Parent Resources

Parents of Fifth Grade Students

Mission Hill Middle School has provided information about summer reading for Incoming Sixth Graders.  Please go to:

This list has some outstanding books for your middle schooler to read during the Summer Vacation!  Please encourage your child to read over the break.


Greetings to the parents of our wonderful students. On this page I have included links to resources that you might find useful. If you have any ideas or suggestions for the page, please e-mail me, or come by the library anytime. I'd love to talk to you.

This 'n That
Reading at Home
Parent Resources
Organizations Plus

This 'N That

Web Dangers is a continuing concern for us all. Not only are we worried about inappropriate sites and other dangers our children might face online, we also need to worry about hackers, viruses and spam. is a site put together by a collection of groups and companies including AOL, AT&T, and Microsoft. Parents will find help about content, safety tips, parental blocking, spam, and more.
Information literacy, the ability to find and use information effectively, is essential for student success in the 21st Century. As parents you can help your child become information literate. One focus can be on effective computer use. These tips for "high-tech education" are based on a list from Warren Buckleitner shared in Parade Magazine,August 17, 2003.
  1. Put the computer in the family room. This first tip is from Anne Branch, our computer teacher. If you keep the computer where it is visible by all, it will be easier to monitor a child's use. Problems can be nipped in the bud.
  2. Check your software. Make sure you have the essential programs that a student will need. Even in elementary school your child should have access to a word processsing program with spell-check, an updated Internet browser (I recommend Firefox), and a presentation program. Remember that we use Macs at school. We will soon have MS Office available on all lab and library computers. Type to Learn and Inspiration are two other programs you may want to look in to.
  3. Let them walk before they run. Computer skills are developmental just like reading, writing, or math.  Not all programs are appropriate for all students. Choose software that is developmentally appropriate for your child.  2nd graders are not ready for Power-point, but 5th graders can create great presentations using the program.
  4. Teach children to search. Learning to search effectively is a skill to be learned.  Google is a powerful tool that can be used very effectively. It can also be overwhelming in the vast quantities of information it may retrieve.  Students need to learn when and how to use search engines and when to use directories such as KidsClick.  With directories created for students much of the work, site evaluations, and filtering has already been done by professional educators and librarians.  We also have recommended links for many class research projects on the library's web pages.
  5. Be a guide, not a guard. Today's students must develop "internal firewalls" that will guide them to safe sites and to navigate through spam, banner ads, and pop-ups.
  6. Teach by example. Students learn by watching us every day. If we want students to use technology effectively, they should be able look to us as role models, using technology to enrich our lives.
  7. Establish tech-free times. Make sure you have time blocked in with no cell phones, no computers, no Game-boys, no televisions.  Use this time to communicate the old-fashioned way! Face-to-face conversation can not be lost to the new technology.

Reading at Home

  • Read with and to your children every day. Younger children will begin to pick up basic reading concepts such as the fact that words have meaning, that we read from left to right, and how to turn pages. Older children should still be read to. It could be a chapter a night of a favorite such as Harry Potter, folk and fairy tales from around the world, or sharing an interesting nonfiction book about the California gold rush.
  • Visit the Library. Make family trips to your public library at least once a week. Become involved in helping your child select books. Find books that will be of interest and fun to read.
  • Surround your child with reading materials. Make sure there are always thing to read in the home. Go to yard sales, thrift stores, and used book stores to find affordable books. Take advantage of book clubs at school (one of the best and most affordable way to get books). Have newspapers and magazines available.
  • Share daily reading tasks. When you go to the store, have your child read the shopping list to you. Have them follow the recipe in a cookbook, read the directions for connecting the VCR, or read the str eet signs on your weekend trips.
  • Don't nag them!We all know nagging can be a turn-off, so be careful. If your child wants to read their favorite comic book, encourage the act of reading instead of turning their selection into a battle.
  • Be supportive. Display your child's work on the refrigerator. Commend the improvement and effort. Don't correct every single error when they are reading, but be there to support as needed.
  • Read this article from the American Library Association, Born to Read: How to Raise a Reader.It has lots more ideas to encourage reading at all ages. There is also a list of suggested books for your children.
  • Remember,the more a child reads, the better they will read. Reading promotes reading and is the number one factor affecting success in school.

Parent Resources

ALA site
CHADD site
Schwab learning
Autism Society of America 
The ALA has a good family page with lots of wonderful inforamation for kids and important links for parents. Make sure you check out their site of the month!  This is a very useful site for parents and teachers wanting to learn more about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The site includes information about Add/ADHD, a chat room, information on legislation, research, and much more.  Charles Schwab battled learning disanbilities as a child. As an adult he has shown that one can succeed regardless. This site is one way he wants to help others overcome the challenges facing them.  The Autism Society of America. According to their website, "ASA is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families and the professionals with whom they interact." 

Organizations Plus


Kathy Griffith, Library Teacher