As parents, we want to help our children be successful in elementary school, but sometimes knowing how to help can be overwhelming. You want your child to be active but also know she needs rest. You want your child to excel academically but also know his instruction should be age-appropriate.
Here are six ways parents can help set their children up for a great elementary school year, from CMDS 4th Grade Language Arts Teacher Ruth Thompson.
1. Be positive!
Encourage your child that they are off to a great start at school! Your enthusiasm will be contagious and will help lessen concerns your child has along the way. Praise your child for what they do well on a regular basis.
2. Breakfast is important.
You don’t want your child to focus when snack or lunch break will be, as opposed to his or her schoolwork. A healthy lunch with limited sweets will help your student in the afternoon.
3. Get good rest.
A routine bedtime for elementary schoolers is a must! Children who stay up late can suffer from headaches and other minor illnesses during the day, lack of concentration and have difficulty grasping concepts.
4. Know your child’s needs.
Each child is unique. Each child takes different amount of time to complete homework or reading assignments. Make sure students start early enough to have time to finish without being rushed. Students who are disorganized might need some extra help and encouragement keeping their backpack and supplies organized.
5. Balance extracurricular activities.
Extra activities can be fun – in limited quantities. Try not to fill up your schedule with an activity every afternoon for every child in your family. Oftentimes when a child’s schedule is too full, then the activities that were supposed to be fun become tiresome. Children need time to be themselves, unwind and play.
6. Encourage responsibility, from home to school.
Trust your child’s teacher in their procedures and what they believe your age child can accomplish. Encourage upper elementary students to be responsible for the items they need to bring from home to school. Focus on solutions and replacing bad habits with good ones.
Ruth Thompson is the CMDS 4th Grade Language Arts Teacher as well as the faculty sponsor for the Student Council Association. She holds a BS in Middle School Education from Union University and an MA in Elementary Education from Delta State University. Thompson joined the faculty of the Memphis private school in 2012.
Christ Methodist Day School first opened its doors in 1958 to 75 kindergarten students. Since then, CMDS has stayed true to its Christian elementary school roots while continuing to thrive as one of the best private schools in Memphis. We encourage you to come see why we are the primary choice for so many Memphis families.