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Parents, Kids, Teachers, and School

June 12, 2015

Topic 10: Parents, Kids, Teachers, and School

Although school is out for summer, it is never too late to plan for the next school year. What will you do the same? What will you do different? What are some resources or ideas you may not have thought of before? All of those questions can be answered below (in this blog) as we go over what Dr. Popkin (2014) deems as the seven important things to do as a parent when it comes to your child’s school life.

  1. Show up!!!

o   While you do not want to become the “helicopter parent” you do want to make sure you are visible in the school, teachers recognize you, people know you “belong” there because your child attends there. Additionally, it helps your child understand that you, too, view education and learning important because you are showing up and interested in what they are doing 7 or 8 hours a day.

  • Ways to show support:
  • Parent teacher conferences, performances, helping at field trips or parties, volunteering when asked, donating things to the classroom, volunteering your time at home to cut out things, staple things—all of the busy work teachers don’t have time for during the day, but shows your child that you care about their education by doing it at home, with their help.
  1. Get to know the staff members in the school
  • It’s always good to build a nice, professional relationship with teachers and staff members in the school building so, if there comes a time when your child is disciplined or there is a misunderstanding, you and the school staff have a solid foundation on which to work from. (Teachers should also be reaching out to parents in good times, and not only in bad times, but parents can take the initiative also.)
  • Also, help your child appreciated their teacher. Send them encouragement emails or notes, pick flowers from your garden and let your child take them to the teacher. Being a teacher is hard work and every now and then feeling appreciated boosts their self-esteem.
  • If you have never been in a classroom for 7 or 8 hours with 20-30 eight year olds—try it! It is hard work and exhausting!
  1. Make learning fun and priority for you and your family
  • Learning does not only happen in a school building—it happens all around us. Help your child understand that learning in a priority and a process that lasts over a lifetime.
  • Go to the zoo, museums, or on nature walks (Most of these places are either free, or have free days if cost is an issue)
  • Play board games, card games, or I Spy games (One my family’s favorite games is Spot It!)
  • Ask questions, explore, and discover your backyard, your neighborhood, or other places in your community
  • Try something new with your kids—something you have never tried before!
  1. Structure Homework Time
  • In many families, homework time is a point in the day that could cause stress and arguments, however with a little structure that could subside!
  • — Set-up a regular work area (with on distractions!)
  • — Agree on a regular study time (Let your child choose when they would like to complete their homework, maybe they don’t like to do it right after school. Everyone is different, let them choose, within your guidelines, and they will be more likely to complete it when they feel they have the power to decide, rather than when the time is “demanded” to them.)
  • And, if you agreed upon 30 minutes every night, then it is 30 minutes. If your child completes their homework in 5 minutes, then they have 25 more minutes to work on something else, read a book, or get started on another project. (They won’t be rushing through their homework anymore!)
  • — Make homework/learning time a quiet learning time for ALL family members
  • Everyone in the family should be learning during the agreed upon time. Turn off the TV, turn off the phones, read a book, do Suduko or crossword puzzle, find something to do to show your child that learning is a family priority and can be fun.
  • Help with a “To-Do” list: This list will help your child stay organized, stay on top of future projects and things due, along with showing them other homework items they can work on when they finish early
  1. READ READ READ, ASK QUESTIONS, PREDICT, and READ Reading is one of the most important subjects in school. Read with your child, help them read, ask questions, predict, make up alternative endings. Involve your child in the fun act of reading!
  • When finding books remember: Your child can comprehend at a higher level than they can independently read. And, you need to find a book for them to independently read that is on their level by usingthe “High Five Method”
  • “High Five Method”- When your child picks up a book, have them read just one page. Every time they do not know a word, have them put a finger up on their hand. If they read 2 or 3 fingers (words they don’t know) then it is right on their level. If they have 4, 5 or more, it is too hard. And if they have none, 1 or 2, it is too easy.
  1. Filter Media
  • Make sure you know what they are watching
  • Put the Computer in a public area so you can see what they are doing and check their history occasionally
  • Limit media to 2 POSITIVE hours a day
  • And, remember, it takes our brains about 2 hours to “shut down” after interacting with “blue light” (TV, computer, iPad, et)—so if your child is having a hard time falling asleep at night, limit the media to 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Spend time with your child talking about appropriate and inappropriate shows, websites, games, etc.
  1. Know and Support the School’s Discipline Plan
  • Whether you agree with the discipline plan or not, it is your job as a parent to know the plan and help your children understand the discipline procedures at their school. If you have a question or disagreement, set up a time prior to the school year to meet with the school’s administration so you can understand the reasoning behind portions that you may not agree with. In the end, though, you and the school are a team and informing your child of the rules and guidelines at school will not only help your child but will also help the teachers in the school building.

 

While this is not an exhaustive list, this is the start to some ideas you may want to begin planning to incorporate as the summer winds down and the school year is just around the corner.

*Most of this information is taken from the curriculum Active Parenting. However, I have also done my own research and added it in when necessary. I am not marketing Active Parenting nor do I get anything from the sales of Active Parenting. (Michael Popkin, Ph.D., 2014)

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