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How to Help Your Child Do Well In School*
(10 Tips for Dads to Get Involved in Their Child's Education)

Did you know that if you are involved in your child's school work and school events, it will help your child do well in school? It's true! Even when mom is involved in school, it helps for you to be involved, too.

It makes sense that if you help with school work, you will help your child learn. But did you know that a dad also helps his child do better in school when he meets with his child's teachers, attends school meetings and events, or volunteers at school? Children with involved dads are more likely to get as than children whose dads are not involved. Children of involved dads are also less likely to repeat a grade, get suspended or drop out of school

Why is it that getting involved will help your child do well in school? First, it shows that you love your child. Actions often speak louder than words. your love encourages your child to do well in life. Second, it shows that school is very important to you, so it gives your child another parents to help with school work or problems in school. Mom can only do so much. the more you do, the better chance your child will get the help he or she needs. Fourth, your child will see you and the teacher as partners. This lets your child know that you are working with the teacher to make sure your child succeeds in school.

So get involved! Here are 10 ways, to do just that.

  1. Don't Let Mom Do All The Work

    Some dads leave everything to do with school up to mom. This includes helping with school work, meetings with teachers and volunteering for school and class events. When you are not involved, it gives your child only one parent to help. If you're married to mom, helping with school work, meetings and events gives mom a break. Getting involved will help your child and your marriage. It takes the pressure off mom and shows your wife and your child that you respect her.

  2. "Show and Tell" How Important School Is

    Your child needs to hear you say that school is important to success in life. Tell your child that the better he or she does in school, the better chance your child will have at getting a job that he or she will like and that pays well. Take time to talk with your child every day about the school day.

  3. Help With School Work

    Children today have more school work, or homework, that you may have had as a child. This puts a lot of pressure on children and the parents who help them.

    Helping with school work may help your child learn more. You may be better at some subjects than mom is. She may be better at other subjects than you are. Your child may be in a class of 20 to 30 students. If your child is having problems, your child may not get as much one-on-one help as he or she needs. Your and mom can give your child the kind of one-on-one help the school may not be able to give.

    If you have a boy, you may need to focus on reading and writing. If you have a girl, you may need to focus on math. Boys tend to do better in math than girls do, and girls tend to do better in reading and writing. (This may not be true of your boy and girl.) Look for your child's strengths and weaknesses, so that you can help your child where he or she needs it most.

  4. Make School Fun

    Your child should have fun learning no matter how old he or she is. Play games that teach basic skills to your child, like math, reading and writing. use the fun times you spend with your child as a chance to learn. If you and your child like to fish, for example, go over school work that your child has problems with while you wait to catch the big one. If you're watching a basketball game, ask your child by how many points the winning team is ahead.

    Encourage your child to play sports, join school clubs, play in the school band or get involved in student government. This will not only make school fun, it will help your child do better in school and stay out of trouble.

  5. Spend a Day or Two In Class

    Ask your child's teachers if you can spend parts of one or two days in the classroom. This will give you an idea no tonly of the subjects your child learns, but how the teacher teaches them. It helps to know how the teacher teaches math, reading, writing and other subjects. It may be different from the way you learned those things. You don't want to confuse your child by being teaught one way at school and another way at home.

  6. Go To School and Class Events

    Go to meetings with the teacher, to class parties, to school ball games and plays, and to events that involve the entire school When dads do these things, their children get better grades and like school more.

  7. Meet With The Teacher

    Set a time to meet with your child's teacher before you spend a day or two in class. This will help you get to know the teacher and ask questions you may have about how the teacher will teach and discipline your child. Offer to help with class events or to help (tutor) students in subjects you know well. Meet with the teacher as often as you need to . The teacher won't mind because it will show that you want to be involved. It's also good to meet with the principal to see how the school is run.

  8. Join a Group That Helps Parents To Become Involved

    Become a member of a group, like the PTA, that helps parents to get involved in your child's school. This is one of the best ways to make sure tha tyour child's teacher is doing the he or she can to teach your child. Start a "Dad's Club" as a part of the group. The club can create projects and event that help dads to get involved in the school.

  9. Get To Know Other Children and Parents

    Your child will make friends in class and may or may not get along with others. Knowing the children in the class, and their parents, will help you talk with your child about the good and not so good things that happen to school. This will help if you need to talk with the teacher about problems between your child and other children that happen over and over again. Invite the children and the parents that you want your child to be around to your home. This may create bonds that last a long time. One of the best things you can do for your child is to help him or her avoid "hanging out" with the wrong crowd.

  10. Ask Your Boss For Time Off

    All these ideas may be great, but what if it's hard to get off work? Use benefits, like flexibility, that will allow you to get involved. Go in a little late and stay a little late if your child has an event in the morning. Bring your work home and do it after your child goes to bed if it will help you arrange your day to get involved. Ask the teacher or school for a calendar of events so that you can ask for time off long before events take place. This will help your boss plan for your absence. Ask to "telecommute" so that you can take and pick up your child from school.

* These tips are product and publication of National Father Initiative can found and purchased in brochure style at Fatherhood.org.

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101 Fathers and Father-figures speak

1. Name: Bill Monning

2. Occupation: California State Assembly member

3. How many children do you have or you are father-figure for? 2 daughters

4. What does fatherhood mean to you? Fatherhood represents one of life's greatest joys and one of life's most humbling responsibilities. I feel incredibly fortunate to have 2, healthy, adult daughters with whom I enjoy a very close and mutually supportive relationship.

5. What is the best part of being a father or father figure? The joy of watching a child grow from infancy and dependence to adulthood and independence.

6. What is the challenging part of being a father or father figure? Realizing that a father or father figure is a role model 24/7 - all the time. As human beings we manifest our frailties and it is important that children see how we deal with disappointment, challenges, loss, and life as well as how we display love, joy, and the fulfillment in giving to others.

7. What advice do you have for fathers or father figures in our community? Realize that you have not only a tremendous responsibility, but also a gift to teach and learn from your children. By being mindful of presenting a strong role model, children can help us to become better individuals and better members of our communities.

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