School Learning FAQs

After a summer away, how can I help my kids prepare for school?

Help them understand what to expect. Will they wear uniforms? What’s for lunch? If they’re entering a new school, go meet the teachers. Does your child need a physical exam? Make an appointment with the pediatrician. And start adjusting sleep schedules several weeks before school starts so your child becomes accustomed to going to bed — and waking up — earlier.

My 10-year-old somehow forgets that she has homework – until bedtime. How can I make sure that she does her homework?

Homework in elementary school helps kids learn to budget their time and study independently. However, when children come home from school they need a break. Give your daughter a healthful snack and encourage her to play actively – not to sit in front of the TV. Then – perhaps right after dinner – have her sit in a quiet place to do her homework. You can observe and make sure that she is doing it all – and that she doesn’t have too much. If you think the load is too heavy, it is reasonable to discuss it with her teacher.

How do I know if my child has a learning disability? He is having trouble keeping up with his schoolwork?

Your child’s medical history will help you and his pediatrician determine if there is a problem. Talk with his teacher and counselor to make sure he has received neuro-behavioral testing. You want to determine if there is a disparity between the test results and his school performance. The school and your child’s pediatrician can refer you to appropriate services to help your child.