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7 Steps To School Success November 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Word Play.

To help your child succeed in school (and life!), consider these 7 Steps:

1.  Praise your child’s efforts and their progress, not just accomplishments.  Reinforce the notion that HOW  they play the game is more important than winning by cheating.  Focus on improvement without insisting on perfection.  Some times “good enough” is good enough.

2.  Set up a quiet study area (no TV, video games, or stereo) that is free of distractions and stocked with necessary supplies (pens, paper, dictionary).

3.  Establish a consistent homework routine to reinforce that learning and education is  a priority.  Daily practice improves concentration, increases confidence, and promotes better study skills.

4.  Get acquainted with your child’s teachers (and coaches).  Keep lines of communication open.

5.  Encourage your children to set manageable goals.  “Janet, that’s great!  You’ve learned your alphabet from A-P.  What’s your next goal?  What about learning the rest of the alphabet from Q to Z?”

6.  Encourage their innate curiosity about life by taking their questions seriously.  If you don’t know an answer, look it up together. 

7.  Read to your children and let them read to YOU!   Play games to help them learn letters, sounds, and numbers.  Strong reading skills promote a lifelong love of learning which prompts children to excel on their own.


1. jannatwrites - November 11, 2010

Whew! I’m glad to see we’ve got these covered.

I think I drive my son nuts because we review all of his graded assignments. We go through questions he missed together to make sure he understands the concept. I expect by next year he will quit bringing the papers home 🙂

nrhatch - November 11, 2010

Good for you. When parents take an active role in encouraging their kids to learn, everyone wins.

2. Tammy McLeod - November 11, 2010

These are great reminders Nancy. I agree with all of them and sometimes forget them also. It’s so easy to focus on what’s wrong as opposed to what’s right.

nrhatch - November 11, 2010

The number one thing to me . . . encourage them to excel at reading and writing.

Reading and writing helps them with every subject, and on EVERY test.

3. Cindy - November 11, 2010

Great points, it’s very sad when parents simply don’t have the time to do this. Latch-key kids break my heart.

nrhatch - November 11, 2010

After-school programs can help bridge the gap, especially if the mentors encourage kids with no homework to read a book or write a story.

When they balked, I would “take dictation” from them and write their stories for them ~ e.g., the best day of my life, or what I did last summer, or my favorite book. Once written, I would have them read the story to me. They loved it! Seeing “their life” in print.

4. Betsy Leon - November 12, 2010

Always stress how their accomplishments make them feel, they are doing everything for themselves, internal gratification

nrhatch - November 12, 2010

Excellent point! Over time, children (and adults!) benefit in switching from external motivation and rewards to internal feedback.

Thanks, Betsy.

5. Maggie - November 12, 2010

Number 7 is so important. If a child is read to from an early age, they will do better in all school subjects… and they will keep reading for their entire life. 🙂

nrhatch - November 12, 2010

I agree. Better communication skills (reading, writing, and speaking) help in all areas of life.

Plus, if you love reading . . . you can learn lots of other stuff. 🙂

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