From Parents to Teacher and back again

© Chérie B. Stihler 2002

In my years of teaching I've learned some terrific ideas from my parents.
I add them to my parent handbook, and each year the list grows.
Here are the ten most popular tips from parents to foster student success.

1. Please read your students' newsletters.
Teachers spend precious time putting these
together and yet few parents actually read them.
Most tell what is happening in the
classroom as well as share important upcoming events.
Read the newsletter together with your students.
Mark dates on the calendar together.

2. Go to the library together.
Libraries have a host of wonderful FREE family activities.
¯ Check them out together!

3. At least once each year:

4. If your children have sight words/spelling words to learn...
Make it a game each week to find them as you travel through the day.
"I-spy" type games are super too.

5. When you can dedicate more time to the 'chore'
let your children help shop for groceries. Create a list for each child
and let her/him find the items on the list. Older children can compare
unit costs, while the youngest set can point out product colors.
Children who have a better understanding of relative costs
suffer less from attacks of the 'Gimmies' and 'I wants'.

6. Turn off the television and video games for an extra 20-30 minutes each day.
Spend that time - reading - playing a board game, doing a craft, riding bikes,
tossing a ball around…together.

7. So many children are over scheduled .
Reduce the number of outside school activitiesfor your student.
They may want to be in 'everything' but most children would also
wantto have cake and ice cream several meals per day.
Children need downtime, time to play, time to enjoy being - children.

8. Play is the best work for children.
Be silly, at least once a week, of course daily is preferable.

9. Make a date for a special time with your children.
Even if it is just for a drive or a ride on the bus to go see a local free event,
make time for your children . Let them know they are your special treasures.

10. Cook something with your student.
Get out a cookbook and look it over together.
Non-cooking folks can assemble very nice salads with their children.
This is also a perfect time to be silly. Oven mitts make fine puppets!

If fun new ideas sound too overwhelming try one new thing this week ,
then try another, and another …

Have fun with your children - play and read together.

Article originally published in Wee Parents - December 2002