ACADEMIC PARENTING 101

There is a reason that thanking their parents is the first thing every valedictorian does when he or she steps up to the podium on graduation day. The truth is, it’s a lot easier to be a great student if you have parents who know how to play their part in their children’s academic career. Here are a few tips on how to help your kids learn and succeed:
  • Get involved. Talk to the teacher to monitor your child’s progress and learn how to help your child at home. Let your child know that you care about what he or she is studying and show that you believe he or she can do well in school. That means attend events, bookmark their teachers’ Web sites and keep up on what’s going on at school.
  • Help your child become organized and develop good habits. Together, map out consistent study and meal times. Carve out a special place where your child can study each day.  Help your child learn to keep organized class notes and materials by getting involved in choosing school supplies.
  • Check your child’s homework. Make sure it’s completed, correct and neat.  But don’t do the homework for him or her. Provide a constructive environment and help your children study, but make sure the work they turn in is theirs.
  • Don’t judge your child on the basis of one test or grade. If a grade disappoints you, use it as an opportunity to work together with your child on setting standards for improvement. Set goals that are an attainable stretch, like a half grade improvement next time.
  • Read with your child every day. If you have young children, this is easy. If you have older children, ask them to read a newspaper article to you and then discuss it with them. Welcome their opinions and ask them questions to help them learn how to articulate responses.