Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | March 20, 2012

Keys to success in school

Today’s guest writer is Kathy Goforth.  There is more information about Kathy at the end of this post.

Research has shown that the keys to success in school are tied to the following abilities:

  • Ability to focus attention
  • Respond to another’s concern (empathy)
  • Communicate needs and desires in a pro-social way
  • Problem solve
  • Form supportive relationships with peers and other adults
  • Interest, motivation and persistence

With that in mind, here are some specific ways to help your child learn right at home:

 Talk to children and listen to them. Expand on what they are telling you. Explain things to them by using proper language as you model correct speech and language.

 Do little projects with your children such as reading to them, having them help set the table, make an art project, etc. Encourage them to finish a short project and follow the directions as you model for them.

 When a problem occurs, have your child tell what it is, then brainstorm ways with him/her that the problem may be able to be solved. Encourage your child to try one of the possible solutions. The targeted problem can be as simple as opening a juice box.

 Join a library story time, a play group, or form a group of your own so children get a chance to bond with others in positive relationships. Model positive ways to interact as they happen.

 Praise your child for attempts at tasks. If he/she cannot do something, talk them through how to do better next time. One way you can model how to persist when something doesn’t work out is to say “Oh well! We just try again!” When you make a mistake, model persistence yourself.

Yes, it is a huge adjustment for both parents and children when a child starts school. The most important thing a parent should remember is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in how to teach and model important concepts and life skills. Your child’s teachers are counting on you to do that. They are also counting on you to partner with them in educating your child. Parents and teachers are an unbeatable team when it comes to molding young minds. If this happens under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a child WILL succeed!

Kathy Goforth is a National Board certified Early Childhood Generalist. She works in a North Carolina public school teaching young children. Kathy is also the creator of a CD called Jolly Good Spellers, which teaches young children to spell required words quickly and easily by singing them to familiar tunes. Proceeds from the CD fund Teacher scholarships and projects benefitting young children. Look for her website at or like Jolly Good Spellers on Facebook.


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