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Help your child excel in school

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Raise a mini scholar

To make the most of your child’s education, you need to be your child’s teacher once she gets home from school.

Experts weigh in on how parents can help their child succeed in school without pushing them too hard.

Raise a bookworm

Experts agree that reading at home is one of the most important things parents can do to help instill a love of learning at a young age. Erica Rood, MA, teen life coach and enrichment teacher at Torrey Hills Elementary School in San Diego, says, "Students who read are the best writers. Expose your child to high-level books. Read with them and make reading fun by creating a book club, writing online book reviews or making books come alive by recreating stories through drama, comics or children's books."

Be positive

Instead of praising your child for achieving something, praise the effort he took versus the actual outcome. Dr. Michele Borba
, one of the nation's 
leading child, parenting and education experts says, "Research shows that 
praising your child's hard work and efforts rather than the desired
 outcome enhances their achievement. For example, aim to give more words
 of encouragement commending your children on time spent studying for a
 big test rather than the actual score they receive on that test."

The importance of positive behavior >>

6 Ways to encourage a love of reading in preschoolers >>

Reward positive behavior

Just as you'd reward that child for studying hard for a test, Kevin J. Roberts, MA, author of Movers, Dreamers, and Risk Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD, says it's important to reward children for their efforts on nightly homework with a little break! He says, "When the math homework gets done, for example, give 
your child a break, which could be anything from 20 minutes on a video 
game, Facebook time, playing with the dog or a favorite toy, etc."

Kevin adds, "This not 
only serves to break up the monotony, but also teaches the important lesson
 that we have to work to allow for some quality play time. These are 
short-term rewards, and children function at that level a good deal of the 
time."

How to reward your children >>

Help your child slow down

Kids tend to rush through their homework, sometimes carelessly, just to get it over with. However, Dr. Fran Walfish, celebrity doctor and leading child, teen, parent, and family psychotherapist and author in Beverly Hills has the perfect tool to help kids slow down and pay attention to the work at hand. She suggests parents implement a timer to indicate when homework time begins and ends.

She adds, "Too many parents become the homework cop and nag/fight with their kids. At the same time, many school-age children rush through their homework and make careless mistakes just to have finished and get more free play time. Mom determines the time span. Homework time is over when the timer goes off. This way, your child learns to slow down and develop a work rhythm. He also has extra time to proofread and correct errors."

More on helping kids in school

What to do if your kid doesn't fit in
What to do if your child is struggling at school
10 Steps to school year success

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