6 More Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Visit the School

When visiting the school, walk or ride the route your child will take. Speak to your child about talking to strangers, and observe along the route any areas in which your child must exercise caution.

Look for the school patrols, crossing guard, or police officers on the streets near the school. Find out the school’s policy for early arrivals, and if needed, organize with other parents to have adults stationed outside the school to watch the children until the school allows them to enter.

Introduce Yourself

Back to School LogoFind out the school’s entrance procedure before visiting your child’s classroom, and how his/her teacher prefers to be contacted.

Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher. Ask the teacher the times he/she is available to talk to parents.

Volunteer

Now that you know the teacher of your child, offer to help with class trips or with school activities. Are more books needed in the library? Offer to hold a book drive or find a company that will donate books.

Does the teacher need assistance with particular projects in the school? If time permits, offer to be a classroom parent or to organize other parents to help in the classroom or at the school. If you can’t make it to the classroom during school hours, ask if there are things you can do from home or on the weekends that would be helpful.

Afterschool and Extracurricular Activities

If the school offers afterschool and/or extra-curricular activities, find out ways you can assist. If the budget restricts afterschool activities, find ways you or members in the community could assist. 

Make Homework a Priority

Make homework time a daily habit. Find a quiet and consistent place at home where your child can complete his or her homework.

If your child is having difficulty with his or her homework, make an appointment with the teacher to discuss his or her difficulty. Check with the counselor and the teacher about tutors to get your child help if needed.

Take Charge of TV

Limit the time that you let your child watch TV. Too much television cuts into important activities in a child’s life, such as reading, playing with friends, and talking with family members.

When your child is watching TV, watch with him or her when you can. Talk together about what you see. Try to point out the things in TV programs that are like your child’s everyday life.

When you can’t watch TV with your child, spot check to see what he or she is watching. Ask questions after the show ends. See what excites him and what troubles him. Find out what he has learned and remembered.

 Carrie Jasper is director of outreach to parents and families

9 Comments

  1. The school in New York, Public School 162, refuse to let me, parent, participate in class to encourage my child’s in school progress. The assistant principles say as a parent you can only make an appointment to speak privately with the teacher. I can do that on parent-teacher night.

  2. This is a great article and takes me back to when our son was younger. I was pleased to see that I could tick most of the boxes. I am finding it a bit more challenging now that he is 16. He used to love to see me at school and was proud to see me doing my canteen duty but now he doesn’t even like to be seen with us. Having said that he is great kid, doing well at school and has a good group of friends.

    One thing that I find very challenging at school these days is ensuring he still has a healthy diet. I am fully aware that they all manage to eat a lot of rubbish when not at home and don’t necessarily take up the healthier options even if they are offered at their school canteen. I recently wrote a blog post with hints on how to get nourishment into reluctant teenagers for anyone who is interested. It is here http://www.lifestylemenu.com/teen-health-and-wellness/.

  3. Very insightful post! Being the mother of a pre-kindergarten student I had many anxieties my child’s welfare. I try to stay involved with the on goings of the school attending all open houses, PTO meetings and volunteer my services to my son’s school. Making my face prevalent in the school did help my son adjust a bit quicker. He was on a first name bases with the staff and they began to recognize His little face within days of being in school. This eased my mind knowing they took the time to call him by name, making my son feel more comfortable in a friendly environment.

  4. I’m a crossing guard, and I say, introduce your child (and yourself) to the crossing guard. It takes a while to learn (and remember) everyone’s names, but it’s helpful in building community. Children should walk between the yellow lines while crossing, and if they have bikes, scooters, or skateboards, they need to walk them across the street in the crosswalk. Parents too! Watch the light! If the red hand is blinking, don’t try to make it across. When starting across the street, make sure no one trying to turn right at the same time! Set a good example–no jaywalking!

  5. Being involved is foremost important! My children love to see me at school; and their friends enjoy it also. This is also a vital way to receive information about school happenings. I find out more by just exploring my childrens’ surroundings.

  6. Great tips that all parents can receive benefit. It’s extremely important that all parents are empowered to become better partners with their child’s school.

  7. Great post! It is always helpful to set a plan in place for the children and parents so they can adjust to a routine. Being an involved parent is very important and this is a great way to start!

  8. This is such a good and comprehensive reminder for all parents of school age children and teens as well! Our children our precious and we must take all of these directives seriously.

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