5 Tips for a Great School Year!

IMG_1739I’ve talked with many parents about concerns for their children having happy school experiences. I’ve found the following ideas have led to positive results for me and my own children, as well as my students.


1. Set High Expectations

Start as young as possible. Teach your children to expect success. Let them know how well they can do in school so that is their expectation. Encourage them to participate in setting goals. What went well last year? What would they like to make better? What will success look like for them? Perhaps it will be making a new friend, or trying out a new activity.


2. Talk and Listen

Have family conversations about learning, where you share things you are learning as well as show interest in what they are learning. Focus on their efforts and what they find fascinating rather than on grades.

Ask specific questions, for example:

                 Who is your favourite teacher?

                 What’s the best part of your school day?

                 Have you gotten to know the new student in your class yet?

                 What’s your least favourite subject?

Talking about a wide range of topics as a family, and asking questions to stimulate thinking give them practise to listen and participate in class.


3. Model, encourage and support helpful work habits

Students need a quiet space for doing homework, with school supplies. Make sure the space is well-lit and comfortable. Watch that a computer for homework doesn’t get taken over for playing games, chatting with friends or surfing the internet for nonschool fun.

Teach your children how to do homework, and plan to get it all completed when due. Then let your child work independently, but be available if they need help.

You may need to teach them how to study effectively or how to prepare for tests. Get them a planner.

If your children struggle with schoolwork, help them yourself, or get additional help from a teacher or professional tutor.


4. Read with your children every day, in any language, even if they can read alone

Reading will allow us to learn about anything all our lives.

As you read together, ask questions about the story, even encouraging predictions of what is going to happen next.

Make sure your home has lots of books and reading material. Make regular trips to the library to borrow books and see others using and enjoying a vast range of reading resources.

Read for pleasure as well as to accomplish your daily work and let them see you enjoying reading.

If your children have difficulties reading, find the resources to help them overcome their challenges.


5. Create a Balanced Routine

Help your children create a balanced routine with time for reading, doing homework, talking together, eating nourishing meals and snacks, getting enough sleep and time for fun, relaxation, physical activity and friends.

Wrap them around with your love, encouragement and belief in them, and together you will make it a great school year!


Posted by Louise Ridout – Founder, EducationWise Inc.