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New Year's Resolution: Help Your Kids Do Well in School

By: Rachael Walker
It is a new year according to the calendar, but in most schools, we've just reached the half-way point. Resolve to be involved in your children's education in new ways this year. Studies show that kids whose parents are involved in their education have better grades, a better attitude toward school, and more appropriate school behavior than those with less involved parents.

How do I get involved?

Getting involved in your child's education can be as simple as talking with your child each day about school and homework. Your involvement could also include:

  • Visiting the classroom when you bring your child to school.
  • Establishing a homework routine and providing your child with a good place to study — away from distractions like TV, video games, the phone, or loud music.
  • Taking your child on trips, playing games together, and visiting the local library.
  • Showing you value education by taking classes yourself or letting your child see you spending time reading.
  • Volunteering at school to help in the classroom, library, office, or on field trips.
  • Attending school board meetings and getting involved with a parent-teacher organization.
  • Reading to your child or have him read to you every day.

What should I do if my child isn't doing well in school?

Parents and teachers working together create the best environment for learning. If you are concerned about your child's progress:

  • Contact your child's teacher; don't wait for the school to contact you.
  • Meet or communicate with your child's teacher frequently until the problem is resolved.
  • Ask for specific activities you can do at home with your child.
  • Find out what's available to you at your school's parent resource center.

What if my child doesn't like school?

Lots of kids find school to be fun, stimulating, and a time to be with friends. But others experience a great deal of stress associated with school. To find out why your child seems unhappy with school:

  • Talk with your child and listen carefully before you offer any solutions.
  • Arrange for a conference with the teacher.
  • Ask to observe your child in class.
  • Talk with your school psychologist or school counselor about your child's feelings about school.
Rachael Walker (2007)

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