Back-to-school tips for parents

With  a chunk of August already behind us that means summer is winding down and another school year is steadily approaching. We already know most kids are clinging onto these last few weeks of vacation but what about the parents?

It’s almost time to get back in the habit of double-checking whether or not the kids did their homework, completed their book reports or practiced for their spelling tests, but how else can you assure that your child has as successful of a year as possible?

Being in the Shelton community for the past year, I have gotten to know some parents of students from the high school as well as several of the elementary schools, and one thing a lot have in common is their involvement in their children’s education. This is key.

Being involved in your child’s education is more than just asking if they did their homework, but also getting familiar with their teachers and class schedules. It can be tough to do this before the school year begins but getting a feel for what classes your kid is enrolled in can make the difference in how they perform. If you see your son/daughter is taking Trigonometry or Biology in the upcoming year and you know in the past they have struggled with the subject, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on their performance as well as look into tutoring resources the school offers.

Establishing some rapport with your child’s teacher can also be very influential in their performance. You do not need to be best friends with all of your child’s teachers but introducing yourself to them at the beginning of the year shows them that you care about how they perform in the class and opens the line of communication should they run into trouble later on in the school year. Your child may not like it, but the relationship is valuable.

One of the biggest tips that is completely underrated is developing an organized schedule for and with your child. To-do lists are only so effective because the lack of deadline can cause a disarray. By listing times or deadlines for when things have to be accomplished it allows you to keep better track of what you or your child should be doing at a given time. Helping your child develop a schedule to follow can be a big help, but is something that shouldn’t be done last minute. As a challenge for the upcoming year try planning out what your child has to accomplish for the week before it begins and see how it plays out. The schedule may change as the week goes on, but having a physical plan to refer to can make the difference between a mess and success.