TYLER (KYTX) - Grades are in and report cards are out for most East Texas schools. Whether those grades could be better or they're looking great, there's plenty of ways you can help your children succeed.
Sophomore students Grace Negem and Madison Hammer get extra help at the academic services center at Grace Community School regularly.
They say their time there has paid off.
"I was struggling at the beginning of the year." says Negem. "But, we brought up most of my grades."
"My grade wasn't too bad." says Hammer. "But, I just kind of wanted it to be better and at a safer place."
It took not only tutoring, but plenty of help at home to see their grades improve.
Mary Dirksen is director of academic support. She says parents should help with homework, but they shouldn't put added stress on them at home.
"Pushing a child past- even 10 or 11 o'clock at night after they've been here all day and played football or had a concert, it's too much."
She says children need to take a homework break every 20 to 30 minutes. And, where they study is also important.
"Is there a spot? Is there a table where they can sit?"
She says there's no one size fits all for studying. It may be tempting to shut off the TV or music, but she says some children don't work well in silence. And, homework should never feel like timeout or punishment.
"I have students who actually like coming down here to take a test because there's noise."
Encouragement is also helpful.
Grace sixth grader John Moore says he gets plenty of that from his dad.
"He would probably be like, 'John, you need to work harder at this. I know you're doing a good job, but you need to work harder at this.'"
Dirksen says you shouldn't over praise.
"If they're going to encourage, it needs to be very, very specific. 'This is what you did well. And, you know, I'm really pleased with how you focused for 20 minutes and really got that Spanish assignment done.'"
She says you should treat rewards the same way.
Make doable goals with your students, and when it comes to their success, think broad and long-term.
"Parenting is a marathon. It's not a sprint."