As summer winds down, millions of parents nationwide with school-aged children will send their kids back to school. It’s an exciting new beginning, but often packed with challenges as parents rush to prepare their children for a new academic year.
But what does it mean to be prepared? Of course kids need school supplies and the right clothes. They need to go to bed at a decent hour, wake up on time, and well balanced meals throughout the day. But they also need something else.
Research shows that parents themselves have a greater impact on their child’s academic success than even the school environment. And so in order for a child to succeed academically, children need the active support and engagement of their parents, guardians, and families.
In order to help parents start the school year off right, Learning Heroes – along with National PTA and Scholastic – created the “Super 5 Back-to-School Power Moves,” five important tips designed to help parents support their child’s academic success and social-emotional well-being. The Super 5 tips and tools are available in English and Spanish here.
- Start Smart: Find out what your child is expected to learn this year, and how to know whether your child is on track.
- Support Learning Anywhere: Look for ways to integrate learning into your child’s life outside of the classroom. For instance, ask an older child to add up costs of items at the grocery store, or ask a younger child to name funny words that rhyme.
- Stay Connected: You, your child, and your child’s teacher are partners. At your first teacher meeting, bring your child’s most recent state test scores and ask what the results mean.
- Take on Challenges: To encourage your child with challenging homework or tests, focus on their effort and on lessons learned, instead of how well they did.
- Speak Openly: Share hopes and concerns as a family. Ask your child what he or she is most excited or nervous about for the upcoming year, and then let their teacher know.
Learning Heroes is reaching out to schools, businesses, places of worship, and youth serving organizations to disseminate the Super 5 to parents and families. Through Scholastic, we will reach 1.6 million families, and through partnerships with organizations such as the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, we will host interactive events for businesses, where employees can learn simple ways to support their children in school.
Preparing kids for a successful life after high school is a journey that begins on the first day of school and continues through the year. With simple and actionable tools and resources, parents and families can be Learning Heroes, supporting their children’s academic and social-emotional success each step of the way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Park is Executive Vice President of Learning Heroes.