A Parent’s Role in Helping a Child Do Well In School

Kids today have it rough. With all the competition to get into top ranked schools, parents are starting earlier and earlier to give their little academics a head start. But when does a parent’s involvement in their kids school work become a hindrance? Like most things, it’s all about a balance.

Studies show that children with parents who stay actively involved with their schoolwork will test better than kids with parents who don’t. So stay involved! Ask questions, congratulate success and encourage asking for help in more difficult subjects. Parents should know when their kids have a test and except to see the grade for it. This holds their student accountable for their grades. When parents do get back their kids work, reward their efforts. This doesn’t mean taking your daughter to buy a new IPod every time she brings home her Friday spelling test. But it does deserve a high five or a hug. (And remember parents, B grades are still fridge worthy!) Parents should be concerned with lower grades. When problem areas in their kid’s classes arise, steps should be taken to find extra help for their students. Begin with asking to see homework and review all problems that they have trouble with. If problems continue, check in with the teacher and see what else you can do to make sure your child keeps up with work.

When involvement becomes a hindrance rather than helpful is when parents begin to micromanage. Parents must remember that students should be expected to do their homework—and not because Mom stands over their shoulder until it’s done. Establish a set routine and stick to it. Your little study monkey should know that every day like clockwork, when he/she comes home, they makes a snack and start on homework. If your student is having trouble in school, run through their completed homework for mistakes, then help them with the questions they had trouble with. If your student normally tests well in school, ask if they completed their homework each night and trust that they have fulfilled each assignment completely. This allows your student to see that they need to be responsible for their own work and that you except them to be in charge. If they begin to slack on tests, start reviewing their homework again. Students need to learn how to be accountable for their studies. Writing down assignments, organizing papers and planning when to study are lifelong skills that they will need as a student as well as a professional. 

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