As a parent, you want your child to succeed in school. Truth is, they can’t do it without you. Academic success starts and ends at home. If there’s one word that correlates parents with a child succeeding in school, it’s involvement. So I’ve put together a list of things you can do to get involved and help your child succeed in school.
~I received samples to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~
Implement a Bedtime Routine
Setting your child up for success in school, starts before they even get there. The same way a lack of sleep can make you moody and irritable, the same applies to your kids. It can also affect their concentration during the school day. Creating and implementing a bedtime routine will help tremendously.
Considering not all kids start school at the same time and also have different morning routines, the best way to determine what time your child should go to bed, is based largely on their age. Sleep.org has some great recommendations for how much sleep a child needs according to age. Using this info as a guideline will help you choose the perfect bedtime.
In addition to an actual bedtime, it’s important to keep in mind what your child actually does at night. If I’d let him, my son would sit up all night playing games on his tablet or watching TV. That said, I have to take away his tablet and TV remote when his bedtime is nearing. Doing that gives him a buffer time to wind down and starts the bedtime process. Like clockwork, he’s usually knocked out within 30 minutes of no technology.
Simply put, remove any and all distractions that may affect your child’s bedtime.
Create a Healthy Morning Routine
Even if you have a bedtime routine, it means nothing without a healthy morning routine.
Have you ever just had a bad morning for whatever reason and for the rest of the day you were somewhat cranky and unapproachable? That is not what you want for your child during the school day. Bad mornings preoccupy the mind and lead to nothing productive.
Having a morning routine will provide consistency and daily expectations for everyone. From waking up at the same time every morning, to getting dressed and out the door, how your child starts their morning sets the tone for the rest of their day. Make it a good one!
You can print a free “My School Morning Routine” checklist here. The checklist includes lots of great healthy morning routine tasks, like getting dressed, eating a nutritious breakfast, brushing your teeth, putting on shoes and more. There are even blank spaces to add your own customized morning routine tasks.
Fish Oil as Part of a Healthy Morning Routine
In addition to a healthy breakfast, my kids include Kids Smart High DHA Fish Oil Chewable Burstlets in their school morning routines. Fish provides essential fatty acids our bodies can’t produce, like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
Big words, I know. But these Omega-3’s can help to support and maintain healthy brain function, eye health, and nervous system health. Talk about essentials for the ability learn!
Why Kids Smart High DHA Fish Oil Chewable Burstlets versus other brands of fish oil?
- Kids Smart Fish Oil contains 133 mg of DHA fish oil, which is higher than many options on the market.
- 1 Kids Smart Fish Oil Chewable Burstlet = 8 of the Leading Competitors Fish Oil Gummies (One and done!)
- Kids Smart Fish Oil is free of gluten, yeast, wheat and dairy.
- No fishy taste. Just a very berry flavor.
- The Chewable Burstlets are so much fun! Either bite and burst, or twist and squirt. – Bite for a burst of fruity squirt in your mouth, or twist the fishy tail off and squeeze the liquid into food or directly into your mouth.
Before having my kids try the product for the first time, I tried it myself. Long story short, I didn’t find it to be eatable. However, other parents say their kids enjoy chewing it up and eating the whole thing. It’s just personal preference, I guess.
But that doesn’t mean my kids don’t reap the benefits. As part of their healthy morning routine, they use the twist and squirt method, as you can see above.
Instill the Importance of Attendance
Do you remember awards day at school? One of the awards always given was, and still is, for perfect attendance. There’s a reason great attendance is recognized. It’s essential for success in school. Obviously, if your child isn’t present, they’re missing out on key information and learning. The same goes for tardiness and early checkout.
A bedtime and morning routine are the start of good attendance, but it also falls largely in your hands. Make it a point to be on time to work, appointments, events, anything that has a schedule. When your child sees that you take attendance and promptness seriously, it helps them realize how important their attendance is at school.
For younger kids who need help getting up in the mornings and getting ready, this again, falls largely in your hands. It’s your responsibility to ensure they are up, morning routine accomplished, and your child is either at the bus stop on time or in the car rider drop-off line on time. Instilling the importance of attendance at a young age will make it easier as your child gets older.
Albeit, if your child is sick KEEP. THEM. HOME. Not only are you preventing the spread of any potential illness, you’re also doing what’s best for your child. When your child is sick, there is no focus, no productivity, no learning going on whatsoever. Sending them to school just makes them even more miserable. Keep them home until they’re ready and able to do their best at school.
If your child happens to be out for more than a couple of days, be sure to get in touch with the teacher for any classwork or homework they may need to make up. This is something your child can work on at home when they feel up to it. It’s also one way to help gauge whether your child is well enough to return to school.
Most schools allow parents to join their kids at lunchtime. If you have a weekday off or work close to your child’s school, take some time to meet up with them during lunch. It doesn’t have to be every day or even every week. Making it a quarterly lunch date is plenty enough.
