Student success starts at home, but it can be tough navigating the waters of learning by Vicki Davis

In the first post in this series, I shared the facts about how success starts at home, in the last post we covered the first three items in my list of 10 tips for starting student success at home.

10 Tips for Starting Student Success at Home (4-6)

4 – Success in the classroom is not just mastery of the subject matter but mastery of a child’s relationship with his/her teacher.

We all have to get along with people they don’t like for the rest of their life and classroom is life. Children will have bad bosses one day and they may have a bad teacher today.

I am preparing them for how to deal with a bad boss when I teach them how to deal with a bad teacher. Sometimes my child can learn more from a bad teacher than a good one if they learn to be strong, do the right thing, and work hard. I cannot always insulate my child from such experiences but can help give them perspective.

I do believe that most teachers are good teachers and there are some great teachers. Realize also that a great teacher can become a mediocre teacher quickly if administrators or budgets have put too many children in a classroom.

5 – I will create an area that sets them up for success at home.

The following YouTube video shares is our “study center.”  I know that a well-equipped study center at home shows that I expect them to bring work home. (Note to readers:  Every circumstance is different- customize this to your child.)

6 – I will read with my younger children and let them see me read.

Reading is part of life and being a lifelong learner. It has a revered place in our home as something that we all do. I will read a variety of things and let them see me do it. Sometimes they learn more about who I am when they catch me reading my bible at 6 am or reading Consumer Reports before buying a washing machine or reading Educational Journals cover to cover.

We work hard to find books that our children like to read. My youngest has dyslexia and it has been a challenge but we’ve read and read. My favorite trick is to find a book he loves (the Chronicles of Narnia is his favorite now) and I’ll read a chapter and then yawn and say,

“OK, I’m really tired, I’ll let you stay up for another 15 minutes and read the next chapter if you want to.”

He does and now I hear him giggling at funny things or groaning and upsetting things as he reads. With my older two, I would read aloud to them in the car as we drove. Although we could do a book on tape, hearing my voice is important, I think. They know I think reading is important.

In my post, Time to Get Angry About Reading, I shared some research about how one third of high school graduates never read another book in their lives and over 40% of college graduates don’t read another book after college.

If you don’t like reading then your child won’t like it either. Success in reading definitely starts at home.

See the next post in this series for items 7-10 in this list. Remember, Moms (and Dads) matter.

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