The most effective way parents can help their children do their best when they return to school is to offer continual support and encouragement of learning. But how can you specifically put this into action? Dr. Diane Sekeres, assistant professor of education at The University of Alabama, offers six ways parents can do just that:

1. Pay attention every day to the information that comes home in your child's backpack.
If anything needs to be returned or forms need to be completed, be sure to do that promptly.

2. Check daily to make sure your child has completed the assignments.
Make sure homework and other assignments are in the backpack so they are handed in on time.

3. Work with your child to plan ahead for projects.
This is so they can be done well without the stress of too-little time. This will help your child learn to organize time and tasks.

4. Offer occasional encouragement to your child's teacher.
Let him or her know what you've noticed about your child's learning and growth. Do what you can to help the lines of communication stay open between you and the teacher.

5. If your child tells you something that happened in the classroom that concerns you.
First check with the teacher for information before you register a complaint.

6. Come visit the classroom.
Take a day when you can eat lunch with your child, volunteer to help out or teach the children about something you know well.


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