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10 ways to help your child succeed in school

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As another school year begins in many school districts across the country, parents everywhere hope their children will enjoy success in the classroom this year. Being an involved parent will help your child be successful in school. Here are 10 practical ways parents can help their children succeed in school.

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Visit the school's website to be prepared for the school year. In Central Virginia, the Lynchburg City Schools website contains q wealth of information about school rules, activities and events. Your school's website lists documents you need for registration, supplies your child needs for school and other important information parents and students need to know. Attend registration and read all of the paperwork you receive. Discuss the school's policies and rules with your child. Make plans to attend school events.

The most important contribution every parent can make to their child's education is to encourage their child to learn. Provide opportunities for your child to learn outside of school hours, not just be entertained. Take your child to the library, museums and other places where he will learn new information or skills. Provide reference books and educational computer programs for your child to use.

Talk to your child about expectations and setting goals. Help your kids plan academic goals for the new school year. Put your child's goals in writing and hang on the fridge in the kitchen or in your child's bedroom. Just as your child's skills in sports improve with practice, your child's academic skills will also improve with practice.

Reading is one of the most important building blocks your child will use in school. Kids who can read well perform better in the classroom and on standardized tests. Encourage your child to read at least 15 minutes each day. If your child is too young to read alone, read aloud each day. Even after your child can read alone, spend time reading aloud as a family to improve reading skills. Provide age-appropriate books and visit your local library often.

Pick up a math activity book and encourage your child to work a few pages each day, especially if there's no math homework. Pick up math flash cards and work on addition, subtraction, multiplication or division skills with your kids. There are many websites suitable for kids where your kids can practice math skills at all levels. The more your kids practice, the more prepared they will be.

Help your kids decide the best time of day to get homework done. For some kids, studying right after school works best. For other kids, a little break after school before starting homework works better. In some families, more difficult homework waits until after dinner when parents are able to help kids if needed.

Set up a quiet place where your child can work on his homework, stocked with school supplies, reference books and everything your child will need. Keep electronics off while your child works on homework. Although homework is your child's job, offer your guidance and assistance as needed.

Adjust your child's bedtime during the last couple of weeks of summer. Moving bedtime 15 to 30 minutes earlier each night will give your child time to adjust to the school year schedule. Wake your child up earlier each day and practice your school-year morning routine. Set bath or shower schedules in advance and lay out clothes the night before to cut down on morning madness.

Stay in touch with your child's school and teachers during the school year. Sign up to volunteer in the classroom if you can. Getting to know your child's classmates and teachers will make it easier to relate to your child's day. If you work during the day, ask your child's teacher how you can help at home.

Attend conferences and share any concerns about your child's education with the teacher. Send requested supplies to your child's classroom. Volunteer for big events at your child's school and chaperone field trips, parties or other school activities.

Help your child prepare for success in and out of the classroom. Being a supportive and encouraging parent will help your child succeed now and in the future.

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