• Parents, you are always welcome at Speas Global.  Feel free to visit us anytime.  We value the relationship between school and home.  It is critical for the development and success of our students.  Below you will find some tips on how to support your child's education at home.
     
    One of the best resources available for parents looking for ideas to help their children become better learners is the US Department of Education's publication: Helping Your Child Succeed in School.  It is in the public domain and I have taken some of the best parts to post here for your consideration. 
     
     
    Every child has the power to succeed in school and in life and every parent, family member and caregiver can help. The question is: How can we help our children succeed?

    The answer comes from a combination of common sense and research about how children learn and about how to prepare them to learn We know, for example, that children tend to do the same things as their parents do. What we say and do in our daily lives can help them to develop positive attitudes toward school and learning and to build confidence in themselves as learners. Showing our children that we both value education and use it in our daily lives provides them with powerful models and contributes greatly to their success in school.

    As our children’s first and most important teacher, it’s important that all parents build and keep strong ties to our children’s schools. When parents and families are involved in their children’s schools, the children do better and have better feelings about going to school. We help our children to succeed by working with teachers to make sure that they provide curricula and use teaching methods that are based on strong scientific evidence about what works best in helping children learn.

    The Basics
    If you think about it, although school is very important, it does not really take up very much of a child’s time. In the United States, the school year averages 180 days; in other nations, the school year can last up to 240 days and students are often in school more hours per day than American students. Clearly, the hours and days that a child is not in school are important for learning, too.  Here are some things that you can do to help your child make the most of that time.
     
    Encourage Your Child to Read
    Helping your child become a reader is the single most important thing that you can do to help the child to succeed in school—and in life. The importance of reading simply can’t be overstated. Reading helps children in all school subjects. More important, it is the key to lifelong learning. Here are some tips on how to help your child become a reader. Start early. When your child is still a baby, reading aloud to him should become part of your daily routine. At first, read for no more than a few minutes at a time, several times a day. As your child grows older, you should be able to tell if he wants you to read for longer periods. As you read, talk with your child. Encourage him to ask questions and to talk about the story. Ask him to predict what will come next. When your child begins to read, ask him to read to you from books or magazines that he enjoys.
     
    Make sure that your home has lots of reading materials that are appropriate for your child. Keep books, magazines and newspapers in the house. Reading materials don’t have to be new or expensive. You often can find good books and magazines for your child at yard or library sales. Ask family members and friends to consider giving your child books and magazine subscriptions as gifts for birthdays or other special occasions. Set aside quiet time for family reading. Some families even enjoy reading aloud to each other, with each family member choosing a book, story, poem or article to read to the others.
     
    Show that you value reading. Let your child see you reading for pleasure as well as for performing your routine activities as an adult—reading letters and recipes, directions and instructions, newspapers, computer screens and so forth. Go with her to the library and check out books for yourself. When your child sees that reading is important to you, she is likely to decide that it’s important to her, too.

    Talk with Your Child
    Talking and listening play major roles in children’s school success. It’s through hearing parents and family members talk and through responding to that talk that young children begin to pick up the language skills they will need if they are to do well. For example, children who don’t hear a lot of talk and who aren’t encouraged to talk themselves often have problems learning to read, which can lead to other school problems. In addition, children who haven’t learned to listen carefully often have trouble following directions and paying attention in class.

    Think of talking with your child as being like a tennis game with words—instead of a ball—bouncing back and forth. Find time to talk any place. For example, as you walk your child or ride with her in a car or on a bus, talk with her about what she's doing at school. Ask her to tell you about a school assembly or a field trip.

    Point out and talk about things that you see as you walk—funny signs, new cars, interesting people.

    As you shop in a store, talk with your child about prices, differences in brands and how to pick out good vegetables and fruit. Give your child directions about where to find certain items, then have him go get them.

    Monitor Homework
    Let your child know that you think education is important and so homework has to be done. Here are some ways to help your child with homework:

    Have a special place for your child to study. The homework area doesn’t have to be fancy. A desk in the bedroom is nice, but for many children, the kitchen table or a corner of the living room works just fine. The area should have good lighting and it should be fairly quiet. Provide supplies and identify resources. For starters, have available pencils, pens, erasers, writing paper and a dictionary. Other supplies that might be helpful include a stapler, paper clips, maps, a calculator, a pencil sharpener, tape, glue, paste, scissors, a ruler, a calculator, index cards, a thesaurus and an almanac. If possible, keep these items together in one place. If you can’t provide your child with needed supplies, check with her teacher, school counselor or principal about possible sources of assistance. Set a regular time for homework. Having a regular time to do homework helps children to finish assignments. Of course, a good schedule depends in part on your child’s age, as well as her specific needs. You’ll need to work with a young child to develop a schedule. You should give your older child the responsibility for making up a schedule independently—although you’ll want to make sure that it’s a workable one. You may find it helpful to have her write out her schedule and put it in a place where you’ll see it often, such as on the refrigerator.

    Remove distractions. Turn off the TV and discourage your child from making and receiving social telephone calls during homework time. (A call to a classmate about an assignment, however, may be helpful.) If you live in a small or noisy household, try having all family members take part in a quiet activity during homework time. You may need to take a noisy toddler outside or into another room to play. If distractions can’t be avoided, your child may want to complete assignments in the local library.
     
    Don’t expect or demand perfection. When your child asks you to look at what she’s done—from skating a figure 8 to finishing a math assignment—show interest and praise her when she’s done something well. If you have criticisms or suggestions, make them in a helpful way.
     
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Last Modified on September 14, 2016