As your child prepares to return to school this fall, we might be able to offer some advice. Before your child cracks open a book, you’ll have to create a proper learning environment. And once school starts, you’ll have to continue your interest in their education. With that in mind, here are 10 ways to get your child’s school year off to a good start:

1 Establish a daily routine.

Wake your child up at the same time every day and eat breakfast together. Allocate specific time for playing with friends or video games, and stick religiously to that schedule. Enforce the same bedtime. While they may not admit it, kids crave structure, and these rules will help you to enforce other rules at home.

2 Ask your child to develop a back-to-school shopping list.

Specifically, make a list of the subjects your child is studying, as well as the school supplies that will be needed for each class. This is an important early step in helping to establish a sense of responsibility.

3 Set goals with your child.

“All A’s” may not be realistic for all children. Discuss specific goals for grades in each subject, and go beyond grades to ask what your child is hoping to learn in school. Write these down together, and save them in a special place.

4 Get to know your child’s friends and their parents.

Organize a gathering, such as a potluck, with them. knowing who our children are spending time with is critical to their success.

5 Find another adult to help.

Identify someone who your child trusts to encourage him or her to learn—receiving additional encouragement from a coach or a church leader may help your child’s focus.

6 Quiz your kid.

Ask what your child is learning in school. You do not have to know anything about Social Studies or Maths to help your child with her/His Social Studies homework; ask what the Social Studies class is learning this week, and allow your child to teach you something about the material.

7 Monitor your child’s first week at school closely.

I believe the most important part of the school year is at the very beginning. Ask your child about teachers and classmates, and listen for signs of concerns. A teacher your child complains about is a teacher you need to get to know. It will be better to call the class teacher of your child to personally touch base about his/her progress during the first week.

8 Plan to attend parent-teacher conferences.

Prepare ahead of time with your employer if you need time off, but make this a priority. School teachers report often that the parents who don’t show up for the parent-teacher conferences are those whose children are struggling.

9 Check in on progress.

Make time with your child to talk about his or her progress toward the goals you set in #3. Put these goals on a calendar and review them at least once a month. Adjust the goals if necessary, but whatever you do, don’t forget to check in regularly

10 Reward your child’s success.

Build on success, rather than dwelling on failure.

Partnering with your child’s learning is a formula for success!

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