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How to Help Your Child Perform Better in School

written by: Stephanie Torreno • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 1/9/2012

Parents have much to do with their child’s success in school. From establishing daily routines to helping with homework, parent involvement plays a key role in a child’s academic achievements. The following article explains how parents can help their kids do better at school.

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    Establish a Daily Routine

    One of the most important tips for parents to help their kids do better at school is to establish a daily routine. A successful school day begins the morning before school. Actually, success begins the previous night. Homework should be completed, put in the correct notebook or folder, and packed to take to school. To find them easily the next morning, backpacks and anything else needed for school should be kept in the same place.

    Children do better in school when families eat dinner together. This time allows family members to discuss the day. Dinner is an excellent time to talk about worries or problems and think about possible solutions. Your child will benefit from open communication during this family ritual.

    The night before a school day provides more time to lay out clothes for the morning. Doing this helps avoid rushing to get dressed and eat breakfast before school. Parents especially need to be firm about going to bed and getting up on time. Older children should use alarm clocks and be held responsible for waking up and getting ready for the day.

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    Share Information with Teachers and School Staff

    Teachers need to know that parents are interested in their child’s education. Parents should show this interest at the beginning of the school year. Become acquainted with your child’s teacher and other staff. Attend school events as much as possible. These activities provide opportunities to ask questions about teaching methods and what your child will be learning. A school’s web site will assist you keep track of specific school events and provide you with general, yet important, information.

    Ask your child’s teacher about the best way to communicate with her. Most teachers have an e-mail address, which is a convenient way to exchange messages. Communicate with your child’s teacher about any special needs he may have and any changes happening at home. Ask the teacher about homework and alert her to any specific problems with assignments. If disagreements arise, always try to work them out with the teacher before contacting the principal.

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    Monitor Homework

    Let your child know that homework is important and has to be done. Help with homework by having a special area for your child to study. This area should have good lighting and be free of noise and distractions. Keep supplies, such as pencils, pens, erasers, writing paper, and a dictionary, together and on hand.

    Help your child set a regular time for homework. Setting a regular schedule to complete homework helps a child finish assignments. Younger children, of course, need help developing a schedule. Allow an older child to make up a schedule independently, but make sure that it is doable.

    Finally, realize that helping with homework does not mean doing it for them. Parents need to support children in doing their best. Do not expect or demand perfection. If needed, make criticisms or suggestions in a helpful way. The best help you can give children is showing your interest, helping with organization, providing a place and materials needed to work, monitoring work to see that they complete it, and praising their efforts.

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    Express Expectations for Achievement

    Parents should let their child know what is expected from them at school. These expectations should include appropriate goals and standards based on a child’s age and maturity. Clear expectations encourage children to do their best. Parents need to explain and model the value of learning, working hard, and maintaining self-discipline. Explain and demonstrate that achievement comes from working hard. Share examples of your own achievements at work. These conversations can lead to discussing the value of education and possible career options.

    By following these tips for parents to help their kids do better at school, your child is sure to have a successful educational experience.