Your attitude about school is so important. You have got to be your child’s biggest promoter of graduating from high school and completing that MAJOR first step. To do that, you’ve got to get more involved!
Look what happens when you are involved in your child’s education:
They get better grades and test scores
Their behavior and attendance improves.
They are more likely to graduate from high school.
They are more likely to go to college and grow up to be more successful.
Parents, you are the key that unlocks your child’s future. Regardless of your education or income, you can help your child succeed. What matters more than anything is how much you are involved with their education and how much support you give to them. Especially during those rough times. Here are some ways you can help your child get on track to graduate from high school.
Make time to talk to your child. What should you talk about?
Talk about your personal dreams for them and how much you believe in them. Praise them for accomplishments and more importantly their efforts (no matter how small).
Talk about their personal dreams and how hard work will help them fulfill their dreams.
Talk about school work and extracurricular activities. Set realistic standards and goals for their schoolwork (Don’t forget to praise them).
Talk about values and making good decisions about friends, sex, crime, drugs and alcohol. Yes, it’s hard….but it may save their life.
After you talk, most importantly…Listen to them. Let them express their concerns about school, friends, life and you as well.
Reinforce the importance of reading. Reading is the key to success in school and in life. Children who have things to read at home learn to read better and understand more of what they read.
Monitor Activities. Keeping an eye on what your kids do after school can help reduce adolescent sexual activity, drinking, and drug use. How can you do that?
Get to know their friends and who they hang out with.
Know their plans and routines for outside activities. Go and support them in those activities whenever possible (Games, recitals, concerts, etc.)
Keep them involved in family activities. (Vacations, visits to relatives, etc.)
For additional help with keeping your child on track to graduate from high school, please see http://www.operationgraduation.com/parents.asp.
There is a place for everyone to attend college in Georgia, your child included.
It’s never too early to talk about college with your children. They need to know at an early age that college is in their future. (Some people say college expectations begin in kindergarten.) The question should not be if your child will graduate high school, but where they will go to college. – Neil Shorthouse, President & Founder, Communities in Schools.
Make sure your children and their teachers know your child is college material.
You already know it! You are your child’s greatest advocate and role model. Encourage your children to GO forward in school and GO forward in life.
“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.” – Hodding Carter
Parental love and guidance are the most important influences in a child’s life.
Parents create the best environment for learning by promoting education as a goal and setting a good example at home.
Emphasize that grades are important. Education is crucial.
Parents can teach their children that success in college means a world of opportunities.
It’s never too early to start planning!
Here are some tips from the experts to start or continue a college legacy in your own family…
“In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” – Ann Landers
Even when my child is little? Yes!
Read to your child. You and other family members should read to your children as much as possible in the language that is most comfortable for you. Reading at bedtime is a great routine to establish.
The best gifts you can give your children are a library card and frequent trips to the library! A librarian can recommend books that are appropriate for each child’s age.
Reward your child for reading. Buy him or her a book you loved as a child and read it together.
Describe things in picture books to small children, and encourage them to read to you as they get older.
Talk, talk, talk. As you go about your day, talk to your children about what you are doing and what is going on in the world around them. Try to use different words to describe the same things so your children’s vocabulary grows. Hearing more words by age 3 will significantly increase a child’s vocabulary, leading to a much better foundation for success in school. Limit “baby talk.” As children get older, ask them open-ended questions.
Repeat things often. Your children will learn familiar patterns and phrases.
If you’re bilingual, talk in two languages. Children can learn two or more languages at the same time. Being bilingual can open many doors for your child in the future.
Tell them stories. This can soothe children and they’ll learn while listening to you.
Count things. Counting is the basis of math. Count while you do everyday activities such as grocery shopping, driving or reading.
Sing to your child. Children love to hear songs over and over, and they learn while listening.
Let your child scribble. Keep crayons, pencils and paper nearby, and encourage your children to use them.
Play with your child. You don’t have to spend lots of money. Your house is full of things that can be used as toys (i.e., wooden spoons, pots and pans, cardboard boxes, checkers and similar items).
Children need healthy minds and bodies to grow and learn. Children learn better when they are healthy and well rested. Make sure your children are getting enough sleep, the right shots, dental check-ups, hearing and eye tests, and a healthy diet.
“Upon our children – how they are taught – rests the fate – or fortune – of tomorrow’s world.” – B.C. Forbes
All through the years:
Believe in your children. Tell them they are bright and capable. Offer, “I’m on your team.”
Let them know you’re committed to helping them achieve their dreams.
Children learn attitudes from their parents. Set expectations for your children. Tell them you expect them to do their personal best in the classroom.
“Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.” – Garrison Keillor
Every school night:
Make your home a friendly classroom. Make studying a priority.
Provide your children with a safe, enriching and stimulating environment in which to learn.
Give children a quiet place to study. Limit the time they spend watching TV and playing video and computer games.
Make TV and computer games a reward for doing homework.
Help your children with their homework. Review the work for completion. Ask your children questions about their homework to make sure they understand the material. Help them, but don’t do the work for them.
Show your children how to make lists, allot time and be organized. Children who are organized typically find it easier to succeed in school. One of the best ways to teach organizational skills is through example. Show your children how to use organizational tools such as assignment pads, calendars, notebooks and binders.
On the weekends:
Visit the library regularly with your children to encourage their reading skills. It’s family fun and it’s free.
Throughout the school year:
Get involved! Get to know your children’s teachers and guidance counselors. Participate in parent-teacher conferences. Ask about your children’s learning and behavior, and ask what you can do at home to help your children excel in school.
If applicable, ask that your children be placed in challenging courses (i.e., honors courses, advanced placement courses, college level courses, etc.). Note: In some cases, these courses can help reduce the cost of college.
Nurture healthy habits within your children. Encourage them to be involved in school and community activities. Colleges want students who get involved and work to make a difference. Note: Volunteering is also a great way to build leadership skills and develop social skills that will play an important role in your child’s future.
Encourage well-balanced extracurricular activities such as sports, music, art, debate, theater, student council, etc.
If possible, go to school functions and volunteer in your children’s classroom activities.
At progress report and report card time:
Support good grades and give positive feedback. Seek explanations when your children’s grades are lower than expected. Seek help from the appropriate teacher or tutor to help your child improve his/her grades.
In addition to reviewing report cards for grades, review your child’s class attendance and student conduct rankings. Be informed about school policies on class participation, attendance and behavior.
As your child gets older:
Be aware of high school graduation requirements and make sure your child takes the courses in middle school and high school that will best prepare him/her for success in college.
Talk to your child’s teacher about his/her scores on standardized tests. What can you do to help your child improve his/her scores?
Visit a college campus together. Many colleges and universities hold open house or community outreach events. Explore these activities with your children. Note: Contact the admissions office prior to arrival to arrange a full tour and attend an informational session.
Explore possible careers with your children. Ask a trusted college graduate to talk with your children about the importance of college and the difference it made in their life.
Save, save, save. Start saving money for your child’s education today. Be a shining example by setting aside a little money regularly to show your children that you are planning for their future. Even pocket change adds up. Have fun together by “feeding” a piggy bank for college.
It is smart to start saving for college as early as possible, even when your children are in elementary school. If possible, create an account for your children’s college funds and contribute to it regularly. Have your child contribute to the account as well (i.e., allowance money, birthday money, etc.) Investigate pre-paid college tuition programs. For more information, visit www.gacollegesavings.com.
Help your child apply to college and apply for financial aid. You can find the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov