Parental Involvement Is the Answer
Study after study has shown that parental involvement is the number-one determinant of how well all children -- regardless of their background -- do in school. Here are ten ways you can help your kids succeed in the classroom -- and beyond.
1. Create an environment in your home that encourages learning.
This will be a major influence on how well your children do in school. Provide them with many different opportunities to become excited about learning. Make sure that appropriate materials from puzzles to paints to computers are available to stimulate their curiosity.
2. Provide your children with a well-balanced life.
A stable home, filled with love, serves as a solid foundation for getting straight A's. Establish routines so your children get enough sleep, eat regular nourishing meals, and receive sufficient exercise. Limit excessive TV-viewing and the playing of video and computer games.
3. Read to your children every day.
Most of the learning your children do in school involves reading. Read to your kids to teach them about reading, expand and enrich their vocabularies, and broaden their experiences. Reading aloud exposes them to materials that would be difficult for them to read on their own.
4. Encourage them to read extensively.
As your children progress through school, as much as 75 percent of what they learn will come from the printed page. The more children read, the better their reading skills become. Make sure there is a wide variety of interesting reading materials in your home to encourage the reading habit.
5. Show your children how to be organized.
Children who are organized find it much easier to succeed in school. One of the best ways to teach organizational skills is through example. Show your children how to use such organizational tools as assignment pads, calendars, notebooks, binders, and backpacks.
6. Teach them effective study skills.
Good study skills are absolutely essential to get A's. Make sure your children know how to read their textbooks, prepare for tests, memorize facts, and use their time efficiently. Encourage them to have a regular time for studying, and provide a study place that is free of distractions.
7. Urge your children to listen and participate in class.
Listening in class is the easy way for children to learn. Advise your older children to take notes, which will help them concentrate on what is being said. Encourage your children to participate in class -- it will greatly increase their interest in what they're learning.
8. Help your children learn how to tackle homework.
Doing homework reinforces what your children learn in school. Show them how to do it so that homework quickly becomes their responsibility. Help them learn what assignments to do first and how to plan their time. Encourage them not to rush through their homework but to consider every assignment a learning experience.
9. Talk to your children about school.
Your children spend hours in school every day. A lot can happen during that time. Show that you are genuinely interested in their day by asking questions about what they did and talking with them about the papers they bring home. When problems occur, work with your kids to find solutions.
10. Develop a good relationship with your children's teachers.
Good communication between home and school helps children do well in school and makes it easier to address problems. Be sure to attend parent-teacher conferences, visit your kids' classrooms, and volunteer to help their teachers. And don't forget to express your appreciation to teachers for all that they do for your children.