Supporting students

Joan Reid, Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences, Granville County
Aug. 24, 2013 @ 10:39 PM


Students and teachers have headed back to school. Children of all grade levels need support and structure to be successful in school. While some students are fairly independent in completing their work, others need more assistance and support. It’s important to know how much support and what kind your child needs. Set some routines and rules at the beginning of the school year and maintain them throughout

What do children need to be successful in school? They need support not only from parents/guardians, but also from grandparents and other relatives, neighbors and the community-at-large. Let’s take a look at some contributors:

1.Speak positively in front of children about the value of education and the school/teachers. If there is a concern, discuss it with the appropriate school staff.

2.Know the rules and expectations of the school and each classroom.

3.Keep a calendar with important school dates.

4.Meet with your child’s teachers at an open house or by appointment. Make sure the teachers have your contact information. Call or email when you have a concern and ask for helpful suggestions. Maintain positive communication.

5.Help your child meet deadlines by helping them get organized. Figure out what works for each student in your family.

6.Establish a regular time and a quiet place where homework can be done. It should be free from distractions and close enough for parents to assist, as needed. Check homework for completion.

7.Read, read, read! It will help students in all of their subjects. Start when babies will sit still long enough to look at picture books. Read to preschool children at least 20 minutes a day. You might read a story to toddlers and elementary-aged children before bedtime. Have older children read to you.

8.Talk with your children daily about their school activities, homework, reports/projects, due dates, etc. Ask if they need support.

9.Expect your child to do well in school.

10.Limit non-school-related ‘screen time’. Encourage children to play outside daily and read instead of being glued to a computer/TV screen or other devices.

11.Feed children nutritious food. They can’t learn on an empty stomach or on the wrong fuel any better than your car can run on empty or on water instead of gasoline. Low-income families can take advantage of the breakfast and free- and reduced-lunch programs.

12.Eat dinner as a family more often — students do better in school and are healthier. Restrict dinnertime discussion to pleasant topics.

For more suggestions on supporting students, check out the U.S. Department of Education’s Countdown to School Success site: