework area to his or her preferences. Set a regular time for homework. Ask about daily homework assignments. Monitor your child’s work to ensure it is completed. Praise your child’s efforts. And, while it may be tempting to complete his homework for him, it won’t help him in the long run. A general rule of thumb is 10 minutes of homework per elementary grade. So, a second grader would have 20 minutes per night and a fourth grader 40 minutes per night.
Teach Study and Organizational Skills
Create an assignment book and homework folder. Teach your child to create a To-do list. Help your child break down tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. Know the test schedule so you can help your child study ahead of time and not just the night before.
Encourage Active Learning
Learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Encourage active learning by answering questions, helping your child learn to solve problems, let them explore their current interests. Engaging and interacting with friends, playing sports, acting in a school play, playing a musical instrument are all forms of active learning.
You’ve implemented all the tips above and your child is still resistant to school and has a tendency to oppose authority. What can you do to help your child succeed?
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You’ve set them up for success by helping them transition from summer to school. You’re engaged with your student, his teacher, and school. You’re teaching your child the skills he needs to succeed in school and life. And, you’re using all the tools available to support a successful year. It’s going to be a great year!
BY MARY ELLEN KOSANKE