Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, obesity and lack of parental support are linked to poor acedemic performance at school. It shouldn’t be a surprise that success or failure at school starts from home. Students with higher test scores usually live in homes where healthy habits, regular routines, and good communication exist.
How can you ensure your child heads off to school with the best possible foundation? Follow these 10 tips and watch your child thrive!
1. Create a “Launch Pad”
It is important to have a single place for your child to put his backpacks, jackets, shoes, lunchboves and school projects each day. Find a place in your house where your child can keep the things he needs for school each day to keep him organized! It’ll also help both you and your child during the morning rush.
2. Designate a space
At school your child has a desk or table where she works, there is plenty of light, lots of supplies and enough room to work. It’ll be great if you can provide her with the same type of environment for homework at home. A desk would be great but a kitchen counter works just as well too, a designated homework space often makes it easier and more fun for children to complete their assignments at home.
3. Enforce healthy habits
No one can perform well when you don’t feel good, so to help your child have the best chance at doing well in school, make sure he follows healthy habits at home! Limit the amount of time he spends watching TV, playing video games, listening to music, or using the computer. Choose a bedtime that will give your child plenty of sleep and provide a healthy breakfast each morning.
4. Expect success
Expecting your child to succeed could be the most important way of showing your support to your child’s effort at school. But that doesn’t mean that you demand her to be the best student, let her know that you expect her to do “her best” so that she’ll be proud of what she can accomplish.
5. Learn always
Learning at home is still a critical part of your child’s overal learning experience, even though he may be past the preschool years. There’s only so much teachers can do, parents have to fill in with good support at home. There are many ways to teach your child throughout the day. For example, cooking combines elements of math and science, use the time when you make dinner as an opportunity to read and follow directions, to discuss fractions and to make hypotheses, like “what will happen when I beat the egg whites?”, and examine the results.
6. Read again and again
Children spend the first few years learning to read and the rest of their lives reading to learn. The written word is a gateway to all kinds of learning, and the more you read to your child, the better chance she has of becoming a proficient and eager reader.
Sit down with your child everyday and read a little bit, give her opportunities to read out loud to you as well. The importance of reading to your child cannot be stressed enough but it should not be the cause of stress too.
7. Show interest
Do not limit your support to your child, extend it to his teachers as well. Meet them and stay in reguar contact by phone or e-mail so that you can discuss any concerns as they rise. It will make the teachers more comfortable contacting you if they have concerns about your child.
8. Stick to a routine
Most kids respond well to routines that help them organise their days. For an example when your child gets dresses, makes her bed and eats breakfast, you could pack up her lunch and school bag with all completed homeworks and forms, and when she gets home, you could give her a snack and she can start on her homework while you prepare dinner. Your routines may differ, but the key is to make it same everyday so your child knows what to expect.
9. Take the lead
Children learn by example, so if you show them a bad example, don’t be surprised they would pick it up soon. You as a parent need to set a good example to them, let them “catch” you reading, take some time to learn a new skill then discuss your experience with them. Sit down and pay bills or do other “homework” while your child does his schoolwork. If you display a strong work ethic and continuously seek out learning opportunities for yourself, you child will begin to model that same behavior in their own lives.
10. Talk often
Talk to your child about how she feels about her classroom, her teachers and her classmates. Talk with her about what she likes and doesn’t like at school. Give your child a chance to express her anxieties, worries, excitements, or disappointments about each and everyday. Continue to support and encourage her by praising her achievements and efforts!
If you manage to do all these 10 tips, and continue to provide a home environment that promotes learning, then your child will have a greater chance of becoming the best student they can be! Work hard together to achieve something greater, a positive home environment is what your child needs and with these tips, you already know where to start off!