The smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the sound of crisp new notebooks being cracked open can only mean one thing. A new school year is upon us. With all the excitement comes the challenge of helping your student become as successful as possible. While the nitty gritty work is up to them, there are things you can do to guide them along the path of success.

Get Involved. Simply asking your child how his day was at school isn’t enough. You need to get involved in your child’s education. Not only knowing what your child is studying but being familiar with the teachers and the curriculum can lead to student success. Research shows that students who have parents who are involved in their academic lives not only get higher grades, but are also more likely to enroll in higher-level classes. There is also evidence children whose parents are more involved are also more likely to have better attendance and social skills.

Ditch the Distractions. Your kids get distracted just like you do. Since kids have plenty of homework and projects to do at home, create a distraction free zone. That means no TV, no phone, or anything else that could steal their attention away from the main event…their school work. Staying focused is a life skill you can instill now so that they can carry it throughout their school career and into the working world.

Get Homework Done Sooner. When your child comes home from school try to get them to do their homework sooner rather than later. Some experts recommend a 30-minute down time when kids get home before they start their homework.  While it may be hard to pinpoint an exact time to start homework, some advise to start before dinner in order to reduce late-night stress. If your child is stressed it could impact their sleep which could then impact their following day at school. It’s a vicious domino effect that can be avoided by just getting homework done sooner.

Take it Beyond the Classroom. While classrooms lessons are the base of a child’s learning, taking it beyond the classroom is where you come in. Finding programs related to their interests can take their learning to a new level. Programs like PA Days at MakerKids are a great example of a program that takes it to a new level. This is a great place to further STEM education. This one-day weekend program lets kids create their own awesome projects and work with others. It not only fosters team work but also gets kids thinking outside the box. They can take the lessons learned in the program inside the classroom to help give them an edge.

Make the Most of After School Time. Just as you help your kids take learning out of the classroom, also help them make the most of their after school activities. A successful student is a well-rounded student. After-school activities that build on what kids are learning in school are a great place to start. Besides the PA Days programs at MakerKids, there are also after school programs to take advantage of as well. These programs can introduce kids to STEM topics like robotics as well as many others. Programs like these can teach kids things they may not get in the classroom.

These quick tips can help to get your child to the head of the class this school year and every year.

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