10 Ways for Parents to Help Teachers
Here are 10 simple yet powerful things that parents can do at home to support teachers in their daily work of teaching our young children.
- Create a smooth takeoff each day. Give your child a hug before she ventures out the door and you head to work. Look her in the eye, and tell her how proud you are of her. Your child’s self-confidence and security will help her do well both in school and in life.
- Prepare for a happy landing at the end of the day when you reconvene. Create a predictable ritual such as 10-20 minutes listening to your child talk about his day – before you check phone messages, read the mail, or begin dinner. That way you are fully present to listen, and your child has a touchstone he can count on between school and home.
- Fill your child’s lunchbox with healthy snacks and lunches. Have dinner at a reasonable hour. A well-balanced diet maximizes your child’s learning potential.
- Include calm, peaceful times in your children’s afternoons and evenings. Maintain a schedule that allows them to go to school rested, and if they are sick, have a system in place so they are able to stay home.
- Remember, it’s your children’s homework, not yours. Create a specific homework space that’s clutter-free and quiet. Encourage editing and double-checking work, but allow your kids to make mistakes, as it’s the only way teachers can gauge if they understand the material. It’s also how children learn responsibility for the quality of their work.
- Fill your child’s life with a love for learning by showing him your own curiosity, respecting his questions, and encouraging his effort.
- Fill your home with books to read, books to simply look at, and books that provide answers to life’s many questions. The public or school library is an excellent resource.
- Be a partner with your child’s teacher. When you need to speak to him/her in reference to a specific issue with your child, do it privately, not in front of the child. Make a point never to criticize your child’s teacher in front of your child.
- Set up a system where routine items are easily located – such as backpacks, shoes, and signed notices. Create a central calendar for upcoming events to avoid the unexpected.
- Tuck a “love note” in your child’s lunch bag to let her know how special she is. Knowing they are loved makes it easier for children to be kind to others.