10 Tips for School Successby By Robert E. Weyhmuller, Jr.
Success in school doesnít happen without parental support. Whether your son happily skips off to kindergarten or your daughter trudges down the hall to seventh-grade science class, your child needs your help to succeed in school. Author Robert E.Weyhmuller, Jr. offers 180 tipsóone for each day of the school yearóin a gem of a book that no parent should be without.
Here are a few of his tips:
Read to your child every day.
It sounds like such a simple thing. But will reading to your child every day really help her succeed in school? The answer is emphatically, YES!
Itís a fact. Thereís no better way to instill a love for reading in your child than by reading aloud to her. Children who are read to fall in love with books. They also develop good reading abilities earlier, become better listeners, and develop a stronger command of written language. But reading to your child every day does more than just feed the mind. It gives you and your child something specialóit gives you together time.
Establish a homework routine.
Decide with your child on a time each night to do homework and stick to it. Kids like knowing when things will happen, rather than being caught off guard. If you suddenly call your child in from his outside play to start homework, chances are you will meet more resistance than the allied forces on D-day. But if you establish a routine, such as homework begins at 5:00 p.m., arguments will be greatly reduced.
Make a pact with your childís teacher: 'If you donít believe everything my child says about me, I wonít believe everything he says about you.'
Children exaggerate. They donít necessarily lie, but their perceptions may be skewed. Whether your child describes his teacher as the Wicked Witch of the West or Mary Poppins, keep in mind that all may not be as he perceives.
Always be your childís advocate, but never become the teacherís adversary.
If you feel your child has been wronged, defend her. Call the teacher, have a conference, work things out the best you can, but donít make the teacher the enemy. When parents and teachers are openly hostile toward each other, the child almost always becomes the loser.
Be your childís Show Ďn Tell.
What better way is there for your child to show how proud she is of Mom or Dad? What better way is there for your childís teacher to get to know you? What better way is there for you to get to meet your childís schoolmates?
Make your child a better thinker by asking 'Why'
Remember when your child drove you crazy by asking 'Why?' Now you can make her a better thinker by asking the same question. 'Why is there a stop sign on that corner?' 'Why is it wrong to cheat?' 'Why arenít you allowed to stay out past midnight?'
Honor your childís opinions.
Provide your child with a safe environment where he can express opinions without fear of reprisal. Encourage him to respectfully express his opinions in school, too. Do your hackles rise when your child expresses an opinion contrary to yours? 'I think itís silly that we go to Grandpopís every Sunday. Iíd rather stay home and play with my friends.' Instead of blasting him with a guilt trip, try acknowledging his feelings: 'I understand. Sometimes Iíd rather play tennis, but your grandfather looks forward to our visit.' Your childís independent thinking will blossom when he is permitted to express his opinions without retaliation.
Ask your child to teach you something she learned in school today.
People remember 10 percent of what they read, 20 percent of what they hear, 30 percent of what they see, 50 percent of what they see and hear, 70 percent of what they say as they talk aloud and 90 percent of what they say as they perform a task. Teaching is talking and performing. When your child teaches you a concept introduced in school, she has mastered it.
Send your childís teacher a birthday card.
Teachers are generous people. Throughout the school year, they spend countless hours decorating classrooms, arranging special events and volunteering their time to help othersónot to mention digging into their own pockets to supplement school supplies and activities. Sending a birthday greeting shows that you and your child appreciate the little things she does to make school enjoyable.
Let your teenager balance your checkbook.
Your child will gain a better understanding of economics by balancing the family checkbook. He might also learn not to ask, 'Why canít we afford a new...?'
Home Schooling - What to teach whenGrading your Child's FriendsDepression in Children
About The Author
Reprinted with permission from Beyond the Bus Stop: 180 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School, by Robert E. Weyhmuller, Jr. (Heinemann, August 1999. ISBN 0-325-00125-1) Available at local bookstores, on the Internet at Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com or directly from the publisher at (800) 793-2154.
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