Summer Homework for Parents

Getting a handle of back to school madness will help your child excel come September.

Now that the kids have their summer activities, its time for you to catch up on whats in store for your child in a new school year. By taking action now, you can impact the school experience for years to come. Here is Parent Powers homework helper for parents to help you get ahead of the fall Back-to-School madness before it begins.

  1. How is your school doing? Did you know that every school must produce a report card on its performance? Normally these can be found on your states department of education website. Parents should do a little research on their child's school to see if it is doing well. Does the school have reasonable goals set to meet standards and raise student achievement? Find out if other schools in your area have more success in meeting rigorous standards.

  2. Do you have a choice in where your child goes to school? Parents know best what kind of environment will suit their child's needs. Sometimes one size-fits-all does not fit all. Does your area have other public school options such as charter schools? Would a private school be a better fit? Nows the time to find out.

  3. What do other parents know about the school or the teacher your child is likely to have? Do you know someone that may have had your new teacher in the past? Do parents get involved at school? Is there room for meaningful involvement? Would a different teacher impact your child more effectively?

  4. Read up on the issues! Get informed at the Parent Power Index at www.edreform.com and find the tools that can either prepare you for a parent-teacher conference or help you build a coalition to crusade for change.

  5. In August, try to meet with your child's new teacher. Ask to see a syllabus or find out if the curriculum is research-based with proven results. Ask what will be expected of your child by the end of next year.

  6. Is there a parents group? If not, start one! While you may not have any complaints now, communicating with other parents about whats going on at school will help you be more prepared when an issue does arise and can help prevent any problems from springing up.

The Center for Education Reform has been providing Parent Power!, a program aimed at helping parents make sense of schooling since 1999.

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