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Maximizing the Opportunity to Learn II

You might be surprised to learn that, occasionally, parents ask teachers for additional homework or more challenging homework for their children. More homework is rarely the appropriate prescription for young learners. When a student is experiencing challenges at school, the best solution is to engage in practice, one on one with a patient adult. Such students need immediate feedback about their progress and opportunities to feel successful. When a student is doing well, he or she needs opportunities to have experiences that enhance learning, to build background knowledge, and to have fun. This is also true for students who are struggling.

In light of this information about what children need, I recommend that parents use the extra time they have with their children to go to museums, play games, have conversations, read a popular book together, cook, create, and explore. Discussing experiences helps children to build their vocabularies, to make sense of the world, to build their confidence, and to support their learning in school.

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