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Back To School Reminders for Your House

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As kids around the Quad Cities are heading back to school this year I thought it would be a good idea to offer up some home learning and safety tips to make your family’s year a success.

Bus Stop Safety: As a parent myself, my first concern is always safety. I want to provide my children with a safe and comfortable place to learn. For a lot of people their school mornings start at the bus stop. Make sure your child knows where and how to get to their bus stop in the mornings. You can practice walking to it with them. Make friends with a house near the bus stop so kids have a place to go in case of an emergency. Also make sure your child knows who to call if there is an emergency. For younger children I recommend you wait with them at the bus stop or join a community group where parents rotate escorting and chaperoning the bus stop until the bus arrives.

Learning zone at home: Upon returning home from school it is a good idea to set up a learning area for your child to complete their homework. This could be in their room, kitchen, dining room, or an office. Wherever you decide to make this place have it in a public area of  your home so you can help answer any questions your child has. Make your learning zone free from distractions so your child can focus. Some popular distractions are; television, loud music, siblings, dad/mom making supper, cellphones, and even the Internet. Finally, setup a routine for your learning zone. It may look something like this. Your child comes home and eats a snack. Ask your child what homework they have and verify it with their planner or even a teacher’s website. Establish a length of time your child will spend on homework each night, usually 20-60 minutes is adequate. If they do not have any homework for the night they can use this time to study for an upcoming test, work towards a project due in the following weeks, or read for fun.

Time with the family: This is without a doubt the most important habit to establish in your home. Spending time with your child doing their homework will have dramatic effect on their academics. You will strengthen a bond with your son or daughter, create values in education, and demonstrate good learning habits. As a parent you will be aware of what your child is studying, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and will be able to spend valuable time with them before their teenage independence phase.

Follow these tips to help make your home a fun and engaging place to learn for your child. You may not see the payoff immediately. But trust me, you will when they graduate and are no longer living at home in your basement for the next 40 years.

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