100 Ways to Support Your Child’s Education

2014 May 12
by Michelle

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studying1 100 Ways to Support Your Child’s EducationAll parents want their children to succeed, but when it comes to actually knowing what to do to make that happen parents can find themselves at a loss. These 100 blogs take an in-depth look at what parents can do to aid in their child’s educational success.

Start the Day with a Healthy Breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and with good reason. A study by Tufts University determined that eating breakfast was an integral part to a student’s success, and those students who ate a healthy breakfast of oatmeal scored even higher than those who consumed a sweet, sugary breakfast. This is because the oatmeal contained a healthy mix of protein, whole grains and fiber. For several healthy breakfast options, check out these 10 blogs.

  • Low-fat strawberry muffins: These muffins from Health contain 3g of protein and 94 milligrams of calcium.
  • Egg in a Nest: This breakfast from Spoonful gives you a healthy dose of protein from the egg that will leave your child satiated and satisfied. Add some fruit and you have the perfect breakfast!
  • Whole Grain Toast and Peanut Butter: Kidspot explains that kids need to eat in the morning to feed their brains, and healthy fats and whole grains will help propel them through their day.
  • Breakfast Quinoa: According to Carmel Potatoes, quinoa has more protein than any other grain or seed and contains calcium, making it a healthy breakfast option.
  • Frozen Fruit Smoothies: The Rookie Cook shares a smoothie recipe containing fruit that you can easily add flax and protein powder to.
  • Breakfast Pizza: Fox News shares a breakfast pizza recipe that uses half of a whole wheat bagel, olive oil, tomatoes and cheese.
  • Breakfast Frittata: You’ll find a healthy, hearty frittata recipe packed with eggs, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes on Epicurious.
  • Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Nuts: Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt, and topping it with fruit and nuts will give your kids a dose of healthy fats and produce as well. Kids Health believes that breakfast should have protein, dairy, fruit and fiber, and this breakfast satisfies all of those requirements!
  • Granola Wedges: Eating Well shares this flexible breakfast recipe that can be made with whatever dried fruit, nuts and seeds you have on hand for a breakfast that packs a nutritional punch and can be eaten on the go.
  • Banana Dogs: Looking for a fun breakfast alternative? Try the banana dogs from Eat Right! Just spread peanut butter on a whole wheat hot dog bun and top with a banana for a breakfast dog full of fruit, protein, potassium, whole grains and healthy fats.

Get Involved at the School

From volunteering in the front office to helping out in the classroom, there are many ways you can get involved at your child’s school. Use these 10 posts to come up with different ways to help out.

  • Speak to the class about your job or hobby: Parenting says you can help support your child’s education by talking to his class about your job or hobby.
  • Chaperone a field trip: Colorin Colorado explains that kids whose parents volunteer behave better in school and do better in their studies.
  • Read to the class: This article from Oprah stresses the importance of parent involvement in the classroom.
  • Help in the classroom: As class sizes grow teachers are spread thinner and thinner. Sun Sentinel points out that this is a great time for parents to lend a helping hand.
  • Volunteer to help a group of students with their studies every week: By volunteering a few hours a week you can really make a difference, explains Healthy Children.
  • Offer help in the school library: According to American Association of School Librarians, schools with strong libraries have more success than those without them.
  • Help out with the occasional school project: Doing so will show your kids that you think school is important, advises PBS.
  • Get dad involved: School Family examines a study that showed that kids enjoyed school more and were less likely to drop out when dad volunteered.
  • Be a room parent: The time required for this position may vary by school, but kids whose parents are involved score higher on tests and are more likely to do their homework, according to Baby Center.
  • Help in the lunch room: Dominican University reports that kids do 30% better when their parents are involved with the school.

Working Mom Tips

Volunteering during the day isn’t the only way that parents can help out. For all those working moms out there, there are things you can do too. Read these 10 articles for ways that working moms can help out at school.

