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Parents’ concern a key factor in student success

Summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22.

But summer vacation is over for thousands of area students next week, when school starts at most local districts.

For the lucky ones at Rock Falls High School, however, this Thursday will be the first day of classes for the 2013-14 school year.

Sterling, Morrison and Amboy schools get underway Monday; Rock Falls Elementary District 13 starts Tuesday; and Dixon schools next Wednesday.

The new school year can be an exciting – but sometimes anxious – time for children. New teachers. New classmates and friends. New things to learn. New daily routines.

Parents can help their school-aged children transition more smoothly into the new school year by following a few tips:

• Help them get organized. Clear up a quiet workspace at home where they can do homework and other school assignments.

• Talk to them each day about how their school day went, and what they learned. Review their homework assignments with them, and make sure they completed those assignments at the end of each day. Depending on the child’s age, do a one-on-one review of the homework.

• Prepare for the next school day the night before so the morning is less rushed. Preparation includes packing backpacks; having lunches made and in the refrigerator; and discussing the next day’s schedule in case there are special activities planned.

• Make sure children are getting enough sleep by adjusting their nightly bedtimes.

• Communicate with your child’s teacher. Most have email addresses where you can write to check on progress, ask questions, and discuss concerns. Also, plan early so you can make parent-teacher conferences.

And never underestimate the importance of your parenting in the success of your children – especially in their education.

Let’s help make the 2013-14 school year a great one for our children.

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