As summer starts to wind down and back-to-school supplies start popping up on store shelves, it’s natural to want to prepare your child as well as possible for the new school year… ergo the overzealous purchasing of My Little Pony pencils and spiral Spider-Man notebooks.
But aside from the joyous task of checking items off your child’s school supply list, the real prepping happens at home. To help you get ahead before the first bell rings, we asked elementary school teachers to share the tips for success they offer the parents of their own students. Here’s what they had to say:
1. “Encourage critical thinking skills with family talks about current events.” — Brianne Peters
2. “Read, read, read with them, and then read some more. Even if they know how to read… keep it up. Email the school, and ask for a summer reading list.” — Cami Parrish
3. “Sit down with them when they do their homework. Ask the teacher how you can support the learning at home. Read with your child daily. Limit TV time and video game time so that it is less than the amount of time reinforcing skills like multiplication facts and spelling. Trust the teacher’s judgement.” — Shelley Miller
4. “Read to and with your kids. Every day. Especially during the summer months.” — Merica Dyar
5. “Turn off the computer — unless required for homework, in which case, then supervised. Turn off the TV. Talk to your kids about school: what they did, saw, heard. Make education a priority. Spend quality time with your kids. Take them to the library or book store and find a book series that they find interesting. If they like a book (series) they will read, read, read… and if a student can read, they can learn.” — Anne Minshew
6. “Read to them, talk to them and have them answer you using correct grammar and in complete sentences if they can.” — Dianne Lewis
7. “I would tell parents, and I do every year, that myself as their teacher and they as the parents are a closed circuit to their child’s success. Constant communication and support on both ends are a must. Just as I give students opportunities to learn, explore, problem solve and become critical thinkers, they too need to offer very similar experiences. It is also important for children to be encouraged, yet disciplined — discipline in regards to studying and losing privileges, but encouraged by being made to feel nurtured and successful.” — Audrey Gruber
8. “Read, read, read! Let them know you care about their education. Support their teacher and have a good relationship. Do not speak negative about the school or the teachers in front of them.” — LeAnne Troutman
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