Top 5 Practices Every Parent Should Use to Help their Grade School Student
1. Get organized.
Almost all students need to work on their organizational skills to help them succeed in school and later on in life. We suggest getting your scholar a daily planner with a maximum of two days per page. This allows ample space for notes to be shared between the teacher, parent and/or potential after-school provider. Also don’t over do it with notebooks and folders as little scholars can be forgetful of get confused, for this we suggest a maximum of 2-3 folders and grouping subjects that are most appropriate like Science and Health. There should be a separate homework folder to avoid missing assignments.
2. Help develop good habits.
Getting organized doesn’t mean staying organized. We often notice that the school year starts of great and slowly our scholar’s organizational practices decline as the workload becomes more rigorous. To help with this we suggest daily or weekly check in's. Following up with your scholar as to where they wrote down the days assignments, where the assignments for the following day are located and/or to look over their notes of the day. Make it a ritual and track their success with a cool sticker chart or a drop in the piggy bank!
3. Be ready for parent-teacher conference.
There are several parent teacher conferences each year and opening up lines of communication and support are essential for success throughout the school year. Let your scholar’s teacher know how you are best reached and provide the most timely forms of communication. Also ask for the teacher’s school e-mail for file sharing and check ins. Some schools have implemented their own platforms like Class Dojo for two way messaging but often these platform do not support file sharing which may be necessary for questions about assignments or tests.
4. Be precise.
Track your scholars grades just incase you receive a surprise promotion in doubt letter in the spring. Be sure that your scholar is showing you their test, quiz and homework grades, even the less than stellar ones. Honesty is the best policy and helps you ask the right questions to the teacher regarding any concerns. You will be able to ask specifically, “What are the specific learning standards that are causing the greatest concern?” This shows the teacher that you are game to influence positive change or allow for you to voice informed opinions as to why you do not believe that to be the case.
5. Encourage Independence.
Helping your scholar with their academic independence is key to keeping up good grades and creating a love of learning. Learning should never feel like a chore and it too often does to scholars in today’s classroom. Studying should not only happen when there is a test and reading should not only be done to fill out a log. Help by engaging the material with your scholar and studying to understand the days skills. Conversations about the day's lessons is a habit that will radically change how your scholar learns and ultimately relates to what is being taught in the classroom. We suggest checking out our next post that describes how to study in mini lessons to avoid last minute cram sessions at the kitchen table before a test.