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Nikki Dotson Merritt: Not all school supplies can be purchased by parents

August 22, 2018

It’s time for students to head back to school. Bright and early Thursday morning, Wayne County students will board school buses and guardian vehicles and continue on their adventures.

The class of 2031 will be entering its first of many hallways. The class of 2019 will be entering its last hallways of the education system. Each age group is starting a new path together. Some will go off to college or begin a job while the younger group will make new friends and learn how to be a little more independent.

My favorite part of going back to school was packing up my shiny new mechanical pencils, glitter notebooks and erasers into my fancy new backpack and attending class to see what my teachers expected of me. Learning how many AR points I would need to complete, and making a goal to read more than anyone else. Typically, teachers would send home a list of what was needed, and my parents would then get those items as well.

But, not all the things needed can be purchased, and not all things will be on those lists. Some of the things needed are voluntary, but important.

For instance, students need encouragement. They need to know from their parents, teachers, principals and anyone else in their lives that they can succeed. They need to have a constant voice telling them they can do it, and well. They need to know that they will fail, but to always try again. They need to know that everyone walks a different path and learns at a different pace.

They also need someone to help them, and to be taught that asking for help is OK. When a child brings home homework, make an effort to sit down and help them. Help them to not only complete it, but to learn the lessons being taught.

Help keep them in a routine. As children age, bedtime becomes a hated word, but keep using it. Help to regulate them so that they are learning at their full potential while at school. Remind them to bathe, brush their teeth, comb their hair and start each day with a positive attitude.

Read to them, or let them read their book of the week to you. That may sound like a strange thing to do, but children often lose interest in reading around the same time their parents stop reading aloud to them. Independent reading is great, but guided reading continues to be important in growth and learning.

Encourage them to try new things and to continue doing things they love - after all, our future depends on them.

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