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Keeping your child from dropping out

An article in the April/May issue of Canadian Family discusses the fact that about 10 percent of young Canadians between 20 and 24 years of age don’t have a high school diploma, despite the best efforts of goverments and school boards to keep teens in class. Here are some of the important points made in the article.

Make education important

“If a child is raised in an environment where school is valued and dropping out is just not even part of the household’s vocabulary, then the child really doesn’t think it’s something to consider,” says Philip Oreopoulos, assisant professor of economics at the University of Toronto.

Keep kids active

Most dropouts don’t participate in many extracurricular activities at school or in the community. Help your child discover clubs, sports and activities that spark their interest, and build confidence and self-esteem in something other an academics.

Make reading a priority

“If your youngster isn’t reading at grade level by Grade 3, you better begin to look for some major intervention, such as tutoring,” says Jay Smink, executive director of the National Dropout Prevention Centre at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Watch their attitude

“If your child seems to be turned off [about school] in general, that should be a warning signal,” says Frank Peters, an educational policy studies professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Most dropouts said, “Nobody cared whether I stayed in school or not.”

Beware of repeat years

A child held back in school once has a 40 percent chance of dropping out. Being held back twice raises those chances to 90 percent. These statistics are consistent in the U.S. and Canada.

Focus on the future

As your child grows older, talk to him/her about career plans and the education he/she will need to achieve the goal. If your child is falling behind, get extra help from a professional tutoring program such as Oxford Learning.

For more strategies to keep your child in school until graduation, please click here.

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