Whether you by a school lunch alongside your child, or bring something for the two of you from outside the school, showing up to eat lunch with your child will surely brighten their day and show them you care. And I guarantee they’ll always remember the gesture.
Create an After School Schedule
The immediate hours after school are just as important as those spent in the classroom. Creating an after school schedule will help your child accomplish their daily goals, and even teach them organization and prioritization of their activities.
Every child’s after school schedule will look a little different, depending on the various activities they have. But there are a few tasks that are fairly consistent across the board – putting shoes away, completing homework, preparing backpack for the next morning, and getting an afternoon snack.
Other after school tasks to keep in mind include athletics, free time to just relax and allow them to have some fun, chores, unpacking/cleaning their lunchbox, preparing lunch for the next day, or what about a nap? If you’re family is super busy, you might even need to schedule dinner some evenings.
When creating an after school schedule, I recommend sitting down with your child to discuss the various tasks they need to accomplish after school. Let them have an active role in deciding what order they’d like to complete each task.
For us, an afternoon snack is first on the after school schedule. My son, in particular, absolutely does not function without getting something to eat as soon as he walks in the door. But your child might want to get their homework done and over with as soon they get home. Create an after school schedule that works for you and your child.
Ask Questions About Their Day
Asking your child about their day is a sure fire way to show them you’re interested in what they do at school. I learned a long time ago to avoid the simple questions, like “How was school today?” You’ll likely get the standard, “Good,” response. Quite honestly, that tells you nothing about your child’s day.
Try to start a conversation by asking questions that require explanation and details in response. This will better help you understand what’s going on at school and will also teach your child conversational skills.
Her View From Home has an amazing list of 50 questions to ask your child after school. One of my favorite questions to ask my kids is, “What is one thing you did to be nice today?” I will usually get a response that tells me something they did to be nice, but then they go on to tell me about a classmate who wasn’t nice. I can then follow up with questions about the situation and how my child responded, and it becomes a great conversation.
Help with Homework
Just when you thought your days of homework were over, your child comes home with questions about theirs. It’s important to help your child when they have questions and even when they don’t.
In all honesty, when is the last time you checked your child’s homework for accuracy? We make it a point to check our kids’ homework every single night. Sometimes they’ve got everything correct and other times it’s as if we need to have a school lesson at home.
Your child will have a better chance at success in school when they understand their homework, strive for accuracy in completing it, and understand the importance of actually doing it. It’s your job to make sure this happens. When your child sees how important their homework is to you because you make it a point to check over it, it will instill the importance to them.
The Best Way to Help Your Child with Homework
- Let them attempt their homework by themselves.
- Check the homework for accuracy.
- Provide feedback, both positive and negative, and answer any questions they may have.
- When it seems to get too hard or they get flustered, take a little break. It’s important that you never do their homework for them. Instead, coach them through their struggles until they get the right answer. They may not realize it now, but it’s more meaningful that way.
And don’t be surprised if your child teaches you a thing or two in the process. I remember at one point last year I had to go online to look something up because I had no idea what was being asked. – My son was in the first grade. – Embarassing, but it showed that even mom doesn’t know everything and everyone needs help sometimes.
Keep in Contact with the Teacher
Keeping in contact with your child’s teacher is always a good idea. This line of communication is important because there may be things your child isn’t telling you, but their teacher feels is important for you to know – bad grades, unacceptable behavior, etc. Communication goes the other way as well – amazing grades, exemplary behavior that should be recognized, etc.
At the same time, you may have questions, or want to know something that your child can’t express or may not be sure about. In this case, you have the ability to initiate the contact. Nowadays, teachers can easily be reached via email and will provide their contact info at the beginning of the school year. Make it a point to keep it where you can access it when needed.
Letting your child know you have the ability to contact their teacher is just another way that shows you care about their academic success.
Get Involved at School
If you have the ability, get involved at school. Chaperone school activities, attend class field trips, send snacks for the class to share, help out in the classroom, donate your free time to school fundraisers, send holiday treats or goodie bags, do anything you can to be involved in what’s happening at school.
All schools have a Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) or Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). If you have the ability, why not attend the meetings to see what type of activities the school will be hosting and get involved? I’m not suggesting you help with every single activity, but help when and where you can. Showing up and participating at school events is another way to show your child you care about what’s happening at school.
When I opened this post about how to help your child succeed in school, I mentioned the word involvement. As you can see, involvement takes on many faces. You getting involved with homework, school activities, and taking an interest in after school conversation. Your child getting involved with creating morning, after school, and bedtime schedules and routines.
Working together and staying involved not only shows your child how much you care about their success, but it will keep them on the path to reaching their goals. And guess what? You’ll each build memories along the way.
Do you already do some of these things to help your child succeed in school?
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