As our kids return to school, ready to start another school year, it is important that parents, especially those who have kids entering school for the first time be on the same page. A successful school year starts with parents and children committed to strategies of cooperation and communication with teachers and administration. Starting on the right foot starts when clear goals and objectives are created, and parents and children each fully understand the part that they must play in making the school experience the best it can be.
Another important component of educational success is for parents to be actively involved in their child’s education, and thus they are called upon to form positive relationships with the school and school personnel. Parents never let their child hear them speak about the teacher or any school personnel in a deprecatory manner. Relationship problems develop when parents visit the school only when they are called to do so—usually when the child is in trouble. The should keep in touch with the teacher via email, phone, or student agenda, as these are the key things to use as communication tools from the school to the home.
It should also be instilled very early in the child that instructional time is precious and every minute counts. Efforts lead to rewards. Too often we see school children heading to school walking as if they did not have a care in the world, or school was waiting on them.
In addition, parents should get children in the habit of reading as a routine, for reading unlocks the mind for learning. He who reads, leads. Each night parents should read with the child for at least half an hour. This helps prepare the child for learning and also improves reading and comprehension skills. Parents can also have the child read to them, and they in turn read to the child, and in the process ask questions for comprehension. Also, they should schedule regular times to take the children to the library and let them choose books that they want to read and at the correct level.
A parent should have daily conversations with his or her child about what is happening in their lives, listening carefully for signs of bullying or being bullied. Opening lines of communication can effectively prevent concerns over peer pressure or other problems.
Parents need to know and understand that learning begins at home and that they are their children’s first pedagogue. The should instil in the child that education is a lifelong undertaking, is powerful and should not be taken for granted. Education is one thing that no one can rob you of.