1. Take an interest in their schoolwork, by helping with homework or asking specific questions about their school day, such as: What was the most fun thing you did today? Or, what was hard for you today?
2. Give daily encouragement without criticism. Phrases like, “I know you can do it,” or “Wow, you sure did a good job on this!” or, “Let’s look at it together,” can go a long way towards a positive school attitude.
3. Reinforce lessons from school, by providing more examples, or making a game of it. An example could be a discussion about zoo animals at school, then at home, renaming them and adding more with your help.
4. Always encourage your child to read, whether you are a reader or not! Being able to read and understand makes all learning easier.
5. Find time to be involved with your child’s’ classroom, even if it’s just once to help chaperone a field trip or assist with a special event at school.
6. Be accessible and open to your child to talk about any subject they may have questions about. Rather the parents give correct answers than erroneous information from their friends. If you do not know the answer to their inquiries, tell them so. But find the answer and reconnect with them. This is also a great way to build trust between you and your child.
7. Stay in touch with your child’s teacher. Attend parent-teacher conferences. Learn how and what your child is doing in the classroom setting. Discover any small issues and handle them before they become real problems.
8. Include school lessons in every day life, age appropriately. How many apples in the bag? Or, what kind of shape is that sign? Or, how many is a dozen? Ask your child to make up a story using what he’s learned that day.
9. Maintain a positive attitude. Tell your child, “You can do it!” and let him, his way. If he needs help, then help, but allow your child the satisfaction of completing a task on his own.
10. Last, but perhaps most important, and while you’re doing all of the above:
HAVE FUN WITH YOUR CHILD!
Here are just a few ideas:
- Role play each other or animals
- Find a word and rhyme with it
- Play I Spy
- Sing your favorite songs and/or learn new ones
- Dance, your favorites and/or learn new ones
- Read to your child, age appropriately, for a special quiet time
- Make up silly adventures. Example: Your porch or deck could be a ship, the grass is the ocean, and your child is the captain! Is it a pirate ship?