Students across Houston are headed back to the classroom this week, and there’s no better time than the start of a new school year to set positive routines to help your children succeed. We know that HISD parents will do whatever it takes to support their child in and outside of the classroom, so here are a few simple yet effective ways to make sure your child has a great year.
1. Get your child to school on time, every day.
They may try to win you over with tears and excuses, but letting your child stay home from school does more harm than good. The school year has only 175 days of instruction, and every day is carefully planned by teachers to provide your child with the knowledge they need to graduate college and career ready. And with the new student attendance requirement, a student cannot miss more than 10 percent of classes, or 17 days, to receive credit in a subject area. Attendance is taken before 11 a.m. so be sure you schedule appointments in the afternoon.
2. Set a schedule and stick to it.
Children do best when they have a set routine, so be sure to limit time watching TV and playing video games (also make sure content is age-appropriate), and schedule a curfew, a bedtime, and time for dinner and schoolwork. Write out the schedule and put it on the fridge as a constant reminder. Routines are essential to establishing good study habits – and it only takes 21 days to set a routine in stone. If you work late, call and check in often.
3. Read with your child.
Students who read and are read to have a larger academic vocabulary and are more likely to succeed in school than those who do not, period. Reading opens children’s minds to new places, experiences, and possibilities, and millions of books are available for free at the local public library. Reading is an easy way to make sure your child doesn’t get left behind.
4. Get involved at your campus.
Attend parent meetings and get to know your child’s teachers, principals, and counselors. The more you visit the school, the larger the support network you will have. Don’t wait until a problem arises – open a communications channel early and ask plenty of questions.
5. Ask your children’s teachers how you can support their learning at home.
In a calendar year, children spend an estimated 15 percent of their time in school, 42 percent asleep, and 43 percent away from school at home. To be successful students, they need mental stimulation and support when they are at home in addition to their time at school. Your child’s teachers know their academic strengths and weaknesses, and they can recommend activities and supplemental work to get your child caught up or ahead of the game.
For more resources for parents, please visit the Family and Community Engagement Department’s website.