Parent Tips: Help Your Child Have a Good School Year

A young girl asleep in bed.

As a parent, there are many things you can do at home to help your child have a good school year. These include making sure your child gets enough sleep, getting him to school on time, and reading at home every day. Here are ten important ways to get started!

Note: There are three versions of this article, written at different reading levels (basic, intermediate, and advanced). All three versions are included in the PDF version.

1. Medical care

Children need regular medical checkups, immunizations, and dental care. Check with your school to see if a physical and immunizations are required before the new school year. Some medical and dental services may be available at the local clinic or your child's school.

2. A healthy diet and exercise

Children who eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise can concentrate better during the school day. It is important that your child eats a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and has opportunities to exercise every day through a sports team, fun activity, or playtime outside.

3. Sleep

Getting enough sleep will help your child get up on time, feel good, and be ready for a full day of learning. Children need different amounts of sleep at different ages. Ask your doctor how many hours of sleep your child needs each night.

4. Getting to school, every day and on time

It will be easier for your child to complete daily lessons, homework, and tests if he gets to school on time every day. Limit the time your child misses for family trips and activities. Contact the school immediately if your child will be absent.

5. Homework

Help your child set a regular time and place for homework. Choose a time that works well for your family's schedule. Find a place that is quiet and has good lighting. Make sure your child has supplies such as pens, pencils, paper, and a dictionary. Ask your child to show you her finished homework each night so that you can see what she is learning and confirm that she is doing all of her assignments.

6. Television, video game, and computer time

Limit the time your child spends watching TV, playing video games, and using the computer. When possible, do these activities together, and look for educational programs and games. Help your child understand that he should never give out personal information on the computer or talks to strangers online.

7. Talking about school together

Ask your child to tell you about the school day. Ask her what she learned, and how she felt during the day. Listen carefully to her answers, and help her think of ways to solve any problems she might be having in her schoolwork or in the classroom.

8. Reading

Set aside time to read with your child each day. You can make reading a part of daily routines by reading stories at bedtime and keeping lots of books and magazines in the house.

9. The library

Help your child get to know the library and what you can find there, including books, audio books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs. Libraries also offer homework resources and a quiet place for students to work.

10. Learning at home

Help your child learn at home by sharing activities together, singing, talking, and telling stories. Visit educational places such as museums, the zoo, the park, or a historical monument. Find out what your child's interests are, and look for activities and books that are connected to that interest.


San Diego Unified School District. Every Day Counts: "Tips for Elementary School Parents & Guardians." 2007. Retrieved 7/28/09 from

U.S. Department of Education. Office of Communications and Outreach. Helping Your Child Succeed in School. Washington, D.C., 2005.

U.S. Department of Education. Office of Communications and Outreach. Helping Your Child with Homework. Washington, D.C., 2005.

U.S. Department of Education. Office of Communications and Outreach. Helping Your Preschool Child. Washington, D.C., 2005.


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What a great resource! I will try to use them with parents at our family events. I love having them in different reading levels, its differentiation, but for our parents. Keep up the good work Colorin Colorado!

It is a very useful tool for getting our children go well at school.

orginatition also helps!!!

My 2 daughters love school the last 4 years for my 9 year old have perfect attendance and for my 7 year old last 3 years same never miss one day always on time very good grades love do homework and Monday to Thursday dance class

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