The #1 Thing Parents Can Do to Prepare for Back-to-School

by | August 5, 2020

No one knows your child like you do. As their parent, you likely have plenty of insight as to what their strengths and weaknesses are. We recently talked about two things you can help your child do to ensure they start the year off on the right foot.

But the best thing YOU can do, for yourself, your child and for their teacher, is to come up with a definitive list of your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Having a defined list will help you and your child set their goals for this school year. In order to set a goal, you both will need a clear idea of what they need to improve.

On the other hand, coming up with a list of your child’s strengths and weaknesses will save your child’s teacher from a lot of guesswork in the beginning of the school year, when they aren’t as familiar with your child. The better the teacher knows your child, the more effective instruction will be. If your child’s teacher already has a pretty good idea of what your child needs, your child will benefit greatly.

Not sure where to begin with the list? Here is a list of potential strengths and weaknesses to help you get started.

Language Strengths

Using words to express ideas
Talking to people
Participating in discussions
Changing tone of voice when telling a story or asking a question
Telling stories
Grammar (age appropriate)
Learning new words
Learning words to songs
Listening to stories
Answering “who” “what” “when” “where” “why” and “how” questions
Understanding jokes, puns, and sarcasm

Reading Strengths

Rhyming and other tasks that involve understanding the sounds in words
Reading (or being read to if your child is young)
Seeks things to read
Sounding out unfamiliar words
Sight word reading
Following written directions
Remembering details and stories
Making predictions
Being able to return to reading after being interrupted
Reading with expression
Figuring out what new words mean by looking at context or asking questions
Making connections between reading material and personal experiences

Study Skills

Understanding and setting goals
Planning ahead
Self-starting
Staying focused
Flexible thinking
Working memory (keeping info in their mind long enough to use it)
Organization (thoughts and physical items)
Following rules and routines
Keeping track of time and schedule
Controlling feelings
Making decisions or choices
Problem-solving
Asking for help
Working independently
Working with people one-on-one
Working in groups

Math and Logic

Number Sense
Understanding patterns
Math facts
Mental math
Math concepts
Math terms
Solving puzzles or word problems
Strategy
Taking things apart and figuring out how they work

Social

Sharing
Taking turns
Being a good conversation partner
Making friends
Keeping friends
Listening
Helping
Accepting differences
Asking for help
Coping with frustration
Resisting peer pressure
Personal responsibility
Redirecting away from negative situations
Doesn’t argue with adults
Truth-telling
Apologizing
Sense of Humor

Character

Honesty
Kindness
Helpful
Empathetic
Loyal
Hardworking
Resilient
Independent
Cooperative
Eager
Curious

Other Potential Strengths

Creativity
Drawing and Doodling
Dancing, acting, singing, playing instruments
Sports
Yoga, meditation
Gentleness
Entertaining
Community Service
Video games

If you’re looking for more tips for boosting your child’s confidence this school year, keep scrolling for our list of 9 Simple Ways to Boost Your Child’s Reading Confidence!

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9 Simple Ways to Boost Your Child’s Reading Confidence

BONUS: How to tell if they’re struggling to read and what to do about it.

9 Simple Ways to Boost Your Child's Reading Confidence

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