Summer is swiftly coming to an end and already many school systems are starting back for the beginning of another year. Lots of children approach this time of year with a feeling of elation-the chance to see friends and favorite teachers lights up their faces. But for others, the beginning of the school year can be a time of anxiety almost equal to that of the parents. Here are some helpful tips on how to begin the school year ready so that your child can be successful all year long.
• If your school system has an open-house or pre-registration, take every opportunity of this and attend. This is a chance to meet your child’s teachers and help your child find their way around the school. Even if they have attended this school for years, take advantage and show them around since many school systems are experiencing heavy turnover and your child may find the teacher who was in Room 105 may not be there anymore. Also, this is a great way to show your child that education matters to you.
• Once you receive the school’s calendar, program the important dates into your smart phone, or buy a dayplanner to keep track of these. Be sure to know about holidays, progress reports, report cards, and early release days. The last is truly important as these are often set aside for parent conferences.
• Set up your home computer for your child. Set up a special folder in “My Documents” just for them so that they can save all of their important papers and essays. Also, set up a section in your internet bookmarks just for your child. Be sure to include educational websites such as research sites and tutoring sites. If your child is in high school, the OWL website at Purdue University is a good one to set aside for all things related to writing. But also make sure that you get math websites set aside for the purpose of practice and drills.
• Be proactive. Remember, a teacher (particularly in the upper grades) can see as many as 150 students all day. You have only your children to worry about. If your child’s grades begin to drop, don’t wait on the teacher to call you. Call them first and set up a conference. Talk to your child and find out what is happening in that class to see if they need extra tutoring. Take advantage of the on-line grade systems that many school systems have so parents can check constantly on their child’s progress.
• Set aside a space for them to do their homework. It can be a desk, the kitchen table, anywhere, as long as it isn’t parked in front of the TV or in their bedroom where you can’t monitor them. Make sure that you set a time frame for them to complete their homework and be available to help them if they get stuck.
School doesn’t have to be a cause for panic. Just follow these steps early on and your child will be on the road for success.