All parents want their children to do well in school, and as the school year wears on, kids’ grades might take a dip if they don’t stay focused or if they start to struggle with a particular subject.
There are many ways parents can help their child improve their academic performance. There are also many resources to help improve their child’s grades.
To help parents find where to get help on Long Island to improve their child’s grades, Your Local Kids has put together some helpful tips. Parents in Nassau County and Suffolk County can also visit Your Local Kids’ Long Island Education and Enrichment Guide which lists parent resources in Nassau and Suffolk.
The Guide offers everything from afterschool and kids’ education programs to special needs services. Programs range from academic achievement, tutors and test prep to sports, crafts, martial arts, cooking and dance, art, music and drama classes.
Aside from outside resources, experts agree there are things parents can do at home to help their kids, too.
For one, making sure your child gets a good night sleep every night is very important to helping your child perform well in school. According to WebMD, there’s increasingly more research that correlates daytime sleepiness with poor academic performance.
“Even 20 fewer minutes of needed sleep may significantly affect behavior in many areas. One study showed that those students with Cs, Ds and Fs got about 25 fewer minutes of sleep and went to bed an average of 40 minutes later than A and B students,” according to WebMD.
School-age kids need on average of 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night, says the National Sleep Foundation, so encourage your child to stick to a regular sleep schedule with a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
Experts also say structure is key to kids’ thriving academically. So in addition to a sleep routine, experts say setting up a simple organization system kids can follow so they can easily access and store school items, work and projects at home is essential.
Providing a quiet place to do homework away from distractions like TV, video games and other electronic devices is also important. Be sure to let them do the work on their own, but always check to see if it’s getting done and be available to help answer questions. Mapping out homework assignments, tests and projects on a weekly basis with your kids can also help them not let school work fall through the cracks.
Encouraging children to read and write outside the classroom can also improve their skills inside the classroom, experts agree. And be clear about your expectations for your child, and reward positive behavior and grades.
Keeping the lines of communication open with kids about their school work and their worries about it also helps relieve some of the stress that might bring down grades. And if there’s a sudden drop in grades, say from As to Ds, then experts recommend getting in touch with their teachers and getting an assessment to ferret out the problem and getting any necessary in-school or afterschool resources in place that might help bring up the grades again.
Good nutrition and a balanced diet also go a long way to helping kids stay alert and focused in school, experts agree. In particular, a breakfast that has high fiber and some protein – depending on your child’s dietary needs – tends to help kids feel fuller longer and therefore stay more focused on school work.
Last, but not least, experts agree that sports can help children do better in school, as well. In fact, there are many studies that have linked physical activity in children with performing better academically.
For instance, a 2010 government review of research showed kids who received regular breaks from their academic classes work for physical activity during the school day find they’re able to better focus on their school work and possibly do even better on standardized tests.