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Only Young Once

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Five Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School

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From the first day of Kindergarten to high school graduation, children depend upon their parents to help make their academic years a success. There are five simple ways to help your child succeed in school and yet many families do not utilize them. Packed calendars and multimedia bombardment makes it difficult to maintain regular habits, especially for multiple children. However, supporting your children in school is one of the best things you can do for them.

1. Turn Off the TV

Countless studies have been done on the adverse effects of television, and the news is rarely good. While it may be very tempting to turn on the TV in order to get some extra sleep, your young early risers will be placed at a distinct disadvantage. Young grade schoolers tend to struggle with concentration in the classroom more than their peers who do not watch TV first thing in the morning. They also tend to rush through their work, leave things incomplete and may be more irritable. One study suggests that middle schoolers who watch rated R movies – especially boys – struggle more in school than their more closely sheltered peers. Even for those who do not watch TV before class, extended viewing in the evenings can be damaging as well. This leaves less time for homework, face-to-face interaction with family members and the important lesson of prioritizing tasks in life. While it is not bad to watch TV in small amounts, excessive viewing – especially at crucial times like before school or bedtime – can decrease your child’s academic performance. So keep the TV off and enjoy working together on crafts, schoolwork or board games.

2. Get Involved

With the dawn of charter schools, many parents are getting more involved in the classroom than ever before. Gone are the days where kids are dropped off in the morning and picked up again in the afternoon without parents knowing how the day went. At most schools, parents are either informed through Internet programs that allow them to check grades and classroom updates, or are spending a set number of hours volunteering in the classroom. While full time working parents won’t be able to be hands on in the classroom, consider getting involved in an evening event like a talent show or fall festival, and keep the lines of communication open with your child’s teacher. When a child starts school, it is often a parent’s first impulse to not become part of that world for the sake of the developing student. However to the contrary, not only do children do better in school when parents are actively involved, they love to feel your support and love in the classroom just because you’re you.

3. Provide a Great Homework Environment

Providing your children with adequate space to complete their homework will help them to succeed in school. A messy coffee table or on the couch are not ideal places for learning. Instead, set up a mini office for your child in a playroom, in the kitchen or in their bedroom. Include a desk, lamp, school supplies separate from those they bring to school and Internet access if appropriate.

4. Read and Ask Questions

Simply reading to your children when they are young tends to improve their language arts skills in the classroom. Not only is it an enjoyable bonding time for both parent and child, you are also enriching the student’s vocabulary and pronunciation. When they are older and able to read to you, encourage them to do so. Regardless of who’s reading, be sure to pause periodically and ask questions. Comprehension is just as important as impressive diction, and it will greatly enhance your child’s ability to learn and understand in the classroom.

5. Stay Organized

Moms, we know it’s not easy. With so much on your plate and so few hours in the day, it’s easy to take a load off once the kids are in bed and put off the housework for another day. Being a good example is the best way to teach your child how to stay organized and on top of things that may be overwhelming like school and extracurricular activities. Take a weekend to get your house organized, post a calendar in the kitchen and make a great effort to provide your child with a calm, put-together environment. You’ll see a difference in both their schoolwork and personality. These are just five of many ways to help your child progress successfully through the school years.

What do you currently do at home to help your student reach his potential?

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