Here to help

Parents:?Don’t be afraid to reach out to teachers

The end of summer is here, and it is time to start thinking about the upcoming school year. For many families, it’s an exciting time — new teachers, new experiences and new friends. For some, it’s a time of concern.

As parents, we all want our children to do well in school. For some, the path is easy, while others struggle with school work.

Sometimes the signs are easy to spot, such as poor scores on tests or items left blank on an assignment. However, you might also notice that your child is suddenly disinterested in school, arguing about homework or even refusing to go to school.

If you have concerns about your child’s schooling, the most important thing you can do is contact your child’s teacher(s) and/or school counselor. We work as a team to help students, and the best teams include parents. We want to help — we truly want to see every child succeed!

There are several reasons a child might be struggling at school: physical challenges, emotional difficulties and academic issues. School personnel can provide resources and help you check on your child throughout the year.

There are many things you can do at home to help your child have a successful year:

¯Make sure your child’s physical needs are met — Make sure they get enough sleep at night, eat a proper breakfast and have had a recent physical to make sure there are no issues, such as needing glasses, preventing them from doing their best.

¯Organization — Help your child by teaching them to empty their backpack each night. Throw away what they don’t need, file those stickered worksheets on the refrigerator and return important forms that need to be signed.

¯Tools — make sure they have plenty of paper, pencils, etc.

¯Praise them for their effort rather than ability. Reward their hard work, and teach them you’re proud of the fact that they tried their best.

¯Let your child make mistakes. Believe it or not, it’s better for the child to do the homework wrong than letting you fix all their mistakes. The teachers needs to know what your child doesn’t understand so they can re-teach as needed.

¯Let them get a little frustrated. It’s important for them to learn they can work through life’s challenges. You may need to step in and tell them to take a break and go back to it later if they are overwhelmed.

¯Stay up to date with your child’s academic progress. Parents in Mifflin County School District can enroll in Skyward Family Access for information about grades, attendance, etc.

¯Contact the school. If homework is a struggle every night or your child seems lost, let your teacher and/or school counselor know.

Ultimately, the school is here to help. We all want your child to be the best they can be. If they are not currently headed in that direction, contact us so we can help.

I wish you all a wonderful start to the school year, and remember to make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep on Aug. 27!

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Jane A. Foor is a sixth grade school counselor at Mifflin County Middle School. She can be reached by email at jaf28@mcsdk12.org.