How will you do in school this year?
It’s time to grade your own school behavior! Children learn best when schools and families work as a team. Answer the following questions yes or no to see if you are doing all you can do to support your child in school this year:
___1. Are you planning on attending at least one parent-teacher conference this year?
___2. Do you stay in touch with your child’s teacher?
___3. Do you help your child be responsible by setting a regular time for homework?
___4. Do you talk about school at home?
___5. Do you encourage your child to do his best? (That doesn’t always mean getting a perfect score. It just means trying his hardest.)
How did you do? Each yes answer means you’re on track for earning an A for this year! If you didn’t earn straight A’s, use the ideas in the quiz to set some goals for improvement for the remainder of the school year.
Parent involvement is key to a child’s educational success.~
—Warlene Gary,National PTA
Dinner brings families closer
Experts know that dinner table conversations matter. It’s a time when families can connect. So make an effort to have family dinner at least once a week. Ask about your child’s day. Tell funny stories. Regular table talk can keep the lines of communication open.
Inspire your child to think and question
Young children are naturally curious. Keep that curiosity alive to guide your child on a lifetime of learning. To do this:
• Model being curious. Wonder about things out loud. Try to find answers when you don’t know something—and let your child help you look.
• Encourage exploration. Help your child use a small magnifying glass to examine things—bugs, flowers, newsprint, walls, carpet, dirt!
• Ask questions. Make a habit of asking your child “why?” questions. You can do this by turning his questions back on him. If he asks, “Why are you getting your umbrella?” ask him, “Why do you think I am getting my umbrella?”
Source: Michael H. Popkin and others, Helping Your Child Succeed in School, ISBN: 1-880283-15-8, Active Parenting Publishers.
Good manners still count
Even today, when so many of us are in such a hurry, good manners still matter.
But the only place your child is guaranteed to learn good manners is at home. So set a good example and keep practicing! Your child can learn to:
- Say the “magic words”—please and thank you.
- Introduce herself politely.
- Shake hands and say, “How are you?”
- Know when to say, “Excuse me.”
- Answer the telephone.
Build healthy self-esteem
A strong sense of self-esteem is one of the best qualities you can nurture in your child to prepare him for school. It will allow him to accept that things sometimes go wrong, but realize that he is capable of trying again.
Chores do more than share the load
Learning by doing helps your child’s brain develop. To you, sorting socks may just be a laundry task. But when your child does it, she is learning to compare and classify. Making dinner may just be a nightly duty. But when your child helps, she gets a mini-education. Setting the table helps her recognize patterns. Measuring ingredients helps her practice a key math skill. Even mixing a salad builds motor skills and a feeling of self-satisfaction in accomplishing a task.