Family Learning | September 3, 2019

Life Skills: How can you support your child’s social, emotional, and academic development?

Getting ready for back-to-school means more than a new backpack and supplies. For parents, it involves helping our children take on harder skills in math and reading, while also supporting them as they learn to handle the nerves and emotions that come with meeting new friends, teachers, and different situations.  The good news is that parents know what the research has shown—by supporting this wide range of ‘life skills’ we can set our kids up for success in and out of the classroom. So how do we continue to do this, especially at key moments like the start of a new school year?

The bilingual (English/Spanish) Super 5: Back-to-School Power Moves gives you five simple actions you can take as well as more resources from the new Learning Hero Roadmap, your interactive guide on life skills throughout the school year.

Try these 5 simple actions and check them off as you go!

1. Get a Gut-Check

The first step on the Roadmap is the a mobile-friendly tool that shows you how prepared your child is for the new school year and connects you to videos, activities, and more to support learning at home.  You can email or print the results for your child’s teacher so they know where your child is doing well and where they need more support, right from the start!

2. Celebrate Effort

Help your child see that hard work is what leads to success. Focus on effort and what your child is learning. This will help them feel less nervous about new challenges. For example, instead of saying “You’re so smart!” say “I can see you worked so hard on this!”

3. Support Life Skills

Strengths such as communication, problem-solving, and confidence will help your child in school and life. Talk openly about how they’re feeling and handling situations, especially the tough ones.

4. Partner Up

Help the teacher get to know your child by sharing their interests, strengths, and areas for support. Ask what’s expected of your child and how you can help at home. According to teachers, the best way to know how your child is progressing is to be in regular touch with them. You can send a note or email even before parent-teacher conferences.

5. Make it Fun

You are the expert on your child and can help make learning real! Read together on topics that interest your child. Find math in everyday life and turn it into a game. These small learning moments add up to a lot!

By taking these actions at the start of the school year, you are your child’s learning hero.