The magic of school for kids in a new year
The school years begin with the magic of reading and most children love school and learning at the start. These years set the tone for all of their future academic achievement. Crying and whining over unimportant things may become nerve-wracking, but this is also the time when children develop consciences, can appreciate the value of rules, and the joy of achievement.
Ways you can help your child succeed in school
- Praise for effort in schoolwork is very important.
- Contact the teacher early in the year and build a relationship to that you are working to reinforce what is being taught in school.
- Make every effort to remain calm while trying to determine the cause of problem behavior.
- Children at this stage test limits through negative behavior. Such testing helps them to learn appropriate behavior.
- When using “time-out” to correct negative behavior, keep in mind that children perceive time much differently than do adults. Ten or fifteen minutes may seem short to an adult, but for a first grader who is being made to sit in a chair, it can seem endless. Be sure to use time frames that are “child appropriate”.
- If children are interested in after-school activities, encourage and support them. This can be especially important if the child is having difficulty with school. Activities like music lessons, scouts, soccer, library programs, etc. can lead to feelings of self-worth.
Self-care for parents - Find other parents you can talk to on a regular basis. Join a support group or take a parenting class, so you don’t feel like you are the only frustrated parent in the world.
Grades are not everything
Your child may excel in many areas and still not bring home the grades you expect. Here are some tips at report card time:
- Sit down with your child and look over the report card.
- Ask how you can help your child do better.
- Ask your child what she has done well.
- Praise your child. Find at least one good thing: attendance or getting along with others.
- Be calm. Let your child tell you about the grades.
- Ask what your child can do to make better grades.
- Visit with your child’s teacher and your child and make a learning contract together to do better.