How to Help a Grade 1-4 Student Succeed in School
Helping parents in elementary school helps a child adjust to change
Parental support is the biggest secret to children’s success during elementary school. Let’s look at 10 ways parents can help their children succeed academically including in the study of drawing shapes.
1. Attend parent meetings
Children do better in school when parents are involved in their school life. Parent-teacher meetings at the beginning of the school year are a good excuse to get to know your child’s teachers and their expectations. The head teacher of the school sometimes attends the parent-teacher meetings. He or she can tell you about new developments in the school curriculum and what the school will be doing in the coming school year.
Meetings are also held during the school year. When you attend, you get a chance to discuss your child’s progress with the teacher. Together you can form strategies to help your child perform better. If you attend all of the parent meetings, your child will understand that you are learning about everything that is going on at school.
If your child has special learning needs, you can set up a separate meeting with the teacher to discuss the issue with him or her.
Remember that throughout the school year you can contact not only your child’s teacher, but also the school administration.
2. Visit the school in person and go to the school’s website
Knowing how the school is set up, where your child’s classroom, cafeteria, gym, etc. are located will help you better understand your child’s stories about how their day went. It will be helpful to know where the principal’s office, nursery, gymnasium, playground and other areas your child goes to during the day are located.
On the school website you can find out information such as:
The school’s timetable;
The phone number of the school;
Information on upcoming events (such as field trips), etc.
Some teachers have their own websites where you can find useful information and additional materials that the child can use to prepare.
3. Help your child with homework
Homework in junior high school is one of the main difficulties children face. However, they help your child develop responsibility and discipline. These skills will be useful to him or her in the future. You can help your child with his homework by creating a learning environment. Any well-lit, comfortable and quiet work space that has all the supplies he needs to study will do. When the child is studying, he should not be distracted by anything: for example, no TV should be running in the room. You should also set a time for the child to do his homework and not be distracted by anything.
When setting time for your child to do homework, follow the rule: Allocate 10 minutes for each class at school. For example, if your child is in fourth grade, allocate 40 minutes for homework. If your child needs much more than that, talk to the teacher.
While your child is learning, be prepared to explain assignments, give suggestions, answer questions, and check assignments. But by no means be tempted to do the assignments for your child. Learning from your mistakes is part of the learning process. Don’t deprive your child of it.
4. Prepare your child for school.
A nutritious breakfast will give your child some energy before the school day. Children who eat breakfast before they leave home are better able to concentrate on their studies and are less likely to complain about feeling unwell.
A schoolchild’s breakfast should consist of foods rich in fiber and protein. The sugar level in them should be low. If your child does not have time to eat breakfast, give him or her some fruit, nuts, yogurt, or a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Many schools provide meals in the morning.
Children also need enough sleep to stay focused throughout the school day. Most children need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can be for a variety of reasons: study, sports, extracurricular activities, computer games, etc. Lack of sleep can cause irritability or hyperactivity, as well as dissipate children’s attention. It is very important that children go to bed on time before the school day.
In the evening, the child should have enough time to relax before going to bed. During this time, the child should not watch TV or sit at the computer.
5. Keep your child organized
When children are organized, they can concentrate on learning and not be distracted by other things.
What does basic organization mean for a child? When it comes to homework, your child should have a notebook, a textbook, and the necessary school supplies on hand.
Check your child’s diary each night to see what they have homework for. Check the homework when the child does it. Teach your child to keep his work area tidy so he can quickly find the supplies he needs. It will also be helpful to teach your child how to make a to-do list so that he can properly allocate his time and prioritize.
6. Teach your child to learn
Doing assignments for which your child receives grades can be intimidating. Teachers assume that parents will help their child in the early years of school. If you teach your child to learn, it will form a useful habit for years to come.
In elementary school, children write tests in math and other subjects. Find out the test dates in advance, so you can help your child prepare ahead of time, not the day before the test itself. Remind your child to do all of the homework he is assigned at school.
Teach your child to break up large tasks into smaller ones so he doesn’t get overwhelmed. You can also teach him to memorize new information. Remember that your child should take a break after every 45 minutes of study, so he can efficiently remember and process information.
If studying and preparing for tests causes your child a lot of stress, discuss it with the teacher or school psychologist.
7. Learn the school rules
Some schools have certain rules that include dress code, behavior rules, use of electronic devices at school, etc. It is important for your child to know what kind of behavior is expected of him at school and what to expect if he breaks the rules. Younger pupils get used to the school rules most easily if the same rules are followed at home. This way a child sees school as a safe place, just like home.
8. Be involved in school life
No matter what grade a child is in, parents should be involved in their child’s school life. For example, parents can attend or participate in school events in which their children are participating. But talk to your child before you do so. If your child is embarrassed by your presence or participation in an activity, don’t attend openly. Let your child know that you’re not going to spy on your child – you just want to help him or her and the school.
Here are some ways parents can get involved in school life:
Accompanying children on school trips;
Participate in school holidays;
Attend parent/teacher conferences;
Participate in the class PTA;
Attend school concerts, plays, etc.
Even if you devote minimal time to such activities, the child will enjoy it very much.
9. Take your child’s attendance seriously
The child should stay home if he is sick (e.g., if he is showing symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea). If the child is apathetic or complains of feeling unwell or lacking appetite, it may be best to stay home for a day, too. In other cases, the child should go to school every day. If a child misses school, having to make up for lost time can be very stressful.
If a child has to miss school due to illness, be sure to ask the teacher what topics they are taking in class and what homework is assigned.
Sometimes children don’t want to go to school because they don’t do well in a subject, or because they have problems with their classmates or even the teachers. This can give the child real symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches. If you suspect that your child doesn’t want to go to school because of such problems, talk to your child and possibly the teacher. This will give you a better understanding of what is causing your child’s anxiety. A school psychologist can also help.
Make sure your child goes to bed on time. If he goes to bed late, he will feel tired in the morning during the day. Your child should also stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
10. Talk to your child about school
Younger students are usually eager to talk about what’s going on in their classroom. You probably know what books your child is reading and what topics he’s taking in math. But sometimes parents are so busy that they forget to ask their child about his or her progress in school. Take the time to talk to your child. He needs to know that his school life is important to you. When children know their parents are interested in their schoolwork, they will take their lessons more seriously.
Communication is a two-way process. How you communicate with and listen to your child affects how he or she responds to what you say. When your child tells you about his or her day at school, listen carefully, maintain visual contact, and don’t be distracted by anything. Be sure to ask your child follow-up questions.
You can talk to your child at family dinners, during car rides (no eye contact needed), on walks, or when you are in line at the store.
The first years of school are an important time for parents. They support their child as they take their first steps in their school life. The parents’ help lays the foundation for the child’s development at this age.