Helping the student at homeEditor's note: Jerdine Nolen...

PARENTS' CORNER

September 12, 1999

Helping the student at home

Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today writes about ways to nurture learning at home. Her column appears biweekly.

Making sure our children have what they need for a successful school year is only half of it. Take a few moments to reflect on how the home environment can encourage and sustain learning.

* Create a positive home environment that supports the school's efforts.

* Make sure your children have the materials and supplies they need at school and at home.

* Establish a quiet time for study each day.

* Prepare a quiet place (with needed supplies) to study or do homework.

* Have a certain place for your children's schoolwork: Papers for display, papers to go over and return to school, papers just for parents.

* Encourage your children to be responsible about their work.

* Provide nutritious meals and snacks for children, or fill out necessary forms so that your children will have nutritious meals at school.

* Ask your children about their homework.

* Ask specific questions about their day. For example: What time did you have lunch? Who did you play with at recess? What book are you reading in reading group? Are you adding two-digit numbers? What are you making in art? Will you do the potato experiment this year?

* Talk to your children about your day.

* Make plans to use the library to get reports done.

* Establish a routine that includes a bedtime ritual.

* Mark the calendar for important dates.

* Make sure your children get enough rest.

* Create helpful morning rituals.

* Make sure your children get up in enough time to have a good start to their day.

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

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