How Do I Help My Child Improve His/Her Grades
There are numerous ways to help your child improve his or her grades at any grade level. Below are five (5) steps to utilize to help support any parent. The suggestions are very relevant to parents of Middle and High School students but it’s very important information for elementary parents to keep in mind as the years move quickly and we all want to make sure we are giving our students to greatest advantage to be successful.
Most children have a hard time getting organized when it comes to completing assignments in class or finishing them at home for homework. Sometimes the messages between teachers and students get skewed especially if your student misses any part of the instruction for a variety of reasons. Set up routines in your home about when homework is done and how/when your child checks in with you about their homework. As a parent you must maintain consistency. If you are a commuting parent or a stay at home parent, set a time when it must be checked or left out for you to see in the evening.
2.Communicate With Teachers
Set a time to communicate with teachers, either through email or utilizing the tools the school may provide (i.e. an agenda or school planner). Communication with the teacher is key as it sets the tone with your child’s teacher in reference to how involved you are with their education. I’ve found that many elementary school teachers have weekly or biweekly newsletters that come home to parents in binders or through email. However, in middle and high school it becomes more incumbent upon the parent to keep up with the communication (especially public schools). At the very least a bi-weekly communication should take place and you should calendar it as a regular appointment. Don’t look at it as hovering because the goal is to improve your child’s grades and every teacher will understand that. You will often receive updates on homework or upcoming tests or any issues that might have arisen in class that have not been communicated yet.
Technology is a useful tool to keep you organized and communicate with teachers. Most school districts today have very useful School Information Systems (SIS) that help parents keep track of grades and assignments, but you may also be able to contact the school as well. If you don’t know what your child’s school information system is, please call the school office. The office manager or school secretary can direct you to the correct person or fill you in on a variety of other methods to stay updated.
Most districts have a main website, school app, blog, twitter, facebook page and/or instagram feed that allows parents to view and stay updated with all school information and how that might impact your child’s grade. Most school websites give you the option to email teachers from the school’s website pages or at least collect the email addresses. Utilize any homework, study or math apps/websites that the school may recommend to support your child’s learning. Make sure you have the correct access and information to support your child. Ignorance is not an excuse for failure.
4.Check The Work Being Turned In
Even if you have been out of school over thirty years Elementary, Middle and High School have not changed much at all. The process of getting things done may be a little different but the systems are pretty much the same (i.e. if your child doesn’t do or turn in any work he/she will fail). Start by checking your child’s work and determining if its visually appealing. Can you read it? If you were the teacher, could you understand and grade it? If you weren’t that great in Math, Science or any other subject, don’t tell your child that (it only sets them up to think they won’t be any good either). Simply tell them that you can figure it out together by reading through the instructions and completing the assignment to the best of both of your abilities. If the directions were completely unclear or very confusing, as a parent use those communication skills to email the teacher and ask for more specifics on the assignment, as well as possibly more time to complete. You’ll get one of two answers (yes/no).
Don’t be uninformed or too tired to pick up a phone or send an email. Education is key and the more you know the more your child knows. Simply sending them to school and letting the school raise them is not an option if you want a child who can support themselves and make honest straightforward decisions about their future.
Every person you need to contact to find out how to support your child’s education and improve their grades exist in the schools educational framework. Start with the teacher (he/she has the daily direct contact with your child), move on to the counselor (if you need more support), the Vice Principal or Assistant Principal (utilize only if you feel drastic measures need to be taken or you feel you are getting the runaround). The Principal is the last line at any school. If you feel your questions aren’t being answered, visit your school district’s main office or webpage and look for the organizational chart that will outline each level above the School Site Principal and seek support accordingly.