Help Your Child Get the Best Start This School Year!

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Wanting the Best for Your Child

Parents want the best for their kids. It is just something in our genetic make-up. But where education is concerned, and when it is time to go back to school, the best is less about material things and more about giving children the educational strength to achieve as high as their individual talents will let them. Here are some things you can do, as a parent, to help your child be successful when they go back to school this year.

Here Are Some Things You Can Do

1. Get your child back on a school schedule before school starts.

Lots of kids get used to staying up later at night and getting up later in the day. Going back to school, on a regular school schedule, can be brutal for them, and then throwing them into a new classroom really starts them off on a bad foot! The week before school starts, do the unthinkable--get them up at or near the time they will have to get up when school actually begins. They may not like it, but the will start that first week without the grogginess of many of their classmates.

2. Feed them a high-protein breakfast.

Those high sugar cereals that are so popular with kids are hated by teachers every morning around 10 o'clock. The sugar gives the children an initial boost, but it is followed by a crash. The crash leads to sleepiness, a reduced ability to pay attention, and misbehavior. Higher protein breakfast items, such as eggs, ham, and peanut butter, tend to stick longer, helping your child stay full and avoid a sugar crash.

3. Make your expectations clear to your child.

Hold your child, not the teacher, responsible for his or her grades right from the begining. And the day your child starts back to school, make sure he or she knows who is responsible. Regardless of what kids say, teachers do not hand out zeros on homework assignments or low scores on tests because they do not like a student. In general, parents who hold kids responsible see higher grades than those who do not.

4. If your school has online grade tracking, use it!

When report cards go home, teachers are invariably bombarded with phone calls from parents who are shocked at their kids' grades. These parents usually have taken their kids word that school was going "fine" and they were doing "okay" on tests, without checking up on them.

Many parents tend to be frustrated when teachers do not call about low grades; however, teachers do not often have the time available to call parents about every grade, especially in junior high or high school. They expect students to be honest with their parents, and they expect parents to check the kids' grades online if that service is provided.

When your kids start back to school this year, find out how to access those grades, and make a point of checking them on a daily (or at least weekly) basis. A student who knows that mom or dad will see a big, fat "0" for today's homework (and will subsequently take away video game or play time) is much more likely to turn that homework in!

5. Communicate with your child's teacher.

Make sure teachers have your best contact number and that you want them to call if there is a behavior problem. Students who know their parent will be contacted tend to behave better in class. And if there is something disruptive going on at home, such as an illness, divorce, or family emergency, let the teachers know. They may be able to provides some extra assistance and understanding if your child is distracted from classwork.

Give Them the Boost They Need!

Every kid goes through struggles in school--it is just a part of growing up. But getting children off to the right start every school year can help them avoid some of the more common struggles. They may not like it, but they will like the results. Just a little bit of a boost from you, the parent, can go a long way! Help make their "Back to School" experience a positive one.

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