6 Healthy Ways Parents Can Be Involved with a Teen's Education

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Teens do best academically when parents show an appropriate amount of involvement in their education. It’s important for parents to provide support and guidance – without becoming overly involved – in a high school student’s academic life. Here are six ways parents can maintain a healthy involvement in a teen’s education:

1. Help Your Teen Develop Good Habits

Your teen’s habits outside of the classroom play a huge role in his academic success.

 Establish rules that promote healthy habits. If your teen has trouble waking up for school or seems tired during the day, set an earlier bedtime. If your teen struggles to do homework without getting distracted, establish a designated homework area.

Assist your teen in establishing a healthy routine. Many teens struggle with time management and they need guidance about how to divide their after school hours appropriately so they have enough time for chores and homework as well as extra-curricular activities and leisure. Create rules that encourage your teen to do homework early in the evening to establish good habits.

Limit your teen’s electronics use. Monitor online activity and create cell phone rules to ensure that your teen isn’t using social media during homework time. Providing guidance early on will help your teen establish lifelong healthy habits.

2. Set High Expectations

Your expectation about your teen’s achievement makes a big difference.

If you establish high expectations, your teen is likely to perform better. Make it clear that you expect homework to be completed on time and talk often about what type of grades you expect to see. Your teen is likely to perform according to your expectations.

3. Show Interest in Your Teen’s Education

Talk to your teen about what’s going on in school in a daily basis.

Discuss homework assignments, upcoming projects, exams and other school-related topics each day. Give your teen an opportunity to discuss any problems or concerns as well as a chance to share accomplishments.

Also, have frequent conversations about what your teen plans to do after high school. Ask questions that encourage your teen to think about different vocations and discuss any plans for further education following high school.

4. Model Educational Activities

Just because you’re not in school anymore, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t model educational activities. Read books, take classes, and attend workshops to advance your knowledge. Discuss the importance of lifelong learning and be a good role model to your teen.

Attend educational activities with your teen. Go to cultural events and visit museums. Talk about your interests in learning more about the things that interest you and spark your teen to develop natural curiosity about things that interest him.

5. Communicate with Teachers

Communicating with teachers is a little more complicated once kids are in high school but it’s still very important.

Don’t wait until you receive a report card to find out how your teen is doing academically. If you have questions or concerns, be willing to ask throughout the school year. If your teen’s school offers online access to grades and assignments, familiarize yourself with the system because it can be an excellent tool.

Attend parent teacher conferences and open houses to meet your teen’s teachers. Find out how they prefer to communicate – by phone or email – if you have any questions or concerns. Don’t be afraid to check in with teachers, even if it’s just to ensure that things are going well with your teen.

6. Volunteer When Appropriate

While you may not want to chaperone all of your teen’s dances, there can be some ways to volunteer at your teen’s high school that won’t mortify your child. Get involved with the PTA or be willing to fundraise for various school-related needs. Meeting with various school officials and speaking with other students’ parents can be an excellent way to be involved with your teen’s education.

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