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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Dear Teacher: The Secrets of Getting Good Grades

Aug 05, 2009 12:00AM

By Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts

Parents: Don’t believe for a minute that your children have to be geniuses to get mostly A’s and B’s. This is an absolute myth. What most need is a willingness to work hard, persistence in completing difficult tasks, self-discipline, a sense of responsibility, and a focus on doing their best. As parents, you are the mentors who can instill in them these habits that lead to success in school.

You are also the ones whose involvement in their education is essential. It has been shown repeatedly that what families do to help their children learn is more important to their success in school than family income or education. To be involved, you will need to…

  • Know what your children are doing at school. Talk with them each day about school. Look at all the work they bring home whether they are in kindergarten or high school.
  • Expect your children to do homework or school-related work every day for approximately 10 minutes for each year in school—starting in first grade.
  • Show interest in your children’s education by attending as many school functions as you can.
  • Handle academic difficulties and behavior problems when they first appear to resolve them quickly.
  • Praise your children’s efforts so they know you are proud of the work they are doing in school.
  • Help your children get organized so they arrive at school on time and ready to learn.

Is Your Child Afraid of Hard Work in Kindergarten?


My son will soon be starting kindergarten. He believes that school will be a hard trial because he saw his sister doing so much homework this year in fourth grade. We’ve said it will be fun. What more can we do? — Wondering


Your son is confusing what children are expected to do in kindergarten with what he saw his sister doing in fourth grade. Do you know any children who have just completed kindergarten or a kindergarten teacher who could describe the good experiences he will be having in kindergarten? If so, have him talk to them. This will give him a positive view of kindergarten. Also, if he could visit the kindergarten room, he would see all the fun things in the room. Plus, you should read to him books that describe what children do in kindergarten.