Saturday, September 3, 2016


Many of my family (parents, spouse, brother, niece, nephew) were or are educators. To mark “back to school week 2016” I am sharing ways you can help your students get started on a new school year. Think of school as an enormous investment of time, tax money and energy of your own, your student's, your community. How can you reap the greatest return? 

 Mom showing an interest 

One, shape your own attitude. Your thoughts about school will rub off on your student. Schooling is learning for life. It’s a privilege offered by you and your society just to BE IN SCHOOL.

Six additional ideas to adjust as appropriate for your student’s age and grade. 

  • Get some new clothing. Make the new shirt, the dress a big deal to help mark a student’s new status. Let them help choose the style. Communicate the idea that the new clothing is to mark a passage to a new status, a higher grade level. 

  • ·         Supplies: pens, pencils, paper, notebooks. The list may include electronics: phone, calculator for example.

  • ·         Obtain all of the written information the school provides for parents and guardians. 

  • ·         Meet the teachers(s) and thank them for all they’re doing for your student. Teaching is a tough, emotionally draining job. Teachers need and deserve appreciation.  

  • ·         Help your kid(s) to develop realistic goals for the year and for each class. 

  •       Be very alert to your student’s special needs, if any. Medical and/or tutorial help can be critical for success.  A special need you can meet is that of rewarding and praising good work when your students shares their work or asks for help with homework.


Eighth, and this is subtle. Help your student to become self-motivated. Self-motivation is essential for student excellence. Fortunately, kids come equipped with a degree of self-motivation. Strengthen what degree of self-motivation they’ve already got by showing an interest in their subjects and assignments, answering questions, and occasionally point out how the subject, fact, or method is important to current or later life.

Ninth: perhaps the most important skill to strengthen is that of self-teaching: defining a problem, finding and applying a solution. This skill goes beyond the classroom to the playground and interpersonal relations.

The goal is to prepare the students in your own family for a lifetime of learning. Their world is an will be rapidly changing. The goal is to prepare for change.

Happy learnings.

Darrell Reeck, Ph.D., C.F.A. 

                Darrell is author of four books:

Straying Home (2015). The absolutely free e-book available on this blog-site. 
Growing Green Two Ways! (2013). Autobiographical: finding my personal identity.
Ethics for the Professions: A Christian Perspective. (1982)  Still useful today.
Deep Mende: Religious interactions in a changing rural African society. (1976.) 



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