How To Really Help Your Child With School

How To Really Help Your Child With School

How To Really Help Your Child With School

by Valorie McGilvra Certified Teacher and Life Coach


Research shows that students earn higher grades, get better attendance, are more motivated, and less likely to drop out of school when their families are involved in their education. Create a home environment that encourages learning and schoolwork. Establish a daily routine for homework, chores, and bedtime. All of this is critical to helping your child be successful in school.

Homework Plan:
Homework may be tough to get your child to do, however, there are so many benefits that your time and commitment to seeing that it gets done can help students to develop good study habits and positive attitudes. It can teach them to work independently and encourage self-discipline and responsibility — assignments provide some children with their first chance to manage time and to meet deadlines. Make a homework plan with your child so it is clear to everyone. Discuss with them what they like and don’t like. Try asking these questions: Do you want to study right when you get home, or did you need a break? If they are in after school care, is it possible to complete assignments there? Do they like it to be quiet and being alone or out with the family? Designate a study spot. Personalize the study areas with your child’s accomplishments, pictures, awards, comfy seating, desk, and a basket of supplies that are only used for homework such as; pencils, sharpener, calculator, paper, glue, tape, crayons, markers, scissors. Encourage family members to support this study time so there are minimal distractions around. 

Know what’s going on at school. Join PTA and volunteer when you can. When your child has something special going on, plan to attend. Visit the school website and social media. Join any websites, texting apps (Remind 101…) that your child’s teacher(s) are using. 

Real World Experience:
This is where you can really make an impact on your child’s learning. Take the skills they are learning in school and find ways to apply to real life. Create a fun message board where you can use Post-It Notes to share thoughts with your child and model for them how to ask questions, make connections, or draw conclusions. When grocery shopping, teach them how to decide what item is a better deal. Help them learn how to estimate the cost of groceries. Teach them to count change by guessing the exact amount you give them. If they get it right the first time, they keep it. Let them write a check. Let them do the complete self-checkout for you when you only have a few items. By 3rd grade, they should be able to tell time. Practice intervals of time. If we have to be at the soccer field by 4:45 and we live 20 minutes away, what time should we leave?

Teach them how to set an alarm clock to wake up on their own. Give them a choice between outfits for school and how to make their own lunch. This will build self-confidence, a sense of belonging, and will set the foundation of for further learning.  Parents, families, educators, and communities—there’s no better partnership to assure that all students, pre-K to high school, have the support and resources they need to succeed in school and life.

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