  • Volunteer at one-time special events: Oregon Live explains that kids still benefit from your involvement when you help out occasionally.
  • Volunteer during your lunch hour: Great Schools offers ideas working parents can use to help out and improve their child’s education.
  • Help with homework: After School Alliance explains that parents who help students with their homework can greatly influence their child’s education.
  • Check with your employer to see if you can get paid to volunteer at your child’s school: According to Edutopia, some employers will let you volunteer a couple hours a week during working hours.
  • Come to a planning night: Education World suggests checking to see if your school offers a nighttime meeting where you can help plan projects.
  • Help sew costumes for the school play: Leap Frog proposes taking on projects you can do at home to help out the school.
  • Join the PTA: The PTA usually meets at night and has events that are in the evening or on the weekends, making it a good option for working parents, says The School District of Philadelphia.
  • Take an interest in the daily aspects of school: PTO Today explains that kids whose parents take an interest in their schooling do significantly better than those who don’t.
  • Cut out things at home during your time off: According to the California Teachers’ Association, parental involvement helps all of the children.
  • Offer to work the concession stand during a sporting event. The Examiner recommends getting involved wherever you can to show your child you value their education.

Homework Organization

Homework is a vital part of your child’s learning that allows him to practice the lessons he’s learned in class. While you don’t want to complete your child’s homework for him, you can offer to help. Check out these 10 tips for providing homework help.

  • Provide an environment that supports learning: Education explores a 1994 study that shows the best predictor for a student’s success is a supportive learning environment.
  • Set aside a specific time each day for homework: Routine is important to students, advises Organized Classroom, and will help them earn higher grades.
  • Advise your child to start with the most challenging homework first: Working Moms points out that by working on the hardest thing first he’ll be more alert.
  • Make a homework caddy: If your child doesn’t have a designated homework station, create a homework caddy filled with necessary homework supplies that you can bring to wherever he is working, says Bowl Full of Lemons.
  • Make organization habitual: Psychology Today stresses the importance of staying organized.
  • Use color coded notebooks and folders to stay organized: Keller ISD suggests various organizational tips for staying on top of homework in middle school.
  • Touch base with your child regularly on homework: Smead advises parents to check both the homework that comes home and the homework that goes back to school.
  • Encourage your child to add outside activities to his school planner: LD Online says that when kids know they have a busy week ahead it can encourage them to do homework sooner rather than later.
  • Decide where completed homework will go: Ezine Articles reviews several organizational ideas to help kids keep track of their homework.
  • Create a homework station: Better Homes and Gardens shares several different ideas for creating the perfect homework station for your child.

Parent/Teacher Follow Up

Keeping an open line of communication with your child’s teacher is paramount to his success. Take a look at these 10 tips for maintaining an open line of communication and regularly following up with the teacher.

  • Follow up to see if your child is struggling with anything: More 4 Kids explains the importance of parents following up with teachers regarding low scores and school struggles.
  • Ask the teacher what you can do at home to help your child: According to Reading Rockets, positive communication between home and school helps kids do better in school.
  • Work in the office at the school: Urbanext suggests volunteering at the school to keep the lines of communication open between you and the teacher.
  • Attend conferences at school: Live Strong advises meeting your child’s teacher to discuss the triumphs and challenges your child is experiencing.
  • Work to close the gap between parent and teacher expectations: The Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative recommends that parents and teachers work together to understand each other.
  • Use all avenues available to communicate with the teacher: New York Schools discusses the many avenues available for parent-teacher communication.
  • Utilize e-mail to voice your concerns to the teacher: Communication Currents explores the benefits of using email as a way of keeping the lines of communication open.
  • Understand the curriculum: Teaching Today explains that parents can take a more active role in their child’s education by understanding the curriculum.
  • Set up regular conversations with your child’s teacher: Science Daily goes over the numerous ways to get messages back and forth between parents and teachers.
  • Make a plan with the teacher on how to help your child be successful: Parents and teachers both want students to succeed, so work with the teacher to make a plan says Mind/Shift.

