As a parent, you are your child's most important teacher. The interactions you have with your child are priceless. Stay connected with what is going on in your child's life by talking every day. Ask about what happened at school. Inquire about how the day went. Share your day with your child. Build that open communication now! As your child grows older, s/he will be more likely to come to you to talk about what is going on in his/her life!
Establish a nightly routine
This will make a major impact on the success of your child as a student. While extra curricular activities can make this a bit challenging, it is possible to do this. When expectations of responsibilities have been established at the same time each night, there is no need for discussion, your child simply knows when s/he needs to do each task whether that be homework or chores.
HOMEWORK - Designate a time and place when/where your child does his/her homework. Your child should complete homework earlier than later, so you ensure it is completed and your child is not too tired. Establish positive rewards once homework is complete: a fun activity together, time to play outside with friends, game/TV time earned, etc.
BEDTIME ROUTINES - Establish a time for night time routines and stick to it. Set a time for bath/shower, brush teeth, bedtime story, and lights out. Children who go to bed at the same time every night, get a better night's rest, are healthier and are much better learners at school.
Read with your child every night! This is one of the best ways to improve your child's reading ability and foster a love of reading and learning. It is also a wonderful way to connect with your child.
ORAL READING - Your child should read every night aloud for at least 15 minutes. Choose books that your child can read easily. If your child struggles to sound out more than 5 words, choose another book. It is fine for your child to read the same book if s/he chooses. What is important is that your child is reading. This is a homework expectation, and the best method of improving your child's reading fluency and comprehension.
SHARED READING - This is another way to practice reading. Read books together where you alternate reading; your child reads a page and you read a page. It is a great way for you to model good reading practices using changes in voice, stopping at punctuation marks, and reading at about the same rate. Take time to discuss the book as you read as this will increase comprehension. You are modeling how good readers think as they read when you stop and talk about the book every couple of pages.
READ ALOUD - Read books to your child that interest him/her. These books may be above his/her reading level, but on topics of his/her interest. This is a way to expand your child's vocabulary and love of learning. It is also an awesome way to spend some time together.
Practice math facts at least 5 to 10 minutes every night. This is a homework expectation. In doing so, you're child will increase his/her math fact knowledge and fluency of completing math facts. The more math facts your child can master, the better s/he will perform in math. One of the best ways to practice math fact is using addition/subtraction flashcards so that you know your child practiced all of the facts. Your child should have mastered facts with amounts up to 20 by the end of first grade.
Other ways to practice are through technology math games; you will find some on North Grove's website under technology. You can also make up math problems orally. You can have your child practice facts using sidewalk chalk, in shaving cream, using markers, etc. Find ways your child enjoys practicing facts.
Practice spelling words nightly, even just 5 minutes at a time makes a huge difference. There are many fun ways to practice words: magnetic letters, tile letters, sidewalk chalk, shaving cream, paint, chants, swim spelling (ask your child), etc. You and your child may come up with more creative ways to practice.