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Back TO School - Get Involved In Your Child's Education

Research has consistently shown that involved parents have a positive impact both academically and psychologically on a child. In every aspect an improvement has been noted including grades, test scores, attendance, attitudes and behavior, homework, extracurricular activities and higher graduation rates. It is important for parents to show that the home is an active part of their schooling and total supporter of all related activities.

The base for a positive learning environment is structuring the home-school activities. Expecting too little or being too lenient could make the child unmotivated or disorganized. Being too strict or rigid could cause unnecessary pressure, frustration and helplessness, causing the child to feel a failure. The parent needs to find the middle ground that challenges, motivates, stimulates and encourages a positive and happy home learning environment.

First of all, the child needs a permanent, tidy and personal work area, without interruption, where he can focus and study peacefully. Having a private room is best but if not, each child must have his own desk or study area. If the child prefers the kitchen counter to work and study, other family members must be made to understand that at study time the kitchen is off limits. It would be good to slowly wean the child away from the counter and into his own desk or study area. Have a good supply of pencils, rubbers, crayons, stationery etc. on hand, in addition to reference material. The area must have good lighting. Above all the area must be quiet, so that the child can work and study without interruption and disturbance.

Study time must be a set time. For example, a child does the homework after tea. Then the child studies after dinner. Homework must be made into a regular habit, scheduled to a daily routine. Some children may work better if the study time is split into smaller slots instead of one solid, long study time. The parent must work with the child to find the best method for that particular child. The child needs to decompress after school and it is important that the child have a rest period after school, before studying and doing homework.

The parent must help the child develop a way to keep track of homework and other assignments. Some children find this difficult. Helping and developing a practical way to check off completed assignments helps the child develop methodology for future challenges and accomplishments that come later on in life.

It is important to develop positive communication with the child’s teacher. Teachers are more positive, willing and excited to work with involved parents, which in turn helps the overall success of the child at school. Make sure that the teacher knows you are open to suggestions on assisting the child’s home study process through notes sent by backpack or emails. Good communication between parent and teacher creates good communication between child and teacher. This in turn makes the school challenging and fun.

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