Four ways to help your child make this school year great

1. Be positive about challenges. The children who do the best in school are those who approach a new task with a positive attitude.  Look for ways to model that behavior at home: “I don’t know how to use this computer program. Shall we figure it out together?”

2. Break down big assignments. Reading an entire chapter book may seem overwhelming. But reading one chapter is something your chid can do. Teach your child to break down tasks into smaller, achievable steps.

3. Pay attention to instructions. A classroom runs more smoothly when students do what the teacher says. Spend time at home learning to follow directions. Do activities together and talk about what happens if you don’t follow the instructions exactly.

4. Solve problems on their own. If your child can’t figure out the answer to a math problem, help him think about a way to find the answer. Ask “Have you worked other problems like this?

What can you do if the school year doesn’t start off well?

Sometimes new classes don’t meet students’ expectations. Kids might complain “I don’t like my teacher” or School is too hard”. The best approach is to be calm, caring and cooperative. Think of yourself as:

  • An investigator. Ask questions and read between the lines. If your child says the teacher is “mean” probe for details. There’s a big difference between, “She makes me do all my work” and “She yells at me.”
  • A mediator. If the problem seems significant, take notes and say something like, “I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’ll talk with the teacher about it.” Stay neutral. Remember there are always two sides to a story.
  • A partner. Approach the teacher in a positive and non-critical manner.  Work together to understand your child’s complaints.
  • A parent. Occasionally, despite multiple tries with a teacher a problem can not be solved. In that case, school administration can help.

Remember, you and the school share the same goal: your child’s academic success. By working together, you can make this school year a great one! Have a great weekend and see everyone Monday morning.

This message is from Candice Norwood, our school social worker, who periodically writes messages she hopes you find helpful for you and your child.