1) Attend Parent Events
As a rule, kids get more out of school when their parents are engaged in the program. Start off the school year right by attending back-to-school night. It gives you a chance to meet your child’s teachers and learn about their expectations. You can also learn about school-wide policies from the school administrators.
Make an effort to attend parent-teacher conferences whenever possible. Most schools hold these once or twice a year; they tend to fall at the same time as progress reports. These conferences allow you to start and maintain a conversation with your child’s teacher and collaborate on plans to help your child excel academically. Attending parent-teacher conferences also tells your child that you’re aware of what they’re doing in school.
More contact with your child’s teachers may be in order if your child has special learning needs. Take the opportunity to discuss individualized education plans (IEPs), gifted education plans, or 504 education plans.
As a parent or guardian, remember that you have a right to request meetings with teachers, counselors, principals, or other staff members whenever you feel it is necessary.
2) Know The School On The Ground And Online
A first-hand understanding of the school’s physical layout helps you connect with your child when you discuss events at the school. Spend enough time at the school to learn where you can find the main office, the school nurse, the gym, the cafeteria, the playgrounds, the auditorium, and any special classes your child attends.
School websites deliver lots of useful information. Examples include:
* The school’s calendar
* Information on upcoming events (e.g. trips)
* Contact information for staff members
* Testing dates
Individual teachers may also have their own websites for students and parents. These may offer more detailed information specific to your child’s education. Make sure you take a look at your school district’s website for additional information, too.
3) Make Homework A Priority
Grade school children benefit significantly from homework. It extends the learning that goes on in the classroom and teaches independent study skills. Doing homework also teaches your child broadly-applicable lessons about the value of responsibility and the importance of a strong work ethic.
Make sure your child knows that you consider his or her homework a priority. Help them by giving them a good study environment. Children need a quiet, comfortable, well-lit workspace with all the supplies they might need. Keep out distractions like television. It may also help to set specific times to start and finish working on homework.
As a rough guide to setting up a study period, try allotting 10 minutes per grade level for homework. A fourth-grader, for instance, will probably need about 40 minutes of study time on every school night. If your child often needs more time than this, consult with his or her teacher.
Make yourself available to help as much as possible when your child does homework. Answer questions, offer guidance, help with instructions, and review completed work. Do not complete homework on your child’s behalf or simply hand out the right answers. Remember that learning from mistakes is an essential part of the educational process.
4) Prepare Your Child To Excel Each Day
Kids do better in school when they arrive with a nutritious breakfast under their belts. A good breakfast gives your children more energy and improves their learning abilities. Well-fed children also tend to have fewer personal interruptions to their learning, such as absences and trips to the school nurse.
The best breakfast foods are those that deliver plenty of fiber, protein, and whole grains. Minimize added sugar wherever possible. On rushed mornings when your child has to get out the door fast, send along healthy snacks. Examples include fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, or a half-sandwich with banana slices and peanut butter. Check with your school about its own breakfast options if you feel they would be useful.
Making sure your children are well-rested is also important. At grade-school age, most kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night. There are plenty of different distractions that could push back bedtime. Kids who are doing too much homework, completing extracurricular activities, watching TV, or playing games might be turning in too late. The schedules of other family members may get in the way, too.
Kids who are sleep-deprived may find it hard to pay attention when they reach the classroom. They may be hyperactive or irritable. Take steps to prevent these problems by setting up a consistent routine for bedtime on school nights. Put a limit on stimulating entertainment (TV, video games, internet), but leave your child a little quiet time before turning the lights out.
5) Teach The Value Of Organization
Organized kids are able to spend more time focused on the task in hand instead of getting sidetracked with the hunt for missing items.
What sort of organization is appropriate for elementary school students? For a start, homework and special projects should be tracked with an assignment book and a homework folder. These are often supplied by your school.
One benefit of this sort of organization is that you can check up on the assignment book and folder every night to make sure your child is keeping up. Set aside a designated bin for school papers that need your attention. You should also have a bin or box for completed projects that you want to keep.
Speak to your child about the benefits of organization. Teach them that keeping their school desk neat will reduce the chances of losing important papers. You might also teach your child about using calendars to better understand upcoming assignments and events.
Elementary school students are old enough to understand and appreciate the value of simple to-do lists. Even a list as modest at this can help:
* Do homework
* Go to soccer
* Put laundry away
Remember that organizational skills are always taught – nobody develops them without guidance!
6) Help With Test Preparation
Younger children are often frightened by the prospect of tests. In the grade-school years, teachers are relying on parents to help their children through this experience. This is the perfect time to introduce your child to good study skills; they’ll pay off over and over in his or her academic career.
Elementary school students typically have end-of-unit tests in a few core subjects: math, spelling, social studies, and science. Know your child’s test schedule well in advance so that you can space out their studying sessions. You may also need to remind your child to bring home important study materials like books, notes, or study guides.
Test preparation is a good time to teach your child about breaking big tasks down into smaller ones. This makes test prep less imposing. It’s also a good time to introduce memory tricks like mnemonic devices. Don’t spend too much time drilling your child; grade-school children need a break after 45 minutes of studying. This helps them process information and grasp it better.
Elementary school is also where your children are likely to encounter their first standardized tests. Standardized tests are harder to prepare for than ones organized by your child’s teachers. Many teachers ease students into the standardized testing process by giving them practice tests.
If you can tell that testing is becoming an undue source of anxiety for your child, set up a meeting to discuss it with the teacher or the school’s counselor or get the help of the best tutoring in the UK, available worldwide thanks to the web.
7) Know Your School’s Disciplinary Policies
You’ll usually find your school’s disciplinary rules in the student handbook. (They may be listed as a “student code of conduct.”) The policies will explain both what is expected of students and what consequences they can expect if they break the rules. Policies generally cover dress codes, student behavior, device usage, and language expectations.
Disciplinary policies may also cover attendance, cheating, fighting, vandalism, and weapons. Bullying receives special attention at many schools. As a parent, you may find it especially helpful to study how the school defines bullying, what consequences it imposes on bullies, and what reporting procedures it recommends.
Your child should understand the school’s disciplinary policies and know that you stand in support of them. Children find behavioral rules easiest to master when expectations are largely the same at school and at home. As a parent, do all you can to show your child that both environments are safe, supportive places.