How to Help Your Child Succeed in School
Parent as Advocate
You know your child best. Talking to the school about your child’s strengths and needs is a great way to help him or her succeed in school.
Parent as Educator
Read, play, talk with, and encourage your child. You are your child’s first educator. When your child goes to school, your role in your child’s education continues as you partner with his teacher.
Try working on All About Me with your child.
This child/parent activity helps introduce a child to the teacher from the child’s perspective. Pages can be filled with drawings or text, depending on the skill level and interest of your child. Help talk through and think about pages with your child, but what is on the page should be your child’s work (not done by your hand).
Parent as Communicator
Try to maintain frequent contact with your child’s teacher. One way to establish a positive relationship with your child’s teacher is to write a letter to him/her.
Include our ABC’s of My Child form!
This worksheet helps parents introduce important information to their child’s new teacher. Send in a photo of your child, or a drawing that your child made. Any communication is a great first step.
Parent as Planner
Before school, you can enroll your child for school early and participate in transition activities. Once school starts, you can make sure your child gets enough sleep, is up and ready on time to get to school every day, has a good breakfast (at home or at school), and completes any assigned homework.
During the Transition Process
Early in your child’s transition to school, gather all of his paperwork and immunization information needed to enroll him/her in kindergarten—the earlier the better! Try to find and participate in transition activities at the school that will make your child feel more comfortable with their new school environment. Transition activities include things like visiting the school, touring the classroom, and meeting the teacher.
During the School Year
Try linking learning to the activities you do at home. Ask your child, “What did you learn today?” Try to incorporate that learning into your daily routine. For example, you might ask your child to look for letters, colors, shapes, and numbers and tell you when they have found them. Make up stories together! Ask your child to draw pictures and “play school” in order to practice good classroom behavior.
Practice good time management with your child. Early in the evening, talk to your child about all the things that need to be done to prepare for the next day. If you make a checklist with your child, the two of you can help each other get ready for the next day:
- do homework
- put things in your child’s backpack
- get clothes ready for the next day
- bathe or shower
- read together before bed
- brush teeth
This planning can give your child a sense of security and support a smooth morning routine, making it easier to get to school on time and feel prepared in the morning. It might be helpful to practice this routine well before the first day.
Visit the school. You don’t have to attend a meeting to show your child you support his learning, but by being visible in the school you send a strong message about how important his/her education is. Seeing you at school can help your child know that you value education enough to make it a priority.