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Tips for Parents

How Parents Can Help

Helping In Mind

Children who read at home for fun become better readers at school, as well. Here are some ways you can encourage reading at home:

  • Provide lots of books. Make a weekly library trip.Let your child choose his/her own books.
  • Set up a daily reading period for your child. Make it a set time, everyday. Just after dinner or before bed works well for many families. There should be no TV or music during this time -- just a quiet, cozy corner for 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted reading.
  • Ask your child about the school day and if homework assignments are complete.
Helping In Body

Coming to school feeling good makes such a positive difference in a child’s chance for school success. Here's what you can do:

  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Tired children often have both learning and behavior problems. The earlier they have to get up, the earlier they need to be in bed.
  • Make sure your child eats breakfast at home or at school. Hungry children often have learning and behavior problems as well.
Helping In Spirit

Your attitude is catching. Your child’s feelings about school often reflect your own. Here's how to encourage a good attitude:

  • Do you speak positively about your child’s school? About his teacher? About education in general?
  • When you have a question about something that is going on at school, do you call your child’s teacher and discuss it openly?
  • Do you tell your child you believe in him/her and know he/she can succeed even when the going gets tough?
A Homework Checklist

Make sure your child has:

  • A quiet place to work with good light.
  • A regular time each day for doing homework.
  • Basic supplies such as paper, pencils, pens, markers, and ruler.
  • Aids to good organization, such as an assignment calendar, book bag, and folders.
Questions to Ask Your Child
  • What is your assignment today?
  • Is the assignment clear?
  • When is it due?
  • Have you started today’s assignment? Finished it?
  • Is it a long-term assignment (e.g., a term paper or science project)?
  • For a major project, would it help to write out the steps or make a schedule?
  • Would a practice test be helpful?
Other Ways To Help
  • Look over your child’s homework, but don’t do the work.
  • Meet the teachers early in the year and find out about the homework policy.
  • Review teacher comments on graded assignments that have been returned and discuss what your child doesn’t understand.
  • Contact the teacher if there’s a homework problem or need you can’t resolve.
  • Congratulate your child on a job well done.