Tips and Info for Parents

Helping Your Child Do Great At School

As a teacher, parents often ask me what I can recommend to help them make certain that their child is successful in school this year, especially in those subjects where they have struggled in previous years. So many parents ask me if they are keeping their children too busy with extra-curricular activities, either within or outside of school, and whether that is negatively affecting them. The good news is that regularly speaking, when a child has at least 2-3 other activities that they are doing, whether it be in school or outside of school, not only do they learn to manage their time better and be more productive, but often times this can lead to even better grades at school, since they are learning the most important ways to study and don’t leave class with lingering questions.
Without fail though, after school or on the several versions of conference calls available, my answer to them is to consistently train their children on good study habits as early as possible and to expose their children to the very thing they are trying to improve in. This answer often makes parents (and their children) happy because it means that the answer to their question isn’t something crazy and outlandish, but something that is totally reasonable and within reach. And it is.

For example, taking the subject of French (a subject area not too keenly adored by many children of varying ages and grades); most children do not enjoy French and therefore do not wish to practice it at home and consequently, do not get better at it. The key here is to find ways of teaching students and exposing children to French in a FUN way. This could include as many hands-on and interactive approaches as possible. Great activities include having them do a food activity where they get to look through real grocery store flyers and budget their spending within a given and set dollar amount. Following this, they could actually turn this into a whole project where they decide to make French foods (that are pre-approved by the teacher and perhaps by the home ec teacher), take a trip over to the local market, purchase some ingredients and actually make the food themselves. I have tried this and it’s consistently one of the most fun activities of the school year, I’m told.

Bringing Quebec and France to Life

The beautiful thing about making the Subject interactive, is that the students will actually wonder and question things related to French life, all on their own. For the sports nut in class, we could talk about the French soccer, basketball or other player. For the fashionista, Paris fashion is where it’s at. And the list goes on. There are so many ways of making things fun and interactive and we need to cater things to their level and liking. After all, how many times have you fallen asleep when an instructor was talking about something that was totally out of your area(s) of interest??

What You Can Do At Home

Parents are welcome to work on and practice things that were done at school with their children, as much as possible. They should also, from an early age, work on empowering their children with the idea that in order to do better at school, they need to get into the habit of reviewing things at home that were covered in school. The reason that this needs to be taught from an early age is because this will get them into the habit of doing it, without even thinking.

The following are just some of the benefits of developing great study skills and habits early on:
· Without even having to put much thought or effort into it, children will know to get their work done early and then be able to relax the rest of the time
· When it comes time to the teacher announcing a test or a quiz, children will be ready and not need to worry about it
· Being prepared in advance or reading ahead allows children the time and convenience of asking their teacher clarification questions if need be ahead of evaluation time
· There is not too much that IMPRESSES a teacher MORE than a student who is prepared ahead of time and puts effort into their work on a consistent basis (not just when report card time comes near or when interview time is looming around the corner). Teachers love to see effort being put forth!
· No feelings of dread on Sunday evening, a time when you want to and deserve to rest and spend time with the family
· This will allow them for one heck of a competitive advantage later on in later school years as well! The best part is: it’ll be so ingrained in them that it will be effortless.

In summary, creating good study skills and habits early are a major key to child and student development

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Author's Bio: 

Christine Topjian is Founder & CEO of, an organization geared and dedicated to the success of people through education.