Find it Fast
Start with a clean slate. If you’ve had conflict with your child in the past over studying and school work, make a pact that both of you allow those memories to recede quietly into the past. Similarly, meet your child’s new teacher and ask him or her to do the same.
Do a thorough health check. Does your child see the board? Can he make out the letters in his books? Can she hear appropriately. Give your child a complete physical exam and make sure he or she is comfortable in the classroom.
Ask your child about his or her feelings. What does your child feel about his or her grades? Would she like to achieve higher grades in a particular subject? Brainstorm different ways you can help your child attain her goals and do some cooperative planning.
Examine the social aspect of school. Does your child have friends? If he wants to be active in class, does he have a buddy to engage in healthy competition? Try to encourage relationships that are based on achieving in school.
Keep your child organized. So often this is the Achilles heel in most underachieving kids. Whether it is something as simple as a permission slip for a class excursion or a research project, keep paperwork flowing on a timely basis. Make sure there is one notebook used for homework assignments, important phone numbers and teacher communications.
Set up a work space. Kids, like their parents, need a place to do their work and keep their things where they know where to find them. A kitchen table might be a convenient place for a parent to cook a meal while assisting with homework. However, a permanent spot where a child tries to do work independently is the best route.
Follow a routine. Regular times for activities help keep your child feeling as if he or she is in control. Predictable events also promise a feeling of security to children. This can also build good health and study habits.
Practice time management. Large projects should be started the day they are assigned. Try to build in a day or two for writing and projects to “cool off.” In this way errors or things that can be done better emerge clearly and the entire project can be improved. If a large test is coming up, divide the material into smaller, easier to manage segments.
Look at how you do things. Whatever habits you have, your children are bound to have them too. If you are a procrastinator, for example, you might have to work as hard as your child to stop putting off important tasks until the last minute. If you are disorganized, it will be very difficult for you to help your child become organized. Be ready for some of your own personal changes if you are dedicated to helping your child improve his or her grades.
Homework. Make sure the homework is finished. If you see that your child does not understand the assignment, write a note to his or her teacher asking for extra help. This might be a good time to inquire about peer tutoring programs. Also, homework should be done after school before the kids get too tired. The same holds true for weekends.
Spend time with your children. If you have more than one child, plan activities with each child individually.
Utilize school resources. The EMS ISD Counseling and Campus Support Department provides counseling, consultation, coordination, and student appraisal to meet the educational, social, and career development needs of all students.