Good school year pays big dividends
Where did the summer go, you may ask? Some students tell me they’re excited and ready for the new school year. Others that attended band or other kinds of camps wouldn’t mind a couple more weeks of summer vacation.
I admit that I was one of those who could hardly wait for the new school year to begin, as I lived on a farm and the work never ended from morning to night. I found school to be a much better environment for me.
There are many reasons why some parents are ready for the new school year to begin. It’s a problem for many because they must leave older children at home unsupervised during the summer or have difficulty finding good child care for younger children. So there’s little wonder that they welcome school opening.
Parents often ask what they can do to help their children have a successful school year. Many admit that they start the new school year excited with the best of intentions, but as the year progresses and daily life becomes more hectic, some good intentions fall by the wayside.
Parents wear many hats, but none is more important than making sure that their children are successful in school. “What you teach your own children is what you really believe in,” someone once said.
Gleaned from advice given out by longtime educators, here are some suggestions that could help make for a successful school year for both parents and students.
- Talk with and read to your child.
- Keep your child in good health, rested and make sure that there is sufficient sleep.
- Encourage your child to talk about activities, feelings and concerns.
- Praise your child and emphasize your belief in his or her ability to be successful.
- Acknowledge effort as well as successes; discipline lovingly and consistently.
- Show an interest in school, visit your child’s classroom, attend school activities and keep in contact with your child’s teacher.
- Read books, go to the library, play educational games, turn off the TV and put away the video games.
Tucked away in a box of forgotten school materials, I found a brochure titled, “Ways to help your child be unsuccessful.”
- Never eat together as a family or observe family traditions that occur weekly, monthly or annually.
- Never listen to your children – talk at them but not with them.
- Never allow your child to experience adventure, injury, risk, challenges, frustration or discouragement.
- Stay too busy with business, civic or social life to spend time with your children.
- Always assume your child is right and can do no wrong, always solve his or her problems, and always assume all of the decision-making.
- Leave the responsibility of spiritual training and development to the school and church, and don’t teach spiritual training at home.
- Always pick up after your child – never let her or him take any responsibilities.
- Keep the home atmosphere in a state of chaos.
In the same box, I found this quiz titled, “How do you rate as a parent?” Take the quiz and check your results. No one need ever know our score except ourselves.
- Attends school meetings, attended a workshop for parents and volunteers as an aide in my child’s class.
- Calls the teacher when things are going well, sends notes of appreciation to school personnel and reinforces board of education members by letter or phone for appropriate actions.
- Sees that my child has a quiet place to read and do homework, displays good work in a prominent place and encourages my child to do his or her very best in school.
- Asks the teacher what I can do at home to help my child.
- Calls the school if my child is going to be absent, and realizes the importance of my child being in school every day.
If you didn’t do so well on the quiz, simply commit to improving in the areas where you are weak. We can never make progress if we don’t start somewhere. What better time than a brand new school year?
I have a feeling that you and your child or children are going to have a terrific school year.
Mayrene Bates is a trustee on the Solano County Board of Education.
Mayrene Bates is a trustee with the Solano County Board of Education.