Setting the Stage for School Success

Picture of focused girl painting.

With neurofeedback, kids stay focused, grades improve, self esteem rises, and attitudes change.

All parents want their children to be successful. There are many things you can do to support your children throughout their school careers. It is, after all, your job to make sure that your child gets a good education. You are your child’s first teacher. It is never too early or too late to help your child learn. If you model a positive attitude, chances are that it will rub off on your child. Here are a few ideas to start your child on the road to success.

Make a connection with your child’s teacher.

Introduce yourself early and give the teacher all of your contact information. Find out how your child’s teacher prefers to be contacted and the best times to reach them. Offer your help. Let the teacher know that you want to be involved and share your interests. Keep in contact with the teacher throughout the year.

Help the teacher connect with your child.

Teachers have many new students to get to know each year. You can help make the teacher’s job easier. Tell the teacher some things about your child.

*If your child has special needs

*What your child likes and dislikes

*What subjects your child does well in and subjects that need improvement

Suzie is shy, enjoys reading and loves horses,” can go a long way to making Suzie more comfortable in the classroom.

Let the teacher know if there are any changes in your household such as a new family member, new pet, or a stressful situation.

Prepare for Parent–Teacher Conferences ahead of time.

Discuss with your children any issues that they want to cover at the conference. Go over past assignments together and make a list of questions and topics you want to cover in your conference. Send the list to the teacher ahead of time so he or she will be prepared. Bring up your list early in the conference when you have time to discuss each topic without rushing. Let your child voice concerns at the meeting with you there to give support and help communicate effectively. Summarize at the end of the meeting to cover key points and agreements to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Make a follow-up plan if needed.

Have your child gather phone numbers.

Give your child the assignment of compiling a list of 3 responsible students that can be called when help is needed with homework. (If your child is in more than one class then 3 responsible students from each class.) Kids don’t usually like this assignment, but are always glad they did it when they have missed class and need assignments or don’t understand something. This list needs to be kept up to date throughout the year. Some students will leave the class and others will prove to be unreliable resources.

Note your children’s mood when they come home from school.

Take a moment to observe your children’s mood before bombarding them with questions about their day. “You look tired,” or “Looks like you had a hard day,”can start a good conversation. “How was school?” often leads to a one word answer and a quick exit.

Set a time and place for homework.

When your child knows when and where homework takes place, homework becomes more of a routine. Choose a time when help will be available, a place where distractions will be at a minimum and you can easily supervise. Make sure this place is well lit and comfortable for your child. Be sure that your child has all the materials needed to complete his or her homework. Keep water available so your child will be well-hydrated. Check on your child from time to time to be sure that everything is going well.

Set a break schedule. Studies show that attention span correlates with age. Start with your child’s age and see if your child can focus for that number of minutes without a break. Keep in mind that attention span tends to max out at 20 minutes for adults. Watch for signs that your child needs a break. Be sure your child has had enough time to unwind from school before starting homework.

Take part in homework.

Know what homework your child has. A day planner or homework log are very good tools for keeping assignments organized. Go over homework before it is turned in. Discuss assignments with your children and have them make any needed changes before they turn their homework in to their teacher. Teach your child to ask “Who? What? When? Where? Why? & How?” when they proofread their work. For long term assignments, help your child to break up the task into more manageable sections. Be clear about your expectations. Explain to your child that projects must be done over time. You don’t expect to hear about a long-term assignment right before it is due. If your child is assigned a novel you haven’t read, read it. You will be able to have good discussions and ask good questions to help with papers. If homework isn’t clear, have your child contact someone on the phone list for help. Contact the teacher for help only when all other options have been exhausted. (This teaches your child problem-solving skills.) When homework is returned, go over it with your child. Read the teacher’s comments together and discuss how to learn from them for the next assignment. Ask for help from the teacher in the form of tutoring or special assignments to help your child advance. Don’t forget to seek out the positive points and let your children know where they have done well. Reward your child for completing tasks, not just for high scores. Let your child overhear you tell others about his or her accomplishments.

