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School Success

Encouraging learning at home

While school provides formal learning, kids also need informal learning.  From the moment they are born, you are your child's first and most important teacher.  Whether talking, reading, or playing with your child, you are both helping them learn and, ideally, instilling in them, a love for learning. 

Once your child is in school, you still have an important role to play.  Encourage your child to learn about things that interest them.  Provide books, visit museums, and introduce your child to people who are knowledgeable about what they are interested in learning. 

Help them tie their interests and goals to what they learn in and out of school.  Ask your child’s teacher for ideas of things you can do at home to reinforce what they are learning in school. 

Set up a school center or bulletin board at home.  Display calendars and flyers from school.  Review homework and other papers from school.

Experiment with finding a regular time and place for your student to complete their homework.  Stock it with the supplies they may need and look for ways to minimize distractions (e.g. turn off the TV, limit phone calls, etc.) 

The most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is not income or social status, but family involvement, including encouraging learning at home, setting high, yet reasonable expectations and being involved with school. 

Communicating Expectations

Let your child know that school is important to you, that you expect them to succeed at school, and that you want them to graduate from high school and, if appropriate, consider post-secondary education.

Celebrate their efforts as well as their accomplishments.  Post their tests and their school projects on the refrigerator.  Let them overhear you telling someone else about how hard they worked on an assignment.  Celebrate the completion of a big assignment with a special treat.  Let them know you appreciate both their efforts and their grades or scores.

Getting Involved with your Child’s School

Your presence at school reminds your child that school is important.  Attend programs, concerts, and sporting events at school.  Check into volunteering.  Schools often have a variety volunteer opportunities that can fit into your schedule.  Talk with the teacher about being a room parent, a chaperone for field trips, or tutor.  

Check in regularly with your child's teacher(s).  If your child is having difficulty, be their advocate and work with school staff to address concerns.