The Joys of Elementary School!

Enjoy the elementary school years with your child! These are years of curiosity, discovery, excitement, and “Look what I can do!”  There are a few things parents can do to make sure that their child is happy and prepared for a good start at school.  Here are the “BIG 5”:

  1. Meet the teacher.
    If you cannot attend “Back to School Night”, make an appointment, if possible, to meet at another time. The school should be able to give you a phone number or email address for contact.
  2. Keep in touch with the teacher.
     Remember that the teacher is your new partner and needs to know some things about your child—what makes him happy, what makes him angry, what are his interests. It also helps the teacher to know some things about your family. If there are particular struggles at home that you can share, for example: divorce, a job change, a death in the family (grandparent or even a pet), these issues may affect the child’s school work. The teacher can help the child cope if he or she knows about it.
    Allow that the teacher may have something to tell you about your child that you didn’t know.
  3. Attendance:
    Help your child understand that she needs to be in school every day. Your child is aware that daddy or mommy goes to work each day and now she has work too. She can understand that, just as Daddy or Mommy cannot stay home to play, she needs to go to school each school day and that what she is doing there is very important. Show interest and enthusiasm for each new skill and lesson concept she shares.
  4. Effort:
    Help your child understand that he should do his best in school and on his homework. Check each day to be certain that his homework is his very best. Set high but realistic expectations. Teach good time management skills at an early age: chores and school work first, TV and play afterward.
  5. Read!
    Read out loud with your little ones. Invite them to read some of it with you and praise them as they learn to sound out words. Have them read to you when they can. Ask about what they are reading. Reading and talking about what you are reading are two very important things. Let them catch you reading too!

Learn to navigate the School Network.

Join the parent organization. PTA members have an established network for problem solving. Parents of other students may have the right advice for you. The principal is on the PTA board and can step in to help you when necessary.  Plus, school community activities with your child are just plain fun!

Learn about your school community by attending School Community Council meetings.  This is YOUR school and you have a lot to offer.

When you spend time at your children’s school, it sends the message that their education is important.