At this point, the lazy, hot days of summer are a distant memory and the chilly winds of winter have blown right on in. School routines have taken the place of beach vacations and trips to the pool. Change is never easy, but there are some preparations and routines that can help your child experience as much success as possible this school year. 

Know Your Child

How comfortable is your child with the experience of school and his or her teachers? Each child processes their educational journey differently. For example, my oldest child craved my support, while my middle child was fiercely independent. Some children are social, while others are shy. Make a point of assessing your child’s level of comfort with school, so that you can develop a plan to offer the appropriate level of support with encouragement, homework help, tutors, and home-school communication.

Create a Positive Home Environment

The number one challenge to children excelling in school is being able to have a space and environment at home that encourages focus and study habits. Children need to be able to come home and receive help with homework, and even social challenges that they experience at school. To keep your child on track, ask them about their day, ask what they are learning, and take a moment to glance at their assignments or binder. Ask if they are having any problems in their classes or with friends. Keep the lines of communication open.

Communicate With Your Child’s Teachers

Now that we are a few months into the new school year, and the routines have set in, students have gotten to know their teachers and the school work is increasing. This is a good time to touch base with your child’s teachers in person at a parent-teacher meeting or by email, especially if you have not had an opportunity to meet or speak with your child’s teachers up until now. It is extremely valuable for parents to provide the teacher with a unique snapshot of their child, including their work habits, their personality, likes and dislikes. The teacher can use this information to better tailor their approach to instruction.

Provide Resources and Refresh School Supplies

As the year moves on, make sure you refresh your children’s school supplies. Also, many students need Wi-fi in order to complete assignments on school owned devices, or access to their own personal device. Depending on how difficult the instructions are for research and projects, it may require that you assist your child in wading through directions and tasks. Also, touch base with the teacher if you need clarification.

Each new year of school presents unique challenges. However, once all these supports are put in place, you and your child will feel more confident about navigating another new school year successfully!

 

 

About Karla Thomas Jackson

Karla is currently an English Language teacher having worked in the Baltimore Public County School system for 27 years. In the past, she attended Penn State University, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in English. In addition, she went on to earn a MAT (Master's in Teaching) in English and a MA in English from Binghamton University. In 1991, she began teaching for the Baltimore County School system, also adding an ESOL/ELL certification under Maryland State Education in 2015 and is also currently a tutor for students from China.

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