Most parents genuinely want their kids to do well in school. And whether children are schooled at home or in a set of buildings in the neighborhood, there is a great deal that parents can do to make school success more likely. Parents are now the new teacher’s assistants.
First, and far above all else, find out how to build your child’s self-image and work at it steadily. There is nothing more important than a strong self-image for success in school, or anywhere else for that matter. And when it comes to bullies, nothing is more valuable.
Second, get personally involved. Study after study have shown that students with involved parents do better in school. Your kids may try to persuade you to back off, but parental involvement is something that they really do need and want. Get to know their teachers, beyond the face on the computer screen. Ask both child and teacher about what goes on in class and listen attentively to their answers.
Spend time reading their schoolbooks with them. And yes, check on them. Make sure they have a good place to work and help them keep track of class assignments so they get done on time. (It may mean temporarily retiring the video games and putting the cell phone and mp3 player on hiatus!) Review their assignments and tests with them when they come back, praise their success, and correct mistakes.
Teach them how to break large tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks, how to assign priorities, and the importance of rewarding themselves when they accomplish a goal. Perhaps you’ve heard some of this advice before, but it’s good to re-emphasize that these things work! The bonus is that you are teaching them personal discipline, as well as setting them up for success later in the world of work.
If you do these things consistently, they will have a significant, positive effect on your child’s success in school – even if “home” is “school” for a while.