The beginning of the new school year can be exciting and frustrating for both parents and students. Routines change, schedules change and then there is the uncertainity of new relationships with teachers and peer members. To assist parents and students have a successful school year, the following suggestions are provided:Arrange for a school tour for you and your child if this is your child's first year in the school. If your child is in middle or high school, ask your child to give you a tour of the school and to introduce you to his/her teachers. If the school requires uniforms, get the cloths your child will need. Find out about bus transportation schedules if your child will travel by school bus or city bus. Set a daily rountine for study time and establish a quiet study area in the home where homework can be done. Get a copy of the school handbook and calendar. Read the handbook with your child and make sure he/she understands all of the school rules. If your child has specific health needs, discuss them with your child's teacher, school counselor and/or school nurse. Meet your child's teacher (s) and find out what the parent/teacher conference schedule is for the school year. Provide the school with accurate telephone nymbers so you can be contacted in the event of an emergency. Become involved in parent activities at the school (join the PTA or HSA, volunteer to serve on a committee, volunteer to chaperon a class trip or activitiy). Inquire about other parent involvement opportunities at the school. Find out what kinds of technology and athletic opportunities exist at the school. Are they monitored involvements for students? Are parents able to serve as volunteers in the computer lab to monitor computer use or as volunteers in the school athletic program? Discuss with the school staff the academic requirements of the school, the academic standards for subjects and their expectations of your child.
3.Partnering With Teachers
Teachers and parents often find it difficult and frustrating to develop a working partnership. Both groups, parents and teachers, sometimes see the other as hard to work with; however, all agree that partnering together is critical to the success of children in school. A recent article by Sue Robinson that ran in the November, 1998 edition of Family Style revealed some of the things teachers want in a partnership relationship with parents, According to the article, the 4 C's of a good teacher/parent partnership are:
Communication - Determine the type of communication preference the teacher likes and can accommodate. Is it one-on-one conversations, scheduled conferences, telephone calls, e-mail, voice mail or faxes? Can you sit in on classes? Does the teacher like volunteers in the class? Let the teacher know what your communication style is and what your time constraints might be. Try to find the middle ground.
Continuity - Don't become a parent school drop out! Stay involved in your child's education throughout his/her 12 years of education.
Community - Take advantage of cultural and educational enrichment activities in your neighborhood, the church, and the entire community.
Common Sense - Don't be a hovering parent. Know when to let go. Help your child to become an independent individual. Don't overload your child with too many extracurricular activities. Encourage your child to focus on one or two activities and master them, Don't push your child into growing up to fast.
4.Homework And More Homework
Most students have homework to do. Many have a negative view of homework and lose class grade points because they do not do their homework. Help you child develop a positive attitude about homework and the need to do it and then turn it in. Provide your child with a place to do womework everyday; praise your child for trying and doing his/her homework assignements; make sure your child has all of the "tools of the trade" for doing homework; talk to your child's teacher (s) about homework and help your child to develop the homework habit daily.
5.Reading Is The Key That Opens The Door To Everything!
Help your child become a reader by reading to your child and having your child read to you. Reading is the key. If your child can't read, he/she will not be successful in school, will not be very successful in the world of work and will have difficulty in mastering every day tasks such as filling out banking forms, reading the newspaper or taking the driving test. Make reading a "MUST DO" family activity.
6.Are You A Card Carrier?
Library card holders have access to a world of information. If you " Carry the Card" and visit the library, your child will grow up valuing the card and the library because you Carry the Card and value the library. Set an example by getting your library card and helping your child become a card carrier. PUT VISITS TO THE LIBRARY INTO YOUR MONTHLY SCHEDULE.
7.Television In Its Proper Place
Television viewing in America is a national past time. Television can entertain, educate and inform us. Recent studies have shown that too much television viewing can turn our children into overweight couch potatoes. Other negative impacts of watching too much television include poor social skills development, poor performance in school and fewer hobbies and interests.
What type of television viewing goes on in your home? CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE TELEVISION VIEWING TEST!!!
8.Need College Planning Assistance? Scholarship Information, Etc.?
Many students and their parents need assistance and guidance when it is time to consider postsecondary planning, school selection and how to pay for college. Help is available. The Greater Washington College Information Center is a full service facility staffed by volunteer professionals who can answer your questions and help you and your child make the best choices. All services are available on a walk-in basis during scheduled hours and are provided free of charge. Visit the center at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library (1st floor, 901 G Street, NW, Washington, DC) to speak with a counselor, go through the print reference materials and/or use their computerized resource materials.
9.Parental Participation During The School Year
Parent involvement in the education of children does not stop once the school year starts. Instead, it becomes more important because YOU have to monitor your child's education activities at school, in the community and at home.
Classroom tests are designed to determine if your child has mastered specific content. The tests appear in a variety of forms. Your child needs to be prepared to take tests and understand the need to do his/her best. Encourage your child to develop a positive attitude about taking tests. Help your child to develop confidence in his/her ability to take and pass tests.
Developing organizational skill in our children help children to become confident and self sufficent students and individuals. Some of the skills that should be taught include how to: 1. use of checklists - which helps students to know what needs to be done and remember what the tasks are 2. organize homework assignements - which helps students know what has to be done first 3. develop and maintain a master calendar which helps students to keep track of assignements due, exam dates, and special school events and 4. develop organized notebooks - which helps students to keep track of papers and remember the materials for each day, week and month.
12.Learning Styles and Your Child(ren)
We all have a particular way of learning. Children are no different. Do you know the way your child(ren) learns best? Do you know what learning styles are? Educators and other psychologists have identified seven learning styles that are used by most people. Some people may use more than one learning style. The seven styles are:
1. Linguistic Learners - those who relate best to written and oral language;
2. Logical-Mathematical Learners - those who focus on different types of reasoning and logic;
3. Spatial Learners - those who deal with visualization and imagery;
4. Intrapersonal Learners - those who focus on situations that require them to reflect upon themselves;
5. Interpersonal Learners - those who engage in verbal and non-verbal communication with others;
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Learners like physical movement; and
7. Musical Learners - those who have the capacity to recognize rhythm and tone patterns.
Observe how your child (ren) studies, learn different things, and talk to his/her/their teacher(s) about your observations.