Follow your child’s interests.

Kid’s interests are constantly changing. Take advantage of the variety. Learning is much stronger when there is a natural interest. You know best what you and your child will enjoy. Remember the most important things you can do to help your child love learning is to encourage being observant and asking “why?” Give your children the opportunity to learn as much as they can about each subject that interests them. Take field trips, go to the library, search the internet, seek a community member that has special knowledge of a subject your child is interested in. Most of all have fun learning together.

Show your child real life learning.

When kids see first hand that learning translates to real life it has more value for them. Young children can help count apples at the grocery store. Older children can weigh the apples and figure out how much they will cost. The grocery store is also a good place to learn about health and reading ingredients. Home repairs, cooking and gardening present good opportunities for learning, too. Be creative, include the kids and have fun. Life is full of fun learning experiences.

Play games together regularly.

Board games and dice games are great ways to reinforce math skills while having fun. Word games and math games can also be played in the car.

Do community service together.

Keep an eye out for opportunities for the whole family to participate in a community service activity. Choose an activity that is appropriate for your child’s age so they can actively participate. Join a river or community cleanup, collect food for the hungry, or simply help an elderly neighbor with chores. Doing things together for others helps students practice cooperation and caring. These important skills will help your child be successful in school and later on in their career.

Turn off the TV.

Choose a read aloud novel that you and your child will enjoy. Read a portion of the book each night. Make sure that your child sees you enjoying reading. Enjoy a good book of your own while your child does homework. They won’t be distracted by the sound of the TV or by just knowing it is on and they are missing it.

When you do watch TV, watch together and discuss the stories presented.

Help your children be prepared for school.

Make sure your children get enough rest and start the day with a nutritious breakfast. Make a checklist of things your children need to take to school each day (lunch, books, homework, library books, P.E. shoes/clothes, paper, pencils, etc.) Help them prepare the night before to reduce morning rushing stress.

Know your child’s friends and their parents.

Learn the names of your child’s friends and get to know them. Meet their parents and communicate with them about plans for your kids. You will be informed about what is going on and decrease the chances of risky behavior by being sure that there is always proper adult supervision.

Solving Problems

Don’t blame yourself for problems your child has at school. Be part of the solution. Participate depending on your child’s age. Speak to an older child about how he or she can work towards a solution. Include a younger child when speaking to his or her teacher. Be sure to listen carefully and calmly to your child while he or she relates feelings and point of view. Plan short and long term solutions together. Remember that you can’t shield your child from everything. Problem solving skills play an important role in developing independence. Touch base with your child often about problems and help him or her to continue working on them. If you feel that your child isn’t working up to his or her ability, begins to fall behind, or spends too much time on homework, make an appointment to meet with the teacher right away.

Learning is a life long process. If your children develop a love of learning and learn how to make information their own, life will be an enjoyable adventure. Support of parents makes it easier for kids to develop relationships and understand information.

Supporting your child can be challenging. Things like behavior problems, Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), attachment disorders, learning disabilities and other disorders throw up lots of road blocks and interesting curves to maneuver. Many teens suffer from depression and anxiety. Some kids just get stressed out easily. These problems affect the entire family.

Neurofeedback can help. Neurofeedback trains the brain to function differently so that your child can:

  • Remain calm and not be overwhelmed by the world;

  • Reduce the effects of distraction;

  • Improve focus;

  • Think clearly;

  • Organize thoughts and personal space;

  • React appropriately;

  • Ease depression;

  • Reduce anxiety;

Most parents see a difference in their child after the first few Neurofeedback sessions. Neurofeedback is easy. Even very young children can do it. Once your child learns to deal with distractions and stay focused, grades improve, self esteem rises, and attitudes change. Take the first step to reduce your family stress. Call to schedule your free consultation today.