Ready to Learn

When kids head off to school, they should be ready to learn.  Teachers spend hours of their own time developing curriculum, preparing lesson plans, and gathering materials.  Between the first and last bell of the day, there is limited time.  Seven hours might seem like a long day, but to get everything in is challenging.

This is why kids need to be ready to learn when they get to school.  When the students are ready, the teacher can move through lessons at a better pace with less disruption.  Here are 5 ways you can help make your child ready to learn at school.

1. Teach your kids manners and respect.

Teachers deal with 20-30 kids in a classroom, and it is hard. However, it is harder to teach Math or Reading if they also have to be teaching manners and respect.  Sure, teachers will reinforce these lessons, but they should be taught and practiced at home on a regular basis.  If your child is disrespectful to the teacher or to the classmates, it takes away time for the academic lesson being taught.  This has a negative effect on the teacher, as well as the rest of the class.  It is the parent’s job to raise their children to be decent and functional human beings; it is the teacher’s job to raise their students’ academic abilities.

2. Make sure your child does their homework.

If a teacher assigns homework, it is for a reason. Just as teachers will reiterate lessons of manners and respect taught in the home, homework is a way for parents to reiterate academic lessons taught at school.  Homework is like extra practice to ensure kids fully grasp the concept of the lesson.  Work done at home, without the guidance of the teacher can be a good indicator of how well students understand certain concepts.  This information helps the teacher to adjust lesson plans according to how well the class is understanding the material.  You don’t need to hover while your kids do their homework, just make sure they do it.  And it never hurts to give it a quick look-over after they have finished to make sure it was done correctly.

3. Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep.

Not enough sleep can cause fatigue. Fatigue can cause a slowing down of brain functions, thought processes and motor skills. It can even make your child emotionally unstable, quick to get anygy, or cry. Even though kids seem like they have the energy to stay up all hours of the night, they actually need more than a solid 8 hours every night.  School age kids need roughly 10 hours of sleep. A good night’s sleep will help their minds to be attentive and receptive during school.

4. Feed your child a good breakfast.

Bottom line is if your child is distracted by how hungry they are, they will be less functional in school. If your child wakes up super early to get on the bus, make sure they eat a good, plentiful breakfast before they get on.  If your child likes to sleep in, make sure they wake in time to eat.  If you are unable to have breakfast at home, many schools have a breakfast program, so make sure they get to school on time for that.  Food is fuel for the mind and body.  If your kids don’t fuel up, they won’t be able to function properly.

5. Understand that you and your child’s teacher are a team.

Parents and teachers need to work together to further a child’s emotional, social and academic development. When you support the teacher, and they support you, your child views each in an equal manner.  It is when kids get home, and their parents allow them to blow off school work, allow them to skip school, or even talk bad about a teacher that kids view their teachers as inferior.  This can lead to disrespect and disruption in the classroom.  Just as both parents need to be on the same team, so do parents and teachers.  Work together with respect and understanding.  Demonstrate through your actions that your child’s teacher is a person of authority, and deserves respect.  I know this is similar to the first point, but it is a big one.  Teachers cannot do their job well if they are constantly getting pushback from parents and students.