6-8 Resources: From the Classroom to Your Living Room


Encouraging and Extending Reading Skills at Home

You play a significant role in developing your child into a life-long learner. There is an important connection between school and home, and you provide the environment that encourages and extends learning into the living room and beyond. You provide your learner an opportunity to apply what he learned at school into everyday life.

Three Daily Habits

The three types of parent involvement associated with higher student achievement are 1) actively organizing and monitoring a child’s time, 2) helping with homework, and 3) discussing school matters.

Staying Informed

Check out that backpack! Many important documents come home via the backpack. Make certain to read and take note of the important information it holds. Attend open house, parent conferences, presentations, book fairs and any other opportunities to better understand the school’s goals and objectives. Check out the school’s website to understand the school vision as well as valuable details regarding grades, attendance, events and expectations. Many teachers are taking advantage of electronic communication such as email, text messaging and social media. Find out how you can stay informed.

Attend Open House to understand the school and classroom objectives. Find out how your school and teachers communicate with parents.

Getting Involved

There are many ways to get involved with your child’s learning. All schools have a parent-teacher organization, so sign up today! Even if you work full time, there are many jobs to be done in the evening or weekends. Get to know the teachers and keep the conversation open and friendly. Opportunities to be involved in your child’s education are endless!

Positive Interactions

You play a crucial role in providing encouragement to your kids. It’s easy enough when your student is experiencing success—good grades, citizen of the month, honor roll, most improved! But your role is even more important when your child is struggling or experiencing frustration. Stay informed and prepared to acknowledge results and lessons learned. Then determine appropriate actions.

Understanding the Language Arts Florida Standards

The Language Arts Florida Standards define what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level. The language arts standards can be described as a “staircase of complexity.” This means that what your child learns in one grade builds on what they learned in the previous grade. The goal of the Florida Standards is to make sure that your child graduates with the knowledge and skills needed for the real world and the 21st Century workforce. To support what your child is learning in school, it is important for you to be familiar with the LAFS for your child’s grade level. This empowers you to help your child practice newly acquired skills and connect classroom learning with its application in the real world.

Florida Standards 101

What are the Florida Standards and how do they apply to my child’s learning? More importantly, what is my role as a parent in supporting these standards? The best place to start is the Florida Department of Education standards website. This site will provide a good overview as well as a complete list of standards by grade level.

Hassle-Free Homework

Why HOMEWORK? Homework provides practice with content, concepts and skills taught in the classroom. It provides you with the opportunity to help and to understand what is expected of your child. Indirectly, students learn the important work habits of following through, practice-makes-perfect and time management.

Parent’s Role in Homework

Your role as parent is to provide a time and place for homework, support and high expectations. Print the High Expectations guidelines and post them for maximum impact!

Tips for a Hassle-Free Homework Time

Need some tips to avoid nagging and encourage self-discipline and responsibility? The goal is to create a time and place to complete homework. Your role is to support and encourage, while shifting the responsibility and organization to your independent learner.

Additional Resources

Here are additional resources to set the stage for hassle-free homework:

Health Concerns and Screenings

There are secondary benefits to getting involved in your child’s homework. Perhaps you notice he is holding the paper too close while reading or he frequently asks you to repeat what you said. Maybe he has significant difficulty staying on task and seeing it through to completion. Working closely with your child may point out some health issues that are keeping him from doing his very best. Before you jump to any conclusions, pay a visit to a health care professional.

Test-Taking Tips

Testing is a part of your child’s school experience and it is also a part of all our lives. Even as adults as we continue to take tests for things such as driver’s licenses, job training, certifications, etc. Testing can be stressful for some children, but there are many things you can do as a parent to help your children learn to feel confident and relaxed when taking a test.

The Purpose of Testing

There are many different purposes for testing and many types of tests, but basically testing gives us insights into what a learner does or does not know (or is able to do or not do) at the time of the test. Reviewing your child’s test results with their teachers and with your child can help everyone become aware of areas of strength and weakness so your child’s learning needs can best be met. In other words, when we focus on how we can positively use test results to increase the effectiveness of future learning experiences, students benefit.

How to Boost Test-Taking Confidence

Studies show that when learners believe they are capable and can do something well, they perform better when tested in that area (Bandura, 1986). Researchers call this “self-efficacy.” There are two parts to building your child’s test-taking confidence. First, make sure her confidence is built on the strong foundation of having studied and prepared well. Second, make sure you continually convey positive messages to your child about how well he/she knows the material (because of sound preparation) and that you believe in his/her ability to demonstrate her learning on any given test. When your child performs well on a test, make sure you attribute it back to your child’s preparation and personal abilities to demonstrate learning. When your child hears often enough what a “good test taker” he/she is, your child’s self-efficacy for testing grows and that, in turn, will result in better performance on tests.

Setting Children up for Success on Test Days

Before every school day, but especially on test days, it is important to make sure your child has eaten a good breakfast and slept well the night before. Before you send your child off to school, give reminders such as avoid careless mistakes and answer the easy questions first. Also boost your child’s confidence by pointing out that he has put the time and effort in to preparing for the test and you are proud of his dedication to learning, which is the most important thing.