O.P. Earle principal gives tips for parents for the 2010-2011 school year

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It seems like only yesterday that we were waving goodbye to our students as they left campus for the summer. Then, summer zipped by and now were on the verge of a new school year.

As always, the first days of school are exciting for both students and teachers. We, too, spend a sleepless, anxious night before the first day of school. We, too, get butterflies and are a bit nervous prior to meeting our students for the first time. As educators, we know what an awesome responsibility we have. We also know that parents are their childs first teacher and, as we begin a new school year, we are entering a partnership with them. Working together, we will make the best decisions about their childs education.

Most parents check bookbags and look over homework nightly. Once children begin a new school year, what are some other things that parents can do to help their child be successful? Here are 10 suggestions that will help to ensure your childs success in school:

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Read to your child and follow an oral reading session with questions about the selection. Ask questions such as: What do you think will happen next? or What is the problem in the story? And yes, they need to look at the pictures as they read to you. Pictures are cues that help them to become more fluent readers.

Show an interest in your childs writing by asking to read his/her journal. Display their writing at home in a prominent place. Encourage them to write about special events such as going to the circus, visiting a grandparent, or going on vacation.

Ask your child to use estimation when appropriate. About how far is it to the grocery store? About how much does this apple weigh? In the grocery store, ask your child to estimate how much money they will need to buy several items. Discuss price per ounce or price per pound. Beginning in third grade, help your child memorize the multiplication tables.

In the newspaper or magazines, talk about the charts or graphs you may see. Look at the statistics on the sports page and discuss what they mean.

At the beginning of each nine week grading period, help your child identify three or four goals. Put the goals where they can be frequently seen. (The refrigerator is always an excellent spot.) Make sure the goals are specific such as I will improve my writing skills by improving my

Give your child oral directions that include several steps to remember and expect them to follow those directions.

Be selective about the amount and type of television your child watches. Help them to be active by opting to go outside to play rather than playing video games.

Sometimes children will not discuss what they learned in school. So, begin that conversation with Guess what I learned at work today. All of us learn new things every day. Discussing what you, as an adult, learned during your workday is a great way to lead your child toward discussing what he learned new at school.

Insist that your child attend school each day that he/she is well and make certain that your child arrives at school on time. Children who are absent often or who often arrive late soon become disenchanted with school because they cannot keep up with their classmates.

Finally, be actively involved in the schools SIC or PTO. Visit or volunteer at the school often. Let your child see you in the school environment actively supporting what goes on there. And Dads, it is important for your children to see you in the school environment. Research has shown that when fathers attend school meetings, chaperone field trips, or visit their child at school, their children are more likely to be successful throughout their school life.

There are many websites that are great resources for parents. One such website is www.internet4classrooms.com/parents.htm. The faculty and staff of O.P. Earle Elementary School are looking forward to seeing our students back at school on August 16.