5. Help organize. Another of my favorite tips. Organization is as important as preparation and routines. Organize those homework areas, notebooks, planners, backpacks. Show how you organize for your tasks, projects, jobs. Have a special place at the end of the day for the backpack to be – filled with the next day’s assignments – so it’ll be ready to go in the mad rush of the morning. Insist on it. It’ll save headaches.
6. Encourage a “study buddy.” There’s strength in numbers, so encourage your child to seek out a friend he can study with, someone with similar goals and interests. They should talk, email, or IM each afternoon or evening to make sure they understand homework. Come test time, they can study together and with other study buddies to challenge each other, quiz each other, and keep each other on track.
7. Review each school day. Every day, review the day with your child. Ask him what he’s learning, reading, writing about. How’s he coming on that assignment due next week? What happened today that’s funny? Show him you’re interested and that you’re going to be talking about this every day. Expect conversation, not just one word answers. Be patient. It’ll work eventually.
8. Communicate with teachers. Teachers like to hear from parents. We want to know what your goals are, what your children’s interests, strengths, and needs are. We want your children to succeed as much as you do.
9. Get help early. If you suspect your child is struggling, get help early. The earlier the better. More teachers than get credit for it arrive at school early or stay late to help struggling students. Use an honor society student to help. Get a tutor. The important thing is to act early. Little problems are easier to solve than big ones.
10. Be positive. I know, it’s the same as the first tip. Everything begins and ends with being positive.
If you’ve learned some tips of your own, have some wisdom to share, or want to tell an inspirational story or two, share them with us. We learn together, right?