Helping your child have a successful school year goes beyond helping them with their homework. In fact, simple changes to your day-to-day life can have drastic effects on raising a successful student. Here are a few parenting tips to get your family on-track:
1. Establish a Routine
Change occurs in a child's life at a much faster rate than adults. In school, children switch gears hourly from subject to subject as the day progresses. If they have homework in multiple subjects, they continue to shift their thinking when they get home.
Outside of the classroom, children are still learning about the basics of the world around them, their bodies change constantly, and their emotions are more prone to fluctuation and intensity than adults. In addition, the occasional big change in a child's life, such as moving, starting a new school, or losing a pet, can feel more intense because if it is their first time facing these challenges.
Due to all of this fluctuation in a child's daily life, children are more likely to be successful students when they have a routine they can count on. This structure provides them with security as they navigate their ever-changing lives during and after school. Without a solid routine, your child may suffer anxiety or even illness. These routines also encourage good attendance, which is key to having a successful school year.
2. Bedtimes & Curfews
A child who is falling asleep in class is not going to have a successful school year. Sleep is the foundation of a person's health and success, regardless of age. Therefore, one of the most important part of a child's routine is when they get ready for bed and how much they sleep.
In addition, consistency in your sleep cycle helps you sleep better. Curfews and bedtimes—even on weekends—ensure that your child has enough time to unwind from their busy day.
3. Schedule Structured and Unstructured Time
While some structure makes your child feel like they have a stable, reliable life, it's also healthy to have unstructured time in their day. "Unstructured time" refers to time specifically for rest, relaxation, and for their imaginations to roam free. Giving your child some agency in their unstructured time helps grow self-esteem and decision making skills while relieving stress.
4. Feed Them Healthy Meals
No surprise here: Food is fuel. If children eat nutritious meals throughout the day, they will have the vitamins and energy they need to stay focused and learn.
Yes, breakfast is still important, but is your child eating healthy food for breakfast? In the rush to get to school on time, many people rely on quick fixes that are high in sugar and low in essential nutrients. These habits can cause students to struggle after a sugar crash. Meal planning and meal-kits can help you keep your family healthy and full throughout the day.
5. Put your screen away
For most of us, screens are an unavoidable part of our daily routine. However, they can create a physical barrier between you and your child, one that signals to them that they are not worthy of your attention. By putting your screen away, you are opening yourself up for communication. This simple gesture validates your child's needs and makes them more receptive to your support.
6. Go to a Student-Focused School
A school that cares about your child's success is your greatest asset to helping your child to succeed for the rest of their lives.
- Smaller classroom size for specialized attention
- Qualified teachers
- Engaging curriculums that get your child excited to learn
If you suspect that your child's school is helping your child succeed, it may be time to find them a new place to learn. Many schools have tours or information online that can help you make the right choice for your child.