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Tips for Supporting Your Student

Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers and can support a child’s academic success in a variety of ways. Parents can help the children work out schedules for homework, play, and television that minimize the conflicts involved in what to do first. They can offer moral support and encouragement to persist, to try again, to struggle for understanding and mastery. Furthermore, they can share a child’s pleasure in mastery and accomplishment. Nevertheless, they must not do the job for the children.

Research shows that families whose children are doing well in school exhibit the following characteristics:

  1. Establish a daily family routine.
    Examples: Providing time and a quiet place to study, assigning responsibility for household chores, being firm about bedtime and having dinner together.
  2. Monitor out-of-school activities.
    Examples: Setting limits on TV watching, checking up on children when parents are not home, arranging for after-school activities and supervised care.
  3. Model the value of learning, self-discipline, and hard work.
    Examples: Communicating through questioning and conversation, demonstrating that achievement comes from working hard.
  4. Express high but realistic expectations for achievement.
    Examples: Setting goals and standards that are appropriate for children’s age and maturity, recognizing and encouraging special talents, informing friends and family about successes.
  5. Encourage children’s development/ progress in school.
    Examples: Maintaining a warm and supportive home, showing interest in children’s progress at school, helping with homework, discussing the value of a good education and possible career options, staying in touch with teachers and school staff.
  6. Encourage reading, writing, and discussions among family members.
    Examples: Reading, listening to children read and talking about what is being read.