1. Routines – Establish Them Now
Talk about schedules with your kids, use their input. If they have some ownership in the structure, they are more likely to buy into it. Meals, bed times, homework, etc…, will all be easier down the road, if routines are set and followed from the beginning. For more information on the benefits of routines for kids, http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/683.html.
2. Get Familiar with the School and Staff
Visit your child’s school, especially if it is there first year in that school, walk the lay of the land; locate their classroom, the office, the cafeteria, the bathrooms, the gym. Meet their teacher. Set up a meeting with just you and the teacher if your child has special needs, a 504 plan, or an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Ask for the special education teacher who will be working with your child to attend, as well.
3. Be Aware of the Curriculum Changes (Core Curriculum and Essential Standards)
You don’t need to be an expert and plan lessons, but be aware of the new curriculum and it’s expectations of your child. Core Curriculum refers to the national changes where all states will be following the same standards in the academic areas of Math and Language Arts. Essential Standards covers all other curricular areas. A listing of the K-12 Core Curriculum can be found at www.corestandards.org. For more information about the Essential Standards for NC check out www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards.
4. Get Involved and Stay Involved
Schools appreciate any chance you have to volunteer – in the classroom, the office, sporting events, fieldtrips, etc. There are opportunities to be a part of your child’s school from the beginning to the end of the year.
5. Be Positive
Keep in mind, your child will reflect what you exhibit!
Have a great year!