The secret to a GREAT student??

MP900439319_2.jpgSchool is in full swing, and successful schools and successful kids usually have one thing in common -- supportive parents. Research shows that children of parents who are involved in school do better academically. Students and schools rely on parents to help them be their best. Students need a supportive atmosphere for learning at home, as well as an advocate for them at school. Most schools can’t provide everything that a student needs at school, and often rely on parents to help.

The following ideas (from ) show some ways you can be involved with your child’s school. You don’t have to do them all, just pick the ones that work best for your schedule.

  • Make sure the kids go to school ready to learn; pack backpacks the night before, and make sure they have breakfast.
  • Stress the importance of homework; have a special place just for homework (even if it’s a space on the kitchen table), with adequate lighting, supplies, etc. Set up homework time as soon as possible after kids come home after school, and keep the time the same (as often as possible) every day, so kids have a “homework” routine. If there is no homework assigned, have the child read, or review the day’s lessons.
  • Watch for too much time spent in extracurricular activities or part-time jobs: research shows that kids who participate in nonacademic activities for 20 or more hours per week usually don’t have enough energy to perform their best in school.
  • Monitor your child’s academic progress; many schools provide this information on-line- check it regularly. Don’t wait until report cards come out; contact teachers anytime there is a question or concern. Also, remember to attend all scheduled parent teacher conferences.
  • Attend school functions. Research (Steinberg) from Beyond the Classroom states …
    “Attending school functions may be even more important for the message it communicates to teachers and other personnel…”- it sends a message to teachers that if parents are interested in school, then the child must be too.
  • Volunteer; kids definitely get the message that school is important when they see you helping on school projects.
  • Evaluate your school’s performance; go to to find out tons of information and data about how your child’s school is performing
  • Help your school improve by organizing after school programs (tutoring, parent education, etc.) and writing to local and state legislators when budget cuts are looming, and valuable programs are being threatened.