TRENTON — With first day of school jitters behind them, parents and students must now lay the foundation for a successful school year. Children’s Futures, a Trenton-based nonprofit focused on achieving positive outcomes for children and their families, offers tips for parents and children to achieve school success throughout the year.
“Make learning exciting and fun by showing interest in what your children are taught at school,” explains Floyd K. Morris, Jr., president of Children’s Futures. “As the school year gets into full swing, make positive changes as a family that can be reinforced every day.”
Morris suggests five key back-to-school tips to create a solid base for academic achievement:
Stay Healthy and Active
Does your child get sick shortly after school starts? Colds are common as kids adjust to new schedules, the changing seasons and being surrounded by other children. To help keep your child healthy and learning, be sure he or she eats five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and stress the importance of hand washing. Make sure playing and exercise is a healthy part of their day by limiting TV and computer time and dedicating at least two hours each school night away from electronics.
Reinforce Homework and Study Habits
Learning doesn’t stop when a student leaves the classroom. Stay involved in what your children are taught in school and provide them with the home environment they need to succeed. Designate an area of the home for study and remove distractions. Turn off the TV and establish a house rule that it stays off during homework time. Monitor online computer activities. Keep a dictionary on hand. Study with your children for upcoming tests and help them with any questions, but never do your children’s work.
Communicate and Collaborate with Teachers
Teachers are there to help your children succeed in the classroom. When your children come home with any notes or feedback about their performance, partner with the teachers to work as a team to address needs and develop solutions.
Provide your child with a safe social outlet. Whether it is after school activities, or simply playing with neighborhood kids, remind your child to socialize with other children who support good school habits. Don’t allow your children to play outside after dark; encourage them to invite their classmates over for supervised study and/or play dates.
Bullying occurs when one child picks on another child repeatedly and can be physical, verbal or social. Be a positive role model and let your child know that bullying is never acceptable. If your child is bullied at school, teach your child how to respond effectively with a few simple tips: Look the bully in the eye, stay calm and walk away; respond to bullies with a firm voice; and ask for help.
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