6 big ways to support your elementary school child

You want to do all you can to help your child find success in the classroom. But, you don’t want to be overbearing, restricting, or interfering. You want your child to achieve good grades and want him or her to learn and grow as an individual. It’s tough to find the right balance and to decide the best ways to help your child during his or her elementary years.

These tips should help.

1. Meet your child’s teacher.

There are formal and informal opportunities to meet your child’s teacher. A great formal opportunity to meet your child’s teacher is at parent/teacher conferences, which tend to occur once or twice throughout the academic year. These are important to attend to show that you are active and involved in your child’s education; if you can’t make the scheduled time or date, reschedule and make it happen. A parent/teacher conference is an opportunity to create a positive relationship, to understand the teacher’s goals, and to best learn about your child’s education.

Meeting and communicating with teachers is easier now than it ever has been. Send an email, introduce yourself, and ask to keep connected early on in the academic year.

2. Your attitude towards school matters.

This might be the most vital piece of information I’ve come across. It is super important for parents to have a positive attitude towards school and education. Even if you think there are flaws in the education system or your own experiences with school could have been better, there is no better way to take away from your child’s learning than to have a negative attitude towards school.

3. Read, read, read.

Reading with and to your children – and encouraging reading on a regular basis is the number one way to instill and improve literacy and to help kids grow their individual knowledge in a plethora of subjects that they may never come across in the classroom.

4. Make sure homework gets done.

Being actively involved with your child’s homework is awesome, doing your child’s homework for him or her is not. Primary school students need to learn through trial and error. When parents do their children’s homework, they are taking away from the opportunity for their children to learn from the success or failure that comes as a result of their own effort.

Help guide your child, offer supplementary learning opportunities, check in on progress, and be aware of worksheets and agendas that come home.

5. Report cards: pay attention to more than just As and Bs.

A report card usually contains information beyond letter grades. Pay attention to behavioural notes and key areas that need to get better. Equally as important is to note positive traits your child is demonstrating in the classroom. Discuss what you read with your child and offer praise where it is due!

When you do look at letter grades, As and Bs are great. But so are improvements at any level. If your child climbs from a C- to a C or C+, this is an improvement – provide positive feedback and encourage further improvement.

6. Find the right kind of extra help if needed.

If a child is having a difficult time in the classroom, this might mean that his or her learning style may benefit from additional or different types of teaching. Seek out extracurricular options through the school, consider smaller groups, tutoring, or online tutoring as options.

We hope these tips help make life a little easier for all of you and wish you a happy and successful school year!

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