Be generous with praise
Observe your child carefully and comment on the things that are done well. When you see an area that needs improvement, find a positive way to talk about it with your child.
Encourage "personal best"
Help your child by encouraging him or her to do the best in school and at home. Remember, "personal best" does not mean "perfect", and learning is not the same as high grades. Children, like adults, need the freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them.
Make learning a priority
Your attitude toward school attendance, education and involvement in the school makes a strong and lasting impression on your child. Show your child, by example, that learning is a priority.
Show interest in school work
- Talk about school each day.
- Ask to see classwork.
- Have your child read aloud to you.
- Read to and with your child from a variety of material in your first language.
- Encourage your child to discuss new ideas and opinions.
- Show appreciation for good efforts.
Offer suggestions for success
Help your child use the following strategies to improve performance in school:
- Read the assignment when it is given.
- Keep a list of new vocabulary.
- Proofread assignments to catch errors before writing a final draft.
- Review notes before a test.
Schedule study time
Set up an area for homework away from noise and distractions. Post a family calendar that schedules school project deadlines, after-school activities, mid-term dates, exam periods and report card dates.
Fun activities for you and your elementary school child
- Today is National Kids Day. Help your child plan an activity to celebrate it with the entire family
- Make tonight a 'No TV' night with your family. Ask your child to help select games or stories, and spend some quality time with him.
- Help boost your child's self-esteem. Take pride in her achievements and accomplishments today and every day.
- Put on a history play with your child today. Help him learn about important events in world history or even your own family history.
- Make learning to write letters and numbers fun for your child. Roll playdough or clay into long thin worms and ask her to create letters and numbers.
- Ask your child to help make lunch today. He can pick a spot in the park so that you can share lunch together..
- Take the family out to a water park today. Help your child put on sunscreen and explain the importance of protecting her skin.
- Go to the park and take a nature hike with your child today. Ask him to point out different animals and what they need to survive (i.e. food, shelter etc.)
- School's on the way! Help your child make a 'countdown to school' calendar. Ask her to cross off each day at bedtime.
- Encourage your child to make a 'to do' list today. Help him make a list of things that he would like to accomplish tomorrow, then check the items once completed.
- Visit a community pool with your child today. Go for a dip to cool off on a hot day.
- Take your child shopping for school supplies. Ask her to brainstorm a list of things that she will need for school.
- Help your child make a kite today. He can decorate it and fly it at the park.
- Teach your child about recycling. Show her how to recycle items such as paper, glass and aluminium.
- Take your child to a petting zoo today. Ask him to draw pictures of the animals that he saw today.
- Visit the library with your child today. Encourage her to borrow books about a different country, and learn about the people, cultures, and customs of the that country.
- On a rainy day, set up a tent with your child in the living room. He can pretend to be a forest ranger.
- Help your child practice her math skills. Ask her to add up all the change in your pocket or purse today.
- Teach your child about the importance of preserving nature. Help him plant a tree in the yard and explain how littering harms the environment.
- On a large piece of construction paper, help your child write her name vertically. Using each letter, help her write words that describe her personality.
- Make car trips fun for your child. Play a game and ask him to point out licence plates billboards and interesting road signs.
- Tell your child that you love her today and every day.
- Help your child create and design his own phone book . Make a list of his friends names and phone numbers.
- How much does your child know about her family history? On a map trace where your family is from and help her create a family tree.
- Help your child write a letter to a grandparent or friend today. Explain the importance of keeping in touch with loved ones.
- Get your child back in 'school mode'. Ask him to research a famous painter on the Internet. Get out the paint and let him express himself through art.
- Teach your child about textures today. Ask her to find objects outdoors that are smooth, shiny, slimy or round.
- Suggest that your child write a poem for a friend today. He can mail it to them for a back to school present.
- Encourage your child to make journal entries and keep track of her experiences in a new grade this coming school season.
- Have a back to school party for some of your child's friends.
- Help your child prepare for school. Talk to him about setting personal goals this year.