Children attend school to acquire knowledge, skills, values and attitudes for future successful living, and nation building … bringing parents into the picture by clarifying their roles as partners with local schools. — Julius Atuhurra

Your children and your schools need you to help children succeed in school.

Here are some of the ways you can do so.

If your children are in the primary grades, you can help them to see letter-sound connection. You can talk to your children about everything and read to them so that they have a strong oral vocabulary. Your young children need to hear you talk to them and to help them know many words. The more words they know, the easier it will be for them to sound out new words. They will pull that word from their memory of words they have heard you speak or read.

With patience and kindness, you can help them learn the words the teacher sends home that they cannot sound out and need to know. These skills are the foundation of their future success in reading and writing. They are skills your young children need to practice and you can help them practice.

If your children are older, you can help them know their own strengths and weaknesses. If they still struggle with reading, talk to your children’s teachers to see if your children are missing “foundational skills”— the ability to identify sounds of letters and words or not knowing what words mean so their reading makes sense. They might be reading too slowly, so you can help them practice by reading with them at home.

Your children might be struggling with math due to their lack of basic math facts. You can help them practice these so the answers come automatically to your children’s minds. Be patient and kind and give your children the time to grow. Attempt to keep their learning positive; stressful learning blocks the brain and keeps it from learning.

Practice with your children how to ask for help and support if they need it. Teachers can help, but so can their peers. Your children need to let someone know if they do not understand and need someone to explain concepts again.

Help your children understand that the rate of their learning may be different from others. With more time, they CAN … just not yet.

Managing their time to learn and study needs your support also. Turn large projects into smaller ones by planning their project with them one step at a time and keeping to that schedule until their work is complete. Help them to work steadily and face their fears of not completing it on time. Even if the work is not finished, it is better to turn something in.

Give all your children time to try and fail and to try again. They need your support and encouragement every day. Without your devices, there will be time to talk and laugh together.

Instill in your children learning tools for their and our future. — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at bettemroz@gmail.com

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