After researching for a speaking engagement at the Michigan Reading Association this year, I wanted to give readers advice on how they can help prepare their children for school. There are simple things that can be done at home that will make your child’s school experience a more positive one. I’ve asked teacher bloggers to be guests on this site, Be The Difference, to share their insights with you over the next 6 weeks! I am so thankful for their expertise.

Hello! I am Courtney author behind Ramona Recommends.



 It is a pleasure to meet you. Today, I will be sharing with you TIPS for SUCCESS at school.
How are kids successful in school? I believe success can be measured many different ways. Success is not measured in my eyes as 100% on a test. “In life, we do not take paper and pencil tests –well except our driver’s test,”said Jen Jones of Hello Literacy. Success is much bigger than any test. In life, SUCCESS is measure by showing GRIT, giving a hug, having a dance party in your living room, or just being a good person. As many of us know, kids look to adults for direction to what we call LIFE. Below I have outlined 7 different ways to build SUCCESS in our children. Yes, they are our children. Teachers and parents need to work together to help kids find their journey to SUCCESS.
When kids approach the upper grades, self acceptance becomes huge. They all want to fit in. How do we teach our kids to STAND OUT? Books are great teachers, especially picture books. Kids relate to characters in picture books because they believe they are just like them. One of my favorite books to teach personal character is A BAD CASE OF STRIPES. Camilla’s love for Lima Beans is crushed when self doubt towers over the real her. Through trials Camilla learns to except herself and let her own light shine. Along with books, teach your child the importance of self acceptance. Start at an early age because the more pressure life puts on our kids of today they will need to keep believing in themselves.*Amazon Affiliate Link Used

 This is a HUGE pillar in raising successful children. Kids need to learn how to fail and raise back up! In today’s society, failing is so shamed. It is self-shaming and world-shaming. Failing is like a bright camera flashing on you while walking down the red carpet during the grammys. Guess what! I think failing builds character. I know I said it. #reallifeidontliketofaileither When a teacher emails or calls about a situation that isn’t a bed of roses, listen to the teachers. Teachers are here to help your child SUCCEED. We are their biggest cheerleaders alongside you, their BIGGEST cheerleader!  If you are unsure of how to handle the situation, ask the teacher for help to guide the conversation. Talk with your student and create a goal sheet to prepare them for another GRITFUL situation. Gritful #imadeupthatword students will be more successful in life because they know how to handle failure and rise above. I sent a GROWTH MINDSET packet home during the first week of school last year, that gives parents sentence stems to use with their child if they are struggling.




Oh! This is a big one. This can make or break a child in elementary school. Remember when they were first born and you put them on a feeding schedule? Yep, they need an elementary schedule. Now, PLEASE do not fill up their schedule from the minute they get out of school until they go to bed. Please take that vow right now. Your child needs DREAM TIME.  Responsibility is just as big! As they get older, let go. I promise it will teach them to be more responsible and allow you more time to drink that yummy diet coke. Let them build what they believe is important. Allow them to see you being responsible. Like I said before, kids look up to adults they love and admire.




 Most importantly make their adventure of going to school FUN!Ask about their day. My parents used the SUNSHINE and CLOUD analogy. I was asked to tell a sunshine and cloud to explain my day. In my household, “nothing” was not an option. Talk positively about your child’s school and teacher. Let them know you are excited they are starting this new journey. Lastly, JUST LOVE the student who they become. Sunshine or Cloud guide them through the foundation to the rest of their lives. Work together with the teachers to inspire greatness. Success starts with one step.


Mind Your Monsters
Bears Make The Best Reading Buddies
I hope you can OPEN THE MAGIC with your child! I believe books can teach children to be successful one page at a time.

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