One of the best gifts you can give your child is support. Support from parents is very essential to helping kids perform well academically. The more supported a child feels at home, the more eager they’ll be to succeed in school and even beyond. But the truth is, many parents struggle with finding time to intentionally show support to their children. Still, it needs to be done in order to raise mentally healthy children. Keep reading to find out 6 ways you can support your child academically.
1. Be actively involved.
Kids do better in school when they know their parents are involved and interested in their academic lives. As soon as a school year starts, find a way to meet with your child’s teacher and talk about strategies to help your child do his best in class. Attend parent-teacher conferences, join parent-teacher groups, help with organising fund raising activities. Also try not to miss giving a talk for career day, concerts, plays or open days. Many children love to see their parents at school events though some might feel a little uncomfortable. In this case, you might want to ease up on your level of involvement. You might also need to assure your child that you are not spying on him and make him understand that you’re just helping out.
2. Ensure your child is well prepared for school.
Kids should be sent to school ready to learn every day. One way to do this is to make sure your child gets the right amount of sleep she needs. Most children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night to be alert and eager to learn the next day. Create a consistent bedtime routine that will help your child achieve this. Lack of adequate sleep can make your child irritable or cause hyperactivity, making it hard for her to pay good attention in class. A nutritious breakfast is another way to get your child ready for the day. Boost her energy, concentration and memory with healthy breakfast meals that are rich in protein, whole grains, and fibre.
3. Help your child study.
Children always need help with homework or studying for tests. Show him that you see homework and study time as priorities by creating an effective study environment. Prepare a workspace that is comfortable, well-lit, and free of distractions like TV or noisy family members. Always be available to offer guidance, answer questions, review completed work but you will also need to let him take charge and understand that completing homework and studying are his responsibilities. Don’t forget to applaud effort appropriately.
4. Show appreciation.
Rewards, big or small will always be a source of motivation to kids. You can show your kids how proud you are of their achievements in different ways. It could be simple but loving acts like a big hug, a high five or an excited ‘congratulations’. You can also take them out to a fun place they like, bake a cake, display their report card where everyone at home can see, buy something they love, e.t.c. Whatever the reward you choose, be sure to do it mindfully. Your rewards should build internal motivation that will sustain effort and leave long lasting results.
5. Teach your child to stay organised.
Yes, it is possible to teach your child not to forget important books at school or abandon projects. With help and practice, your child can develop excellent organisational skills that will improve her focus. You can create a folder to keep track of homework, projects and other school work. Try to check school books every school night to be sure your child is not falling behind in class. You can also teach her how to keep her desk clean and in order or how to use a calendar and make a to-do list to prioritise tasks.
6. Ask questions.
Do you know all your child’s school has to offer? Ask. Ask about extracurricular activities your child can engage in. Ask about his performance in school from his teacher. Make time to talk about school with him. Ask about his friends, the books he is reading, and the activities he enjoys the most. Make sure you listen carefully and make eye contact. This way you can pick out any challenges your child may be facing in school and this includes bullying.