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Helping Children Succeed

For Students of All Ages

At Home
  • Ask about their homework - what it is, when it’s due - and check to make sure they do it.
  • Provide a quiet place, with a good light and away from distractions, for them to do homework.
  • Make sure they get a good night’s sleep each night and eat a healthy, substantial breakfast each morning.
  • Talk to them about school for at least a few minutes each day to let them know you’re interested and that you think school is important.
  • Teach them respect for others and responsibility for their own behavior.
  • Make sure they get regular health and dental check-ups.
  • Limit children’s exposure to television and video games.
  • Be positive about school. If parents say "I wasn’t good at school" or "I really didn’t like school," this can turn children away from learning.
  • Check your children’s school websites regularly to keep informed.

At School
  • Attend back-to-school nights and parent-teacher nights to meet your children’s teachers.
  • IF you are concerned about something, meet with your children’s teachers promptly, before a minor issue becomes a major problem.
  • If possible, volunteer - regularly or even just occasionally - at your children’s schools. You will get to know the school better and show your children that you consider education very important.

For Elementary School Students

At Home
  • Read to your children or look at a book with them for at least 5 - 15 minutes each day.
  • Have books and magazines appropriate for your children’s reading level available for them.
  • Use routine household events to teach about numbers and colors - shopping for food, using a recipe, sorting laundry, etc.
  • Given children small rewards for behavioral or academic success at school.
  • Praise your children when they get good grades or do their homework completely and without complaint.
  • Take your children to the special programs for youngsters at your local public library.
  • Make sure your child has all necessary childhood immunizations.

At School
  • Join a parent-teacher organization (PTA or other parent group) and attend meetings.
  • Talk to the teachers to find out what your children will be learning each year.
  • Ask the teachers for suggestions about how you can help your children at home.
  • Make arrangements to visit your children’s classrooms at least once during school hours, just to observe.
  • Talk to the teacher later about anything you didn’t understand or were concerned about.
  • Ask about after-school programs or extra-help sessions if you think your children could benefit from these.

For Middle Level and High School Students

At Home
  • Continue to encourage your children to read.
  • Don’t let television, video games, or friends absorb all of their free time.
  • Talk to your children about their specific interests related to school - subjects or teachers they like, clubs or extracurricular activities, books they are reading, projects they are working on, etc.
  • Discuss their choice of courses with them so they are well prepared for different options after high school.
  • Begin discussing with them what they might like to do after they graduate from high school.
  • Know your children’s friends, where they live, and, if possible, their parents.
  • If your children work part-time, make sure this doesn’t interfere with schoolwork or getting a good night’s sleep during the week.
  • Continue to celebrate school success with appropriate rewards.
  • Even though they may seem embarrassed, your children will appreciate your enthusiasm for their good work.

At School
  • Get a copy of your children’s schedules each semester.
  • Find out what guidance is available to your children in choosing a college and applying for - and finding - scholarships and loans.
  • Volunteer for school activities - chaperone a school dance or field trip, help with sports events, etc.
  • Serve on school committees that involve parents.
  • For more ideas and resources for parents, visit the National PTA website at