The School-Savvy Parent: 365 Insider Tips to Help You Help Your Child

The School-Savvy Parent
365 Insider Tips to Help You Help Your Child
by Rosemarie Clark, M.Ed., Donna Hawkins, M.Ed., and Beth Vachon, M.Ed.
Free Spirit Publishing
199 pages, $12.95

Parents sending their children off to school this month have plenty of questions and concerns: How will my daughter deal with her transition to middle school? Will my kindergarten-age son be able to find his way to the bathroom? How do I really know what's going on at school when I'm not there?

Help is on the way with a neat new book from Free Spirit Publishing. The School-Savvy Parent: 365 Insider Tips to Help You Help Your Child is filled with concrete suggestions to keep close to your child throughout the academic year. Topics are wide-ranging, from health and safety to latchkey issues to starting and keeping routines, to creating better communication with a teacher.

The book was written by three teachers who are also parents. They share their strategies learned over the years in their classrooms and homes, in hopes that they can "help parents find practical, positive ways to become active and informed supporters of their child's education."

A nice addition, not often found in books of this kind, is an entire chapter devoted to "Getting Along with Others." Parents are encouraged to work with their children to develop good manners, say "I'm sorry," write thank-you notes, and learn to share. And in a sad reminder of how far we still need to go, the authors write about the importance of teaching your children to accept and appreciate people who may not look like them:

"Explain the word prejudice--a strong feeling of like or dislike that isn't based on reason."

The School-Savvy Parent can be read in one sitting. Better yet, keep it by your bed throughout the year and reach for it as the inevitable challenges of parenting school-age children arise.

Gail Rosenblum is interim editor of Minnesota Parent.

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