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We all want our children to do well in life. We hope they become kind, connected, and capable adults. We'd also love for them to be successful, however we define it. For now, a big part of that means navigating the social, emotional, cognitive, and academic demands of school. Here are some ways we can support our students at school. 

Send Children to School Well Prepared

Do what you can to ensure your child gets a good night's sleep. Breakfast in the morning makes a great start to the day. And don't forget school supplies (charged ipad, completed homework, snack, jacket). 

Orchard Lane Connection: Students should know they can talk to their teacher or the school nurse if they feel sick during the school day.  

Prioritize Attendance

Students who attend school regularly perform better than students with more absences. Aside from sick days (when children should be home to rest and recover), aim for daily attendance.  

Orchard Lane Connection: Call our friendly and helpful school admin Heather Will to report your child's absence. 

Enthusiastically Support Education

Some kids don't talk much about their days at school. Be curious anyway. See if you can find out something that happened: who they hung out with, what they liked or didn't like, what they did at recess, or how it went on the bus. Use teacher notes and graded assignments for more information about how your child is doing and what they're learning. Show your child that you value education. 

Orchard Lane Connection: Classroom teachers give formal feedback several times a year. Be sure to check report cards on Infinite campus, read classroom newsletters or emails, and attend parent-teacher conferences when offered. 

Promote Your Values and Orchard Lane Values

Children should know that we expect kind behavior at school -- and everywhere else for that matter. Remind your student periodically what this means. See if they can explain what it might look like to be a good citizen at school, to include others and do the right thing. Read the school pledge and discuss what kindness, respect, responsibility, perseverance, and integrity mean.

Orchard Lane Connection: In addition to encouraging a kindness culture year-round, OL celebrates an annual kindness week. How can your child participate? What else can they do to create a kind community at school?

Limit Screen Time

Studies have found relationships between children's exposure to media and negative outcomes such as poor sleep, attention and behavior problems, and reduced academic performance. More screen time often means less time spent in nature, less time connecting with others, and less time to move, explore, create, play, and read. While it's not always easy to limit screen time, it's a smart move for your child's health and wellbeing. 

Orchard Lane Connection: Students spend part of their school day on their ipads and have access to these devices after school as well. Remember this when calculating how much additional screen time may be appropriate at home.

Consider Children's Mental Health

To help support your child's mental health, encourage children to play, spend time outdoors, and connect with loved ones whenever they can. Positive experiences (such as games, laughing, being silly, and having fun) offset stress. If your schedule allows, maintain a consistent daily routine and include time for relaxing and unwinding together at the end of each day. 

Orchard Lane Connection: If you're concerned about your child or believe they might need additional support, get in touch with Orchard Lane's school psychologist.


Practice Compassion

Wouldn't it be great if all our children brought home stellar grades and glowing behavior reports and our homes were filled with harmony and joy? In reality, our kids don't always live up to our hopes or expectations. Sometimes we need to take action and correct course. Other times, we need to cut ourselves -- and our children -- some slack. High standards are great, but so is compassion and forgiveness. We're all doing the best we can. 


Orchard Lane Connection: If you question something happening at school, do so calmly and politely. Ask for more information, share your concerns, and focus on positive solutions. Give teachers and staff the benefit of the doubt and always assume the best of intentions. Remember we share the same goals. We all want to see our stars shine! 

Make Room for Reading

Kids spend the first few years in school learning to read. They'll spend the rest of their lives reading to learn (and be entertained, inspired, understand or feel understood, and more). Reading is a huge component of all learning, so being a skilled reader will help your child in all subject areas. In fact, according to literacy experts, reading is the most important thing you can do to increase your child's odds of academic success. 

So, read to your child. Or read with your child. Or listen to audiobooks together. Or listen to your child read to you. Read together as a family. Read independently in the same room. Let your child catch you reading. Encourage your child to read to a pet, younger sibling, stuffed animal, or overgrown plant. Read the classics. Read new releases. Read fiction and nonfiction of all types and genres. Read picture books and chapter books and graphic novels. The specifics don't matter. Just make time to read. 

Orchard Lane Connection: If you have concerns about your child's reading skills or reading difficulties, bring this up with your child's teacher. 

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