If the upcoming school year will be your child’s first since your separation or divorce, you’re likely concerned that their interest in school may suffer as a result of the changes in their family. If you and your co-parent can agree on expectations around things like homework, grades, and school-night bedtimes, that’s a big plus. Kids typically do better when they see that their parents are still a team when it comes to caring for and about them.
If you’re sharing custody, you may find it challenging at first to be responsible for your child getting their homework done or their project finished while they’re with you. That’s especially true for parents who left most of the school involvement to their spouses.
Encourage your child’s interest in learning
Even if you’re struggling to understand fourth-grade math homework or take an interest in a science project, there are some simple things you can do to encourage your child’s interest in learning. For example:
- Find out what interests your child: Every child has a favorite subject. If they like history, for example, do things that will spark their interest even more. That could be anything from watching a documentary to a museum visit. When kids have a positive attitude toward learning in general, they tend to do better even in subjects that don’t come easily to them.
- Get creative: There’s no shortage of games and activities for kids of all ages to spark interest in just about every subject. If your child is bored by geometry, for example, find a fun, creative way to help them learn.
- Encourage reading: Kids who are read to and read from an early age tend to do better in school. Whatever stage of development your child is in, encourage the reading of books they enjoy outside of their school.
- Praise them regularly: When your child gets a good grade on an assignment, shows improvement in a subject where they’ve been struggling or gets an encouraging note from a teacher, make sure you let them know how proud you are.
It can be helpful to include expectations around school and learning in general in your parenting plan. This can help you and your co-parent solidify your goals for your children and keep you on the same page.