Helping Your Child to Succeed
A few hints for my parents.
A Checklist to Help You Support What Your Children Learn in School
A new school year finds all of us with best intentions of helping children succeed in school. A simplified list of reminders on the refrigerator door can help us keep our resolutions in mind.
1. To be alert and ready to learn, your child needs plenty of rest, nutritious meals, and a good deal of physical activity. These seem obvious, but they take discipline on the part of the entire family.
2. Find time to talk regularly to your child about what is important to him or her.
3. Monitor television viewing and playing electronic games.
4. Provide a place for your child to study and offer to help with homework if necessary.
5. Read to or with your child as often as you possibly can even if it’s just a few minutes. Encourage your child to read for fun, and take time to talk about what he or she is reading.
6. Let your child see you reading newspapers, magazines, and books to show how you incorporate reading into your daily activities.
7. Send your child notes and encourage him or her to write in practical ways every day making lists, notes, or keeping a journal of thoughts and ideas for example.
8. Take your child to the public library regularly, and watch for opportunities to purchase books at yard sales or flea markets.
9. Don’t underestimate the importance of encouragement. Praise efforts give support when limits are stretched, and remind your child that mistakes are learning opportunities.
10 Things You Can Do at Home With Your Child
1. Read a book with him/her each evening. Your child is never too old for listening to stories. You are an excellent role model for tone and inflection. Ask questions about the story which begin with “Why” and “How”, since they require higher level thinking skills.
2. Ask about themes studied each week and reinforce main ideas at home. See if anything in your home (ex: books, magazines, newspapers, objects) relate to the theme. Generate discussion about those objects.
3. Encourage your child to write often. (ex: shopping lists, friendly letters, creative stories, puppet show scripts, thank you notes, etc.)
4. Show him/her the ways you use skills, such as reading, writing, and math in your daily life. (ex: reading menus, recipes, directions, & signs; balancing checkbook)
5. Explore the outdoors closely with your child. Many wonders can be found right in your own backyard! Identify sights and sounds you encounter along the way. Use the encyclopedia, newspapers, Internet, or CD-ROM’s to answer any questions and learn more about what you have discovered.
6. Use “throwaways” for learning. Empty cans and food boxes can be used for measuring quantities, estimating amounts, reading and comparing nutritional information, writing letters to manufacturers, and creating sculptures and other masterpieces. Even your Sunday coupons and sale folders can be used to teach math skills, which in turn, will make your child a smart shopper!
7. If your child is having difficulty calculating sums or differences, provide real objects (ex: crayons, pasta, buttons, beans, etc.) for counting and problem solving. Verbalize your thought processes, trials, and errors as you solve problems with your child. It is important for children to be able to explain how they solve problems orally and in writing.
8. Demonstrate how to draw pictures to help solve problems.
9. Supply your child with old magazines and newspapers for “detective work”. Have your child look for as many words or pictures which contain a certain vowel sound, consonant blend, rhyming word, or compound word. Have your child create a collage of theme-related objects and words. Send your child on a mission of your own.
10. Play listening games in which your child must follow specific directions. Helping your child cook or perform an art project at home involves following exact directions in sequence to create a desired result. Make up silly directions for children to follow in order. (ex: Stand up. Count to 50 by 5’s. Turn around. Then, hop on one foot to the bedroom while saying words that begin with “b”.)