Talk to Your Kids

Younger kids will often talk non-stop about what happened at school, but as the kids get older they don’t share as readily. As a parent, you will want to keep those lines of communication open so that you know where your child is struggling. These 10 blogs offer ways you can support your child in school and in life.

  • Talk to your kids, but don’t make their decisions for them: Clearinghouse points out that today’s students experience higher levels of anxiety because they are coddled and fear disappointing their parents.
  • Make yourself available to your child when he wants to talk: American Psychological Association recommends paying attention to when your child is most talkative and capitalizing on those times to communicate openly.
  • Be mindful of comments you make to your child: Kids remember more than you think and your comments can change how they live their life, says Wake Forest University.
  • Give your child your full attention when he wants to talk: The Child Development Institute advises shutting off the TV and putting down the paper to truly listen to what your child is saying.
  • Explain why it’s important to get an education: As your teen gets older there may come a time when he feels like he wants to quit. It’s important that you discuss the problems with that line of thinking, says School Family.
  • How you talk and teach your child can help them do better in school: Time Ideas examines different ways you can help your child in school.
  • Talk to your child to improve his verbal and vocabulary skills: Wiki How gives examples of ways you can communicate with your child to encourage learning.
  • Math is part of everyday life, so talk about it when it comes up: According to Minedu, kids will learn math just by talking about daily uses of math with you.
  • Start talking to your kids early: TWRC Tank says that kids who were talked to a lot before starting schools had larger vocabularies and learned faster than those who weren’t.
  • Praise a child’s efforts instead of his smarts: New York News looks at a study where some kids were praised for being ‘smart’ while others were praised for working hard. The kids who worked hard tested better.

Establish Routines

Routines are important for both kids and adults. They help kids know what to expect and decrease anxiety. For more benefits to establishing routines, read these 10 blogs.

  • Routines allow students to know what is expected of them: Best of Bilash explains that routines allow less room for disruption.
  • Repetition is key to establishing routines: Learning the routine and being recognized for knowing it gives your child a sense of pride, according to Northwest Regional Education Service District.
  • Routines reduce the amount of misbehavior in the classroom: Hub Pages points out that children who follow a routine are less likely to distract other kids and get into trouble.
  • Routines can develop a strong work ethic that will help in school: Getting into a routine of doing homework right after school helps your child learn to prioritize his work, explains Stay at Home Dads.
  • Utilize routines as opportunities for learning: Established routines help kids have a sense of confidence, according to Zero to Three, and can also provide times where kids are open to learning.
  • Show your child how to use routines to learn new skills: The U.S. Department of Education explains that you can make a trip to the store a chance to work on figuring out percentages for math.
  • Routines can create calmness for your child: Routines are something kids can count on, which reduces stress, says Enroll.
  • Set up a homework routine for your child based on his preferences: Maryland Learning Links believes that kids will learn better if they have a consistent routine.
  • Make sure homework routines include brain breaks: Families Online recommends that kids have time after school for a little exercise and a snack before starting homework.
  • Set up a solid routine for bedtime: University of Michigan Health Systems reiterates that getting enough sleep is important for a child to do his best in school.

Make School a Priority

While it’s important for your child to be involved in extracurricular activities, having too many things on his plate can have negative effects, so it’s important to make school a priority. These 10 ways of making school a priority may surprise you with their simplicity.

  • Stop relying just on the teacher to teach: Good and Bad Parents explains that parents need to let their kids know that education is important by helping them at home.
  • Teach your child how to budget time: Kids need to rationally decide between doing their homework and playing a game and be able to see the ramifications of both decisions, says It’s My Life.
  • Get your child to school every day: Go Local Worcester talks about different things parents can do to impact their kids’ education.
  • Let your child know that you value education: Buffalo News explains that parents that make education a priority end up having kids that do better in school.
  • Educate yourself to understand what YOUR educational priorities are for your child’s school: Friedman Foundation gives the example that high test scores weren’t a priority when picking a school for their child.
  • When parents make school a priority, lawmakers have to take notice: Lawmakers across the country are cutting school funding to balance the budget, and Bells Independent School District says tax payers need to make them understand that schools are a priority.
  • Changing high schools to make them more relevant to today is a priority: Capital Alert explains the importance of high school classes changing to fit the times.
  • Prioritize the health of kids: Fit kids do better in school, according to James Sallis, professor of preventive medicine at the University of California. Making exercise a priority is a step in the right direction, says Planetizen.
  • Science and technology need to be a priority for schools: According to New York Daily News, by the year 2020 the U.S. will need 123 million people to work in tough science and math jobs.
  • Education should take priority over other activities: Dr. Phil recommends having a strong education in place.

