How you get your children started in their new school year will set the tone for their success.† Better prepared children have a better chance of doing well.† The following are suggestions by the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to best prepare children for a successful academic year:


Calm their fears:

Let them know itís normal to feel nervous about the first day of school.† Encourage them to talk about their feelings.


Focus on the positives:

Donít build up unrealistic expectations about how great the school year will be.† Be upbeat, however, try reminding them that theyíll see old friends and meet new ones and that teachers are there to help them.


Visit the school before it opens:

This helps especially young children to become familiar or reacquainted with the school.† If possible, try to meet with your childrenís teachers.


Get a neighborhood child to serve as a buddy:

If your neighborhood has children who attend the same school as your child, arrange for them to travel together.† On the first few days of school, it might be a good idea to walk with your children to the bus stop or to school.


Review safety rules:

Go over safety measures regarding the traffic and strangers.






How should I help my child with homework?


 Talk with your child's teacher about homework policies. Make sure you know the purpose of the homework assignments, how long they should take, and how the teacher wants you to be involved in helping your child complete them.


 Agree with your child on a set time to do homework every day.


 Make sure that your child has a consistent, well-lit, quiet place to study and do homework. Encourage your child to study at a desk or table rather than on the floor or in an easy chair. Discourage distractions such as TV or calls from friends.


 Make sure the materials needed to do assignments ó papers, books, pencils, a dictionary, encyclopedia, computer ó are available. Show your child how to use reference books or computer programs and appropriate Web sites. Ask your child to let you know if special materials are needed and have them ready in advance.


 Talk with your child about assignments to see that she understands them.


 When your child asks for help, provide guidance, not answers. Doing assignments for your child won't help him understand and use information or help him become confident in his own abilities.


 If you are unable to help your child with a subject, ask for help from a relative. Also see if the school, library or a community or religious organization can provide tutoring or homework help.


 Check to see that your child has done all the work assigned. Sign the homework if your child's school requires this.


 Watch for signs of frustration or failure. Let your child take a short break if she is having trouble keeping her mind on an assignment.


 Reward progress. If your child has been successful in completing an assignment and is working hard, celebrate with a special event ó reading a favorite story or playing a game together ó to reinforce the positive effort.


 Read the teacher's comments on assignments that are returned. If a problem comes up, arrange to meet with the teacher and work out a plan and a schedule to solve it.






This guide was developed to help parents and communities become more involved in their childrenís education.


Why do schools need parent and community support?

Thirty years of research clearly shows that parent and community involvement in schools improves student achievement. To reach their potential, students need parents and the community to take an active role in their education.

Schools are working hard to provide a high quality education for every child. But they can't do it alone. Parent and community involvement is critical to creating great schools.


What can I do to be involved?

There are many ways parents, other adults who play an important role in a child's life, and community groups can be involved with children's education at home, at school and in the community.


What can I do at school?

As a parent, or an adult who plays an important role in the life of a child, your involvement in your child's education at school and at home shows your child that you value education. Teachers can see that you care about your children's learning. You can provide teachers with the most reliable source of information about your child. The partnership between you and your child's teacher is powerful.

Here are some ways you can be involved in your child's education each year at school:


 Meet the teacher. Tell the teacher about your child's interests and hobbies. Let them know how and when it is best to reach you. Ask how you can support your child's learning at home.


 Make a date with the teacher to visit your child's classroom. Are the kids busy learning, exploring and asking questions? Does the teacher draw them in?


 Go to parent-teacher conferences. If the school doesn't have them, meet with your child's teachers. Ask how your child is doing and review his work.


 Join the PTA or other parent group. Go to school events, like back-to-school night. As a group, see how you can help the school reach its goals.


 Stay up-to-date on school policies, schedules and rules. Ask about opportunities to participate in the development of school policies.


 Make sure that your child is learning what he/she needs to know to meet the standards set for her grade level.


 Find a teacher or counselor you feel comfortable talking to about your child. Talk about the courses he/she should take to reach their goals. Do they match what the standards say they should be learning? Will they prepare your children for college and a career?


 Check your school's Web site regularly.


 Contact your child's teacher or counselor if you have any concerns about what's going on with your child at school.





 Find a book or story that your student is interested in. Discuss what you read. Sit beside the student if possible so they can read over your shoulder. If the student can see what youíre reading it will help him recognize words. Talk about what youíve read. Use questions that will help increase their comprehension.

 Listen to your student read.

 Play games with your student.

 Help your student get a library card from the public library nearest you.

 Encourage the student to go to the library as often as possible.

 Talk to your student about subjects that are interesting to him or her.

 Listen to your student.





 Use games to encourage drill.

 Donít assume too much about your student; make sure he or she recognizes the different numbers before going to more difficult exercises.

 Try a novel approach to learning multiplication tables; try relating the learning to something the student is interested in. A certain amount of drill is unavoidable, but keeping charts of the studentís progress may help keep his or her interest and motivation up.

 Get the student physically involved by providing sticks or buttons for him or her to work with in solving problems. Have fun with learning games!

 Try to devise practical problems for the child to solve, i.e. what is the shortest route form school to your home?




Los Angeles Unified School District

School, Family and Parent/Community Services

Parent Community Services Branch

1360 W. Temple Street

Los Angeles, CA 90026

(866) 669-7272†† or (213) 481-3350


Text Box: To Contact Us:




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