The start of the school year is just around the corner again and it can be a hard transition to go from enjoying summer activities to studying and class projects. It can be overwhelming sometimes for both the parent and the child, but there are always steps you can take to get back into the school routine.
We are lucky to have excellent local libraries in our communities and they are an excellent resource for students to get back into the habit of reading and learning. Reading a book together or if your child finds a book to read alone in their spare time are both enjoyable ways to get their minds prepped for everyday academics. The Indiana Reading List offers great age-appropriate book suggestions for your student to read or for you both to read together. It can be found on their website: www.learnmoreindiana.org.
If your family is new to a school community or your child will have a new teacher, it can be helpful to tour the school to find their new classroom(s). You could also go to meet the teacher so your child feels more comfortable on the first day of school.
Parent involvement in a child's education can significantly impact their performance. Many schools offer ways to get involved and to show support during school activities. The schools in our area have a lot of community involvement and I loved being able to coach my daughters and their friends in softball at Boonville High School for many years.
If you're unsure of how to get involved at your child's school, call the school or contact their teacher. Regular communication can help you stay up-to-date on your child's progress, too. The Indiana Department of Education website also contains a Parent Resource page where you can learn more about state academic standards for every grade level. The link to this webpage is: http://www.doe.in.gov/communications/parents.html.
I believe that highlighting the positive and exciting aspects of school before it starts back up can be a good boost before the first day. Talk with your student about the parts of school they enjoy like an interesting field trip or project they worked on in the past.
Finally, take advantage of the warm weather and the beautiful falls we usually have in southern Indiana and get out on the weekends to enjoy fairs, festivals, and other events where you can take the opportunity to learn something new with your kids. By visiting fun community events it can help ease you and your student out of summer vacation. Also, our local libraries and other community and youth organizations offer entertaining programs and suggestions on how to keep the learning alive.
School starts next week, specifically, on Aug. 10 in the Evansville-Vanderburgh and North Gibson School Corporations, and on Aug. 11 in the Warrick and South Gibson School Corporations. I hope you found some of these suggestions helpful. With a good night's rest, a positive attitude and some thoughtful preparation, your student will be ready to begin the school year on a high note.
Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler)