A few weeks ago, our Family First column shared ideas to help older students achieve their full academic potential. This week, we’d like to offer some tangible ways to work with your younger students. Perhaps the extended break at Thanksgiving can be a good time to help you and your elementary school student hit the reset button and set the stage for great results for the remainder of the school year.
“Hands-on” Homework Help — With most older kids, it’s appropriate to allow some degree of independence with homework assignments. With pre-teens less so, especially those who are facing academic challenges. Instead, actively insert yourself in the process. Know what assignments have been given and review the work with your child before it gets turned in. Make sure your student understands the concepts and has done the work.
Celebrate Success — With your involvement in homework and studies for tests, there is a very good likelihood your child will start to experience better results. Stay on top of test scores and assignment grades and congratulate your student on his or her accomplishments. Many times, an infusion of self-confidence becomes contagious. Motivated students experience better outcomes.
Eat, Sleep & Be Merry — It’s surprising how many families overlook the importance of a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast. We all perform better at school or work when we’re well rested and start the day with a nutritious meal. Healthy after school snacks and balanced lunches and dinners should be part of your child’s routine as well.
Balance Work & Play — There’s nothing wrong with making time for play and recreation after school a priority, particularly in safe outdoor environments. Playtime allows your child to decompress a bit, channel energy and activity in other directions and do something she or he enjoys. We all deserve that. However it’s also appropriate to set boundaries. Carve out specific times after school both for fun and for study time. When your child understands the role and time frame that each plays, there is a good likelihood that both will utilized to their fullest.