Here are some ideas to get you going.
Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Tired children can't do their best work. So set a bedtime -- and stick to it.
Limit TV. Studies show that the kids who do best in school watch the least television. But remember -- when you first turn off the set, you'll have to help your child find other things to do. Take a walk, visit the library, or try playing a game.
Get to know your child's teacher. As a parent, you know your child best. Share what you know with the teacher. Does your child have a special interest? A favorite book? Are there subjects in which your child needs special help? You don't have to wait until parent conferences. A brief meeting or a phone call can help you and your child's teacher work together right from the start.
Talk about problems, too. What goes on at home affects how a child does in school. Separation, family illness, a new baby, or even a move can all affect a child's school work. Make sure your child's teacher knows.
Learn what is expected of your child. Will there be homework? How much?
Offer to help. Parent involvement can make it possible for a teacher to add many "extras" to the curriculum. One working mother telephoned all the parents in her child's class. She gave a teacher a list of parents who would help. Some said they'd talk about their careers, some wanted to read to children, some were willing to plan special art projects, and some could go on field trips. That parent gave both the teacher and the children a valuable resource.
These tips will not only get your child off to a great start; they'll also make sure the entire school year is successful.
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