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The List: Be back-to-school ready at home

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By Sarah Berkshire

Students throughout the community head back to school today, and educators say there is an important role for parents to play in a successful school year. The U.S. Department of Education offers the following tips.

— Create a home environment that encourages learning and schoolwork. Establish a daily family outine of mealtimes with time for homework, chores, bedtime and family activities.

— Show your child the skills he is learning in school are an important part of the things he will do as an adult. Let him see you reading books, newspapers and computer screens; writing reports, letters, emails and lists; using math to figure change or to measure for new carpeting; and doing things that require thought and effort.

— Make sure your home has lots of reading materials that are appropriate for your child. Keep books, magazines and newspapers in the house. You can find many good books and magazines for your child at yard or library sales, and books make good gifts.

— Encourage your child to use the library. Ask the librarian to tell your child about special programs such as summer reading programs and book clubs and about services such as homework help.

— Limit TV viewing to no more than one hour on a school night. Be aware of the shows your child likes to watch and discuss his choices with him. The same goes for video games.