Understanding how your child is doing in school and providing the necessary resources for her to get ahead is important for many parents. We spoke with Megan O’Connor, co-founder and CEO of the tutoring app Clark, for tips on supporting your child’s academic success.
Establish a relationship with your child’s teacher
Parent-teacher conferences are a great way to find out how your child is doing, but they shouldn’t be the only time you’re in contact with your child’s instructor. O’Connor suggests parents maintain communication throughout the year. “Teachers are the gateway to understanding how your child is doing,” she says, “but parents also need to reinforce what’s happening in the classroom at home in order for students to achieve ultimate learning outcomes.”
Look for outside resources
“In a large classroom, there are 20 to 30 different students who all learn in different ways,” says O’Connor. “This is a great way to be introduced to topics, but spending time learning outside of the classroom, and receiving individualized instruction, provides students with the personalized learning that they need.” For those who can’t afford tutoring sessions, O’Connor suggest parents look into the variety of affordable or free resources in their area, such as the Boys and Girls Club of America, or ask their child’s teacher to set aside time in the morning for extra help.
Monitor your child’s down time
While homework and study time is important when it comes to academic success, a student’s schedule should also incorporate breaks. “Understanding when a student likes downtime and TV time helps parents set a schedule of when it’s best to sprinkle it in,” says O’Connor. Charting out a specific time slots for fun helps parents maintain control, while making sure that their child is not overly stressed — something that can ultimately detract from their learning.
Support your child’s academic success
For many students, preparing for tests can be a challenge, which is why it’s important for parents to offer frequent encouragement. “Giving positive feedback and celebrating academic successes along the way helps children believe in themselves and feel more prepared,” says O’Connor. For even more support, O’Connor suggests parents help their children study at home by testing them with flash cards.