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“The more committed a child is to learning, the more likely it is that he or she will grow up healthy.” – Peter L. Benson, Ph.D.

14 August blog

Believe it or not, summer break is nearly over and school will officially be back in session soon. Going back to school can be an exciting time for many students; and for others, a source of added stress. However, there are things parents can do to help make the transition from summer vacation into the school routine less stressful.

The good news is children are born learners. They are curious about the world around them. They are motivated learners who accept some responsibility for their own education. They understand that success comes as a result of their own efforts. They pay attention and concentrate on school-related tasks. Successful students can ignore or reduce distractions in the environment or from their own thoughts which can interfere with learning.

Here are a few tips parents can use to encourage success in school.

1. Develop a study plan/routine.

Involve your child in establishing a specific time every day for homework and general reading. Check with the teachers to see how much homework to expect for your child. Some elementary school students have 20‐30 minutes a day set aside for this purpose. Junior and senior high school students may need at least 30‐45 minutes for daily study time. Some schools expect students to spend at least 15 minutes per subject each day on homework.

2. Create an environment conducive to learning.

Make your home a place where it is easy for your child to learn. Keep books, magazines, catalogs and writing materials within easy reach. Make sure that your child has a place to study. This could be in the child’s room, in the kitchen, or in another place where the lighting is good, and it’s quiet. Be near enough to answer questions that your child has.

3. Become a mentor/coach for your child.

Be enthusiastic! It can be contagious. Don’t give the message that homework is a boring chore; children who do well, enjoy learning. If your child does not seem motivated to do well in school, try to find ways to make the learning fun.

4. Listen.

Listen carefully when your child talks about having difficulty with her homework. Encourage her to break down problems into small steps.

5. Get to know your child’s teachers.

Get to know your child’s teachers and what they expect. Compare your goals for your child to those of the teachers. Make sure your child knows of your interest in his/her school. This will send the message that what they are doing is important.

Talk with your child and find out their concerns. If you learn your child feels ignored or “picked on” in the classroom, talk with the appropriate school official. If you can’t find the time to visit in person, call the teachers or attach notes to your child’s homework they are taking back to school.

One of the most difficult challenges facing parents and teachers today is that of encouraging youth to value learning and make a personal commitment to education. Youth who develop a love of learning will not only increase their chances of academic and career success as adults, but will also be more likely to avoid problem behaviors and negative peer pressure.

References:

How Parents Can Help Their Kids Be Successful in School, August 9, 2012 in Families Matter http://extension.udel.edu/factsheet/how-parents-can-help-their-kids-be-successful-in-school/

Back to School Success, by Bill Stone, http://lee.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/10/back-to-school-success-2/

SCHOOL SUCCESS, (2005) by Peter L. Benson, Ph.D., What Kids Need to Succeed http://cte.ed.gov/nationalinitiatives/gandctools_viewfile.cfm?d=600051

Encouraging Success in School, by Beth D. Gaydos, Faculty Emeritus, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences.

Written by: Cindy Shuster, CFLE, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Reviewed by: Polly Loy , Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Belmont County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Bridgett Kidd, Extension Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, Human Ecology Extension Administration

Reviewed by: Kim Barnhart, Office Associate, OSU Extension, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Jennifer Lindimore, Office Associate, OSU Extension, Morgan County, Buckeye Hills EERA

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