August 14, 2013
Some children are excited about a new school year beginning, while others seem to dread the end of summer vacation. Either way, parents have an important role in preparing their children for a smooth start of the school routine.
Older children may need a reminder about the rigors of homework and class work and the need to get organized. For first-time students, it’s important to make sure all the proper immunizations have been given. There is a requirement for a whooping cough vaccine booster, “Tdap,” for seventh- through 12th-graders.
For students of all ages, parents can play an important role to support school achievement throughout the year. This is a good checklist to repeat:
Adults should resist the temptation to do children's homework for them, but it’s important that children know an adult is available for help. If children seem to be asking for help because they want someone else to do the thinking, a good response is: “I think you can figure this out on your own. You try first.”
When children are preparing for a test, help them avoid panic. Advise them to study one section at a time. Encourage a good night's sleep and a nutritious meal before the test.
If children are procrastinators and seem to do everything but homework, it might help to set up a reward system. Also, let children take homework breaks every half hour to refresh their minds.
A voice recorder is a great study aid for children whose parents are short on time. One technique is to record a definition or question, pause for about five seconds, and then record the answer. Children can then play it back, have a chance to test their knowledge, and get immediate feedback.
If children are having trouble with an assignment, be careful not to criticize. Find out what the problem is and try to help solve it. The most important point for adults to remember, at all times, is that their positive attitude toward homework, teachers, and school can have great influence on a child's success. That's the bottom line for all of us, and it reaps great rewards in the future.