As educators, we realize that parents want the best for their children and want to help their children succeed in school. As such, parents often ask how they can help their child be successful at school. While we can only speak for Montessori Academy of Naples and the Montessori objectives, much of what you are about to read is simple common sense advice.
Ten things you can do to help your child succeed at school:
Give your child real-life experiences. Take them with you to run errands, go the grocery store, the pharmacy, the post office, the bank, etc… this is how your child begins to learn about his community and how the world works. Your child learns how to interact with the world by observing you.
Read. Read. Read. Read to your child everyday. From infancy into elementary. Read in front of your child. Go to the library, bookstore, etc… with your child.
Establish a bedtime routine and stick with it. Well-rested children are better able to focus, learn, and participate at school.
Allow time in the morning for your child to eat a nutritious breakfast at home. Provide nutritious snacks, lunches and dinners as well. What they eat fuels their development. The quality of their fuel makes a difference. Make family meals a part of your regular routine. Enjoy these times as a family and talk with your children (when they hit 13, you will be glad you established this pattern early on!)
Let your children participate in the routines of the family including being responsible for age-appropriate chores.
Participate in school sponsored activities.
Follow all school guidelines and procedures. Be verbally confident and supportive about your child’s school in both words and deeds.
Listen to the teachers. They have the training, the experience, and the sincere desire to be helpful.
Be on time in the morning. Children who arrive on time transition into the day and the class easier. They benefit from this important group routine whether they serve as observer, participant, or mentor. Tardiness obstructs your child’s transition into the class, sends the message that school is not important, and disrupts both the momentum of the class and the work of the students.
Limit screen-time. This includes TV, videos, video games, computer, i-pad, etc… It applies to both educational and non-educational content. Too much screen time stunts social and emotional growth and shortens the attention span. So, turn off the television, the computer, and the cell phone and encourage your children to find activities that expand their interests and attention span, spark their imagination, and allow them to interact with the real world.
Finally, we ask that families are supportive and respectful of all our guidelines as you are the most influential role models for your children. When the children see you respect the school, its staff, and procedures, they learn that this is a safe place and they can trust our care. Should you need clarification of a procedure or policy, contact your child’s teacher so you can discuss it privately. This direct approach alleviates stress and minimizes the chances of transferring your anxiety to your child. Remember, we are all here for the same reason, to guide and nurture the children.