I have summed up more of my thoughts about back to school with 5 more lessons I’ve learned after living through and watching kids and families go back to school over 43 years. See the first five lessons at Five Lessons Learned about Back-to-School.
Be careful about how many and what kinds of questions you ask. Ask the questions you need to know, but be specific – Did
you have the right supplies? This is much better than a great big question like, “How was school today?” (See First Days of School.)
2. Accept “Fine” or “OK” as an answer about school.
If your child doesn’t give details about school, let it go. Just be sure he knows you are available to talk about anything anytime. (See First Days of School.)
3. Watch for boredom.Children who are bored at school can get in trouble or just be unhappy at school. Make sure your child’s special talents are being used at school. If you think they are not, talk to a teacher or administrator. Some schools are afraid that zeroing in on a kid’s special talents will hurt the school’s overall scores in reading, writing, and mathematics. Suggest to the school that your child would read better if he was reading something he is interested in. And, he would get excited about science and math if it were connected to his interests. (See Your Child’s Special Talents, Part 3.)
4. Connect school to your child’s dreams.
Make sure your child has the type of education she will need to follow her dreams. For example, you can’t be an architect without math skills, can’t be a writer without Language Arts skills, and can’t be a scientist without scientific knowledge. When kids realize these school subjects apply to their special interests, school becomes much more important to them. (See Your Child’s Special Talents, Part 2.)
5. Be careful about birthday celebrations at school.
Make birthday invitations be all or none. Invite everyone in the class or do your inviting away from school (no invitations given out at school). Likewise, if you’re sending birthday treats to school be sure there is enough for everyone in the class. (See Birthday Parties, Part 1.)
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