Back To School Parenting Tips

Your child is ready for back-to-school - are you?

Tips for Parents

As the halls fill with the sound of kids chattering about the summer of 2014, parents everywhere with school-age children prepare to settle in for a brand new year, new challenges and new experiences. Whether you’re sending a little one off to Kindergarten or preparing your teen to graduate, one of the best things you can do for your child is be prepared when it comes to school. 

A well-prepared and active parent is a child’s best education advocate. Remember these tips to help you chart a course for a successful year.

  • Before school starts familiarize yourself with bus routes, pick-up and drop-off procedures, and scheduling – especially if the child is entering a new school. Do a test run to ensure a smooth first day of school.
  • Know who your child’s teacher will be and make contact with him or her within the first few weeks of school, if not before school begins. Establishing good communication up front is helpful for both the student and the teacher.
  • Identify other individuals at school that you should meet with such as the guidance counselor or principal, especially if your child has special needs. 
  • Come to all meetings with school personnel on time and fully prepared with a list of items you want to discuss, questions and action items.
  • Communicate in a positive manner in the spirit of working together to solve problems.
  • If there is a history of school problems for your child, or if you anticipate problems it’s good to establish how you’d like the school to react in that case. (Would you like a phone call each time, or other special responses.)
  • Communicate with the teacher regularly on homework assignments, ensuring they are turned in. Many good grades have been marred by simply neglecting to turn in homework.
  • Set clear expectations for your child regarding homework, and reward them for meeting those expectations. 
  • If your child’s school uses an online student portal for grades, homework, upcoming exams and attendance be sure you are familiar with your login and password. Establish a regular pattern of checking in to ensure your child is on track.  
  • Help them learn time management by showing them how and where to write down due dates for assignments. Providing your child with his/her own calendar is a great way to do this.
  • Make a point to attend all school meetings and functions, or as many as you can. Be informed and involved so that school personnel know you.
  • As a foster parent, ensure that the school has all legal paperwork on file along with any other records required, including a list of individuals who are NOT permitted to see the child (in cases where visitations are restricted.)