Here are some back to school tips that parents can use to help their children be safe and successful this school year.
Let your child know exactly how they are getting to and home from school. Practice the walk to and from school or the bus. Include some safe houses along the route. Make sure your child knows how to be safe near roads and has a buddy. -Error on the side of safety when your child is riding a bike or walking near a road.
Make your home a place to learn with stacks of books, magazines, catalogs and writing materials at easy reach. Create a place for your child to study where the lighting is good, and it’s quiet. Your child will need you near to answer questions.
If your child goes to an after school program or day care provider’s home, be sure to have a discussion with the provider where and how the homework gets done. Once your child is home, go over his homework to make sure it is complete. Answer any questions he has about his work. Once the pattern of every night home work is checked is established it will become a routine.
The routine you set will make more of an impression than your words. The daily interest you show in his homework, and school work will impress how important learning is in your home. When your child sees you learning and reading, he will be excited about learning and reading.
Have a specific “quiet time” every day for reading. Reading should not be viewed as optional, any more than is an assignment or project at your place of work.
Help your child to feel good about learning. Encourage your child by praising him for his specific efforts, using examples. Be enthusiastic! Don't give the message that homework is a boring chore; it is a way to learn. Children, who do well enjoy learning, motivate to do well in school, and with homework.
Avoid making excuses. Never say: “you never have been good at writing-math-reading-Spanish-whatever.” You will not help your child by encouraging her to make excuses whenever it is convenient, she may think you believe she can’t handle a task. Successful adults don’t make excuses; they do the best they can. Listen carefully when your child talks about having difficulty with his homework so you can figure out where the breakdown occurs. Most of the time children see an assignment as a whole. Encourage him to break down assignments/problems into small steps.
Make learn authentic. Show how school work skills apply to everyday life. For example: Use cooking for fractions, telling time for arriving on schedule, reading and building for multi-step problem solving. Have your child mange money, write "thank you" notes, shopping lists and letters.
Encourage independent learning. While you should be actively involved with your child's homework, eventually every child must take charge of her own learning. This means that it is important for you not to do the long page of math, write the essay or do science projects for your child. Let your child pursues hobbies and encourage reading about those hobbies.
Get to know, and stay connected to your child's teachers and what they expect. Tell teachers of special events that may influence how your child does in school, such as a recent family death, divorce or move. Get answers to all of your questions about homework requirements, attendance policies, dress and conduct rules, discipline policies, and curriculum guidelines. Make sure that your child knows of your interest in his school, and how he is doing is important.
Keep communication open. Talk with your child each evening. Find out what his concerns are by asking about friends, what they learned, how was lunch... If you learn that your child feels ignored or "picked on" in the classroom, talk with his teacher as soon as possible. If you can't find the time to visit in person, call the teachers or attach notes to homework your child is taking back to school, or a quick email.
Make your mornings easy by having everything set out the night before. From clothes, shoes, to papers in the backpack ready to go. You can even have lunches in the refrigerator ready to go. Think about it this way everything you do and plan the night before will be one less thing on your mind in the morning.
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