Factors affecting children's school success

Written by tonya cunningham
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Factors affecting children's school success
A number of factors may affect a student's desire to hit the books. (school image by horacio villamonte from Fotolia.com)

A child's success is dependent on a combination of many factors. There is no "one-size-fits-all" rule to academic achievement, but there does seem to be a pattern among youth who do particularly well in school. It is important that parents realise that intellect is not the sole determining factor of whether or not a child will succeed academically.

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Parental Involvement

According to a family research project conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, children whose parents maintain consistent involvement in their children's education are more likely to succeed academically. Some of the key components of parental involvement noticed in the study were communication with the child, emphasis put on reasonable academic expectations, reading together and attendance at school functions, events and meetings. The Harvard study noted that the findings proving that parental involvement directly impacted student success was "substantial" and, therefore, schools should strongly encourage parental involvement both at home and by their presence at school functions.

Sleep Quality

Dr. William Kohler of the Sleep Institute in Spring Hill, Florida, believes that children need a significantly longer duration of sleep than adults. Dr. Kohler has determined that children's and teens' social skills, attitudes, concentration levels, memory and grades all directly are impacted by the amount of sleep they get. The Sleep Institute has found that academic failure often occurs as a result of a lack of sleep, even when children don't seem to recognise this as the problem. The doctors at the Sleep Institute advise parents that children should get at least 9 to 10 hours of sleep at night in order to think clearly and work at their most productive capabilities.

Time Management

Researchers at the Groningen Institute for Educational Research at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, conducted a study on student success in direct relationship to time management. The study primarily focused on the concept of procrastination but touched on other aspects of time management, as well. The researchers determined that students whose time is well balanced between in school and out-of-school activities are more likely to do their homework in a timely manner with full focus and effort. Children whose time was not as diversified and had less commitments to balance were actually more prone to procrastination, resulting in lower grades. The same was found for studying for tests and preparing projects.

Quality of School District

Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University says that communities and school districts with plenty of extra-curricular activities provide children with greater motivation than areas that lack these types of resources. The experience and dedication of highly educated teachers, well-trained staff and district officials gives students an advantage that might otherwise be lacking in more underprivileged districts. Epstein determined that community resources and parental involvement directly impact academic success in a school district.

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