Our precious summer months have whizzed by, and now it
is time for "Back to school" preparations, not
only for students and teachers - but for parents as well.
Those three, simple words "back to school"
may trigger excitement in some parents and dread in others.
Either way "Back to school" means that our
educational system is on go and parents must be on board.
"Back to school" may be regarded as time for
our children's horizons to continue unfolding and steadily
progressing forward as our children pursue academic excellence.
Education is a work toward empowering our children to
maintain our democracy, to speak freely, to write and
to understand their rights; and their freedom to compete
with anyone and everyone unfettered by illiteracy.
While our school system is doing their part we need parents
to do their part.
Parents you can help make these educational times better.
So, these tips are for our parents - particularly those
who have a child or children in elementary school, middle
I believe that with a little patience and planning parents
can help make this one of the best school years ever.
So, here are some tips I think will be helpful:
(1) Be sure your child or children know
their home phone number (including area code). Be sure
he or she knows their address, your work number, and the
number of another trusted adult. Also important is that
they know how to use 9- 1-1 for emergencies.
Make sure your child or children has enough
change to make a phone call or give them a telephone calling
card (remember if you give them a calling card be sure
to show how to use it).
(2) Plan a walking route to school or
the bus stop for your child. Choose the most direct away
with the fewest street crossings and use intersections
with crossing guards. Test the route with your child.
Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots,
fields, and other places where there aren't many people
(3) Teach your child or children -- whether
walking, biking, or riding the bus to school -- to obey
all traffic signals, signs, traffic officers, and safety
patrols. Remind them to be extra careful in rainy, foggy,
(4) If they must walk from school make sure they walk
to and from school with someone they know --a friend,
a neighbor, a brother, or a sister.
(5) If you car pool, drop off and pick up you child or
children as close to school as possible, and don't leave
until they have entered the schoolyard or school building.
(6) Teach your child or children never to talk to strangers,
and to never accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember,
a stranger is anyone you, your child, or your children
do not know well or do not trust.
(7) Get to know your child's or children's teachers, principal
coaches and other instructors.
(8) Encourage good study habits by reading aloud to your
child or children and by having them read aloud to you.
Also check your child or children's homework.
(9) Find out who your child's or children's friends are,
and where possible get to know their parents.
Something else you need to consider - if your child or
children will be home alone for a few hours after school:
Set up rules for locking doors and windows, and answering
the door or telephone. Make sure he or she checks in with
you or a neighbor immediately after school.
(10) Also important is that you take time to listen carefully
to your child's or children's fears and feelings about
people or places that scare them or make them feel uneasy.
Tell them to trust their instincts. Take complaints about
bullies and other concerns seriously.
(11) Always reward your child's or children's positive
effort, attitude and good grades. All of this is to say
guiding your child or children is an important step towards
ensuring your son or daughter's future safety. Children
who understand the reasons for safety precautions and
feel rusted to make judgments concerning their own safety
are self-assured, feel that they can turn to parents at
any time, and are better protected.