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Tips for parents
Be Generous With Praise
Observe your child carefully and comment on the things that are done well. When you see an area that needs improvement, find a positive way to talk about it with your child.
Encourage "Personal Best"
Help your child by encouraging him or her to do the best in school and at home. Remember, "personal best" does not mean "perfect," and learning does not always mean getting high grades. Children, like adults, need the freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them.
Make Learning A Priority
Your attitude toward school attendance, education, and involvement in the school makes a strong and lasting impression on your child. By example, show your child that learning is a priority.
Show Interest In School Work
- Talk about school each day;
- Ask to see classwork;
- Have your child read aloud to you;
- Read to and with your child from a variety of material in your first language;
- Encourage your child to discuss new ideas and opinions;
- Show appreciation for good efforts;
- Offer suggestions for success; and
- Help your child use the following strategies to improve performance in school:
- Read the assignment when it is given.
- Keep a list of new vocabulary words.
- Proofread assignments to catch errors before writing a final draft.
- Review notes before a test.
- Schedule study time.
- Set up an area for homework away from noise and distractions.
- Post a family calendar that schedules school project deadlines, after-school activities, mid-term dates, exam periods, and report card dates.
- Help your child plan an activity to celebrate it with the entire family.
- Make tonight a 'No TV' night with your family. Ask your child to help select games or stories and spend some quality time with them.
- Help boost your child's self-esteem by taking pride in their achievements and accomplishments on a daily basis.
- Put on a history play with your child. Help them learn about important events in world history or even your own family history.
- Make learning to write letters and numbers fun for your child. Roll playdough or clay into long thin worms and ask them to create letters and numbers.
- Ask your child to help make lunch, then ask them to pick a spot in the park so that you can share lunch together.
- Take the family out to a water park. Help your child put on sunscreen and explain the importance of protecting their skin.
- Go to the park and take a nature hike with your child. Ask them to point out different animals and what they need to survive (i.e. food, shelter etc.).
- Prior to the first day of school each year, help your child make a 'countdown to school' calendar. Ask them to cross off each day at bedtime.
- Encourage your child to make a 'to do' list. Help them make a list of things that they would like to accomplish, then check the items once completed.
- To cool off on a hot day, visit a community pool with your child.
- Take your child shopping for school supplies. Ask them to brainstorm a list of things that they will need for school.
- Help your child make a kite. They can decorate it themselves and fly it at the park.
- Teach your child about recycling. Show them how to recycle items such as paper, glass, and aluminium.
- Take your child to a petting zoo. Later, ask them to draw pictures of the animals that they saw.
- Visit the library with your child often. Encourage them to borrow books about a different country to learn about the people, cultures, and customs of that country.
- On a rainy day, set up a tent with your child in the living room. They can pretend to be a forest ranger.
- Help your child practice their math skills by asking them to add up all the change in your pocket or purse.
- Teach your child about the importance of preserving nature. Help them plant a tree in your yard and explain how littering harms the environment.
- On a large piece of construction paper, help your child write their name vertically. Using each letter, help them write words that describe their personality.
- Make car trips fun for your child. Play a game and ask them to point out license plates, billboards, and interesting road signs.
- Tell your child that you love them today and every day.
- Help your child create and design their own phone book . Make a list of their friends names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- How much does your child know about their family history? On a map, trace where your family is from and help your child create a family tree.
- Help your child write a letter to a grandparent or friend. Explain the importance of keeping in touch with loved ones.
- To prepare for the first day of school each year, help your child get back in 'school mode'. Ask them to research a famous painter on the internet, then get out the paint and let them express themselves through art.
- Teach your child about textures - ask them to find objects outdoors that are smooth, shiny, slimy, or round.
- Suggest that your child write a poem for a friend, then have them mail it to their friend as a 'just because' gift.
- Encourage your child to make journal entries and keep track of their experiences each school year.
- Before school starts, host a back to school party for some of your child's friends.
- Help your child prepare for school and talk to them about setting personal goals this year.