Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tips for Parents

Sadly, our small 1st-3rd grade classes are gone. This year, students are going into bigger , more crowded classrooms with less individual attention, but they will also provide our students with opportunities to:

  • develop independent work habits

  • learn to work in a group

  • learn from a diversity of classmates

Here are some tips to help you work with your child for the super sized classroom:

  1. Try to talk to your child about these changes in a positive way and how they can help him/her grow. Be positive about your child's education. Research shows that your child's school performance is strongly influenced by your attitude and opinions.

  2. Get to know your child's teacher, get involved with the school. Ask him/her how to be an active partner in your child's education. Be a team player: each teacher has personal preferences regarding the best ways for parents to support classroom learning.

  3. Plan your day so that you can spend time with you child and know what is happening in the classroom. Children aren't always ready to tell you about their day, when you ask them, be available when your child needs you.

  4. Practice your child's attention skills by encouraging them to stick to activities, to ignore distractions, and to pay attention when others are talking. Encourage your child to be responsible and to follow through on chores at home.

  5. Develop a consistent homework routine early in the school year to help your child keep up and learn effectively beyond the school day. Remember that homework help is just that, help. Don't give your child the answers, help them figure it out.Be honest about your child's strengths as well as weaknesses.

  6. Use your child's strengths to make learning easier and to create strategies to compensate for skills that don't come as naturally. Set some goals for your child's academic progress. Be patient with a little regression, after the long summer. Focus forward instead of getting stuck on short term setbacks.

  7. Be informed about school policy. Pay attention to the notes and the protocol. If you don't know how something works, ask. It saves everyone time and effort.

  8. Keep after-school routines simple the first few weeks of school. Starting a new school year can be exhausting - new rules, new expectations, new friends. Give your child down-time to regroup and recharge. Make sure your child gets enough rest - set an age appropriate bed time.

  9. Help your child stay organized. Create a place for your child to store backpacks, lunch boxes, coats etc. Establish a routine for checking the backpack for supplies, homework, paperwork to be turned in.

  10. Make reading a part of your child’s daily routine. Read aloud to your child and have your child read to you from books he/she enjoys. Make sure there are plenty of reading materials around the house and set a positive example by reading often yourself.

  11. Avoid overbooking your child in sports, dance, skating, karate, music, second language training and other organized activities.
  12. Model effective problem solving throughout the year. No school or teacher is perfect, but great teachers and principals are willing to help resolve problems that arise during the year. Speak up respectfully before problems escalate.

Coming up on Thursday: Tips from a student!

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