School Success Starts at Home

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10 ways to help your child succeed at school

When we think of children learning, we picture school buses and brick buildings. But the fact is, learning success doesn't start with a bus ride or a classroom at school; it starts at home. Research has shown that the most successful students are those whose families are actively involved in their learning.

So how can you make the grade and help your child succeed at school? Here are some simple steps:

  • Get involved from the beginning. Attend your child's school open house to meet his or her teacher and let them know you're an involved parent. You might also ask the teacher the best method for communicating via email or phone.
  • Attend curriculum nights and parent teacher conferences. This will give you the opportunity to know what your child is learning at school and how well he or she is performing. You'll also get to see your child's school environment — and meet other parents. Use parent teacher conferences as an opportunity to discuss strategies on how to help your child succeed.
  • Visit the school website. This will allow you to get familiar with the school calendar and important events, so you can plan your calendar accordingly. For example, if you know the date of a field trip well in advance, you may be able to get the time off from work to volunteer.
  • Request meetings. If you have concerns about your child, don't wait until a parent teacher conference. Pick up the phone or email your child's teacher to set up a time to discuss your concerns.
  • Communicate. Notify your child's teacher about concerns or issues at home that may affect your child.
  • Help support and encourage homework. Make sure you carve time out for your child to do homework and are available to help should he or she need assistance.
  • Encourage good health. Give your child a healthy start each day with a nutritious breakfast and healthy lunch. Also, make sure your child gets plenty of sleep each evening.
  • Volunteer. Offer to be a classroom helper, a field trip chaperone, or even a library assistant. This will allow you to see your child in the school environment.
  • Talk to your children daily about how school is going. Listen and offer helpful suggestions and advice.

If you take these steps, you'll teach your child one of the most important lessons — that learning is a priority.