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11 Parenting Tips To Help Your Child Succeed At School
For most parents, sending children to school is a necessity of childrearing. The goal when parents turn their precious children over to the school, be they toddlers or teenagers, is for kids to be safe, comfortable and ready to learn. Too often, parents feel like separate entities from their childís teacher/s and school. As soon as parents hug their children goodbye in the morning, parenting is put on hold until they collect their kids at the end of the school day; and virtual strangers take over the important parenting/teaching role.
Becoming an active member of the childís teaching team is an important role for parents that not only encourages the childís learning, but alleviates some of the anxiety that parents feel as they place their children in the hands of the school. Thinking as a team allows parents to become more involved in their childís educational experience and opens up good communication between parents and teachers.
Assuming that the school is of quality and the teachers competent, what is the role of the parent in the learning process? It is important for parents to understand their role as members of the team and to respect the boundaries of the school. Parents must also feel confident to step in, on behalf of the child, when situations call for action.
Below are helpful steps for developing a good relationship with the childís school and parenting with the goal of academic success.
Establish a Set Bedtime Routine
Drop Off is Not for Conferences
Drop off time is not the right time for a teacher conference. Drop off is a hectic time for teachers, and parents deserve a teacherís undivided attention when discussing their children. Teachers are usually very happy to schedule time for parent/teacher conferences at times when they can devote enough time to parentís concerns. Short e-mails to teachers addressing questions and concerns are usually responded to promptly and with insight and care.
Observe a Class
Create and Follow a Dress Code to Keep the Focus on Learning
Monitor What Children Bring To School
Intervene When Appropriate and Be a Childís Advocate
There will be situations that come up when a parent must step in as the childís advocate. Parents should listen to both the teacherís take on the situation as well as the childís. Parents should be wary of looking for a short term gain at the expense of the long term lesson i.e.: by negotiating grades.
Create an Atmosphere that Supports Homework Completion
Reading to children or with children should be a part of the nightly homework assignment and bedtime ritual. Young children can be held close and read to, or parents can take turns reading to and being read to by older children. Nightly reading should be for pleasure to teach a love of reading. Reading before bedtime will encourage children to use their imaginations and give them the necessary motivation to read for themselves.
Sick Kids Need to Stay in Bed
Make sure that the school has updated telephone numbers for parents. Children feel more secure too if they memorize momís or dadís cell phone number even if they never need it.
Pack a Healthy Lunch that Delivers High Energy Foods
Dinnertime is the Perfect Time for Discussing the Day
For instance, one mother discovered during dinner that her son was having difficulty understanding the oral instructions for completing reading exercises in a workbook. Knowing that her child was a visual learner, she shot off a quick email to the teacher requesting a visual demonstration of the material in addition to the oral. This simple intervention, based on a mealtime conversation, solved the problem quickly and alleviated what could have been prolonged anxiety.
Parents should not feel intimidated by teachers and administration and should be comfortable discussing their concerns with the appropriate administrative staff. It is beneficial to everyone to be compliant with school policy. By following the above steps, parents can become an important part of their childís educational experience, their childís advocate, and feel included in the learning process. In addition, parents will help make their childís educational experience a positive and non-stressful one. Parents should remember that although their child will be taught by many different teachers over the course of their educational years, parents are ultimately the childís most important teachers and role models.
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