February 20, 2009

‘Ten Great Ways that Parents Can Help their Children Succeed in School’

By John Shaughnessy

Consider the list as a valuable resource for parents who have children in Catholic schools—a list that could be called “Ten Great Ways that Parents Can Help their Children Succeed in School.”

The list is courtesy of Connie Schmidt, a language arts teacher at St. Barnabas School in Indianapolis, who is one of the eight teachers in the archdiocese to receive the Saint Theodora Excellence in Education Award for this school year.

Here is her list:

  • Have your children strive for their personal best, not perfection.
  • Mistakes will happen. Allow that, and move on.
  • Read together; read what your children are reading.
  • Make sure that your children’s activities include spending time with the family.
  • Do not compare siblings.
  • Let your children work at their pace.
  • Support the educational process of your children.
  • But remember that the learning and the responsibility for that learning belong to each child.
  • Talk to your children so they know your values.
  • Make certain that your children know every day that even if you don’t like their behavior or their choices, you always love them.

Here are more tips for parents from some of the other honored teachers:

“Speak with your children and listen to what they are saying,” advises Suzi Abell, the art teacher at St. Joan of Arc School in Indianapolis. “Encourage them in their studies and communicate with their teachers. It takes a village to raise a child so create a partnership with their teachers.”

“Parents should give their children a structured time so they can study and do homework,” notes Marsha Austin, a second-grade teacher at St. Pius X School in Indianapolis. “I also feel that parents should be as involved in school as their schedules allow by volunteering. Parents should make sure that their children know that education is the top priority.” †

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