#BackToSchool: Assisting your child to do well in school

#BackToSchool: Assisting your child to do well in school

Many South African learners returned to school today. Here is how you can help your child to do well in school this academic year. 

Mother and daughter in school uniform
Mother and daughter in school uniform/ iStock

Social media has been flooded with images of learners in school uniform to mark the first day of the 2023 academic year. 

Scores of parents, especially of kids starting grade one or grade eight, have shared their feelings about their children embarking on a new journey.

Learning is not always easy. Children can come across all sorts of obstacles and it is important for parents to do everything in their power to ensure they help their children thrive in school. 

READ: Frustration rises over cost of school stationery in South Africa

Let us look at tips parents can do to aid their children do well in school: 

Develop a relationship with the teachers

Teachers play a huge role in your child's life. 

Having a relationship with them will help you support your child better because you can get to know the challenges your child faces and look at ways to help them. 

It might be best not to wait for the parents' meeting, but regularly chat with the teachers, even if it is in a form of an email. Ask the teacher how your child is doing and what he or she recommends you can do to help your child improve. 

Check your child's books

Make it a habit of going through your child's books and seeing how they are performing. Waiting for the report at the end of the term might be too late. 

Talk to your child about their progress

Ask your child how she or he is feeling about their studies. Ask open-ended questions and make your child feel safe about sharing their fears and struggles. Don't reprimand them, make them feel silly, or make them feel like a failure for raising concerns. Also share the challenges you might have faced while you were studying so that your child knows it is not uncommon for school to be challenging. 

READ: School placements to be completed in 10 days - Motshekga


If your child is struggling with certain subjects, look at ways in which you can support him or her.  For instance, look at getting extra material for that subject, downloading apps that can aid with the subject, or hiring a tutor etc.

Ensure regular attendance 

Missing a class can set your child back. However, if for whatever reason you cannot prevent your child from missing school, talk to their teachers and get any material that they have missed and ensure your child catches up. 

Limit screen time 

Many children spend too much time on their gadgets, either playing games or being on social media. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child is not always on the phone or watching TV. 

Research has shown that too much screen time can have a negative impact on your child's development. 

Set aside time for doing school work

Setting aside at least an hour for school work can go a long way in helping your child thrive at school. Even if your child does not have homework, let him or her use the time for reading or doing an academic activity. 

Be mindful of house chores

Depending on the grade that your child is in, be mindful of how much time and energy they will need for house chores, especially during exam season. 

Ensure your child eats healthy foods 

Eating the right food is not only essential for good health, but it can help your child concentrate better. So, pay attention to what your child eats for breakfast and carries for lunch. 

Words of affirmation

What you say to your child as a parent goes a long way. Your words can either build or destroy your child. Make it a habit to show your child that you believe in him/her. 

Encouraging your child using words is one of the best ways to help them thrive. 

READ: Yay or Nay: Should kids be rewarded for 100% school attendance?

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