Illinois is in bad financial condition, but some local politicians and state officials are calling for more programs to get children ready for school. Instead of asking the state to spend more money, let's ask parents to take more responsibility for their child's success. There are many things parents and caregivers can do to promote school readiness and school success without any cost to taxpayers. Suggestions include:
* Surround your child with positive role models.
* Nurture your child and provide him with a safe place to call home.
* Talk to your child about the world around him and answer questions.
* Read to your child.
* Teach shapes, numbers and how to count.
* Teach children about time.
* Teach the alphabet and the sounds the letters make.
* Visit the library, park, zoos and provide educational experiences.
* Spend quality time with your child.
* Have rules and enforce them.
* Assign age-appropriate chores.
* Teach children about respect, hard work and honesty.
* Teach age-appropriate social skills.
* Set goals and have high expectations for your child.
* Hold your child accountable for his/her actions.
* Emphasize the importance of an education and working hard at school.
* Support your child's teacher.
* Be available to help with homework if needed.
Parents are a child's first teacher. Let's encourage parents and caregivers to provide more of the foundation for school success. This way everyone benefits.