Making School Work For Your Child

Welcome to September, 2014.

You’ve probably already bought your children some new supplies for school.  Have you ever thought about what you need for yourself, so you’re prepared for the “new year”?

  • You want your child to do his or her best
  • You have concerns about your child’s progress last year
  • You know there are important skills your child did not master
  • Last year’s teachers may have shared some concerns with you
  • Your child has an IEP with goals
  • Your child has a 504 Accommodation plan
  • The work (or social life, or other challenges) is going to be harder this year

Are you willing to do some things that will help your child be more successful?

Two tasks:     

Increase the amount of practice your child gets in these areas of need
Increase the amount of organization and structure at home

  • Can your child tell you what skills he or she is supposed to be working on?
  • Do they know what accommodations they should be getting in school?
  • How often do you get feedback from the school about what your child is actually doing during the day?
  • How often does your child bring home work to practice the skills they are working on?

 For many children, the answers would be no, no, not very often, and rarely. How can we expect any child to improve in skills when he doesn’t know what to work on?  How can you help your child reach his goals?

 You set the stage with four purchases:

  • A white board, at least 2’ by 3’, to hang in the kitchen, dining room, or “homework area”- and markers
  • A pack of 3 X 5 index cards
  • A single-subject notebook
  • A small size white board for your child’s room

Get these tools, and next week we’ll talk about how to use them, and why.

The bottom line—at home, there needs to be organization, lots of visuals, and a plan to help you help your child reach his or her goals.  Then, you will both be ready to manage the year’s expectations. 

If you have concerns, comments, or questions, please consult my website,, contact me directly, or check out my book for parents, No Parent Left Behind: Navigating the Special Education Universe, available from

Date posted: September 9, 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Parents … Get Ready for School

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