New Year’s Resolutions: Ensure a Successful Education for Your Child in 2023
Ahh, the new year is here—a time for making positive changes, and sticking with them! Now, as a parent, you know how important a good education is for your little student. So why not make some cool resolutions to help ensure a successful education for your child in 2023, and beyond?
Whether your child is struggling in school, has an A+ average or falls somewhere in between, there are so many ways to improve grades, test-taking skills and overall academic achievement at any age. You can set new goals, encourage reading, build a support system and so much more. We spoke with parents, education experts (and did some of our own online research!) to put together this New Year’s guide to help create and continue education success for your child throughout 2023. Save it, refer to it, and just keep it handy!
And don’t worry. Our resolutions aren’t all study, study, study. After all, we gotta have kids on board for their successful education, too. We’ve researched ways to make learning fun at any age, from toddler to teen. (BONUS: Even as adults, you might learn a thing or two about how to increase your own wealth of knowledge!)
Ensure a Successful Education for Your Child in 2023
This is probably a no-brainer for most people, but education is important for a variety of reasons, including life success. And it doesn’t matter what kind of school your child goes to, whether it be public, private or any other type of institution. A lot of what can make a good education is what children, parents and teachers put into it.
Jennifer Cedro Puglia of Staten Island has two boys in Catholic school. To her, a good education leads to her kids being independent and focused on goals.
“A good education is a foundation for a better life and a better person,” she said.
Richie Blings, whose children attend NYC public school, agrees.
“I tell my kids that you’re an adult a lot longer than a child. So, go to school, learn and get yourself a great job,” Blings said.
A Resolution List for Preschoolers: Ages 3 to 5 Years
Pre-school age refers to kids ages 3 to 5 years. These are important years for building a foundation for learning. And it doesn’t really matter whether you choose to keep your child home during these years, or enroll them in daycare or preschool.
But if your child does attend daycare or preschool, keep in mind they’re usually not given grades. They’ll also learn how to socialize, which can be tough to do at home. As Wendy Levey, an education consultant explains, preschoolers get assessments on their attention span, focus, ability to count sequentially and share toys, and other factors.
If your child will be in preschool this year, whether he’s a new student or currently enrolled, Levey recommends the following resolutions for 2023:
Be Happy! Don’t leave your child at the door of his classroom looking like you’re about to cry. Wear a smile and go cry at Starbuck’s.
Homework: Find out what is going on in school and reinforce it at home. For example, if teachers have the kids washing their hands and dumping their snacks after finishing, do that at home, too.
Get Involved: Help with the school’s bake sell. Or go on a school trip. Things like this are not only beneficial for you, your child and the school…it’s also fun! And of course, parents/caregivers should arrive at school on time to drop their children off or pick them up.
Choosing to keep your kiddo home at this age? You’re not alone! Many parents choose this route for a variety of reasons. Check out these positive parenting tips from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that you can use to create your preschool-age New Year’s resolution list and help ensure a successful education for your child.
A Resolution List for Elementary, Middle and High-School Students
In NYC, kids enter kindergarten in the fall of the calendar year they turn 5. Elementary and middle school is the crux of their academic career, and should give them a great foundation for high school, college, trade school and eventually their chosen profession.
“I tell my daughter that her education is important for her success. There’s so much to be learned from school,” said Madeline Elena Vidal, whose daughter is in fourth grade. “Her education is important now, especially if she plans on going to college to further pursue anything. She also knows that college isn’t mandatory. Going to a trade school is also an option.”
Just like in preschool, it’s important to be involved in your child’s school work at the elementary and high-school levels. Gabrielle Gambrell, professor at NYU and Columbia University, says it’s important to devote time to talking about school to become invested in your child’s education.
“As both an educator and a parent, I know firsthand how important it is to show interest in your child’s education,” Gambrell, who’s also the founder of Gift of Gabrielle, says. “This can be done by devoting time to discussing school with your child, their day, curriculum, classwork, homework, what they are excited about and beyond.”
There should be no interruptions with phones, electronics, or any other distractions. All emphasis should be on having sincere discussions about school and its significance.
“This time will also help you to identify what your child enjoys about school, learn their academic strengths, as well as if your child is struggling with anything or falling behind on their coursework,” Gambrell says. “Use this time to reiterate the significance of education and how proud you are of your child. When parents participate in their children’s schooling it makes a world of difference. During this time, be sure to remind your children to communicate their needs. This is a practice that children can learn early. It’ll help them throughout their academic journey.”
Here are some resolutions that will help your elementary, middle and high-school students this year:
Read Together: If you have younger children, read with them. Read books about starting the school year off right. Books with characters that your children can relate to can help boost their confidence about the year ahead. This allows an opportunity to discuss how your child feels about returning to school in 2023.
“It’s always wonderful to assess how your children are feeling and what they’re thinking about,” Gambrell says. “Be sure to show them that their feelings and thoughts are also your concern. Children should often be reminded of how much their parents care about them. Reading together is a great way to start important and relevant conversations.”
Create an Environment for Learning: A dedicated home learning environment is instrumental to a child’s success. Does your child have a desk at home? Do you have a dedicated place for homework? Have a dedicated place where your children can sit and learn at home away from distractions.
Stick to a Good Bedtime (and Other Routines): Routines are paramount to academic success. Setting a time and place for homework surrounded by all necessary supplies is pivotal to success. Receiving proper sleep is instrumental to be fueled for academic success.
“As we all know, getting enough sleep supports your child in feeling their best as it prepares them for a full day of learning,” Gambrell says. “Also, getting to school on time makes a difference in student success. Stay on schedule. The earlier children learn the significance of time management the better.”
Set Goals: Talk to your kids about what they want out of the school year, and what you want. Be a positive force in your child’s life. Affirm their successes. You can also reward your kids for doing well, getting better grades or just improving overall.
Ushindi Lewis, program coordinator at the New Jersey Youth Corps of Middlesex County New Brunswick Public Schools, underscores the importance of the role parents play in their child’s education.
“A parent can help reshape a student’s thinking about learning by encouraging the student to think of learning as a passion,” Lewis says.
Check Your Child’s Assignments: No matter what grade your child is in, parents should resolve to be actively checking assignment books and online assignment/grading sites, explains Ryan Michele Woods, a teacher at Staten Island Academy with 18 years experience in the NYC Department of Education.
“Kids will often tell you they are on top of things, but in reality are having trouble organizing themselves and are overwhelmed,” Woods says. “Even if they say they can do it on their own, they may not be able to, and often aren’t. To be successful, parents need to be partnering in their accountability. This also prevents surprises at grading time.”
Woods added that this is especially important for upper elementary and middle school students.