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Tutor Tip of the Month

When Children Return to School, So Do Parents

It is back-to-school season! Even if your learner is not headed back into the classroom him or herself, it is likely that many have children in their lives who are. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends may all be called upon when homework help is needed. With some prep, this does not have to be a cause of stress.

Some strategies to use with your learner:

  1. Ask what types of situations lead to anxiety. (e.g., school forms, permission slips, math homework, reading assignments, meetings with teachers)

  2. Ask what the learner fears most.

Then, work together to brainstorm ways to respond to these situations. For example:

  • If permission slips and forms are a worry, develop a list of key vocabulary words to practice. Also, prepare a reference sheet with the typical information that will be required. [If possible, get sample forms from the school.]

  • Identify resources to assist with homework questions. Is there a family friend who would be willing to be on call for questions? Does the library have an after-school help program? What are some good online reference sites?

  • Role play meetings with teachers. Practice for meetings where the learner has to advocate for his or her child’s learning needs. Also practice meetings to review report cards.

  • If the literacy program has several learners with children in the school system, consider organizing a group meeting where learners can share ideas, brainstorm, and offer each other support.

With some preparation, this can be a great school year for everyone.

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