Back to School
Help Your Kids Succeed in School
A new school year brings exciting new academic challenges, growth opportunities and relationships for kids. It can also bring its share of apprehension for parents and children alike.
There are many things that parents can do to help their children succeed in school by creating an environment that supports learning and taking an active role in their children's educational experience.
Open the Lines of Communication
Find out how your child's teacher plans to communicate with you. It could be by phone, email, postal mail or even notes in your child's book bag.
Make a habit of checking your child's book bag or folder for messages or comments on your child's classwork. Follow up if you have questions.
Take time to meet your child's teacher(s). Alert them to any special concerns you have about your child.
Participate in school meetings and events, such as open houses, parent-teacher conferences, Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, sporting events, concerts, etc.
Have a positive attitude when talking to teachers or administrators.
All children are required by law to receive certain immunizations in order to be admitted to school. Make sure you keep clear documentation of your child's shot records.
Promote Good Nutrition and Sleeping Habits
Sleep and proper nutrition are building blocks for your child's educational success. Check with your pediatrician for the recommended amount of sleep your child needs -- it changes as they grow.
Poor nutrition plays directly into behavior and educational success. Be sure your child eats breakfast before school. Protein-filled foods, such as eggs, dairy and meat, will sustain your child. Avoid sugary cereals and syrups, which offer a fast burst of energy but lead to a "crash" within a couple of hours. Income-eligible children may register for free or low-cost breakfast and lunch programs at their schools.
Homework is a critical part of your child's education.
Some children need a little "down time" before starting their homework after school. Others do better by getting right down to business. See which works best for your child.
Make sure your child has a quiet place to work without distractions from TV, computer games, radio or other activity. Equip your child with any supplies needed to complete their homework. Community support is available for assistance with supplies, if needed.
Be available to help your child with homework. It's easy for children to become frustrated when they have difficulties. Offer constructive comments as your child progresses, and offer praise when the work is done well. If your child needs more support than you can offer, talk to his or her teachers about other resources that may be available in the community.