Passages for Parents

How you start the school year can determine how well the  rest of the year will go.  Teachers, counselors and parents say doing these things helps ensure children get off to a  great start at the beginning of the year:

 •Review safety lessons – How to walk to school safely or ride the bus; classroom and school rules for behavior.

•Provide the supplies.  Let your child go with you to buy them.  This will help him get excited about school.

•Put your child’s name on things so they won’t get lost.

•Set the scene for homework.  Match the environment to your child’s work style.  Some children need quiet.  Others are helped by a little sound—like classical music.

•Start your morning at night.  Help your child choose the day’s clothes.  Pack lunch.  Gather homework and sign school papers. Line up breakfast.

•Establish bedtime and homework routines.  Select a time that your child will do homework and go to bed.  Then stick to it.

•Don’t over schedule your child.  Give him time to unwind after school—especially during the first few weeks of adjusting.  Make sure he has free time to just play every day.

•Meet your child’s teacher.  How can you help her?  Ask about homework.  How can you help your child at home?

•Teach respect by showing respect.  Say “please” and “thank you” to your child.

•Be genuinely interested in your child’s school work.  Ask about school every day.  Ask him to teach you what he’s learning.

•Say at least one positive thing to your child each day.

•Insist that your child try hard to be a good student.  If school is important to you, it will be important to him/her.