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Tips for School Success

Research shows that parent/guardian support is more important to school success than a child’s IQ, economic status, or school setting, according to the U.S. Department of Education.  How can parents/guardians most effectively nurture their children? Below are various tips for elementary school success, from, which is an online resource for parents.

•    Be a Reading and Writing Role Model – It’s important to show your child that adults use reading and writing skills every day. You can demonstrate these skills by reading books with your child each day and simply reading street signs as you walk or drive with your child. When the foundations of reading are in place, everything else falls into place more easily. For writing, you can write a short note and put it in your child's lunch or place a note on the kitchen table for your child to read before or after school. 
•    Stick to Routines – In the morning, make sure your child wakes up at a consistent time every day and eats breakfast. Strive for consistency in their nighttime routine too. If you and/or your child make sure their backpack is ready the night before, you’re not scrambling the next morning trying to find it. 
•    Support Strengths – Recognize and encourage your child's strengths. There is a tendency sometimes to focus only on areas where children need extra help. Emphasizing your child's strengths and helping him or her develop an area of interest will build self-esteem and keep your child motivated.
•    Demonstrate Relevance – Help your child see that what he or she learns in school is useful and relevant to their life. For example, if your child is studying fractions show him or her how measuring cups and spoons divide ingredients and talk about how important it is to know the difference between a quarter cup and two-thirds of a cup as you bake something together.
•    Support Homework Independence – Have a pre-homework chat with your child to summarize assignments and to review directions. After this brief chat, slip away, but check back later to see if there are any questions or problems. Above all, do your best whenever possible to let your child work independently on homework.