Every parent wants to see their child succeed in school. Too often, though, parents assume that learning takes place in school with life at home having no influence on how a child does. This could not be farther from the truth. Think about it. How did your child learn to feed themselves? How did they learn to walk? How has your child learned so many self-skills at home? You taught them!
The fact is, you, the parents, are the biggest influence in your child’s life – especially their education. Does this mean you need to set up a classroom in your home? No. In fact, you might not have to change much. Here are 3 Simple Strategies To Use At Home To Ensure Your Child’s Success;
1. Build A Routine For Your Child;
The earlier you start having a morning and evening routine with your child the more quickly it will help your child become an organized, independent student. Your routine will depend on when/where you work, school time and whether or not you function best in the morning or the evening. Creating a calm, organized routine will keep you all organized and ready to handle the day’s challenges. Things to include in your routine are;
- An hour of family quiet time – reading, drawing, games. No television, phones or computers. If you start this with young kids, the move into greater homework demands is not so difficult.
- Daily emptying of the backpacks to check for notes, homework and other important items. Restock backpacks immediately with signed paperwork, homework, etc. in a special folder in a bright color. Create an area in your house with hooks or cubbies for storing backpacks, shoes, jackets and anything else you will need as you head out the door in the morning.
- Pack lunches the evening before to cut down on morning mess and arguments.
2. Make Homework More Fun;
Even kindergartners will bring home worksheets and other assignments. Make the most of it. Have a homework area in your house. It can be your kitchen table and a bin of supplies (crayons, markers, tape, construction paper, lined paper, pencils, pens, pencil sharpener, glue, stickers, chenille stems, stapler, paper clips, scissors, etc.) that you bring out each night. Make the bin before school starts. Keep it stocked. Over the school year it will save you hours of search time. It also helps you keep your child focused on homework instead of wandering around the house looking for the glue stick.
With young children sit with them while they work. If you see them struggling with a concept, get creative when you help them. M&M’s make great “counters” for basic math. Reluctant writers are often much happier practicing spelling or handwriting on a dry erase board or with sidewalk chalk in the driveway. Teach you child songs and rhymes to help them memorize rote material. (You do not have to be anymore creative than going to Pinterest to find examples!)
3. Get To Know Your Child’s Teachers;
With the introduction of the Common Core standards, many parents find themselves staring at homework with confusing language and instructions. Where we used to “borrow” when we subtracted our kids are being taught to think in digits (ones, tens, hundreds) etc. Where we were taught to make an outline before writing, our kids are taught to “unpack” and “PEEL.” Being on friendly terms with your child’s teachers can make homework a lot less painful. Many teachers will answer an email or a text if you’re struggling to help your child. Also, ask the teacher if there are Special Education Resources they recommend to help you reinforce the concepts they’re teaching in class.
Make learning a continual process in your home. If your child sees that you are interested in learning new things for yourself they will be more likely to approach school enthusiastically. Take an active role in teaching good study habits by setting up a routine, getting your home organized for schoolwork and getting to know the teachers. The example you set now will set your child up to succeed as they head into higher grades where they will be expected to work more independently.