Parenting Tips

Methods for Parents to Get to Know Their Child's School Better

First of all, don't just show up at the school; make an appointment to visit.
After you've made an appointment, go to the school; look around, talk to  people. 
As appropriate, call or write to your child's teachers. 
Talk to other parents about their experiences.
Be sure to read the minutes of the school board, which are usually printed in the local newspaper.
Take time to read the school newsletter.
It may not always be convenient, but try to attend school functions such as open houses and PTA meetings. 

How Parents can Help with their Children's Homework

There are things you can do that will help your child do assigned homework and that result in learning, which, after all, is the reason for being in school.

Communicate with your child about school. This includes talking to him about his friends, activities, teachers, and assignments.
Show enthusiasm about school and homework.
Set realistic goals for your child, and then focus on one at a time.
Help your child get organized. Break down assignments into smaller, more manageable parts. Set out needed items (clothes, homework, permission slips, etc.) the night before to avoid last-minute rushing around in the morning.
Provide a quiet study corner in your home complete with paper, markers, a ruler, pencils and a dictionary.
Never do your child's homework!
with your child's teacher about correcting homework.
Expect, and praise genuine progress and effort. An opinion: don't praise or otherwise reward your child for doing what you and he know is expected. This practice leads you down a slippery slope, often with really bad consequences for you and your child.
Be specific when you do praise something.
on your child's strengths in school.
Build associations between what is taught and what your child already knows and understands.
Incorporate concrete materials and examples whenever possible, especially with younger children. Try to help your child learn about the subject in more than one way, using as many senses as possible.
Separate your child's school weaknesses from your child. If your child fails a test, that is all the child fails. He or she is not a failure.
One more thing: Never do your child's homework! (deliberately repeated)

Questions to Ask at a School Conference

Is my child performing at grade level in basic skills? Above/Below? Math/Reading?

What are the objectives my child is supposed to attain? How do these objectives lead to the overall goal for the course/grade?

What achievement, intelligence, or vocational aptitude tests have been given to my child in the past year? What do the scores mean? (Be very specific and be sure you understand completely what the reported scores mean).

What are my child's strengths and weaknesses in major subject areas?

What subjects do my child enjoy most?

Can we together go over some examples of my child's class work?

Does my child need special help in any academic subject?

Who are my child's friends and how does he or she interact with other children?

Has my child regularly completed assigned homework?

Has my child attended class regularly?

Have you observed any changes in learning progress during the year? Has learning improved or declined during the year?