Every child has the power to succeed in school.
What we say and do in our daily lives can help our children to develop positive attitudes toward school and learning and to build confidence in themselves as learners. Showing our children that we not only value education but also use it in our daily lives provides them with powerful models and contributes greatly to their success in school.
The following are just some of the ways you can help your child succeed:
• Send your child to school ready to learn. A good breakfast prepares children for the day. In general, kids who eat breakfast have more energy and do better in school and are less likely to be absent, and make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger.
Children also need the right amount of sleep to be alert and ready to learn all day. Most school-age kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep can cause irritable or hyper types of behavior and might make it difficult for kids to pay attention in class. It’s important to have a consistent bedtime routine, especially on school nights.
• Talk with your child. Talking and listening play a major role in children’s school success. Listening to parents and family members talk and responding to that talk is how children begin to pick up the language skills they will need to do well. Children who haven’t learned to listen carefully often have trouble following directions and paying attention in class.
• Encourage your child to be responsible and to work independently. Taking responsibility and working independently are important qualities for school success. Establish rules. Every home needs reasonable rules that children know and can depend on. Have your child help you to set rules and enforce the rules consistently. Make it clear that your child has to take responsibility for what he/she does at home and at school.
• Monitor your children’s TV viewing and electronic device time. American children on average spend far more time watching TV or using an electronic device such as the computer, cell phones and iPads then they do completing homework or other school-related activities. Limit the time that you let your child watch TV and use electronic devices. Too much time cuts into important activities in a child’s life, such as reading, playing with friends and talking with family members.
• Encourage active learning. Children need active learning as well as quiet learning such as reading and doing homework. Active learning involves asking and answering questions, solving problems and exploring interests. Active learning also can take place when your child plays sports, spends time with friends, acts in a school play, plays a musical instrument or visits a library or museum.
• Be involved with your child’s school. Children do better in school when parents are involved. Attending school events, back-to-school night, and parent conferences are a good way to get to know your child’s teacher and his/her expectations as well as familiarizing yourself with school wide programs and policies.
Knowing the physical layout of the school building and grounds can help you connect with your child when you talk about the school day. The school’s website can help you find information on the school calendar, staff contacts, upcoming events, etc.
Individual teacher websites may provide details about homework, test dates, and individual classroom events and activities.
The Rome Teachers Association is committed to providing information that may help parents, teachers and the community help all our students achieve.
Excerpted in part from the US Department of Education publication Helping Your Child Succeed in School. The full publication is available at: https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/succeed/index.html