Welcome back for another school year. Now that things are settling, I hope that a few family tips can help anchor your child to a productive school year. Remember, as a mom or dad you are the ultimate teacher. Your role is crucial to the three-legged educational stool of student, teacher and parent, so don't leave things to chance. Good parenting, as we all know, is not a spectator sport.
Set the environment: 1. Schedule your child's clubs, chores, homework, TV and bedtime. Sleep deficit haunts the teen years; hence, manage well. 2. Create a quiet, distraction-free, well-lit study area.
Set the attitude: 1. Stress education as a top priority. That begins with regular attendance. 2. Read to, or with, your child at least 20 minutes daily. 3. Establish the unassailable expectation of college. 4. Praise and reward your child for doing well.
Set the plan: 1. Learn and follow the A-G course requirements for U.C. admission.
2. Stress, early on, the importance of math and science in this competitive global marketplace where the U.S. ranks 17th among industrialized nations. 3. Commit to four years of high school math and science. 4. Encourage learning a "critical" language such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Russian. 5. Take Advanced Placement classes.
Set the connection: 1. Find your teacher's preferred contact method and stay in touch. You don't have to rely simply on "son, what did you learn in school today?" 2. Access
I hope this has been helpful. Have a rewarding school year where your child realizes his/her potential.
Walter Ruehlig is an Antioch Unified School District board trustee.