Dear Parent or Guardian of my Students

Dear Parent or Guardian:
     Recent studies show how important parental involvement is in helping students to achieve success in school.  Because I know that you want your child to have an excellent year in English, I'm pleased to tell you about our curriculum and suggest some ways you can participate in improving your child's performance. 

     Our English program this year will combine a wide variety of quality reading selections with literary analysis, critical thinking and reading skills, and composition.  Importantly, our program connects the literature to students' own experiences through the development of themes relevant to students' lives.

     You can help your child get the most from this program and from all of his or her homework by following this expert-tested advice:
  • Find the best time for studying.  Work with your teenager to decide on the best time for studying.  Then, set that time aside at least five days out of every week.  If there is no homework, your child can use the time to review or plan ahead.
  • Eliminate common distractions.  Set aside a study area that is free from noise and other distractions.  Turn off the TV.  Your teenager may say that watching television is helpful, but no research supports this.  In fact, watching television allows students to "turn off their minds" because it requires no action or interaction.
  • Avoid common interruptions.  Take messages if the telephone rings, and have your teenager alert his or her friends not to drop by during the established study time.
  • Provide physical conditions that help concentration.  Ensure that the study area has adequate lighting and is kept at a comfortable temperature and away from commotion.  Provide a table or desk that has enough space for writing.
  • Ask to see your child's books.  Looking through the books gives you a better idea of what your teenager is learning and shows him or her that you think the material and your child's learning are important.  Doing this also provides interesting dinner conversation with your teen at a time in his or her life when it may be difficult to talk with him or her.
  • Ask to see your child's work on a regular basis.  You do not need to criticize or regrade the papers--that will make your teenager only less willing to show you his or her work.  Just let your child know you are interested.
  • Read.  By watching you read, your teenager will see reading as a valuable activity.  You can be especially effective if you occasionally read and discuss one of the selections your child is covering in class.
     I truly look forward to working with your child and hope you will contact me if you have any questions during the school year.
Most sincerely,
(Miss) Nancy K. Bair
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