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Getting Ready For School

Getting Ready For School
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As parents prepare to send their children back to school, a lot of attention is focused on buying the best backpack, the cool clothes and just the right lunch box.


However, the most important thing a parent can do to get ready for the upcoming school year doesn’t cost a dime. “Creating a plan for two-way communication between parents and teachers is essential to a child’s success in class,” said Dr. Richard E. Bavaria, VP of Education for Sylvan Learning Center.


“Now is the time parents should put “Back to School Night” on their calendar, and think about how they will best communicate with their child’s teacher.”


Helping children get back into the routine of school days is equally important. Sylvan Learning Center, a national education leader, recommends that parents begin establishing “school routines” early.


Back-to-school tips for parents and children include:


  • 1) Organize your family’s daily schedule by creating consistent times for homework, play and bedtime.

  • 2) Encourage recreational reading and journal writing after the “homework session” is over.

  • 3) Never complete your child’s homework assignments for them.

  • 4) Break homework sessions into small segments of time.

  • 5) Stress independent thinking skills, and encourage your child’s thinking patterns.

  • 6) Encourage your child’s effort to learn by providing a good example — read a book, catch up on your own work, be available for questions, discuss what he/she is learning and address any concerns about school.

  • 7) Give your child a homework notebook and encourage him/her to take notes on the specifics of an assignment when the teacher explains the requirements.

  • 8) Set aside time each day for family time. Share the events and details of your day.

  • 9) Before bed each night, prepare for the next day by packing lunches and backpacks, picking out clothing, and putting all belongings in one standard location, making the morning rush less stressful.


Here are five suggestions to help parents create a strong relationship with their child’s teacher.


  • 1) Place a notebook in your child’s book bag. Use this as a communication vehicle between you and your child’s teacher.

  • 2) Contact your child’s teacher during the first two weeks of school to determine the homework policy, expectations and opportunities regarding parental involvement in classroom activities, and recommendations for learning activities at home. Also establish two-way communication methods — let them know the best way to reach you, and find out how they prefer to be contacted.

  • 3) Generate a list of questions to ask your child’s teacher at the first parent/teacher conference. Include questions regarding what your child should be learning, what are his/her best subjects, what do their test scores indicate about their learning, and whether he/she is completing assignments regularly.

  • 4) Ask your child how she thinks she is doing in school. If possible, suggest a three-way conference with you, your child and the teacher.

  • 5) Find out how your child’s school accommodates differences in learning styles; what types of programs are available if extra help is required.

Getting Ready For School
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