How to keep your Elementary School Students Grades up

Working with your child on his or her homework and taking the time to discuss each lesson with them is perhaps the most effective way of keeping your youngster’s grades up. One of the most frustrating things for a child to do is to come home from school and have to face another hour of homework. And that hour becomes a torture when they are left on their own to try to make sense out of what appears to be gibberish when they are already tired, frustrated and anxious to go do something (anything) else.

While many parents are adamant that homework be completed before playtime, it is perhaps better for the child to let them go outside and play for 15 or 20 minutes before putting them back into the school mode. This gets their minds refreshed and ready to sit down and give the book a good looking at. After all, following an 8-hour day of work, would you really want to come right home to start another hour of writing that proposal or looking over all that data that you just ran away from at the office? Give the kids a break before homework; then after that break is over, be willing to invest a little time to sitting down at that kitchen table with them to discuss each lesson before the homework in that subject matter is begun. This time together with your child serves several purposes: it gives the two of you quality time together, and it helps to reinforce the lessons your child already learned in school.

Do NOT do your child’s homework for them. Instead, after your subject-by-subject review, have them do their own homework. Then, look that homework over and point out any deficiencies. Homework at the elementary grade level is not meant as a quiz, and it is not wrong for the parent to help out as long as they are not doing the work for the child. Homework at this grade level is intended to reinforce their daily lessons. And when you sit down and work with your child on each subject matter, you are essentially multiplying their exposure to those lesson principles and there is no better way for a child to learn than through repetition and discussion.

At every possible chance, take your child on “field trips” and take every opportunity to show them examples of principles that they have learned in the classroom. They say that “seeing is believing.” And, there is nothing more true than this in the world of elementary education. A child learns from seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling. At that age, they are very sensory oriented. Take them to a petting zoo to learn about animals, the park in the fall to collect colorful leaves to learn how the loss of chlorophyll in the leaves during the fall months accounts for the change in leaf color. Take them to interactive science museums that will allow them to interact with the various exhibits. Travel to teach them about different culture and geography. Read, read, read to them – and this cannot be stressed enough. The child that reads more, knows more. And, if they see that the parent is willing to read with them, or likes to read also, they will likely take on those activities, as well.

Keeping your child’s grades up in school is as much YOUR homework as it is theirs. To make a difference in your child’s education, you will need to make learning interesting and fun. But, most of all, you will need to be their PARTNER in learning! It will be an investment of time on both your parts, but the rewards are long lasting. Good luck!