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5 Simple Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Simple things you can do at home to help your child succeed in school.


Parents spend a lot of time researching local schools and finding homes in towns with highly-rated schools. Great schools are fantastic, but if you truly want your child to succeed in school, home is the place to start!

5 Simple Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School

A lot of people think that scholastic success at home comes from running drills and hiring tutors; approach is both simpler and more effective. Here are the things I do at home to help my kids succeed in school:

 #1 Get kids in bed early

There is a lot of research indicating that it is much harder to learn if you are tired! We prioritize getting our kids to bed early all year round, but especially during the school year. Early bedtimes also means more time for them to relax before going to school in the morning.

#2 Keep mornings peaceful

We do as much school prep as possible the night before – even packing lunches and having any refrigerated portions ready to throw into lunch boxes first thing in the morning. I also try to have my kids’ clothes picked out the night before, so it is easy for them to get up and get dressed.

#3 Stay curious

The downside of modern society’s school system is that it sometimes leads people to think of learning as something that happens primarily at school. I find that my kids make tremendous leaps of understanding through play and exploration – and that a key to their being interested in learning is for me to remain curious and keep learning myself.

#4 Teach kids to fail

Fear of failure is an easy way to put an end to learning and to teach kids to set up limiting safety walls. Kids will learn to fail and recover graciously if they see their parents facing and overcoming their own failures.

#5 Make home a safe space

School has become an increasingly intense environment, with higher and higher learning standards even in kindergarten. Make home a haven where children feel safe to relax, explore, and share their feelings.

How do you help your child succeed in school?

Get Ready for K Through Play button

This post is the last of eight in the Get Ready for K Through Play series I am working on with Bernadette of Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons, Vicky at Mess for Less, Cerys at Rainy Day Mum, and Kristina at Toddler Approved. Be sure to check out their posts as well!

Drop by our Get Ready for K Through Play Pinterest board for more ideas!


MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

13 thoughts on “5 Simple Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School”

  1. I love this post MaryAnne – especially learning not to fear failure. It is such a important skill to learn and not always an easy one to teach.

    1. Thank you, Jody! Overcoming fear of failure is something I still struggle with as an adult. The irony, is that fearing failure is a great way to hold yourself back.

  2. Great tips! We’ve done many of these over the years. Home schooling has made some of routines change slightly but the getting them to bed early is still priority!

  3. This is all so true. I could do a lot better with the bedtime. Us night owls are spoiled here with a 9:20 school start.

  4. I love the idea of failure as a wonderful teacher. It is, but you have to view it in a positive way. Love your ideas for home learning. I agree with you 100% that scholatic successs begins and ends at home!

  5. It’s an awesome post. I am already thinking of how to shift our bedtime to help Anna transition to an earlier bedtime. School starts in just 2.5 weeks! And we still have to work on our own tolerance for mistakes :)

    1. Good luck! I’m still working on tolerating mistakes here, too.

      Looks like we’ll miss the start of school on both sides of the country – leaving too soon to start here, and getting to CA too late.

    1. That was my experience as well. I know I also held myself back a lot as a kid (and, to some extent even as an adult) because failure is scary.

  6. These are some great points! I need to put some work in making the mornings more peaceful but am totally on board with the others. I see the need to make home a safe space growing more and more important as my kids grow older.

  7. We’re on the same page MaryAnne. I think learning is inherent in kids so we don’t particular teach them how to learn; we just don’t squash that skill to begin with. I don’t discount play, for one thing, as a learning tool. In fact that’s one of the best ways for them to learn. We do writing practice but if my son isn’t up for it, I’ll find another thing to interest him or to practice writing.

    We also do pretty much everything you mention: early bed time, prep the night before, and allowing them to make mistakes. Mistakes are wonderful! It’s instant feedback, not failure.

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