Becoming a better student can be difficult. Learn isn’t easy, and everyone has their own style of learning that is best for them. Therefore, standardized advice on becoming a great student can be difficult to come by.  Luckily, below we’ve included a few guidelines to follow as you begin your journey to become a better student!

DO: Meet the teacher. This one’s obvious. Meet the teacher, get a bead on their personality and their teaching style, and see how it meshes with your own. Be clear with the teacher that they can always reach you if your kid is having trouble, that you’d rather know sooner than later. You want to be partners with this person.

DON’T: Micromanage the teacher. They will not handle your kid exactly as you would. That’s just fine. That’s good, actually. Your child is going to deal with all kinds of personality all their life, in every possible roe around them. They need as broad a sampling as possible.

DO: Support your kid in learning at home. Encourage them to read, let them make their own library. Make sure they’re doing their  homework. Talk to them about current events and about science that hits the news. Ask them to tell you stories, even if it’s just what they did that day. That alone is a powerful tool – it teaches observation, narrative, and evaluation.

DON’T: Do their homework for them. Even if it’s frustrating trying to help a kid who seems stuck repeating “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,” don’t ever take over, don’t ever feed them the answers. Encourage them that they can do it, they can find the answers themselves, and show them where to find the resources to do so.

DO: Encourage your kid to work independently. Nudge them in the direction of art contests and science fairs, book clubs and music lessons. If any of those grab them, excellent! Your child investing themselves in expanding their own skillset is exactly what you want to see.

DON’T: Force it. If your child is not inclined to add more hours to the six a day they already spend employed in learning, you forcing more on them is going to be the epitome of counter-productive. There is no better way to create an adolescent who hates school -and- extracurriculars than to force them to over-extend themselves young, and everyone has their own limits. Trust them to know theirs, even if they seem strikingly different from your own.