From Worc. School Committee member John Monfredo: DURING COVID-19, PARENTS MUST BE THE TEACHERS!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

Kids enjoying the water spray park
No City of Worcester spray parks open this summer … so far. ICT: file photos

As a former City of Worcester School principal (Belmont Community School) and now as a Worcester School Committee member, I have been a strong advocate of partnerships between the home and the school. Research has found that the best predictors of students’ achievement in school are when families:

♥️Create homes that encourage learning

♥️Express high yet realistic expectations for their children

♥️Become involved in their children’s education at school and in the community

Now, with the global pandemic upon us and all schools in Massachusetts and in most states in America closed for the school year, it is imperative that parents step up and do all that they can to assist their children at home.

Yes, all schools have on-line learning and are doing all that they can to guide our students, but it is now up to the parents to be that all-important teacher at home. Keep in mind “school” will be out and summer will be upon us. This is NOT a time for learning to stop. If you can sign your child up for on-line SUMMER SCHOOL, do it!

During this crisis many parents have asked me for advice, so here are a few suggestions to go along with what you have received from your child’s teacher:

🌷The single most important activity a parent can do to help promote a child’s success in school is … Make sure that your children read every day. Reading is like riding a bike or playing basketball. It’s a skill. Like other skills, it gets better with practice. The same can be said about writing, so have your child keep a journal and write a paragraph or two about his/her day before going to bed each and every night. Make reading a privilege – you can let your child stay up 20 minutes later if they read in bed.

🌷Above all, model and read to your child or grandchild. If you’re not a good reader, you can still encourage your children by asking them to read to you. Talk about the books your children have read, or ask another member of your household to read aloud to your children.

North high School 2015
North High and all City of Worcester schools that were used to care for COVID-19 patients WILL BE DEEP CLEANED before students and staff return.

🌷Provide a quiet, separate environment for your child to do their on-line learning. Be sure to talk to your child about their school work and, if you are having difficulty, be sure to email the teacher back with questions.

Read to your kids!(and pets?!)

🌷Monitor your child’s schoolwork for completion and quality. Remember, you’re his HOME TEACHER, now!

🌷Make learning fun at home … Have your child assist you in putting together a toy or model or in following a recipe. Ask your child to read some of the directions or point to the picture that illustrates the direction you are reading. These activities not only help your child find important details, but emphasize that reading can be very helpful.

🌷Some other fun activities could be bingo, dominoes, card games, board games and clocks with large numbers. All can help familiarize your child with the world of numbers.

🌷 How about card games? Do you have a budding card shark in your family? Take advantage of her/his interest in games by playing a math card challenge! There are only three rules to remember: Remove face cards from the deck.
The Ace represents 1… evenly deal a deck of cards between two players and each player places one card face up. The first person to call out the product (or sum/difference) of the two cards wins the hand. The player with the most cards in the end wins. An example could be a 9 and 8… in addition it’s 17 and if you are multiplying it’s 72. The same can take place in subtracting numbers.

🌷Start a blog – Parents, you can create a blog for your child during this crisis and share it with family and friends. You can also have them email friends and family members to enhance their writing skills.

🌷 Parents if you are reluctant to help your child with homework because you feel that you don’t know the subject well enough or because you don’t speak or read English well, you can still help your child get organized, provide the necessary materials, monitor his on line work to make sure that it is completed, and praise all of your child’s efforts. Most importantly, check to see that your child has completed his work and if he is having difficulty inform the teacher immediately. The one thing that you don’t want to happen is having your child reach the frustration level and not want to do the work assigned to him.

🌷Remember, make learning a priority in your home and always praise you child for the many good deeds that he accomplishes.

😊Need more information or advice? Please feel free to email me, care of and I promise to get back to you. Good luck during this crisis and remember more than ever your child needs you to be HIS SECOND TEACHER so do not give up on your teacher role. Stay well and stay safe!


Happy Mother’s Day to ALL MOMS!: