It’s that time of year when kids are back in school and our lives seem to be settling back into a routine. It’s truly one of my favorite times of the year. As a parent of four, I wanted to pass on a few tricks that I’ve learned over the years to help your kids have a successful school year.
- Sleep. Make sure your child is getting adequate sleep each night. It is recommended that children between the ages of 6 and 13 get around 9-11 hours of sleep each night. Children under 6 typically require upwards of 10-13 hours of sleep. Research has shown that kids who get a good night’s sleep, do better in school. For more information on sleeping recommendations, click here.
- Good Breakfast. Make sure your kids have food in their bellies before they take off for school. When kids have a good breakfast, they are more attentive in school and thus, get better grades. Hunger can act as a large distraction. Studies have shown a correlation between lower scores and hungry bellies. For more information on the science behind a full belly, click here.
- No Playing Hooky. Make sure your kids have a good reason for missing school. When they miss school, they fall behind. It can take extra time and energy to get them caught up, and stay caught up. They also miss out on the instruction, classroom interaction, and questions that take place when particular concepts and assignments are taught.
- Set a Routine. Kids do better when they know your expectations. Make a schedule of when they need to study and do their homework. A rule at my house is that you do your homework before you get to play with friends. If you have a similar rule, stick to it and don’t budge.
- Know your Kids Teachers. This is critical. When you have a good working relationship with your child’s teacher, then chances are that your child will do better. Make sure that you have the teacher’s email address and that you communicate regularly. This is also a great forum to ask questions if you don’t understand a particular assignment given to your child, or if you can’t seem to get correct information from your child.
- Know Dates. Make sure that you know the dates that projects are due or tests are given. If spelling tests are given every Friday, then make sure you allot time throughout the week to study and help your child be ready. If a major assignment is due at the end of a term, then break it up into a few milestones and mark those due dates on your child’s calendar. Set goals for each milestone of what needs to be done or researched. Breaking up assignments into achievable segments will make the project feel less overwhelming and should help achieve a higher grade.
- Check Grades On-Line. If your child’s school has an on-line grading system – then check it often. This is a great way to see your child’s progress before you get surprised at Parent Teacher Conference. Some systems have the ability to email your child’s grades and scores on a regular basis. Taking a few minutes to check this each day gives you great insight on where your child needs help.
I hope these tips come in hand, and I wish you and your child a successful school year!