Parents as key as pencils to student success

It’s easy to get excited when back-to-school time rolls around, but how do children and their parents keep that energy going all year long?

“Many of us get all revved up at the start of the school year, but oftentimes it can be challenging for parents and students to keep that enthusiasm and momentum going all year long,” said Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association. “When the butterflies from the first day of school settle and the shiny new school supplies have lost their luster, parents need to come up with creative yet practical ways to keep their children engaged.”

NEA, which represents 3.2 million teachers and school employees, offers five easy ways parents can help their children succeed at school year-round:

• Don’t give up the daily routine. Children need structure and consistency, so be sure to keep your daily schedule throughout the year. Just make sure you take a break during vacations and school holidays.
• Meet the teachers. If parents can’t visit the school to introduce themselves, they can write a note, send an e-mail or place a call to their child’s teacher. Parents can tell teachers about their child’s interests and hobbies to establish a personal connection and build a strong relationship throughout the year.
• Keep fun books on the menu. Research shows reading helps ensure long-term academic success. So, in addition to assigned reading, encourage children to continue leisure reading because a good reader is someone who reads early and often.
• Join the PTA or other school community groups. There’s nothing like the whole community working together to ensure great public schools for every child. Encourage the group to participate in school events.
• Mark your calendars. Make a note of important dates such as back-to-school nights and parent-teacher conferences.

“Parents are their children’s first and favorite teachers,” said Weaver. “And we all make the grade when parents are involved in their child’s education 365 days a year.”

Visit www.nea.org for more information, tips and resources.

— The National Education Association

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