The Rewards of Reading
The Seeds for success in the classroom are sown at home. Encouraging children to read at home is one of the is one of the most powerful ways that parent can support student's learning. Just 15 minutes of reading at home per day can make a difference in student's reading fluency. Prioritize reading with these tips.
Always have books on hand.
Keep it up. Find ways to encourage
your child to pick up new reading
material to read once one book is
ﬁnished. For instance, introduce him
or her to a series or ask your librarian
for books by the same author. Draft a
“to-read” list that your child can check
oﬀ . Consider subscribing your child to
a magazine for kids.
Focus on their interests. Encourage
your child to check out books from the library that
feature characters or topics he or she is interested in.
Whether it’s NASCAR to NASA, the topic doesn't matter
(as long as it’s age-appropriate), as long as your child is
Read out loud together. Schedule time to read aloud
together, taking turns to read passages. Invite your
entire family to participate. Use diﬀerent voices for
diﬀerent characters, or invite your child to make sound
eﬀects for the story.
Make it a routine. Consider how to make reading
habitual. Your family could have a weekly read-aloud
session, or you and your child could read each week
Be a patient listener. No matter how slowly your young
learner reads, avoid ﬁnishing sentences for your child.
Effective and Appropriate Help With Homework
Parenting requires many judgment calls, including numerous decisions related to schoolwork and school projects. Principals and teachers are always stressing how important it is for parents to be involved, but how much is too much? For a start, put yourself in
We all want our children to do well in school. But, sometimes, we might want it too much and
end up giving them too much assistance. The problem is, while their grades might look stellar, their self-esteem can suffer. Children are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. They know when they've earned a grade—and when they haven’t. Instead of helping them succeed, too much parental involvement can lead them to failure.
So what’s a concerned parent to do?
How much help is reasonable?
What kinds of suggestions or assistance are acceptable?
And what do you do if they don’t understand their homework, even after asking you for guidance?
Make Every Day Count Boost School Attendance
To stay on track in school, students need to be present every day. Missing 18 or more days of school in a year puts a child’s high school graduation at risk, according to BoostUp.org, a national dropout prevention campaign. Being absent for just two days every month of the school year can put a child behind academically
Make school a priority. Every absence (excused or not), can impact a child’s
Boost Bus Safety
Gently correct mistakes, sound out words together,
and let your child know you’re proud.
Cut the distractions. During reading
time, turn oﬀ or put away electronic
devices. Make sure you follow the rule,
Ask questions. Ask your child about
what he or she is reading in school or
what you are reading together. Try
open-ended questions such as, “Why
do you think the character did that?,”
“What would you do if you were in that
situation?,” or “What do you think will
Read beyond books. Invite your child
to read menus, greeting cards, movie
listings, newspaper comic strips, or
directions to a destination. Word
recognition is an important step for
reading ﬂuency, so consider using strips of paper and
tape to label everyday objects in your home to boost
your child’s familiarity with words.
Don’t do it for them. Rule No. 1 is an easy one to remember:
Don’t ever do your children’s homework or school projects for them.
The assignments were given to them for a reason—they
need to learn the concepts, and they can’t do that learning if you
do their work.
Guidance is great. Help your children understand assignments
by talking with them about the concepts. Let’s say your child is
having trouble with basic division. Dump out a stack of pennies
or paper clips, count the total, and, together, divide them into
groups of five, six, or seven. If your child has writer’s block,
instead of suggesting phrases to use, brainstorm together about
ideas of things he or she could write about, and ask your child to
list some of the things he or she could say. Help your children to
learn how to think through the process.
Be encouraging. It can be frustrating to try to master new
concepts and complete school projects. Give your children
encouragement and understanding as they work things through.
Expand their brains. One great way parents can help their children
with school projects is by asking them to go beyond their original ideas.
If your son, for example, wants to do a shoe box diorama about dinosaurs,
tell him that his original idea is good, but ask what other ways he could try.
Don’t give him ideas, but help him use his own creativity.
Ask him to think out a number of different ways he could approach the
assignment. Let him follow his own path, and both you and his teacher
will probably be very pleased with the result. Not only that, the work
will be his own.
Finally, know when to call for help. If your child is consistently
having trouble with a specific concept, even after you’ve helped
explain it to him or her, it’s time to let the teacher know. Chances
are yours isn’t the only child in the class who’s confused. In addition
to learning the schoolwork, your child will gain some very
important knowledge: that it’s smart to ask for help when you
don’t understand something.