As your child heads back to school this fall, we might be able to offer some advice – at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, we’ve been providing educational solutions to kids in crisis since 1887. Many of our boys and girls arrive at our Home two or more years behind their peers academically, and we hope that some of what we do to help our kids catch up in school might help your child, too.

Once your child is in school, your interest in their education will impact their success. With that in mind, here are five ways to support your child’s education:

1. Monitor your child’s first week at school closely.

At Mercy Home, we believe the most important part of the school year is at the very beginning. Ask your child about teachers and classmates and listen for signs of concerns. A teacher your child complains about is a teacher you need to get to know. At Mercy Home, our education coordinators call each school our children attend in order to personally touch base about their progress during the first week.

2. Quiz your kid.

Ask what your child is learning in school. You do not have to know anything about chemistry to help your child with her chemistry homework; ask what the chemistry class is learning this week, and allow your child to teach you something about the material.

3. Plan to attend parent-teacher conferences.

Prepare ahead of time with your employer if you need time off, but make this a priority. School teachers report often that the parents who don’t show up for the parent-teacher conferences are those whose children are struggling.

4. Check in on progress.

Make time with your child to talk about progress toward his or her goals. Put these goals on a calendar and review them at least once a month. Adjust the goals if necessary, but whatever you do, don’t forget to check in regularly. Our volunteer tutors work weekly with our children in achieving their educational goals.

5.Reward your child’s success.

Build on success, rather than dwelling on failure. At Mercy Home, we take a strengths-based approach. Our boys and girls are given more freedom and privileges as they meet their goals.

Partnering with your child’s learning is a formula for success!

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