Public school drop-out rates have remained a national concern for decades. According to DoSomething.org, nearly 2,000 high schools nationwide graduate less than 60% of their students. This can lead to other problems as well, such as unemployment, illegal drug use, and other criminal activity.
DoSomething.org says that high school dropouts commit about 75% of crimes in the United States. To ensure your child earns that high school diploma, you as a parent have a responsibility to take part in your child’s learning experience. There are all kinds of ways to help your children stay engaged in their education. The following tips are great starting points to keep your kids motivated and interested in school.
- Accept your role as the parent and make education a priority in your home.
- Tell your child how important school is. The attitude you express about homework will be the attitude your child acquires.
- Help by making sure your kids have a quiet, well-lit place to do homework.
- When you help your child, provide assistance, but not complete answers. Giving answers means your child will not learn the material.
- Have your child do the hard work first. This will mean they will be most alert when facing the biggest challenges.
- Establish a set time each day for doing homework. Some classes will require your student to keep a daily log. Remind students not to put off what needs to be done each day.
- If your child has been successful in homework completion and is working hard, celebrate that success with a special event (e.g., pizza, a walk, a trip to the park) to reinforce the positive effort.
- Work from the beginning to the end of the year with your child and the teacher.
- Talk to your child’s teachers and counselors throughout the year. Let them know that you support your child’s educational goals and ask for their help and support, too. Ask teachers and counselors to tell you about anything that concerns them about your child’s progress. Stay in contact with them throughout the school year, every year.
- Make sure your child goes to school. Attendance is very important to learning.
- If your child needs help with reading or math, ask the school what programs they have that can offer additional instruction.
- Record your child’s performance, including grades, attendance, and behavior. Look over all the work your child brings home from school and keep it in a folder. Help him or her correct any errors.
- Praise goes a long way with children, especially with those who struggle in school. Provide positive feedback.
- Remember that nutrition is an important factor in academic performance.
- Show your child that the skills they are learning are related to things you do as an adult. If your child is reading, you read too. If your child is doing math, balance your checkbook.
- Use audio books that you and your child can listen to together and have your child follow along with the written words in the printed book.
- Play communication games with your child, such as Scrabble or Pictionary, which involve words and explaining what they mean.
- Help your child prepare for the math and reading sections of the Proficiency Exam. Check out http://www.supermathtutor.com/ for practice math exams.
- Have your child read aloud to you every night.
- Since pregnancy is one of the leading reasons teenage girls drop out, parents should take care to educate their children about abstinence, sex, and birth control.
Parenting is a big job and takes a lot of time. If your child needs additional help, connecting with a high school student, mentor, after school program can also offer support.