So…. Your kids are back in school! Here are some back to school reminders now that the school year has gotten underway!

Make sure you have all of your child’s teachers current email address. It is great to email them every now and again to check on your child’s progress.

If you have a back to school night or a curriculum night, ask your child’s teacher(s) where your child is currently seated. Try to sit in that seat and assess if it is difficult to hear the teacher or if there are other distractions getting in the way. See where the teacher stands. Sometimes children are seated in the best seat for their hearing, assuming the teacher stands in the middle of the room. But sometimes teacher’s walk around or they stand over to one side.

Find out from the teachers or from the school if the class has a website. If the teacher has a good website and is on top of posting, you can often see what will be covered in class and have discussions with your child about it. This is a great way to make sure your child understands what is going on in the classroom.  If the teacher does not have a current website, ask if they can email you once a week regarding themes of what they are covering. That way, you can mix it with real world activities. For instance, if they are dealing with space in science, you can make a weekend trip to your local planetarium.

Make an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher or teachers. If they are in the upper grades, this may be a team meeting. This way, you can find out now if there are any problems or concerns and deal with it now instead of waiting until October or November progress reports. The earlier problems are dealt with, the less your child will fall behind.

Finally, encourage your student and make it fun! If your child struggles in reading, even if they are teenagers, read their assignments with them and check for understanding. This may be that you both read it individually and then talk about it. Or, you can have your child read it and then reread it out loud together to make sure your child understands all the vocabulary and the sequence of events. This could ignite many discussions about the stories or projects. The same can be done for assignments in the textbook. Make sure they understand by talking about it with them.

At home, make sure the environment is quiet, but make sure you are readily available to help. It is often nice for a child to do their homework at the kitchen table while dinner is being prepared. This way, they can always ask questions if they get stuck.

Good luck and I hope you are all off to a great school year!

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