Believe it or not, we are more than half-way through the school year! It’s important to check in to see if your child is on track. As parents, we don’t have to wait until parent -teacher conferences or report cards come around to see if our children are where they should be. It’s important to monitor your child’s progress throughout the school year. Is he or she progressing as they should? Are they meeting the social and academic milestones expected of them? If so, great! If not, how can you help your scholar to turn things around?
Communication is Key: Whether your child is in kindergarten or graduating high school, communication with school is essential. There are many means through which you can assess your child’s progress with the assistance of platforms and school staff.
Helpful Platforms: You can use Power School to see your child’s grades and attendance regardless of their year in school. If you don’t have or have misplaced your log- in information, or if you want support in understanding the information in Power School, reach out to your child’s guidance counselor to assist you.
For younger students, you can also communicate with your child’s teacher through Classroom Dojo and gain important information. Each child in every grade also has Google Classroom where you can see what assignments are due, learn what’s missing and what will be due soon. In addition, each of your child’s teachers has email, you can ask questions or ask to meet. If your child has special needs, he or she has a case manager on the Child Study Team who can help you to learn more about what your child’s goals are for the school year and their progress toward these goals.
What if I learn that my child is struggling? It’s not too late to help your child turn things around! If a report card or grades viewed on power school concern you, reach out to your child’s teacher to learn what they can do differently or where they may need extra help.
Help Your Child Get Organized. Even the brightest kids can struggle with organization. Being disorganized can derail academic success. Does your child seem lost about what assignments they need to do? Does he or she frequently lose work or other important items? Does your child need help learning to study?
Make a Visual Reminder for School Work: Use your child’s Google Classroom and help create a visual reminder by using a calendar or white board. Together, write down what assignments are due when. Place this somewhere your child can see it and check off what they have completed each day. Help your child avoid procrastination by monitoring what they complete each day. Remind them it is better to work on a project for a little while daily, or study for a test, then to save it for the night before. Hold your child accountable and reward their diligence with praise!
Develop a Consistent Routine for School Work: Support your child at home by helping them to develop homework and studying routines. After school, many students struggle to complete homework, projects and prepare for tests.
Help your child to set a daily time to complete assignments after school and ensure that they stick to it. Ask your child to show you that work is completed and submitted (if done virtually via google classroom).
If You Aren’t Sure How to Help Your Child With School Work?: If you aren’t sure about how your child can best study, ask your child’s teacher for advice. If your child seems very challenged by assignments, let his or her teacher know- ask how you can best support them at home? There are often websites teachers may recommend for assistance.
Help Your Child Develop Time Management Skills: Help your child understand a “first, then” approach to homework and studying. This means that they can complete a less desirable task like homework FIRST and THEN a more fun task like playing video games, watching tv or connecting with friends. It’s much more difficult to do the opposite- once your child is doing something fun, they may find it challenging to transition to school work.
For older students who may be employed, support them in determining the best time to complete assignments and to work on studying or projects. Even adolescents still need support with time management; don’t assume your teen can manage without your guidance. Remember your child’s school work is a priority and be mindful about the importance of their academics when asking for their help around the house or with younger siblings.
Learning how to effectively manage time will be important for your child throughout school and thereafter. Help them begin to master this skill now for a lifetime of greater success.
Check in About How Your Child is Feeling About School: In addition to communicating with your child’s school, communication with your child of any age about school is equally important. Ask your child how he or she is feeling about school? Are they happy there? How do they feel about their ability to learn what’s being taught? Are they socially connected at school? Children and teens are more successful in school when they feel a connection to their school community including teachers and peers. Does your child need support in any of these areas? If so, check in with your child’s guidance counselor, or school social worker to see how they can help. Encourage your child to participate in extra-curricular and fun activities at school. These things help children feel more engaged in their school community, and this connection in turn, helps them to be more engaged academically.
Remember school is where our children spend the bulk of their time each day- it’s vital to support them in being successful and happy there- so ask yourself how your child is doing, and help them to finish the remainder of the year strong!