Things You Can Do in Your Home and Family (adapted from the coalition for America’s Children)
- Simplify the family schedule: insist on family time
- Be a good role model
- Encourage your children
- Prioritize FUN
- Connect with nature
- Carry on family traditions and create new ones
- Limit the number of hours of entertainment screen time
- Protect your child’s health
- Hold elected officials accountable for how policies affect children
This has been distributed by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. For more information contact: Maine Children’s Alliance 623-1868
(adapted from: Every Child Counts – Parents and Children Getting to Know Each Other -Project Maine Families)
TALK to your child. Take time each day to tell each other about your day. Share memories of your childhood. EXPLORE the world with your child. Use common everyday objects to explain how things work, grow and change. READ to your child, and let them read to you. Visit the library together, take out books, get their own library cards. DRIVING TIME Today so much time is spent in the car going to and from. Use that time to talk together about anything at all. LEAVE your child with a good word for the day or let them know that you are looking forward to seeing or talking to them at the end of the day. USE TV Don’t let it use you or your child. Set limits, check programs, watch and interact with the shows together. PRETEND with your child. ex. let them be waiters for Sat. lunch. Laugh together. MOVING is part of growing. Children need freedom to move. Provide running, jumping and dancing space and then even consider joining in. PLAN cost free activities: museums, picnics, build a snow fort, a walk in the neighborhood, school events are often free. Local calendars list free activities for all ages. SURPRISE your child with a treat in their bag or a note – a simple word of encouragement. Leave a good word or even a joke in a special place for them to find.
I do not remember the source of the following thought, but I continue to believe it expresses a lot of truth about our children’s successes academically, so I am passing it along once again.
“One of the most accurate predictors of achievement in school is the extent to which parents believe they can be key resources in their children’s education and become involved at school and in the community.”
There are so many ways to become involved – setting up a homework space and time where you are there and available; volunteering at school; coaching rec. teams; leading scouting troops; providing the opportunities for them to explore their interests; attending parenting groups and workshops at the school; attending school committee meetings; attending parent conferences and open houses; keeping teachers informed of events that have or might affect your children; reading stories together each night; visiting the local library; ask about their school day and question them further for more detailed information. Just a few suggestions – the opportunities are as endless and varied as our children are unique.
One more point – the involvement doesn’t end after the early elementary grades. It is even more important at the higher grades. They need us just as much if not more, yet it can be hard for them to show this. By staying involved all the way it’s easier for them to just accept that’s the way it is in our family.
A Little Love Note
For many parents the idea of adding a little love note for their child to find in their packed lunch, backpack, coat pocket, etc. is very appealing. However, the thought of making those notes just seems to add another ‘thing to do’ to an already long list, especially at the start of the school year.
I came across a couple of blogs that might help with that.
- These Free notes were on Alphamom where they were shown being used with fruit packed for lunch or snack. There are also small general notes where the text can be changed without much effort. Make up a sheet for each child ahead of time, print off, cut up and use….
- Mariah of Paper & Pomegranates has designed a sheet of cute and simple notes as a FREE download. She designed these for use with lunchbox meals, but they will work as notes to be tucked in and used whenever you feel appropriate.