Help Students Create Positive Mind-Set For Start Of Classes
Dear Dr. LeCrone:
I know that you and your wife place a high value on education and your own children have careers that required a lot of schooling. Please share some of your thoughts on what parents can do to help their children get off to a good start in school.
-A Teacher in Texas
You are correct in your observations about the value that my wife and I place on education. We always tried to emphasize school assignments before extracurricular activities but did encourage our children to seek balance. Our sons have degrees in law and dentistry, and our daughter will begin work on her doctorate in social work at the Ohio State University this fall.
The first few days and weeks of school are very important in helping students establish a positive perception and expectation for the academic year. Discuss the beginning of school with your children in an enthusiastic way, which will create a positive mind-set for them. Focus on the exciting experiences that will occur in school rather than reflecting on the end of summer.
If they are going to school for the first time, or moving from one school to another, they may feel added stress that requires special attention from parents and teachers.
Let your children know that you expect school to be among their highest priorities. Let them also know that you hope that they will see education as a challenge and an opportunity rather than as drudgery and something to be avoided.
Help your children pursue the most important element of education – the desire to learn for the sake of learning. Show interest in you children’s school subjects by engaging them in conversations about classes and activities, and show real enthusiasm in their learning.
Be available to help with homework but don’t do it yourself. Provide a quiet place for them to study in the home.
Emphasize their need to show respect for school personnel. Become involved in PTA and other volunteer parent organizations at the school.
Monitor the amount of time your children spend watching television, playing video games and talking on the phone. Encourage reading and involvement in activities that have an educational value. Promote interest in educational programming when they watch television. Parents should be good role models by monitoring their own television viewing.
Finally, view education as one of the cornerstone of your children’s health and happiness.
Harold H. Lecrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2008