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Teachers speak: Advice for parents

Suzi Milovanovic has been a mother of all kinds: stay at home mom, work from home mom, and go-the-office working mom. She blends all these perspectives in her contributions to various local and national print and online publications, tel...

Partner up!

After a long summer break, most kids are ready to go back to school, but are the parents? Teachers agree that parents are one of their greatest resources for achieving student success. Whether your child is attending public, private, Montessori or other type of school, the teachers all have some basic advice for parents to ensure a positive and successful academic journey this year.

Mom helping son with homework

Here's what teachers tell us:

Communicate

We communicate with parents in a variety of ways that includes everything from phone calls and newsletters to emails and conferences. We want parents to keep us informed about what's going on at home that might affect your child's behavior or academic performance. We also want to know how what we do at school affects the student at home. Also, tell us what your goals are so that we can both track your child's progress.

5 Tips for talking to your child's teacher >>

We want you!

Come in. Look around. Check out the textbooks and materials. Knowledge is power. When you know about the subjects we teach, you will be able to help your child better and have a common understanding for discussion. Volunteering is a wonderful way to learn about what goes on at school and to show your child how much you care about what they are doing.

Are you volunteering for the right reasons? >>

Let them play

Lots of play and free time have been squeezed out of the school day and replaced with a demanding curriculum at an early age. So while you're scheduling dance practice, soccer games and tutoring, be sure to limit TV and video game time -- and definitely pencil in time for kids to just be kids.

Avoiding activity overload for your kids >>

Read

Books are the gateway to building vocabulary, listening and literacy skills. Reading once per day is great, but encourage your child to read more frequently. Talk about what you've read and encourage a variety of subject matter from fiction and non fiction.

The importance of reading to children with special needs >>

While your child is doing his homework, sit down at the table with him and make your grocery list, balance your checkbook and do other tasks. It's a terrific way to let your children know you are right there for them if they need help, and also allows you to get some things done for yourself.

Get to love homework

We teachers give homework to extend the learning of the classroom. It's a chance for you to find out what your child is studying and how well he is grasping the material taught at school. Talk with your child about homework. It shows him that you care and value what he does at school.

Set your kids up for homework success >>

Stay healthy

Schools and classrooms don't have to be cesspools of yucky germs. Keep your kids healthy by making sure they eat right, get plenty of exercise and practice good personal hygiene that includes proper hand washing and bathroom etiquette.

Back -to-school tips to avoid the flu >>

Problems

We make the effort to contact you at the first sight of a problem, so please do the same for us. Please be specific so that we can come up with a plan together on how to address the problem.

An effective parent-teacher partnership fosters a positive and nurturing environment for the child, no matter what the school or grade level.

More about teacher-parent relationships:

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