Skip to main content

Some Tips To Start The School Year Off on a Good Note

Where did the summer go?  It just seems like yesterday I was searching for a June read of the month and congratulating the graduating seniors of Carlson High School.  Monday, I head back to work for what I hope to be another amazing school year.  While 2011 has been a tough year for public education, I still love my job and have no desire to look for other employment.  I also love my "job" as a father now that my oldest child is in elementary school.  With thirteen years experience working in the public schools and two years experience as a parent of a school aged child I wanted to share some tips I think can be helpful for your children as they start the school year.

  • Get to know your child's teachers.  Attend the open house and conferences if possible.  A strong relationship with the teachers at your child's school will only help their education.  Keep in touch with teachers via email after the open house.  Keep in mind, it may take some time for a teacher to return an email.  I think it is fair to give teachers at least 24 hours considering they are busy during most of the work day.

  • Take advantage of social media sites your school and/or district may have established.  Many schools have created official Facebook and/or Twitter accounts.  Districts may also offer a listserv account to join that will keep you up to date of happenings via email.  The Gibraltar School District offers many of these options to help keep parents and community members informed.

  • One of the most important skills needed to succeed in school is organization.  Make sure older students take advantage of calendars on their smart phones.  Help your younger students keep their work organized in their class folders.  Some teachers have their own web pages or online calendars to help with organization.  Some districts also allow parents to access the grade book online at home.  Take advantage of the all of the new technology available to help your student.

  • Encourage some quiet/study time nightly.  Communicate with your children and ask if they have any homework.  Take part in their homework and projects.  If there is no homework encourage a little outside reading.  Lead by example by finding something to read as well.  Kids pick up on their parents' habits, both the good and bad habits.

  • Keep in mind, all children learn differently.  That can include differences between your own children.  Not everyone can grasp the same concepts immediately and without difficulty.  I can already see my daughter is like me and struggles with math while loving reading and writing.  Try to find ways to help if your child is having problems.  Many high schools offer tutoring through the school's National Honor Society program.  Check with your local high school.

  • Make sure you children have breakfast.  Just like everyone else, I am often rushing out the door in the morning, but I try to have something to eat.  Without a good breakfast, most students will start to struggle before lunch time.  The school day can be a long day, especially for the younger students.  Along with the breakfast, make sure your children get enough sleep.  Start rolling back bedtime a little bit this week if you have yet to do so.

These are just a few tips that I thought of this morning as I was writing an introduction letter to my daughter's second grade teacher (the teacher requested parents write an introduction letter).  These basic tips can help the school year run much smoother.  Be sure to use all of this new technology to help your children succeed this school year.


Popular posts from this blog

Your Own Personal Library Catalog

So, how many of you have remember using an old style, card catalog?  You know, you want to find a book in your local library, so you pull out the long drawers flipping through cards.  Well those days are long gone of course (thankfully) and nearly all libraries use an electronic catalog system to keep track of their collections.  Many of the school districts in Wayne County are using a system developed by Follett .  It is a great system for school age children and prepares them for many of the advanced catalogs available in public and university libraries. Catalog software is quite expensive and really impractical for home libraries.  Some book lovers may create their own spreadsheet or database to keep track of their books, however there is a great (free) tool online to not only catalog your books, but also meet and communicate with other book lovers online.  The site is a wonderful site that lets you catalog your own home library.  Think of it as a "Facebook

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Event

Back in November I wrote about what I believe to be the best part of my job; running into Carlson High School graduates that are success stories and hearing about how well they are doing in the "real world."  Carlson High School graduate Nathan Matatall is clearly one of these success stories.  After graduating from Carlson High School and Michigan State University Nathan has gone on to very successful career at Dell Computers.  The News Herald even published a feature piece on Nathan a few years ago.  This past week, Nathan provided my family with a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget.   Nathan, my former public speaking student, contacted me via email a few weeks ago and inquired about taking my kids on a tour of Marine One (one of the helicopters used to transport The President of the United States and other dignitaries) and to possibly attend the landing of Air Force One when President Obama was scheduled to arrive in Detroit.  I was very excited a

A Little R & R

I decided to take a little R & R before things get crazy with back to school.  I wanted to spend some time with my family for these final weeks of summer, so I decided a break from writing was in order.  A trip to Kalahari and fun times with friends and family made August fly by.  So, what does school year 2014 bring for me?  Quite a bit, as always: Back to teaching two courses at Wayne County Community College.  Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings I head to Northline Road to teach college level English.  I really love this second job! Tuesday, I start my 17th year at O.A. Carlson High School.  While public education continues to face challenges, there is no other job for me at this time.  I love my co-workers and students.  Gibraltar is a great place to work. I will be running my kids all over as usual.  Gymnastics, religious education, flag football (which I coach as well), and others events "to be determined."  I would not have it any other way.  I love watch