Educational success, or failure, begins at home. Lack of sleep, poor diet, obesity, and a lack of parental support have all been linked to poor academic performance. The good news is that studies suggest that students who live in homes with healthy behaviours, regular routines, and good communication have higher test results. How can you ensure that your child has the best possible pathway to success in school? Follow these suggestions and your child will flourish.
Demonstrate and Teach Healthy Habits
Set a bedtime for your child that will allow them to get enough sleep for their age group and prepare a nutritious breakfast every morning. Encourage them to get some exercise and restrict the time spent watching TV, playing computer games, or listening to music.
Routine is important for children as it helps them plan their days. Children thrive when they have a structure within which to work. Each family will have a slightly different routine so find one that works for you. This might include them feeding the animals and packing their school bag while you prepare lunchboxes and breakfast. After school, they must know that there is a rest period, then homework, and then relaxation.
Make a Designated Area
At home, just like at school, your child needs a specific homework area, room or station. There needs to be plenty of light, plenty of supplies, and plenty of work space. Homework becomes less of a chore if they know their place and they know where everything is. No hunting for paper or art supplies or stationery. Provide a basket or caddy of all the essentials and keep this in the same place at all times.
Similarly, find a spot where your child may put the items they need for school each day and keep them organised. During the morning rush, you’ll know where to look for everything. This could be as simple as a hook near the back door or in their room. Here is where they should place their bags, footwear, coats, lunchboxes, projects and other pieces for school. Some parents call it the “launch pad,” while others refer to it as a “staging area.”
Make Learning Fun
There is only so much that teachers can accomplish at school. At home, parents must step in to provide good support and guidance. Throughout the day, look for fun opportunities to teach your child. Cooking, for example, incorporates both arithmetic and science. Use the time you spend preparing supper to read and follow instructions, talk about fractions, test hypotheses, and evaluate findings.
It is all very well to try and say “do as I say and not as I do” but children need you to lead by example. Children learn by watching. Take the time to learn a new skill and share it with them. Let them see you enjoying reading as a hobby and a way to release stress. If you have a strong work ethic and seek out new learning opportunities regularly, your children will begin to emulate that behaviour in their own lives.
Expecting your child to achieve is maybe the most crucial method you can support their efforts at school. That does not imply that you expect them to ‘be the best’. Instead, that you expect them to ‘do their best’ so that they may be proud of what they can do and achieve. One great way to assist your child is to enrol them in online services that provide mock exams for extra help with preparation for tests and examinations. If you set a clear expectation and create a learning-friendly environment at home, your child will have a better chance of becoming the greatest student he can be.
Allow your child to communicate their fears, joys, and disappointments about each day, and continue to support and encourage them by complimenting their accomplishments and efforts. Find out their likes and dislikes regarding school. Show an interest in all avenues of their school career and show your support for the teachers and educators. Meet the teachers and maintain regular touch with them by phone or email.
Following these few tips will create a steady pathway to success for you and your child.