Make the Most of Parent-Teacher Time

January means it’s back to school for kids after the holidays. After Christmas is a rough time for parents and teachers, as everybody is trying to return to routine and can experience slumps. However, it’s also a good time to catch up with your child’s teacher and find out how he or she is doing. If your child’s teacher has conferences scheduled or will at some time this semester, be prepared with these questions and topics:

Where’s My Child Doing Well or Struggling?

You may know your child is a math whiz but struggles with English. You might still be shocked when you see his or her actual grades. To head this off, ask the teacher where your child is at the beginning of the semester or quarter. What concepts does he or she find most challenging? How can you help, and how can you help nourish the love of a favorite subject?

What Are Your Grading/Academic Standards?

Common Core has become the standard in many schools across the US. Additionally, your child’s teacher may have his or her own grading standards for regular classwork or tests. Ask him or her what the grading scale is and how it’s applied. What concepts are kids in your child’s age group expected to know and why? What help does the teacher offer struggling students?

How Can I Help My Child at Home?

Most parents are eager to help their kids with school but often get lost because education is different now than it was when they were younger. Ask the teacher the best way to help with homework and other tasks. For example, maybe you should listen to your child read each night or help gather classroom supplies.

What Am I Not Asking That I Should Be?

Many times teachers feel pressured to stick to certain topics at conference time. Take the lead in the discussion by asking what he or she knows about your child that you need to know. Maybe the teacher has noticed behavioral issues or that your child needs help making friends. Maybe he or she is concerned because your child doesn’t seem to see well.

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