4 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Back to school means a fresh start and the perfect opportunity for new ‘school year’ resolutions - not just for your child, but for you as a parent.

The education experts at The Learning Partnership know just how important it is for parents to actively participate in their child’s education. Numerous research studies involving K-12 students found that parental involvement is consistently associated with higher student achievement outcomes across grades, standardized test scores, and overall educational outcomes.1

Here are four ways parents can help their children succeed in school.

 
  1. Help your child get organized.
    • Repetition and structure help children feel safe. It also teaches them responsibility and independence. Identify a routine that works best for your family – and stick to it.
    • Think about different sections of the day (e.g. morning, after-school, bedtime) and establish a routine within those timeframes with consistent start/end times (e.g. waking up and going to bed at the same time every day).
    • Have a family calendar in the kitchen. Write down important school events such as parents’ night, report cards time, extra-curricular activities, etc.
    • Provide a quiet space at home where your child can study without distractions.
    • Help your child make lists and charts for reminders. Give him a checkmark or star when each job is finished.

  2. Get in the know.
    • Stay in contact with your child's teachers to monitor progress throughout the year.
    • Follow your child’s school timetable; know when tests are coming up or projects due date.
    • Understand how your child’s school communicates regularly with parents. Is it a monthly newsletter? Does the school rely on hard-copy communications or email and website/social media updates? Make sure you sign up or follow accordingly.
    • Attend school meetings and special events to get engage with other educators and parents.
    • Be specific when you ask about their day at school. Instead of “How was your day,” ask questions like “How did your test go? What was the best/worst part of today?”

  3. Partner with your child's school
    • Volunteer. If you can't be in school during the day, offer to make class phone calls for the teacher, help make costumes for the school play or make nutritious snacks for a class outing.
    • Try to attend sports games, concerts, plays, or other activities at school.
    • Get to know your child's teachers and help them to get to know your child. Remember to thank them and to show your appreciation throughout the year.

  4. Support your child.
    • Display school work on the refrigerator or family bulletin board. Let your child know you’re proud of him.
    • Read to your young children and encourage older kids to read every day.
    • Discuss current events, politics, and topics she may be studying at school.
    • Have high expectations. Tell him again and again he can do well and be successful in school.
 
Top Tips for building effective relationships with your child’s teacher
(From The Learning Partnership's program staff of retired teachers and principals)
  • Advise the teacher about anything special/different happening at home (birth of new sibling, death of grandparent, serious illness of student or family member) that may impact the student’s ability to concentrate or focus on the learning.
  • Don’t just get in touch with teachers only when there is a problem. Try sending positive feedback in written form 3 to 4 times a year (e.g. thanking him/her for an interesting lesson that your child commented on, or a special trip planned for the class). Positive notes are treasured by teachers – they don’t need expensive gifts.
  • If you’re concerned about something in the classroom, give the teacher the courtesy of discussing it with him/her first before going to the principal or superintendent.
  • Don’t disengage when your child starts high school. Be proactive - go to school open houses, get a school calendar and know when events are happening. Find out about volunteer opportunities such as coaching, mentoring, and chaperoning. Be involved in a way that keeps you informed and still allows your student their independence.


​These tips are provided by education experts at The Learning Partnership – a national, charitable organization dedicated to advancing publicly funded education, in part, through through innovative curriculum-based student programs.

1Jeynes, W. (2005). “Parental Involvement and Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis”. Harvard Family Research Project

For additional information, contact:

Bernadette Celis-Clarke
(416) 440-5124

Experts available for interviews:
Gerry Connelly
Special Advisor, Education Policy


 
The former Director of Education of the Toronto District School Board and Director of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch in the Ontario Ministry of Education, Gerry Connelly is an expert on education trends and practices. Her career includes teaching and administration in both rural and urban environments in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, the United States and Ontario.
 

Jan Courtin
Director, National Programs

Jan Courtin holds a M.Ed., a B.A., and a Supervisory Officer’s Certificate. Fully committed to public education, Jan’s long-standing educational career is founded within Ontario’s Peel District School Board (PDSB) through a number of senior leadership roles including Superintendent of Education, 21st Century Committee Co-Chair and secondary school Principal. She is an advocate for community engagement and mental health education, and has strong experience in shaping rich professional development for teachers that reflect 21st Century teaching and learning and enhanced global awareness.