Skip to main content
Parent Guide for Student Success - Common Core Standards

Preparing Your Child for Academic Success

Preparing Your Child for Academic Success

The Five C's of Cooperation


"I don't want to."  "I'll do it later."  "Aw, Mom, Do I have to?"  If this sounds like the way your youngster responds to your requests, you're not alone.  Getting children to cooperate can be tough.  The tips below may get your child to do what you ask without a fight.

Communication:  Children are more likely to cooperate if you make requests rather than demands.  Examples: Instead of "Set the table," try, "I need your help setting the table. "  Instead of "Do your homework," try, "It's time to do your homework.  Please get started."
Choices:  Offering kids choices makes them more willing to comply.  Whenever possible, give your child a say in the outcome.  Examples:  "You may either take out the trash or sweep the kitchen."  "Please give your brother a turn, or put the game away for the evening."
Commitment:  Sticking to your guns teaches youngsters to respect your authority.  When your child argues about a request, it can be tempting to back down to avoid conflict.  But giving in sends the message that, by complaining, he/she can get out of doing what you ask.
Consequences:  Consider logical consequences--they can lead to better behavior in the future.  For example, if your child refuses to turn off the television when you ask her/him to, take away her/him TV privileges for the next day.
Congratulations:  Showing appreciation encourages kids to cooperate. Examples:  "Thank you for helping your dad."  "I really appreciate your making the bed."

The first step in gaining children's cooperation is getting them to tune in to what you're saying.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Get your child's attention by gently touching his/her shoulder or say his/her name.
  • Start with the most important information.  Kids often have short attention spans.  
  • Keep your message simple.  Your youngster may become confused if you offer too much information all at once.
  • Ask your child to look at you when you talk to him/her.   

Reading Aloud - As Easy As 1-2-3


"I always stumble because I read too fast."  "I'm afraid my child won't listen to me."  I was laughed at when I read aloud at school."

Do you have worries like these when you read aloud?  You're not alone.  Many parents avoid reading aloud to their kids.  However, reading aloud is one of the best ways to help your child succeed in school.  Keep these tips in mind:

Everybody makes mistakes.  If you make mistakes when reading aloud, your child will learn that it's okay for him to do so, too.

Practice makes perfect.  Find a book that you like and read it aloud by yourself until you feel comfortable.

Involve your child in the story.  Have him turn the pages.  Or, read one line and have him read the next.

Take your time and don't rush the story.  Your child can tell if you're in a hurry.  Reading slowly will help you read clearly.

As you feel more comfortable, try changing your voice to show the characters' feelings--joy, sadness, fear.  These variations can make the story more exciting for both of you!

Remember that you are helping your child learn to enjoy reading.  Try different types of reading materials, such as comic strips and poetry.

Above all, try to relax and enjoy the time you're spending with your youngster.

Understanding Stories


Does your child listen actively when your read aloud?  It's a key to understanding what's happening in the story.  Try these simple tips to build listening skills:

Ask your child to retell small parts of the story to you.  Or, ask her/him questions while you read.  Examples:  "What will happen next?"

After you've read a story together two or three times, skip a word or two.  Ask your child to fill in the missing word or words.  Hint:  This works especially well with rhyming stories.

Family Reading Checkup


Becoming a lifelong reader is like building a house--you need to start with a strong foundation.  Take this opportunity to think about your family's reading practices.  Then, use the list below as a guide to make reading a part of your family's daily life.  You'll be building the foundation your children need to succeed in every aspect of their lives.

  • I read aloud to my children every day.
  • We make regular trips to the library.
  • My youngsters see me read and write for knowledge and pleasure.
  • When my kids talk to me, I really listen.
  • My children do their reading, writing, and homework in a quiet area without distractions.
  • Our family plays lots of word games.
  • We have a special place for our kids to keep their books.
  • I invite my children to write their own notes or to help with mine.
  • I encourage my kids to read by themselves each day.

Rested and Ready to Learn


Did you know most experts agree that 5 to 9 year olds need 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night?  Here are ways to help your youngster get a good nights rest:

Television, exercise, and rowdy games close to bedtime can make it harder for kids to fall asleep.  Make this time more soothing with board games, books, and heart-to-heart talks.

If your youngster has trouble falling asleep, try making bedtime a half-hour earlier.  That will let him/her wind down and allow extra time for nodding off.

Set a regular bedtime.  If children stay up late on Friday and Saturday, they can have trouble dozing off on Sunday night.  Plus, your child may need extra sleep after a busy school week.

Off to a Great Start


Smooth mornings make for a smooth start to the school day.

Try these ideas:

THE NIGHT BEFORE

  • Help your children lay out their clothes.
  • Have them pack their backpacks and put them by the front door.
  • Make lunches.
  • Set an alarm clock (leaving enough time to get ready at an easy pace).

IN THE MORNING

  • Have children get dressed before breakfast.
  • Set out breakfast items so they can help themselves.
  • If they have extra time, encourage them to go over homework or read a favorite book.
  • Give them the "3 H's" on their way out the door:  a  handshake, a high five, and a hug!!!