Helping Your Child Look Forward to School
Written by: Amanda Formaro
[Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children.
She is the Chief Editor of FamilyCorner.com Magazine.]
"I hate school!"
No parent wants to hear their third daughter yell
out these words on a regular basis. Your first grader conveniently
forgets to bring home his homework every day of the week. Your 10 year
old daughter complains every morning that she is too tired to go to
These are all very real roadblocks that parents just like you encounter
on a daily basis. There are some steps you can take to help your child
look forward to school each day, rather than loathe the mere thought of
Check With The School
Talk to your child's teacher. Are there behavior issues you are not
aware of? Is your child picked on my other students? Does she act out as
class clown? Get involved, set up a meeting with your child's teacher,
the Principal and guidance counselor. Discuss the problems you are
having at home and find out what is happening at school.
Talk to your child. Ask him if he learned anything new today. Ask
about his friends and about the activities on the playground and at
recess. If your child rides the bus, ask where he sits and why. Try to
nonchalantly get the inside scoop.
Volunteer if you are able. Your presence alone can sometimes make a
world of difference to your child. If you are too much of a distraction
by working in the classroom, then ask if there are ways for you to help
in the office or in other areas. Just knowing you are there can make a
Volunteer at home. Yes, you too can do homework and send a positive
message to your child through your volunteer efforts. There are many
projects that need to be done for the school that can be accomplished in
your home. Work on these projects after your child arrives home and do
your "homework" together.
It can be extremely trying when a child refuses to cooperate. Try to
keep a positive attitude. Remember who is the grown up and set a good
Focus on the things your child did right. If her homework is sloppy,
don't criticize the handwriting, instead commend her for completing it.
If her clothes don't match, tell her how proud you are of her for
getting ready for school on time, rather than criticizing her fashion
Listen to yourself. Are you constantly barking out commands and
orders? Do you compliment your child when he is playing nicely with his
siblings? This is such a hard thing to overlook, try to make a point to
compliment your child at least three times a day.
Check with the teacher to see if there is something your child can do
each day that would encourage her to look forward to school. There may
be a specific job that is available that would make your child feel more
important and encourage him to want to go to school. Does his class have
a pet mouse or fish? Maybe he can be in charge of feeding and watering
it each day.
If your child seems to be struggling with her homework and doesn't seem
to "get it", help break it down into simpler terms.
Use visuals to help demonstrate how an equation works. For example, if
she needs to add 3 + 3 + 5, find the designated number of objects and
line them up on the table. Use 3 oranges, 3 apples and 5 cans of soup.
Ask how many items there are on the table. Then ask how many oranges,
how many apples and how many cans of soup.
If it's reading your child is struggling with, help break larger words
down into smaller words. If he is unable to read the word
"boysenberries", place your finger over the letters "senberries" and ask
your child to read "boy". Then cover "boy" and "berries" and so on.
If you feel your child's frustrations may stem from a learning
disability, talk to the school about observation. Most schools have
either an in-house psychologist or one that visits the school regularly.
Ask to have your child observed while in class. Set up a time to discuss
the results with your child's teacher.
Should the results indicate a possible learning disability, be sure to
consult your pediatrician for any medical or professional advice.
Testing of ADD, ADHD and Dyslexia are now readily available to parents
Listen & Act
Listen to your children. If you here things such as "Who needs to learn
biology anyway?" that may actually mean "This stuff is way over my
head." If they say they "don't get it", don't insist that they do. Find
out what the problem is and try to help.
The elementary years of your child's education are vital to the way he
will view school in the future. If you are involved and show that you
care and are not just there to criticize, your child will stand up and
About the Author:
Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children. She is the Chief Editor of FamilyCorner.com Magazine. Visit her kid's crafts section for plenty of other fun projects! www.familycorner.com/dir/Family/Kids/Kids_Crafts
© Amanda Formaro
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