How to help your child succeed in school

5 Tips on How To Help Your Child Succeed at School

Research has shown* that parental involvement is a more significant factor in a child’s academic performance than the qualities of the school itself.


“Our study shows that parents need to be aware of how important they are, and invest time in their children – checking homework, attending school events and letting kids know school is important,” says Dr. Toby Parcel, a professor of sociology at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work. “That’s where the payoff is.”

For most parents, this research will simply solidify what that they already know. So how can parents go about ensuring their involvement will have a truly positive effect on their education?

Check out our top five tips below about how to best support your child’s education.


1. Talk To Your Children About Their School Day

According to at least two decades of research, one of the best things parents can do to boost academic achievement is talk to their kids about school. The challenge for parents is to ask questions that elicit more than one-syllable responses. Often the generic “How was your day?” Is not enough to get them talking – instead try asking specific, open-ended questions such as – “What did you do in PE today?”. With younger kids, try engaging their interest by asking questions such as “What cool things did you do today?”

2. Praise Your Children

If your child feels good about themselves and their schoolwork, the chances of them succeeding increases.  Every child has strengths so find out what they are and focus on them; letting them know what they are doing well. Make sure they know that you think they are a capable, valuable person who can do what they set their mind to do.

3. Set high, but reasonable, expectations for your children

This applies to their learning and behavior at school and at home. Children will rise to their parents high, but realistic, expectations of them. Teach your child how to set and achieve goals, and help them take responsibility for their choices. Make sure that your expectations of them at school do not conflict with the behavior expectations you have in the home. For example, if you expect them to be kind and respectful of school property, make sure you also expect that they are respectful of property at home.

4. Read with your children

Helping your child become a confident reader is the single most important thing that you can do to help to your child succeed in school, and in life.From an early age, read to your child often. And even after they can read on their own, it is highly beneficial to continue reading to them. Reading helps children in all school subjects. More important, it is the key to lifelong learning.

5. Be Involved

The greater the level of involvement in your child’s learning, the greater chance of success there is for your child. Even with a busy schedule, there are simple ways for you to stay involved. At home, talk to your child about their interests at school, and help them to develop healthy routines that involve reading time, homework, regular bedtimes and age-appropriate chores. Create a study area that is free from distractions such as television – and stay nearby while they are doing homework so you are ready to help them if needed. At school, talk with your child’s teacher, find out what skills your child most needs help with and try to give 15 minutes to helping them develop that skill each day. Attend key events that your child is involved in and attend parent-teacher interviews.

Remember – if school is important to you, it will be important to your child.


*Research from North Carolina State University, Brigham Young University and the University of California.

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