Your teen enjoys extracurricular activities and spending time with friends, but he struggles with his classwork. You know he’s not putting the necessary effort into studying, so his grades are suffering. However, you can develop a strategic plan of attack that will help him get the most out of his high school education.
Ways to Support Your Son as a Student
- Maintain an open relationship with your son and continue to encourage him.
- Tie in rewards with completed schoolwork. This will help him develop key life skills that he will need when he leaves the house.
- Communicate with his teacher.
- Set loving but firm boundaries. Work on remaining positive as it will show him that you support his efforts.
- Teach him how to balance his activities.
Ways to Support the School
You can support your son in his school efforts by doing the following:
- Read through the school website to find out rules, disciplinary procedures and other important information.
- Place a high priority on attendance.
- Attend parent-teacher conferences and back-to-school night
- Provide a quiet study environment for your teen free from distractions, including his phone, the internet and television.
- Review homework expectations.
- Discuss school and academics regularly. Keep the lines of communication open.
- Send your teen to school with a healthy breakfast. As an alternative, see if the school offers breakfast.
- Supervise your son’s sleep habits. He should get between 8.5 and 9.5 hours a night so that he can focus during school.
- Help him stay organized. While he needs these skills for his classes, school doesn’t always teach him the details of organizing his life.
- Support him as he studies. He should understand how to take notes, basic review skills and how to schedule his time so that he isn’t cramming for three tests in one night. Review with him by asking questions, using practice tests and using different methods to help his brain retain the information.
- Volunteer to show your involvement. Schools still need parent support in all types of volunteer activities beyond the elementary years.
Consider a Therapeutic Boarding School
In some cases, your son might not well in a traditional school setting despite your best efforts. In these cases, you might consider sending your son to a therapeutic boarding school. These facilities offer support and guidance to your son through the following:
- An academic program, often online, that instills the value of learning
- Individual therapy to address various personal needs and group counseling with peers
- Healthy eating and nutrition
- Service to others and volunteering
- Life skills that your son can carry with him long after he leaves the therapeutic boarding school
- Free time and productive leisure activities to build team spirit and cooperation
- Follow up care to offer support after your son leaves the program
No matter where your son attends school—public, private, charter or a therapeutic boarding school—following these suggestions will help pave the road for a smoother future for him as he learns the necessary skills to succeed in life.