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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Sumners

The Question Your Child Needs to Be Able to Answer Within the First Week of School

A new school year is the perfect time to implement the elements of a healthy study routine--and the first step is knowing where to get class information

Keeping track of assignments is key to success in school, but first, students need to know where to find that information

If your child frequently forgets about assignments, procrastinates, or crams for exams the night before, an agenda will be key to their success this year.

Before your child can use an agenda effectively, he or she needs to know what assignments they need to complete and when they are due. This may seem simple, but once your child reaches middle school, they may have upwards of 7 different teachers with varying styles and methods of communication.

This challenge can be frustrating for students, all of whom are still learning how to organize, plan, and prioritize (all components of a set of skills and attitudes known as executive functioning).

At the dinner table or on the ride to school this week, ask your child, “How does your teacher communicate information about assignments in your class?”

How does your teacher communicate information about assignments in your class?”

We suggest 3 ways you can help your child fully answer that question.

1. Identify every website your child will be expected to use for class

Many teachers post information about their classes online, enabling parents and academic coaches to stay informed about what students are learning.

However, this information may not all be in one place. Students may be expected to utilize Google Classroom for daily classwork, Managebac to view summative test dates and grades, Quizlet for vocabulary terms, and a class website for homework assignments.

Ask your child which websites her teacher will use this year. Make sure you and your child know where to find:

  • Grades

  • Daily homework

  • Vocabulary

  • Summative test dates

  • Assignment descriptions

2. Make sure child knows how to log in to each resource

If your child needs to log in to school email, Google Classroom, and Managebac, keep a list of all those passwords at home for easy use.

If your child has forgotten his password for an online resource, the beginning of the school year--before test dates & big assignments are scheduled--is an ideal time to seek help from his teachers or the technology department in resetting those passwords.

This can also help homework sessions go smoothly because your child will be able to log in to all of the online resources without issue.

3. Empower your child to find the answers to these questions

If your child is not able to answer these questions, resist the urge to email the teacher yourself. This is a great opportunity for your child to practice in-person or digital communication skills.

In our coaching sessions, we have talked with many students who are apprehensive about approaching their teacher or who say they don’t have time at school. Other students forget to talk to the teacher. Sending an email is a great solution to this problem that also gives your child practice writing for an authentic audience.

When your child can confidently explain how to get information for all of their classes, the foundation for a balanced, successful school year is in place.


How do your child's teachers communicate information this year? What are some hurdles you or your child have encountered to getting information about classes, and how have you solved them?

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