September Ideas

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1. Help your child get organized by providing him with a calendar of school and special activities, a bulletin board, an uncluttered desk to do homework, and a "school stuff"' box by the door for storing backpack, completed homework, gym sneakers, and notes to take back to the teacher.

2. With a can of refrigerator breadstick dough, let your child form her name in big letters on a cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter or beaten egg, and bake fifteen minutes at 350 degrees.

3. Write a Lunch Box Love Note to your child that communicates encouragement, such as: "Good luck on your math test," "Let's go to the Science Museum Saturday," or "I love you!" Even pre-readers will try to decode the message, or you can draw pictures to convey it.

4. Get a big chalkboard or dry-erase board for your child to use to practice spelling words and math problems, or to teach the family the information the night before a test.

5. Make a "Writing Center" in your child's room with paper to write stories, markers to illustrate them, thank-you notes, and envelopes, so he can express appreciation for birthday and other gifts. Don't forget to add stamps, construction paper, and stickers.

6. Make rhymes and encourage your child to make them too, such as "silli Billy saw his friend Willy," "Give me the keys, please," or "Roll down the blind, so I can find the orange rind."

7. READ aloud to your child every day and encourage him to read aloud to you.

8. When your child brings home writing done at school, point out something good about the story- the descriptive words used, the interesting twist at the end, the handwriting.

9. Set aside fifteen or twenty minutes each day to talk with your child about his activities, school happenings, and subjects he is learning.

10. Instead of asking your child, "What did you do in school today?" ask to see a drawing, ask about a specific project the class is working on.

11. Encourage your child to take risks, and praise him when he tries something new-whether or not he succeeds.

12. Practice math skills with the active, mover child by counting while jumping rope, clapping, bouncing a basketball, or jumping on a re-bounder.