Many local children have already returned to school; others will begin in the next few weeks. As you embark on a new school year, it’s a great time to think about ways to help your children be their best this year. For parents of elementary-aged children, finding ways to engage and excite your children about school is important as it can set a precedent for years to come. Here are some simple things parents can do that can aid in the success of elementary students.
1. Attend Back-to-School Night, Parent-Teacher Conferences, and Other Events for the Parents at the School
Schools will often have back-to-school nights during the first month of school to give you a chance to meet your child’s teacher, tour the school and classroom, and learn about the curriculum. Take advantage of this opportunity because this will provide great insight into your child’s school day. Parent-teacher conferences are often held after the first marking period or two to discuss your child’s individual progress and areas of improvement at school. These are especially important during early education because it shows signs of strengths and weaknesses early and keep you in the loop on your child’s classroom performance.
If your child’s school hosts other events for parents at the school (e.g. parent visitation day, schools plays/concerts, or school board meetings) or opportunities to volunteer (e.g. chaperoning a field trip, helping out with a classroom party, reading a story to the class, talking about your career on Career Day, classroom helper, etc.), attend as many of them/take as many of them as possible. Getting involved in your child’s school will keep you aware of what is going on and help you foster a relationship with the teachers and other staff at the school. Parenting an elementary schooler is fun during these times.
2. Talk to Your Child About School on a Daily Basis
Every day, ask your child about school and what he or she learned. Most likely they will give you a generic answer (e.g. “It was good” or “I learned nothing much”). Instead of allowing the conversation to stop there, ask them more open-ended questions (e.g. “Do you get along well with the other kids?”). Go through their folder with them to look at their homework and notes from the teacher to have a more detailed conversation about school.
3. Manage Your Child’s Health to Keep them in Shape to Learn
Take your child to get a physical before each school year to ensure that your child’s vision is in check, vaccinations are up to date and to make sure there are no other health issues that could affect your child’s learning. Make sure your child eats a nutritious breakfast each morning to keep them full and focused in the morning and a nutritious lunch to keep them full and focused in the afternoon. Children need about 10 hours of sleep each night, so set a bedtime that ensures that they will get all the hours of sleep that they need.
4. Help Your Child with Academics
Each evening, sit with your child to complete homework assignments. This creates an opportunity for you to make sure your child understands the concepts. Help him or her with any troublesome concepts. Check homework to make sure its been completed. Working with your child during early education is crucial because young children will often not speak up if they are having trouble and may not have the discipline to complete homework and studying on their own. Parenting an elementary school child can be difficult at times in this area, but it is important because it teaches them work ethic and study skills for later years.
5. Value Attendance
Attendance is critical because it ensures that your child is up-to-date on the lessons and work. However, if your child has a fever, diarrhea, nausea, is vomiting, complaining of pain, lost their appetite, or not acting like they usually do, they should be kept home. While it may be okay to miss a day, especially in the earlier years (e.g. kindergarten to second grade), its important that absences are few and far between.
This article is brought to you by IvyBrook Academy in Franklin, offering a hands-on, discovery-based approach to learning. IvyBrook Academy, located at 1268 Lewisburg Pike, is a half-day preschool for children ages 2-5.