Whether you were a star student or you barely got out of school with your diploma, chances are you want your child to do well in school. If you want your child to be successful academically, you can do a lot to encourage that at home.

While some children will do well with or without their parents’ help, every one of them can take their work to the next level by having their parents encourage them.

Read To and With Them

Reading is one of the best ways to foster a love of learning in children. And by reading, they will improve in every single subject they tackle, whether it’s a story problem in math, performing a laboratory experiment in chemistry, or studying how ancient civilizations used to live in social studies.

While reading may not seem exciting to your child compared to playing video games or watching television, if they see you reading, they’ll be much more likely to join in.

Before they learn how to read, try to read them a story every night before bed. They’ll look forward to hearing the tales you read and to spending time with you.

After they learn to read, you can ask them to read you a story.

Celebrate Their Successes

No matter what our ages are, everyone likes to feel like a rock star once in a while. And for kids, there are a lot of opportunities for that kind of attention. As they get older, maybe they’ll be a star athlete or they might be recognized for their outstanding behavior.

But one of the first ways they have to stand out in school is by earning great grades. Whenever you see one of their papers come home with a sticker or a smiley face on it, make a big deal about it. Praise them and hang up their work on the refrigerator for a few days.

Put Homework Before Play

Homework shouldn’t be something your child does hastily before bedtime after playing for hours after school. And it shouldn’t be tackled the next morning before school either.

Make sure they do their homework as soon as they get home from school when it’s still fresh in their mind. That will help them set up good lifetime habits for putting work before play.

Respect Their Teachers

You can’t expect children to respect their teachers if you constantly bad mouth them at home. Whether you agree with a teacher’s policies doesn’t matter. Your child will have to follow them, no matter what, or they’ll face the consequences.

If you are the type of parent who works with teachers and respects their decisions, your child will learn by example. If you’re the type of parent who makes excuses for poor behavior and work by blaming other people for your child’s shortcomings, they’ll learn from that as well. Just remember, those little eyes are always watching, so you should make sure you’re a great example for them.

Give Them the Space and Tools for Success

Learning can bloom anywhere, under any circumstances. But to help your child truly understand their lessons, you should give them a quiet place to concentrate. A little desk in the corner of a quiet room, or their bedroom, can give them all the privacy they need to let those lessons sink in.

Make sure they have a clipboard, pencils, eraser, paper, and anything else they might need to get their job done.

Review Their Homework

Ask to check your child’s homework after it has been completed. If you find any answers that are wrong, ask them to redo it or to take a second look. If they still don’t understand where they went wrong, it’s fine to explain it to them.

Limit the Electronics

It can be hard for children to concentrate when they’re thinking about all the fun they could be having on their tablet or video game consoles. By limiting their time with electronics, they won’t feel rushed to whip through their homework so they can start on the fun stuff as soon as possible. If they know they only get 30 minutes on that tablet whether or not they’re working on homework, they’ll feel less pressure to finish it quickly. And by slowing down, they’ll do a more thorough job.

Make Sure They Have Time for Play Too

What you want is a well-rounded child who does great in school, but also knows how to socialize, develops other skills, and pursues physical fitness as well. You don’t want a little robot who only cares about outperforming everyone else – that’s too much pressure to put on a child.

You should pay attention to the overall person you’re raising. By focusing on a happy and healthy child, you’ll find they naturally will try to do their best with their schoolwork anyway.


This blog is part of Fathers Incorporated‘s Drive To Five campaign. The campaign design seeks to reduce father absence by engaging dads at the early stages of their child’s development, which makes them more likely to continue their involvement through all of the stages of their development. For more information visit www.drivetofive.org

Posted by Fathers Incorporated

Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Established in 2004, FI has a unique seat at the national table, working with leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Law, and the Responsible Fatherhood Movement. FI works collaboratively with organizations around the country to identify and advocate for social and legislative changes that lead to healthy father involvement with children, regardless of the father’s marital or economic status, or geographic location. From employment and incarceration issues, to child support and domestic violence, FI addresses long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live.

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