Random House Publishing partnered with Sylvan Learning, the tutorial service, to create a new line of workbooks for Kindergartners through 5th graders. These books have already gotten great reviews. They have even won Honors from the National Parenting Publication Awards!!!
We received the First Grade Vocabulary Puzzles and the First Grade Spelling Games & Activities . Samantha loves these books because to her, they are not school work. They are fun activities. But really she is learning, and doing the same work she does at school.
Dr. Rick Bavaria is the spokesperson for Sylvan Learning Books—he’s had more than 40 years experience as a teacher and was once the assistant superintendent of the Baltimore Country school district– and he’s put together some tips on how parents and kids can start the school year off right!
Back-to-School Tips from Dr. Rick Bavaria (Publisher of Sylvan Workbooks)
I love when people want to know what teachers would recommend to parents and students about how to have a successful school year. That question is a frequent one at this back-to-school time of year. As a forty-year teacher, I’ve picked up the odd helpful technique or two. Here are some tips, for students and parents, that have proved effective over and over.
1. Organize. Keep a planner, electronic or written, and keep track of important dates like book reports, try-outs for the school play, the science fair, and, of course, tests. Organize your homework area, your notebooks, planners, and backpacks. Parents, show how you organize for your tasks, projects, and jobs. Have a special place at the end of the day for the backpack to be – filled with the next day’s assignments – so it’ll be ready in the morning.
2. Maintain healthy, helpful routines. Parents, reset summer routines for school-year ones. Have a regular time for study, recreation, homework, bedtime, mealtimes, and other important activities. Students, remember routines give you structure and a feeling of control.
3. Communicate. Parents, talk to your kids about school every day. Talk to teachers regularly, either during scheduled meetings or email. Teachers want to know what your goals are, what your child’s interests, strengths, and needs are. We want your child to succeed as much as you do. Know when report cards are distributed, when the major tests are given, when important events are held. Let your children know that you know.
4. Get help early. If you suspect that your student is having difficulty in a subject, get help early. Get a tutor, ask a teacher for help (more of them than get credit for it arrive early and stay late to help struggling students), or ask a National Honor Society member. Just don’t put it off. It’s easier to solve a problem in its early stages than when it blossoms into a huge one.
5. Get a “study buddy.” Studying with someone else is a helpful strategy. Students, have someone you admire be your study buddy. Study together and quiz each other at test times. Call each other each evening at homework time to make sure you understand the assignment and its due date. Proofread each other’s written work. Ask for help when you’re stuck. Support each other, compete with each other, and then celebrate with each other.
6. Set goals. Parents and students, set goals together. A higher algebra grade, a position on the soccer team, increased reading for pleasure, anything that will help you in school and increase your confidence. Goals should be a bit of a stretch to create a feeling of accomplishment. Parents, support your student as she works toward that goal. Consider a fair “reward” for success as well as a “consequence” for not making the goal.
7. Stay positive. This is true for parents and students alike. There will be good days and weeks, and there will be not-so-good ones. Keep it all in balanced perspective. What can you learn from your mistakes? Talk with one another.
8. Review regularly. Every day, parents, review the day with your child. Ask him what he’s learning, reading, writing about. How’s he coming on that assignment due next week? What happened today that’s funny? Show him you’re interested and that you’re going to be talking about this every day. Expect conversation, not just one word answers. Be patient. It’ll work eventually.
“I received a product for this review on behalf of the company above. All opinions are solely my own. Others who may use this product or service may have different opinions.”