Help Your Child Start the School Year Right

Attention Parents

Before you know, the summer vacation will be over and school bells will begin ringing; welcoming the start of a new year.

As a parent and educator, I know the importance of my role to help children get the new school year off to a great start and to maintain the momentum all year long. Over the years, I learned some valuable tips that are applicable for children of all ages and that are worth sharing:

  1. At the beginning of the year, meet your child’s teacher. Remember that a parent is the first teacher so you know your child better than anyone else. Share any pertinent information about your child with the teacher. Ideas may include your child’s favorite books and if your child enjoys reading. Of importance is any special learning needs your child may have. Share also, if your child has food allergies or unusual eating patterns.
  2. You and your child’s privacy is important. However, certain situations at home may impact his/her learning and may be worth sharing with the teacher. For example, the loss of a close family or friend over the summer, any significant change in the family dynamics; someone moving in or out of the home, loss of income that may be affecting available resources and any noteworthy illness.
  3. Ask the teacher how you can support the teaching and learning process. If you are unable to help with homework, find someone who can. Most schools provide free tutors or other opportunities to help with academics. Free help can also be found on the Web. Provide a quiet place where homework should be done.
  4. Check on your child’s academic progress regularly. Do not hesitate to call for a conference as needed.
  5. Find out the school’s dress code and other school rules. Emphasize, with your child, the importance of following rules.
  6. Watching television should be limited during school nights. However, do not underestimate the educational value that can be found in this media. Watch educational programs with your child and discuss the content. Discuss news and current events. When places and locations are being shown, find these places on a map and do research about the peoples, their culture, and customs.
  7. It is not a secret that sleep is important to everyone, but more so to a growing child. Set and keep a specific bedtime.
  8. Take your child to the library. Get him/her a library card. Make going to the library a family habit.

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