By Guest Blogger Haley Miller

This is always my favorite time of year. Summer is winding down, school is back in session, football is kicking off, the air is feeling crisp….

For our children, it’s the season of a fresh start. It’s that exciting time when everyone is eager to learn, and we, as parents, have the perfect opportunity to support our children in school.

But what is the best way to support our children? How can we be involved, but not too involved? How can we help our children understand how to get to an answer, without just giving them the answer?

With children ages two and four, I’m new to this whole parenting thing. My children are in preschool. Although my oldest has a “homework folder,” he doesn’t have true homework yet. I am definitely no expert. I’m also busy—most of my “free time” is spent chasing my kids, cleaning up messes and answering endless questions from curious children.

I love that my children are hungry to learn, but I certainly don’t have all the answers, even though I work for Guilford County Schools. Thanks to Guilford Parent Academy (GPA), there are ways I can support their learning and make sure they are both ready for kindergarten when the time comes. Through GPA’s resources, my young children can develop a foundation for reading, practice basic math skills and learn about the world around them. The best part—to them, they are having fun on Mommy’s computer, playing games and watching videos.

GPA offers free resources for children in preschool all the way through 12th grade, so I know it’s a resource I can count on for years to come.

GPA makes it easy. They remove the guesswork by only providing resources that are relevant, safe and aligned with state standards. And thanks to our generous partners, it’s all free.

The following resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

~ Help your child improve reading skills, build vocabulary, practice math problems, conduct safe research and explain complex topics by accessing Parent Academy’s online learning resources.

~ Through Connect with Kids Websource, access hundreds of videos, lesson plans, thought-provoking discussion questions and parent viewing guides on topics ranging from bullying prevention, building resilience and substance abuse to life skills, character development and making healthy choices.

~ Students and parents can also explore what careers are suited best for them and connect with career coaches throughFutures for Kids.

~ And coming soon, through GPA parents and students will be able to access Smarthinking, a one-to-one online tutoring service. All smarthinking tutors pass a thorough screening and are expert educators—they do not provide answers, but rather help students learn key concepts. Smarthinking will help with test preparation, students in Advanced Placement courses, dropout prevention, ESL students and any student who needs extra help. (This should be available on GPA’s website by mid-September.)

Throughout the school year, all parents in GCS are invited to join GPA at workshops, classes and family learning events planned at schools and other convenient locations across Guilford County. Workshop topics include helping your child with homework, planning for college, building character and more. A list of workshops is available here. Parents are encouraged to check the website often, as events are added throughout the year.

To learn more about GPA, sign up for monthly updates or register for free classes, visit and search “Guilford Parent Academy,” email or call 336-279-4924.

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Sponsored by Guilford Parent Academy. Author Haley Miller is a mother of two and a part-time program administrator in the Guilford Parent Academy office of Guilford County Schools.