Parents and kids alike are awaiting, some dreading, the start of the school year. For parents of K-12 students, however, the beginning of the school year can be an event to look forward to, especially when you plan how to get involved in your child’s academic life.
Here are some tips on what parents can do to help their children achieve more academically. Tips are introduced through Dixon Unified School District's Senior Director of Educational Services, Jesus Contreras, as well as from U.S. Department of Education.
-- Communication With Your Child’s Teacher: Stay in communication with your child’s teachers as often as you can. This may mean taking a trip down to your child’s school, calling, and emailing your child’s teacher.
“Also when they are communicating with the teacher, find out specifically where (your) child stands academically,” said Contreras. “Is my child in need of some extra support? Is my child excelling and in need of some academic enhancement?”
-- Make Homework Part Of The Daily Routine: It may be a no brainer, but your kids will not get good grades if they aren’t doing homework, and they can’t do homework if they are not making time for it-- adequate time that is. Make sure your child is taking the time to go through assignments thoroughly as a daily routine and not just rushing through them.
-- Help Your Child With Their Time Management: These days kids may have schedules full of as many activities as adults, or more. Help your child to juggle the many events they have in their schedule and make sure they are making time for enough sleep, exercise, and family time, as well.
“That is extreme import,” said Contreras. “And support school work through managing the time that their children will need, to support their academic needs.”
-- Let Your Child Know What You Expect of Them: Children who understand that they have expectations to live up to are not only aware that they must strive to meet a goal, but they are worthy enough to be paid attention to.
“Some kids have a ‘no one knows me, no one cares syndrome,'” said Contreras. “That is one that requires all of us, school and family to really convey the message you are important and we care.”
-- Talk, And Listen, To Your Child: It is important to connect with your child as much as possible. Make sure you do what you can to let them know the lines of communication are open, it will make a difference when they go through something difficult to know they can come to you.
-- Encourage Your Child To Take Challenging Courses: It's good to let your child know what you expect, and to encourage your child to aim high and push themselves. This not only teaches them to excel to new levels, but sets them on the path to expect more of them.
-- Find Out Whether Your School Has High Standards: Be aware of how your child’s school challenges it’s students and what they offer to prepare them for their futures. Pay attention to how good behavior is reinforced on campus. Is your child’s school encouraging success?
-- Read To Your Child: Children who read with an adult are more likely to do well in school. Read to your younger children as a way to bond with them, push them to read on their own, and monitor their progress, strengths and weaknesses. Start reading with your child as early as infancy and try to be as consistent with story time as possible.
-- Limit Access To Television: Be aware of how many hours a day your child watches television and the programs they are watching, making sure they are age appropriate. Make plenty of other pastimes and activities available, if not as mandatory alternatives to limit television watching.
-- Use Community Resources: Libraries are a great place to find books for schoolwork. The Dixon Public Library also offers databases of reference for school assignments, as well as access to online homework help. Look into other community nonprofits and organizations that lend a helping hand in your neck of the woods.
-- Become A Volunteer: Sure, parents have busy lives, but consider giving just three volunteer hours during the school year at your child’s school. Not only will it help the school, but it will help you to connect with the school and maybe even parents, as well as encourage others to get and stay involved.