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Parenting : Avoiding School Problems

August 20, 1993|MARYANN HAMMERS

Parents can prevent or head off many school problems by becoming a partner in their child's education. Here are some ways to get involved:

* Show interest in your child's schoolwork: Let your child know how important education is. Provide a quiet, well-lighted place to study. Assign a regular time for homework each day. Ask open-ended questions that show you care, such as "Tell me what happened in reading today."

* Consider special help: If there is a pattern to the comments and recommendations that teachers have made about your child over the years, or if your child has longstanding difficulties in a particular area, special education programs or counseling may help.

* Get involved: Make time to volunteer in the classroom, playground or school library. Offer to provide classroom supplies, such as books or an ant farm.

* Become a partner with the teacher: Discuss your concerns in a friendly, non-accusatory way. Work out cooperative, problem-solving strategies together.

* Meet with the principal. If a conference with the teacher does not resolve the issue, request a meeting with the principal. Discuss the possibility of moving your child to another class.

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