Editorial: 6 tips for school success

  • Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:29 a.m.

As school bells ring in a new term in Rowan County, here are six tips (primarily adopted from the U.S. Department of Education) that can help parents make sure their youngsters get a boost as they hit the books.

1. Cultivate school connections. Introduce yourself to your children’s teachers. Let them know you want to help your child learn. Attend parent-teacher conferences and look for school volunteer opportunities. Demonstrate a positive attitude toward education and your child’s school.

2. Encourage reading. It sounds simple, but educators say it’s the most important thing that you can do to help a child to succeed. Reading helps children in all subjects and is the key to lifelong learning. Start early by reading to young children. Keep books, magazines and newspapers in the house. Be a reading role model — let your child see you reading for pleasure as well as practical reasons.

3. Monitor homework. Have a designated place and time for your child to study. Remove distractions, especially digital devices or video games. Turn off the TV. You may be reluctant to help your child with homework because you feel that you don’t know the subject well enough or because you don’t speak or read English as well as your child. But helping with homework isn’t about solving the problems for children; it’s about supporting them to do their best.

4. Spend time at the library. Libraries are places of learning and discovery for everyone. Helping your child find out about libraries will set him or her on the road to being an independent learner. Introduce your child to the library as early as possible.

5. Help your child learn to navigate the online world. The Internet has become an important part of how we learn and interact with others. For children to succeed today, they must be able to use computers and adapt to new technologies. But children also need to be aware of the dangers that can lurk online. If you don’t have a computer at home, explore online resources available at the public library.

6. Encourage responsibility and independence. Taking responsibility and working independently are important qualities for school success. Establish rules. Make it clear that your children must take responsibility for their actions, both at home and at school. Don’t automatically defend your child if his teacher tells you that he is often late to class or is disruptive. Discuss the problem with your child, determine the cause and help develop a solution.

Finally, all of us should remember to keep an eye out for school buses and the students who ride them. Let’s make it a safe as well as a successful year.

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