Having a spare set of textbooks at home can improve your child's homework, studying, progress and posture. Getting one may be easy, if your school has lots of extra copies and a cooperative attitude. Or it may be tricky, if books are in short supply and the administration's cranky. Start by finding out who's responsible for doling out the spares, then contact that individual with a good reason and something to back it up.
1. It's in your child's IEP.If you thought to request this during the planning meeting for your child's Individualized Education Plan, and it's in that legally binding document, you're home free. Bring for backup: A copy of the IEP.
2. It's in your child's 504 plan.Similarly, if a spare set of textbooks is one of the accommodations in your child's Section 504 plan, you should have no problem getting the volumes from the school. Bring for backup: A copy of the plan.
3. Your child has orthopedic issues.If your child has a condition that makes toting a too-heavy backpack dangerous or impossible, a spare set of textbooks is essential to his or her health, safety and scholarship. Bring for backup: A note from your child's doctor or other appropriate medical professional forbidding heavy lifting or toting.
4. Your child is frequently absent.If your child often misses school due to illness or medical procedures, having a spare set of books can make keeping up with missed schoolwork much easier. Bring for backup: A note from your child's doctor explaining your child's health status and the likelihood of frequent excused absences.
5. Your child needs extra reinforcement and repetition.Constant access to textbooks is important when your child needs to read stories again and again to understand them, or take extra time on weekends and breaks to study and go over problems. Bring for backup: An explanation of how you work with your child at home, and what results you've seen.
6. Your child is disorganized and distractible.Some kids forget their books because they don't care, but if your child's forgetfulness is due to a documented disability, he or she should not be punished for it. Bring for backup: A note or report from a neurologist, therapist, or learning specialist who can substantiate that your child's inability to collect needed materials is disability-related.
7. Your child works with a tutor.If your child works with a tutor, that professional may need access to textbooks to plan lessons, or to work with your child on subjects that may not be homework on that particular day. Bring for backup: A note from the tutor requesting the texts.
8. It will make things easier for the school.A set of textbooks in your home can help the school as much as it helps you -- if the teacher doesn't have to go over material again and again, if your child no longer has to be hounded for homework, if the administration doesn't have to get involved over slipping grades. Bring for backup: Your word that those books won't just sit on a shelf.
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