Success in school will not automatically happen. As school starts, parents are hopeful that their child will have a successful year. They are eager to see their kids thrive, make new friends, connect with old ones, get along with their teachers, and grow up just a little bit more in this new grade.
As you head into a new school year, here are several ways you can help your child have success in school this year.
Set Some Goals.
Whether it’s academic, social or physical, help your child think about what they’d like to achieve this year. Maybe it’s to make the school soccer team or to get straight As, or maybe it’s to pass a subject that they’ve struggled with in the past.
I often tell parents that if they aim for nothing, they will hit it every time. The same can be applied to the school year and your child’s success.
WW1 Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker said, “I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through – then follow through.”
In other words, take time to help your child think through what they’d like to accomplish and help them work out a plan to achieve it.
Be an involved parent.
Kids do better in school when parents are involved. Attend back-to-school nights and get to know your child’s teachers. Attend parent/teacher conferences if your child’s school offers them. Use them as opportunities to work with the teacher to help your child do their best.
Set your child up for success in their homework.
Support the school’s homework expectations, even if inwardly you don’t agree with them. Staying positive will help your child stay positive too. Create a study space that does not allow for distractions like a TV on in the background.
Pay attention to nutrition and sleep.
Kids do better in school when they are sent off with a nutritious breakfast in their stomachs and when they have the right amount of sleep. Most school-age kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night.
Try to limit your child’s extracurricular activities to only one after school per day. With the intention of “keeping my child busy,” many parents overbook and in the process don’t allow their children any down-time or play-time.
Teach and model organization.
When kids are organized, they are more likely to stay focused and will not waste time looking for things. Have a bin or a folder to keep track of homework. Teach your child to use a calendar to keep track of when things are due. Help your child learn organizational skills even as you model them yourself.
Help out at school.
Your involvement, whether your child is in elementary school or high school, shows that you’re interested in your child’s education. When my kids were little, I volunteered in their classrooms, went on field trips and voluteered for special school events. When they got to high school, I helped out with their sports team’s snack bar, drove students to away events, and volunteered to help with school events.
Every school has guidelines for parental involvement, so the extent of your participation will depend on the school. But your willingness to be involved speaks volumes to your child and to their teachers.
Connect with your child every day.
Whether it’s in the car on the way home, having an after-school snack together, at dinner, or at bedtime, be sure that you always prioritize time to listen to your child, ask about how their day went, and give them an opportunity to share anything that might be on their minds. The busy-ness of school and sports makes this a challenge for many families, but your child needs this connection to feel secure.
As your kids head back to school, now’s the perfect time to get some help with your parenting if you feel the need. Please schedule a free consult here.