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As a parent you can do a lot to help your kids do better in school. It doesn't take a certified teacher to turn everyday experiences like reading road signs, sorting the socks on laundry day and counting change, into simple lessons that will give kids more confidence and success in school.

A series of publications from the U.S. Department of Education offers dozens of activities to get your kids interested in school. To receive these booklets, send your name, address, the appropriate item number and 50 cents for each publication to R. Woods, Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, CO 81009.Every child needs confidence when they're getting ready to face an environment that's different from what they are used to at home. The booklet Helping Your Child Get Ready for School (item 372A, 50 cents) urges parents to be enthusiastic when talking about school. Talk about the exciting activities in kindergarten, such as going on field trips and making fun art projects. Children also become excited about school when their parents show excitement.

Want your kids to pay attention in school? Helping Your Child Succeed in School (item 377A, 50 cents) suggests that you participate in your children's education. Follow their progress by discussing teachers' comments and corrections on assignments and be sure to reward their successes. Take part in school activities when you can and meet with their teachers.

The ability to read well is crucial in most subjects. Helping Your Child Learn to Read (item 375A, 50 cents) says good readers have parents who read to them often and talk about experiences and ideas. Asking kids thought-provoking and not just "yes or no" questions, encourages the curiosity needed to create enthusiastic readers.

As children's reading skills improve, so should their natural interest in history. Helping Your Child Learn History (item 373A, 50 cents) suggests making the most of everyday opportunities to relate to history - visits from grandparents, reading books, holidays, elections, the national anthem before sporting events, pictures in newspapers and magazines and visits to museums. Showing your interest in history encourages your child's own interest.

Math is everywhere in your child's life and yet you both may not recognize it. Through everyday activities at home, the grocery store and in transit, Helping Your Child Learn Math (item 374A, 50 cents) shows you how to recognize math in your everyday world.

The ability to be responsible is one of life's most rewarding skills. Helping Your Child Learn Responsible Behavior (item 376A, 50 cents) is packed with practical suggestions on helping children learn how to make responsible choices and stick with them.

The booklet also contains an extensive listing of books you can read to or with your kids that can help them learn the meaning of responsible behavior. You will also find easy and fun activities to do with your young children to help them build healthy eating and exercise habits in Helping Your Child Be Healthy and Fit (item 371A, 50 cents).

When you request one of these booklets, you'll also receive a free Consumer Information Catalog. It lists more than 200 free and low-cost federal publications on a wide variety of subjects. The Consumer Information Center and the U.S. General Services Administration revise and publish the catalog quarterly.