Parental guidance and support is crucial to the academic success of kids in elementary school. Here’s how parents can help their kids succeed:
- Get involved
Back-to-school nights and parent-teacher conferences provide an opportunity for parents to know their kids’ teachers and what is expected of the kids. During these events, parents are able to discuss school-wide policies and programs and stay informed on their kids’ progress and how to help the child perform better. It also lets the child know that the parents will be made aware of what happens in school. You can also volunteer in school activities such as class parties and field trips.
- Know the school
Be familiar with school’s physical layout. This helps you to connect with the child when he/she talks about the day at school. A variety of information and special parent resources can also be accessed on the school, teacher or district website.
- Homework support
Your support lets the child know that homework is a priority. Homework is an extension of classroom learning; helping children practice and develop important study skills, work ethics, and a sense of responsibility. Support your kid by providing a comfortable, well-lit, quiet environment suitable for study and guide him/her through the work. Be available to answer any questions the kid has but resist the temptation to complete the work yourself. Limit distractions and review completed work. Set a start and stop time; homework should not take too long to complete. If it often takes too long, discuss this with the teacher.
- Sleep and nutrition
Proper nutrition and enough sleep are important for the child’s alertness, memory and attention span so your child should have nutritious meals rich in fiber, protein and whole grains but low in processed sugars. Ensure school-age kids get about 10 to 12 hours of sleep daily by avoiding hectic schedules, video games and TV close to sleep time.
- Teach organizational skills
Ensure your child stays focused. Help him keep track of assignments and projects using a homework folder, an assignment book and teach him how to create a to-do list. Every school night, check these to make sure that the child doesn’t fall behind on any school assignments.
- Teach study skills
Be aware of scheduled tests and help your child study well in advance. Introduce them to mnemonic devices and other memory tricks and teach them to break tasks into manageable chunks. Rest is also important so let the child take a break after each study period. If studying remains difficult, talk to the teacher or counselor.
- Know the school’s disciplinary policy
Make sure that both you and your child are aware of the school’s disciplinary policies and let the child know that you will support the consequences if he/she goes against the stipulation of the school policies.
- Take attendance seriously
Make sure your child gets to school on time daily so they don’t have catch up on schoolwork too often. The exception is when the child is sick or is not acting as their normal self; in which case he/she should stay at home.
- Talk about school
Let the child know elementary school is important by making time to talk about school with your child and ask questions that encourage the child to open up about what goes on in school.