“I just don’t have the energy at the end of the work day to crack the books with my kid. Isn’t that what we pay teachers to do?

“My kid just isn’t interested in doing homework. I’ve just given up. How do I help him turn things around in school this year?”

These are excuses parents have used that make it difficult for the schools to meet the demands of the No Child Left Behind law.

After 40 years of teaching in three different states and four children of my own, I am totally convinced that parents influence the success of students in school more than classmates or teachers. To help ensure that your children are academically successful, spend time at school.

Strong evidence suggests that the more involved parents are in their children’s education, the better the children will do in school.

At the beginning of the school year go online to the Charles County Public Schools’ website for the school calendar. Having this information in advance will make it easier for you to attend school activities, schedule day care and know the important test dates so you can help your child prepare.

The best place to start making a difference in your children’s success at school is at home. Parents provide their children with a window to the world. What the children see is colored by parents’ perspectives. If Mom and Dad realize the importance of getting an education, chances are, so will the kids.

Be positive about your children’s education, their school and teachers, and be a positive role model they can look to for guidance and reassurance.

Spending time at home is equally if not more important to ensure academic success. Start by making learning a priority in your home. Read aloud to younger children and have older kids read to you. Discuss local and national issues and ask for their opinions. Then listen instead of lecturing.

Also, take an interest in the different classes they are taking and create a sense of fun and excitement in learning. Complete their homework with them and review their assignments and exams with them also. If you don’t know the material then that would make for a perfect opportunity to explore the material together.

Your child will be less intimidated by you if you actually don’t know the material. It’ll make for a fun environment for both of you to explore the answers and find the solutions to the questions of an assignment or an exam. If you do know the material then try to lead your child through the learning process, rather than answering every question they have outright.

Find the answers with them in their books or notes even if you know the answer off the top of your head. Always remember the goal is for your child to succeed in school and pay close attention to their methods of answering question in order to provide further guidance.

Provide a specific time and quiet place to study with a good dictionary and plenty of school supplies handy. Also, provide positive reading materials by encouraging them to read books, even if it is not assigned at school or subscribing to a newspaper and exploring the current events together.

I’ll share this Buddhist proverb: “If a seed of a lettuce will not grow, we do not blame the lettuce. Instead, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly.”

When the parents are proactive, not reactive, their children will become more successful in school.

Janis Milman, Waldorf

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Source: So Md News – http://goo.gl/9tQw5