By SAMANTHA YORK
With Georgia schools consistently showing poor performance on national test scores, many parents wonder how they can best be involved in helping their children succeed. In today’s hectic world, parents are fundamental in providing a framework for scholastic success.
As a teacher, Mary Breshears sees a lot of friction between parents and children when it comes to completing homework. She stresses that planning is the key to a smooth homework session.
“Children thrive on routine. They are used to a routine at school, so providing one at home helps keep them in that frame of mind,” said Breshears.
She recommends giving children a snack as soon as they get home as well as a chance to decompress from school before digging into homework. But she points out that this routine might not work for everybody as many children also have extracurricular activities.
“The key is to find what works for your family and stick to it,” said Breshears.
Kindergarten teacher Sarah Louderback agrees that routine is important and points out that it takes up to six weeks for a child to become accustomed to a new habit.
“Parents shouldn’t get discouraged when it takes a while for routines to become second nature. Teach them by example and your child will catch on,” said Louderback.
Louderback is a strong believer in teaching self-reliance to children, starting young. She suggests making them responsible for packing homework in their backpack, and letting them help make their own lunch.
“These are skills they will need to succeed in school and in life. Being organized and independent are huge confidence boosters to students of all ages.”
Another point both teachers made is managing your own expectations as a parent. Be realistic about what they can accomplish at their grade level, and don’t take over projects to make it more like what you envision. Also, never hesitate to talk with their teachers. They often have good suggestions and tools to support parents who are on a mission to give their children the best possible start.