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16 Ways to Help Your Child Do Well in School

Recently, we came across a pamphlet that we received several years ago. In it, it gives 16 ways parents can help their child do well in school. We would like to share parts of the article with you in hopes that it will encourage and inspire you in this upcoming school year.

1. Take a personal interest. The only words many children hear from their parents about school are these: How was school today? or Go do your homework! As Parents, let's try to be more specific and ask, Do you need my help in understanding your homework assignment? Do you have questions about your lessons at school? Show a personal interest in the learning tasks facing your children.

2. Don't banish your child to their room to study. Working in the same room with you may be helpful. It depends on the nature of the assigned work. Be available for interaction with your child.

3. Teach organizational skills. It is not a news flash to you that children generally are not organized. Doing things in an orderly fashion is a brand-new idea to most children. Begin by training your child to be a list maker - listing things they needs to do at home and at school. The list would include chores, papers to write, books to read, book reports, projects, and homework assignments.

4. Start on the toughest subjects first. Human nature is such that a child is less likely to complete his work if the most difficult tasks are last.

5. Use memory tricks, or mnemonic devices. For instance, the first letters of the five Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior) spell HOMES. It is a matter of associating the unknown with the known. Teaching your child to use memory tricks can be helpful, and even fun.

6. Look for the main ideas. As students listen to a teacher or read textbooks or other material, they should ask, What is the main point?

7. Read in small segments. Encourage your children to read short passages and then stop and ask themselves questions about what they just read. Formulating questions and reflecting on reading content facilitate cognitive learning.

8. Set goals and deadlines. Help your child identify reachable goals and set deadlines for reaching them. Offer a small reward when they reach their goal. Small rewards can be very inspiring for children.

9. Monitor your child's learning skills. Be sure your child has mastered one skill before moving on to the next. This is particularly essential in the lower grades, and it's particularly important in reading and math. These fundamental skills are keys to success in all other areas of learning.

10. Make your home a learning laboratory. Making your kitchen a learning center can teach fractions to your child using measure spoons and cups, or cutting potatoes into halves, fourths, and so on.

11. Take notes. As hard as they try, children cannot remember everything they hear or read. Notes taken with headings and subheadings are essential for later recall. Begin early to establish this pattern.

12. Help your children prepare for tests. If it's age appropriate, ask them to write possible test questions as they read and study. Then read the questions to them and ask them to verify the right answers in the text. If a study guide is provided, review it with them to help them prepare for the test.

13. Help your children check their homework. Most children, and adults for that matter, don't enjoy going back over a written assignment to check for grammatical or spelling errors, nor is it fun to check math problems for misplaced decimal points, but it must be done. A last-minute check can make a major difference.

14. Praise your children for their successes. Look for improvement in their work, and commend them whenever possible. Let them hear you share your approval of their good work as you talk with family and friends. You can build a valuable approval base that your children will want to live up to.

15. Don't pressure and push your children beyond their capabilities. Don't use threats to get them to do academic work they simply cannot do. Don't measure your children's future worth by current academic prowess. Brilliance in school is not the sole criterion for a meaningful life. Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and Winston Churchill were all low achievers in school. Yet, you will agree, they did quite well in their later years.

16. Pray. Urge your child to hold prayer conversations with God about schoolwork. God understands exactly what your child needs and is going thru when they encounter problems with their school work. Encourage your child to first and foremost go to God in prayer before they start any assignment and especially every morning before going to school.

"Children need the right amount of parental push. It's indisputable. Children's success depends less on IQ than it does on what parents do at home to help them achieve."

-ACSI, Educational Perspectives

We are looking forward to partnering with you for another successful school year at Calvary Academy!

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