The school experience is vitally important to children. It provides the knowledge kids need as a groundwork for their future learning. It offers important lessons on how to work with others, follow instructions, and respect authorities. Unfortunately, for many children school becomes a negative experience that causes stress and hurts their future success. Here are ways to keep your kids on the right track.
- Early Start
If your kids haven’t started school, now is the time to start creating the groundwork for a successful school experience. Studies have found that kids who are exposed to reading and a school-like setting before they actually begin classes do better in school. Rather than staying home all day with a parent, try starting them in nursery or another pre-school program. This can help your kids adapt more easily once they start school.
Keep in mind that very young children might not be ready to start reading before they reach school age. You can still work on their skills by reading to them on a regular basis and discussing books. You can begin on basic math skills by counting out loud with your kids. That could mean counting their toes, counting the number of red cars you pass on the way to the store, or counting ingredients as you measure out a recipe.
- Reduce Unnecessary Stress
Many children find school very stressful. Do what you can to reduce that stress. If your child struggles with misplacing items, add labels to make it easier to keep track of their belongings. Iron on name labels can go inside gym clothes and uniforms so your child can retrieve items that have been misplaced.
Create routines to make it easier for your child to focus. Having a special place to put school books and bags can help your child make it to school with all the items they need. Create a set time for your child to complete their school work so they don’t arrive at school with work left undone. Be prepared and available to help your children when they run into problems trying to complete their school work. Check to make sure their homework has been completed correctly in the evenings, allowing time for your child to complete in corrections or additional work prior to bedtime.
- Do Your Part
Often parents expect teachers to be solely responsible for their children’s school success. Instead, you should remember that parents need to work in partnership with the teachers. Work with your children’s school to make sure you are doing your part. Consult with teachers on their expectations for your children and maintain a dialogue with the school during the year. If your child is having trouble behaving in class or difficulty sitting still, work with your child and the school to develop solutions. Attend any school conferences and parent-teacher meetings. Be sure you tell your child how important school is and emphasise your willingness to help your child while holding your child responsible for getting his or her work completed.