School is a big part of your child's life, and if your child does well in school, he will most likely be happier. What are some steps you can take as a parent to help your child be a better student?
1. Practice Healthy Habits
Don't forget the basics: make sure your child is getting enough sleep each night, and insist on a healthy breakfast each morning. Numerous studies have shown that students perform better when they get the proper amounts of sleep and nutrition.
2. Model Lifelong Learning
You're most likely not in school anymore, but do you still love to learn? Do you enjoy going to museums and local history exhibits and festivals? Do you like watching documentary-type television programs? Do you read frequently? If you can answer yes to several of these questions, you are most likely a life-long learner. Your children observe you closely and will notice whether educational pursuits appear to be important to you or not. Often, they will model your behavior.
3. Be Involved at School
You can help show your child that you value his education by becoming involved at his school. If you can, volunteer occasionally in the classroom. Not only does this show your child and his teacher that you value his education, but it can give you valuable insight into how his classroom is run and what he is experiencing each day. If you have a daytime job, you can still volunteer for school bingo night, skating night, an so on. Be sure to attend any choir concerts or athletic events sponsored by the school that your child is interested in. All these things emphasize to your child that you value his education.
4. Get Serious About Homework
Decide on a homework routine that works for your family. Depending on your situation, it may be best for your child to take a break after school before beginning homework. Encourage independence in homework and school projects, only getting involved if your child asks (or if you observe that she seems confused about a concept). It is fine (and probably even a good idea) to check over homework to ensure that your child understands the concepts being presented, but it's a no-no to basically do a child's science fair project or other assignment. While this may result in a higher grade for your child, it also sends her the message that she is incapable of quality work without your assistance. In the long run, she will be more self-confident and will achieve more if she does her work herself.
5. Be Supportive
Be supportive of your child's academic efforts. Applaud improvement in a subject. Don't necessarily insist on A's, but do insist on a child's best work - whatever grade that work produces. Send caring notes in your child's lunchbox or backpack, and greet him when he arrives home with a hug and time for him to talk about his day.
School can be stressful for kids. With your support and encouragement, your children can become good students and fully enjoy their school years.