The ABCs of back-to-school

By Staff
Hartselle City Schools start Thursday, Aug. 10
Ask your child what happened at school that day. This is especially important as they get older, when the most prevalent answer is "nothing."
Be aware of what's going on at your child's school. There are no better ways to do this than joining the parent/teacher organization and attending conferences.
Caution your children about school safety, including following instructions in the hallways and lunchroom. Don't forget to talk about bus safety if they ride a school bus.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Teachers and administrators need your input in teaching your child. Ask about your child's schedule, homework and friends.
E-mail is a great way to keep in touch with your child's teacher. Ask your teacher for an email address and keep the lines of communication open.
Foreign languages are important parts of many curriculums and prepare a child well for college. Encourage your child to take advantage of what offerings are at your school.
Great teachers deserve recognition. Parents are often quick to point out problems in a classroom, but don't forget to say "thank you," too.
High school is hard on many students. Keep lines of communication open with your child. Make sure you know where they are and who they are friends with.
Imagination can help a student learn. Incorporate art and music into your home lessons and encourage school officials to do the same in the classroom.
Joining clubs and organizations is a good way to develop social skills for students. Determine a student's involvement by their interests.
Keep a list of homework assignments and major projects on an erasable calendar. This makes it easier for parents and students to keep track of what's due when.
Lunch shouldn't be a time for students to fill up on junk food. Make sure your child is eating a healthly lunch (not just pizza!) at school.
Make sure your child's back-to-school attire meets all the school dress codes.
No child should go to school hungry. Make sure your child eats a good breakfast, either at school or at home.
Organization is key in many things. Help your student keep track of assignments and organize their work. Calendars, folders and bulletin boards are good organizational tools.
Play educational games at home. These can include computer games, but also old-fashioned flash cards, puzzles and board games, too. Try to make learning a fun part of your day.
Quit complaining. A student picks up on your comments if you're always talking bad about their school or teacher. Try to be positive.
Reward students for good behavior and good grades. The rewards can be simple – a trip to the movies or a small treat – but they help foster a sense of accomplishment.
School supplies can be expensive. Make sure and get a list from your school so you know what your child will need this year.
Talk to your students, especially those in junior high, about peer pressure and positive role models. Pre-teens often experience great stress, but don't often relate it to their parents.
Urge your student to get to know everyone in their class and not just talk to the same people every day. Socialization is part of the learning process, too.
Volunteer at your child's school. Schools always needs parents, grandparents and community members to help. Consider being a guest reader for a kindergarten class.
Warn your children about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Studies show many middle school students have been offered drugs or alcohol. It's never too early to open the lines of communication.
eXams (OK, so this is really and E) are important for your child and their school. Make sure your child is well rested and prepared for all exams.
Zzzzzz……is for rest. Studies show must children need at least nine hours of rest per night.

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