Tips for Parents:
With school starting, be sure to meet or call your child’s teacher(s) as soon as possible. Form a partnership with them for your child’s success. Most of the schools have websites where you can check on your child’s progress. Check it regularly, if possible, OR make monthly “progress check” or e-mails. Teachers very much appreciate your support and interest. This way, you can find out about your child’s accomplishments and challenges before a problem arises.
Never let a day go by without reading to your child OR letting your child read to you. This includes summer and weekends. The reading, however, does not have to be from books, although they are wonderful. Children need to learn that words and reading are part of our environment. Encourage them to read cereal boxes, can labels, CD and DVD packages, toothpaste containers, recipes, etc. Words are everywhere! Ask them to find their favorite word on a newspaper or magazine advertisement, for instance. Or ask your child to read you the directions to a favorite video game. ANY reading practice counts!
Always assume that your child is expected to do some kind of study at home after school. Usually, this will take the form of specific reading or writing, or the study of spelling words, math facts, terms for history, etc.
It’s good to create the habit together of taking all books and papers out of the backpack – at the kitchen table, for example, as soon as your child comes home. Look for assignment folders. If nothing specific is assigned, spend a few minutes looking over school papers or books together. This is a good daily habit even through the middle school years. Papers have a way of being “eaten” by backpacks and folders!
Instead of asking, “Do you have any homework?” ask more specific questions after school. For example:
“What was the most fun thing you learned today?”
“What was the hardest thing you did in school today? Why?”
“Do you have a spelling list this week?”
“Did the teacher read a book to you today? What was it about?”
Children love to play games with words. For example:
*Play “I Spy a Word” with children. Rules: The word must be visible in the room where you are. When a word is seen, write it down.
For more fun, children can then scramble the “found” words and make a funny story or poem from them.
– Communications Arts High School
– H.B. Zachry Middle School
– Pat Neff Middle School
National Council of English Teachers
Abydos Learning International
College Board (Advanced Placement, SAT, GRE, GED)
Website designed and produced by Angela Sealana, a former student of Susan Sabino. Visit Angela’s website, Inspired Angela.
All headshot photos provided by the subject, except for Bret Bigelow, a portrait taken by Tyler Cleveland, another former student of Susan Sabino.