Commentary – Do your homework and shop at home

by Richard Froese

Summer is almost over and parents are getting their children ready to head back to school in a few weeks.

Families will be busy buying school supplies and the latest fashions. Be a good citizen and shop at home to support your local community. With many businesses struggling during the economic downturn, now is a crucial time to buy locally.

Shop at home and invest in your community. Nobody wants to see stores close and business go out of town. When residents support local businesses, businesses are able to give more support to residents, and schools and other organizations. Consider all the times that businesses are approached to donate to a school project or fundraiser.

If locals continue to take their money out of town, how can businesses continue to contribute to schools and other organizations?

Schools and parents expect businesses to support their students and children. So, in turn, businesses should expect parents and schools to support them.

By shopping at home, parents are good role models for their children to show how much they value their local community. Some children may even question why they live in their hometown when their parents go out of town to shop, to support some other community.

That’s all part of the concept that “it takes a village to raise a child” as the community and parents partner with students and schools. Parents and the community can offer and provide a lot to help educators shape our youth into responsible and accountable people.

By participating in the school council, parents serve a key role to build partnerships and to build the school community. School councils are committed to enhance the educational experience, provide leadership for school activities and raise funds for projects such as playgrounds.

As students embark on another school year, parents can help their children with some tips to help students have a successful year at school, provided by Alberta Education.

Help your child study, establish a routine and set the mood. Remove distractions such as television and social phone calls. Ask your child about school and talk about what was discussed in school.
Understand your child’s learning style and develop routines that best support how he or she learns best. Discuss homework with your child. Talking about an assignment can help your child think it through and break it down into small, workable parts.

-Read with Your Child
Make reading a priority. Let your child know how important it is to read regularly. Establish a regular time and place for reading. Have your child read aloud to you. Make sure children’s books and magazines are easily accessible. Make visits to the library a regular activity and let your children select their own books.

-Safe Internet Use
Find safe and relevant sites and child-friendly search engines. Create an agreement with your child that outlines which sites are allowed to visit and which areas and activities are off-limits.
Keep lines of communication open so you know what Web sites your child is visiting. Pay attention to his or her surfing habits. Let your child know that he or she can come to you in case of trouble. Report suspicious activity.

If you or your child encounters suspicious or dangerous situations online, report them to your Internet service provider and local police.

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