Q:

As a parent, can I rely on the teachers to teach my children all the skills they need to know to be successful in school? Are there any special things that I need to be working on with my children? -- Worried

A:

Wow! Even if your children are so lucky as to have the very best teachers, they will still need substantial help from you in order to become skillful listeners, confident speakers, neat hand-writers and good writers. None of these skills develops overnight. It will take many years of work, both by your children's teacher and yourself, to help your children shine in all of these areas so that they can truly do their best in school.

Use the following checklist to see if you are doing what is necessary to help your child build these valuable skills:

  • -Consistently express interest in what your children are saying.
  • -Listen patiently to your children, whether they are toddlers or teens.
  • -Model good listening skills for your children.
  • -Engage in meaningful one-on-one conversations with your children.
  • -Give your children frequent opportunities to recount personal experiences.
  • -Provide writing materials to entice children of every age to write.
  • -Establish an environment in your home that encourages your children to write.
  • -Help children learn to write by teaching them to read their work out loud.