Kids can be a full-time job! But among the seemingly never-ending list of important tasks, one of the best things you can do for your child is to ensure their schooling experience is successful and worthwhile.
The following strategies have been proven to help many parents turn their children into victorious scholars:
- Spend time discussing school. Kids are generally happy-go-lucky people and it’s sometimes hard for parents to figure out that something isn’t going right at school. This is why having casual discussions about school with your child is very important. Asking the following questions can help ensure there’s nothing affecting your child negatively at school:
- Are you getting along well with other kids?
- Do you enjoy answering questions in class?
- What’s your favorite subject?
- Do you want to participate in any extra-curricular activities?
- Check regularly for homework. In most cases, kids get homework every day, even if the assignments are small. However, they don’t always remember to do the assignments and end up losing marks at school. To help with that situation, you can:
- Ask your child every day what was done in class and whether the teachers asked students to bring in any assignments the next day.
- Do an occasional scan through your child’s school notebooks looking for assignments and upcoming tests.
- Make periodic calls or visits to the schools if you notice your child hasn’t been doing any homework assignments.
- Keep an open relationship with teachers. Many kids don’t feel comfortable telling their parents when school isn’t going well. Perhaps it’s out of fear, embarrassment, or shame. Developing a close relationship with the teachers can help you keep track of what’s happening at school.
- Provide them with your contact numbers and let them know you’re available anytime.
- Make sporadic visits to the school just to keep communication open.
- Make random “gifts” of appreciation to the teachers for the help they’re giving your child; even verbally expressed gratitude can go a long way!
- Ensure proper nutrition. If your child isn’t getting the grades you hoped, maybe something is affecting his or her ability to adapt, concentrate, and grasp what’s being taught. Proper nutrition plays a big part in enabling your child to succeed. As a parent, you could:
- Pack their lunch box with healthy snacks like fruit and veggies, instead of chips and cookies.
- Investigate the lunch options at school to ensure they’re nutritious.
- Take your child to the doctor for a check-up to be sure they’re not being affected by any vitamin deficiencies.
- How about sleep? Do you know how much sleep your child needs to feel good and be productive?
I wasn’t very good with the sleep portion of parenting. I let my children determine how much sleep they needed. My youngest taught me about sleep requirements by demonstration! Jessica’s unofficial bedtime was 9:00 because that’s just when we finished our day and were ready to retire. One day, Jessica declared, “I need more sleep! My new bedtime is 8 o’clock!” Every evening Jessica disappeared and when someone checked on her, they found her sleeping. She regulated her own bedtime and awoke refreshed and happy every morning. I confess that Jessica was born a happy sunshiny girl. But that extra hour of sleep made a noticeable difference!
- Do a little research on how much sleep the experts suggest.
- Observe your child’s behavior. Do they seem tired? Hard to get up in the morning? Are they using blue-screen devices before bed? Talk to your child about what they think is important in the way of sleep and their personal routines.
- Jessica reported that she was not sleeping well. She routinely watched detective show re-runs in the early evening. Big sister Jennifer asked why I let Jessica watch those detective shows in a way that let me know that she thought they were not good entertainment for her eleven-year-younger sister. When I asked Jessica, she thought they might be a bad idea also. Jessica began to read instead of watching those shows. She reported that her sleep was much improved and she felt better.
- Balance work and play time. If you leave it up to kids, they’ll may want to play all the time and work very little or none at all! Help your child learn to balance work and play time. Overdoing playtime could be contributing to those not-so-good grades at schools. Always endeavor to:
- Check for homework and make sure it’s done before the TV gets turned on.
- Restrict playtime to earlier evening hours so your child’s rest isn’t affected.
- Check with teachers to find out if your child plays around a lot in class.
While you may feel overwhelmed at times when it comes to raising your child, you can help them succeed if you focus on these simple strategies.