Today’s parents often have busy schedules, with commitments for work, church, and various family activities. Although we recognize the demands that coordinating these responsibilities can have, it’s critical that parents support their children’s learning. Here are 10 ways you can help your child become a successful student.
Attend Back-to-School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences
Kids are more successful when parents are involved in their academic lives.
Back-to-School Night is a wonderful way to get to know your child’s teacher and learn about the academic and behavior expectations for the school year.
Parent-teacher conferences provide the opportunity to have ongoing conversations with your child’s teacher, learn about goals set for your child, and discuss strategies to help your child achieve them.
Read School Communications
Emails and letters are ways for schools to keep parents informed.
It’s important to read carefully all correspondence from your child’s school, teacher, or principal. Emails and letters keep you up-to-date about, for example, skills your child is learning in class, upcoming events, health news, carlines, lunch menus, and the academic calendar.
Homework reinforces skills learned in class and enables children to practice important study skills.
Your child will learn responsibility, which will be of benefit in school and in other aspects of life. Make sure your child knows the value of homework and sees it as a priority.
Having someone available to interpret assignment instructions, offer support, answer questions, and provide feedback is helpful. Resist the urge to provide correct answers. Making mistakes and learning from them is what helps your child grow as a learner.
Teach Organizational Skills
Learning organizational skills at an early age sets up children for success for the school year and beyond.
In the younger grades, this means having an assignment book or homework folder to keep track of what’s required after school. Check the homework folder every school night so you’re familiar with what your child is learning and can make sure your child completes assignments.
Have conversations with your child about keeping his or her desk orderly, so papers and supplies don’t get lost. It’s also helpful to teach your child how to make a simple to-do list, to prioritize what needs to be done, and then have the satisfaction of checking off what’s been done.
Teach Study Skills
Studying for a test can be scary for young learners. Many educators assume parents will help their kids study during the elementary years.
Teaching your child study skills now will result in good learning habits throughout life. Be sure to know when a test or quiz is scheduled so you can help your child study ahead of time rather than the night before.
Send Your Child to School Ready to Learn
Children who eat a nutritious breakfast have more energy and perform better in school. In order for children to be ready to learn, they also need the right amount of sleep at night.
A healthy breakfast provides your child with the fuel necessary to have a successful day. Breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein and low in sugar will boost your child’s concentration, attention span, and memory. It’s also important to send a healthy lunch and snack every day.
Lack of sleep can result in irritable behavior and make it difficult for your child to focus on lessons and activities. It’s important to have a consistent routine at bedtime, especially on school nights.
Take Attendance Seriously
Children should arrive at school on time. Catching up with classwork and homework can interfere with learning and become stressful. A late bedtime can result in tardy students.
School attendance is crucial to the success of your child throughout the year. Make sure to read carefully the school’s illness policy. Keep your child home from school if she or he has a fever or is experiencing other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting.
Many elementary students love to see their parents at school or school events.
Volunteering is a great way to show you’re interested in your child’s education. Check with your child’s teacher or principal to find out about volunteer opportunities that fit your schedule. Staying connected with the school can make a lasting impression on your child.
Make Time to Talk to Your Child About School
Elementary students find it easy to talk about their day, but it’s just as easy for busy parents to forget to ask questions about what’s going on in their children’s lives. This can make an impact on a child’s success at school.
It’s important to make time every day to talk to your child about school. Ask questions that are open-ended: that is, questions that require more of an answer than “yes” or “no.” When your child knows you’re interested in his or her academic life, your child will be serious about school too.
Pray for and with Your Child
As believers, we know how powerful prayer is. Wise parents get on their knees and seek wisdom and help from God.
Make time to pray with and for your child’s learning, teachers, friendships, safety, health, character, faith, joy, and peace.
“Pray for each other. . . . The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” —James 5:16
Tiffany McCollum currently serves as Lower School Principal at Legacy Christian Academy. She has been at the school for over 12 years and strongly believes in the value of a Christian education for young children.
Legacy Christian Academy is Frisco's preeminent Pre-K through 12 Christian school committed to educating students in a college preparatory environment balanced in academics, athletics, and fine arts–all within the context of a biblical worldview. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.