Hire a Tutor

If your child is struggling in school, a tutor may be the missing link. These 10 posts will help you determine if your child needs a tutor, if a tutor is worth the expense and how to find the right tutor.

  • Determine if a tutor is necessary: K12 Reader explains the importance of finding out if your child wants help and if he would benefit from one-on-one tutoring.
  • Decide if hiring a tutor is worth the expense: If your child is struggling with keeping up or is bored and in need of higher level work, it might be a good idea to hire a tutor, says Daily Finance.
  • Make sure you meet and interview the tutor: National Tutoring Association points out that hiring a tutor is like hiring anyone else – you need to make sure you click.
  • Talk to the teacher to see if hiring a tutor would be helpful: Homework Help Today says that hiring a tutor can be helpful, but the teacher needs to be involved in the decision.
  • Find a tutor that has the same goals as you: Working with Insight shares some ways to interview a potential tutor to find out if you have the same goals or not.
  • Make sure that you have appropriate expectations about hiring a tutor: Kitsjay gives five basic reasons people hire a tutor that are not productive and one reason that is.
  • Figure out if you and your child are already doing everything you can to achieve success in school: There may be other reasons that your child is struggling in a certain subject, points out Raleigh Math Camp, and if you can fix those things you may not need a tutor.
  • Make sure that the tutor you hire is qualified to teach the subject matter: This is important because sometimes a tutor’s experience with a subject is out of date, explains All Women Talk.
  • Hiring a tutor may be helpful if you find yourself losing patience with your child: Affluent Student recommends hiring a tutor if you don’t excel at teaching without losing your temper.
  • Your child’s confidence will build once they start understanding: Carlsbad Patch says that an important reason to hire a tutor is to get your child’s confidence up so he doesn’t lose hope.

Goal Setting

Teaching your child how to set achievable goals and learning how to break those goals down into steps may be one of the most important lessons you can teach, and is a skill that translates into all aspects of life. Help your child set goals for school with the tips found in these 10 sites.

  • Goal setting can improve school performance: Enter to Learn suggests setting goals as a way to improve your child’s performance in school.
  • Setting goals on paper can bring a visual aspect to achieving higher results: Lulu Lemon has a downloadable worksheet that you can use to help your child set goals that are broken down into doable steps.
  • Help your child put down clear and measurable goals: Lofty goals are fine, but goals also need to be achievable, recommends Education World.
  • Getting your child to set goals will give him the tools to succeed: Educational Aspirations explains how to set goals and how goals can lead to success.
  • The new school year is a new beginning and the perfect time to help your child set goals: Kidspot gives tips on working with your child to learn what areas he wants to improve on.
  • Limit the number of goals that you set: Too many goals can become confusing and overwhelming for a child, advises Utah Parent Center, so it’s best to narrow the goals to only a few.
  • Identify small steps to reach achievable goals: Sometimes kids will put down lofty goals without having any real way to achieve them. The Wall Street Journal explains that setting smaller goals can still net the same end goal, but with fewer struggles.
  • Reward achievement of short term goals: Australia’s National Research Center shows the steps for creating and achieving goals and the role that rewards play in goal setting.
  • Create a goal chart for younger kids: Simple Kids shares some examples of how to create a visual for goals for younger kids.
  • Set goals about developing skills: Squidoo explains that kids can work towards being more diligent, patient and dedicated when they set goals and have help from their parents.
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