The end of the school year is over and grades are becoming the focal point for many us. You probably just received the third quarter report cards. Some might have felt relief, others a combination of disappointment and worry.
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There are some very practical things as a parent one can do to help our children succeed academically. Here are 9 Ways to help your child succeed academically:
1.Create structured time for homework.
When a child has a structure at home to follow, it decreases behavioral issues and anxiety related concerns. A child thrives when there is structure. The secret? Create a schedule with your child so that he owns it. In addition to creating a schedule, designate an area in the house where homework should be completed. This area should be quiet, and with little room for distractions, like television, toys, and other “screens.”
2.Check Pinnacle or comparable system daily.
All public schools use an online grading system that is updated regularly to keep parents up to date on how the child is performing in school. Private schools are using other online systems like Blackboard and others. Teachers post grades for in class assignments, homework assignments and tests. It is very informative to check daily on this information as one can learn a lot about one’s child. For example, if a child has a A o B score in tests but 0’s in homework assignments and/or in class assignments, a tutor is not needed. The child is understanding the material but is either bored in class and that is why she is not completing the in class assignment, or does not think it matters if she does the homework since she is getting a high grade in tests.
3.Ask your child if they know the difference between a 0 and a 59.
If a child is not submitting in class and/or homework assignments, the child might be failing the class despite of passing tests. Children don’t submit assignments for many reasons, but asking the question if they know the difference of a 0 and a 59, which is the range of an F grade for most schools, can make an impact.
4.Guide child to do homework, but avoid doing it for them.
If you find that your child does homework but is not passing tests, ask yourself how much of the homework the child is completing on their own. I get it! As moms we want to help our children, and sometimes our children can play really smart mind games in which we end up completing their homework without even realizing it. A trick to avoid getting sucked in to this is to do something else while your child does the homework. You can cook, read a book of your liking, or simply relax in another room and instruct your child to call you when and if she has a question on how to complete the assignment.
5.Check homework to see if child understands material.
If your child tells you that they did the homework in class, recess or during an after school activity, ask to check it. Even when they complete it at home. This can tell you if your child is struggling with a class and/or if there is any issues with completing the homeworks on time.
6.Connect with the teachers to build a team of resources for your child.
Knowing your child’s teachers and communicating with them regularly creates an alliance that can be very helpful when/if your child has a need
7.Ask for tutoring at school if child needs support in a particular class.
Many teachers offer tutoring before and after school as part of the school’s resources.Hire tutoring if needed or use free resources at public libraries.
When a school does not offer extra tutoring or if the assistance provided is not enough, consider using free tutoring resources at your local library. Additionally, many teachers and college students offer tutoring privately for extra income, and of course there are learning centers, such as Kumons that can enhance your child’s learning.
8.Consult a professional if you have tried all of these tips and nothing is changing.
Children do not perform academically for many different reasons. A child may be experiencing anxiety or depression, and these feelings may be distracting the child from understanding or completing new material. Another important question to ask is if the child has recently experienced an emotionally difficult situation such as, but not limited to: the death of a family member or a friend, a serious accident, the recovery from a disease, a move or relocation, family conflict (parents arguing regularly), parents divorcing, parents re-marrying, change of schools, and more. Every child is different, so what may be emotionally taxing for one, may not be for another.
9.When these concerns are ruled out, and academic problems still persist, an evaluation may be needed to assess for learning disabilities.
To your child’s academic success!
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