What parent doesn’t want their child to succeed in school? As parents we all want our kids to both meet and surpass their academic and future goals. The good news is that it’s been proven that family involvement and support in their child’s school life, plays a key role in their child’s academic success. Many studies show that family involvement in their child’s academics is more important to a child’s academic success than the parents economic status (income level) or education level.
There are many ways that parents can get involved and support their child. Below are a few tips that parents can put into practice to ensure their child succeeds in school.
Teach your child that failure is a stepping-stone to success
From experience i’m sure you know that not everyone succeeds on their first try. So it’s important you teach your kids this very same lesson. Let your kids know that it’s OK to fail, but what’s important is to keep trying until they do succeed (which they WILL!!). This lesson will not only aid them academically, but will also improve their success rate in ANY field.
To ensure your child learns this lesson, they need to acquire 2 traits:
- Little fear of failure
- And the resilience to push through when they fail the first few times, until they eventually succeed
Things you can do to help your child learn this lesson:
- Get them to try new activities, by doing so they will learn physically that with practice they can eventually succeed!
- Tell them of your own failures and how you overcame them
- Let them participate in sports/academic competitions, this will help them learn that not everyone can be the “best” and that to become the “best”, one needs to overcome and surpass their failure through hard work and dedication.
Lead by example
Children learn primarily through imitation. The best way to get your child to do something is to lead by example. If you want your child to take responsibility for their actions, to keep their promises, to get their work done on time, to no procrastinate or skip classes etc. then you to as parents must do the same! Children are more likely to listen and comply if they know that their parents also conform to the same rules and are not simply ordering them to do something that their parents don’t have to do.
Teach them that learning in their “job”
Yes it’s important that your child is interested in what their learning, as this often leads to better academic performance. BUT this isn’t always the case, as with life. From experience I’m sure you know that you aren’t going to like every subject that’s taught in class and that you find other subjects easier to understand than others, the same is true for your kids. So it’s important to teach them that even if they don’t find a particular subject interesting, it’s their responsibility (“JOB”) to learn anyways. This skills will also aid in their future endeavors, when they have to complete tasks that they don’t particularly like. They need to learn that if they want to do well, it’s on THEM, there’s only so much others can do. It’s only through their own ability that they can succeed.
Encourage your kids to read and teach them proper reading comprehension skills
This is one of the key ways to help your kid succeed in school. Many children read something without remembering/understanding what they’ve read. To aid in this gap of learning, children should know that when reading, they should not go to the next paragraph in their reading until they have understood what they have already read; if they do, they usually won’t understand the next paragraph, either! You should also teach your child to take notes on what they read. Taking notes and highlighting reinforces what the student has learned from reading and will allow the student to be better prepared for written examinations.
Teach your child organization skills
Make sure your child stays organized, doing so will make them more efficient at learning. Make sure your child regularly updates their agenda/planner with the homework they need to complete and any upcoming test, assignments or events. Help your child organize their papers by date and subject. As the child gets older, they should have developed organizational skills that work for them. It would also be helpful to teach your child to make to-do lists to help them learn what to prioritise and develop time-management skills.
Monitor your child’s academic status
Don’t just wait till you get your child’s report card to see how they are doing. Be active, ask your child’s teacher how your child is performing relative to the rest of the class. If your child is falling behind ask the school what resources they offer to fix this deficit or look for tutoring services that can help your child. This involvement shows your child that you care about their success and that you are there to support them.
Ensure that your child has a quiet and spacious space for which they can study and complete their homework. Make sure this space is free of any distractions (TV, phone, computer etc..) Also ensure that all necessary supplies are present (pencils, pens, calculators, highlighter, sharpies, colour pencils/pens, sticky-notes, hole puncher and stapler) so your child does not have to waste time looking for the supplies they need to do their homework/assignment.
Children should have regular study hours during which they complete their homework. As the child gets older, the designated study time should get longer. Doing this will make completing homework a daily routine/task for your child and this will help them stay on-top of their school work.
Don’t just do the minimum
Yes it VERY important that your child regularly completes their homework. But it’s also important as parent to recognize that the assigned homework is only the minimum workload assigned by teachers to ensure that their students understand what was taught in class. So if you find that your child is struggling in a particular area of study, encourage them to complete more of the questions available in the textbook. Also tell your child to ask their teachers for extra practice questions, which their teacher should happily provide. Generally, the more practice a student does, the more thoroughly they learn and retain information.
Praise Effort and Achievements
No matter how big or small it’s always important to recognize and celebrate your child’s efforts/achievements. This is especially important for younger kids that require constant positive reinforcement to keep them motivated to learn and perform at their best. Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to push your child to learn and perform their best. Parent with multiple children should not be tempted to compare their child’s achievements, but rather recognize their child’s individual achievements.