SACRAMENTO – Millions of children throughout California head back to school this month. Getting a new school year off to a good start can influence children’s attitudes, confidence and performance both socially and academically. Parents are their children’s first teachers and are key to creating a home environment that helps a child succeed. As families prepare for the first day of school, California State PTA offers ten ways that parents can support learning at home.
- Have a special place where children can do their homework, setting a “regular time and place” for homework.
- Keep books, magazines and newspapers available in your home.
- Have simple art supplies on hand to spark creativity – paints, markers, clay, ribbons, colored paper, musical instruments, etc.
- Read to your children and/or read with them every day.
- Limit TV, computer and video games. Assign specific times for TV watching as family entertainment and help your child select the right programs and movies.
- Take your child to the library. Encourage your child to use the dictionary and the internet to find the meaning of words and resource information.
- Ask questions about school activities. Ask “what are three new things you learned today?” rather than “how was school?” Engage in educational conversation by turning ordinary time together into “teachable moments.”
- Be flexible and avoid making homework stressful by finding positive ways to modify behavior.
- Encourage and praise your children; celebrate their successes!
- Join your local PTA. PTA connects families and schools, and joining PTA is a great way to become actively involved in your child’s education. PTAs provide a range of programs and services for children and families, and is at the table when critical decisions are being made at your child’s school.
For more back-to-school tips for parents and information on the importance of family engagement, visit www.capta.org.