Children today face more academic challenges than ever before. Highly focused state standards, plagiarism temptation, and progressive technology are potential obstacles to kids who are working through the educational system. Thankfully, involved parents can help to prepare their kids to overcome these barriers and reach their learning goals. Here are six tips to keep in mind.
1. Make sure kids have a healthy home life. An age-specific bedtime, nutritious meals and snacks, and regular physical activity can provide a balanced life that will help prepare kids for the rigors of the typical school day.
2. Get them to school on time. Consistent school attendance is important. Kids who miss a lot of school, especially for non-essential reasons, come to feel that learning is not that important and may not take their studies seriously. High absenteeism may cause them to fall behind in assignment completion or miss important discussions and the teacher’s explanations. Parents should make sure their kids attend class everyday except for good reason, like illness, and that they arrive on time.
3. Promote active learning. Parents can set a good example for a positive attitude toward learning by letting their kids seem them read or watch educational videos, or take credit or noncredit classes, and prep courses like GRE practice tests and SAT prep tests. Children should be encouraged to do the same by visiting the library or renting meaningful resources that make learning fun beyond the classroom. Online games and educational television shows can likewise be helpful.
4. Support homework and study activities. Kids need a quiet area for homework and study. This can be a desk in their bedroom or the dining room table out of the way of routine household traffic. A designated study time helps to keep kids on a schedule for getting homework done. It is also important to help students understand what they will be tested on, and how. Parents can reinforce or further explain what kids are told in school and review test study guides with them to prepare for exams and get the best possible scores.
5. Get involved with school activities. Studies have shown that parents who volunteer as teacher aides or assist with special activities and events tend to have children who excel academically. It doesn’t have to be a classroom activity, either. Helping in the library or cafeteria are other ways of being visible in school without taking a dominant role. Knowing that parents are around occasionally to watch them succeed, or fail, can be a motivating factor in students’ success.
6. Encourage and praise academic success. Parents who choose to focus on their kids’ positive achievements may want to acknowledge students’ good grades, school honors, and achievement awards. Being recognized for educational effort is an effective way to motivate kids to keep trying or do even better, knowing that their parents care and will applaud their hard work.
Parents can play a strategic role in guiding their children to set and meet academic goals. Supporting teacher efforts and classroom learning activities provides a safety net for educational success. With minimal effort and a positive attitude, parents can partner with their children’s schools to promote meaningful learning and foster a proactive attitude toward student success.