Keep an eye on your child's after-school schedule
After-school activities can enrich your child's life. But sometimes, even a good thing can be too much. From time to time, review your child's schedule. Does your child enjoy all the activities? Does your student have time to complete assigned work? Does your child have time to read, play and relax? Do activities cause stress? If you suspect your child is overcommitted, talk together about dropping an activity.
Acknowledge negativity, but don't indulge it
Some children seem to have been born with a negative outlook. If this is true of your child, here are some tips for responding in positive ways: First, accept your child, who probably isn't being negative on purpose. But don't pay so much attention to the negativity that your child learns to use it to get attention. Instead, listen to complaints so your child feels heard. Then change the subject to something your student feels positive about.
Support your child's efforts to reach a challenging goal
Sometimes, children set goals for themselves that are higher than their families would set for them. If your child has set a lofty goal, help break it down into a series of smaller, more achievable steps. If the going gets rough, offer encouragement and help your student stay focused on the goal. And if your child doesn't quite meet the goal, point out progress. "You didn't get an A this time, but you got a B plus. That's a tremendous improvement!"
Keep an eye on your child's schoolwork
Children get more out of schoolwork when parents monitor their efforts. Each day, take some time to review assignments and any classwork your child brings home. Is it neat? Complete? Ask your child to explain anything you don't understand. This will reinforce the material in your student's mind and help you both know if your child understands it. Together, double-check the assignment to make sure your child has completed everything.
Practice two math skills measure by measure
Measuring things around the house can be a fun way to teach your child two important math skills: calculating exact amounts and estimating. Get out a teaspoon, for example, and ask your child to estimate how many teaspoons of water would fill one cup, then check. Or have your student measure the length of the teaspoon, then estimate how many spoons wide the door is. What would that be in inches?
Challenge your child to a writing game
Effective writing connects individual ideas into an overall whole. To help your child practice making these connections, get several index cards and have your child write the name of a different thing or idea on each. Next, draw four cards. Can your child use all the ideas in a single sentence? For example, if the cards said "toys," "trip," "sunny" and "teachers," your child might write, "On sunny days, teachers let students take their toys on school trips."
Bedtime reading ends the day a special way
Finding time to read with your child can be a challenge. But with a little planning, bedtime reading can be one of the best parts of your day. Choose five books for the week and set them near your child's bed. Each day, say, "We'll read this book tonight. Tomorrow, we'll get to read another." This lets your child know that reading is an important part of your day, too. At breakfast, talk together about the book you read the night before.
Set up a study routine to foster positive habits
To help your child develop positive study habits, establish a regular time for doing schoolwork at home. Turn off digital devices and minimize background distractions. At the start, make sure your child reads and understands assignment directions. To foster management skills, have your child estimate how long each assignment will take, and time how long it really takes. Then show support by doing your own work quietly nearby.
Take time out for family
How can you help your family find more time for togetherness in a fast-paced world? Call a family "time out." Stop and talk about what you'd like to do as a family and how to achieve it. Set specific goals, such as eating dinner together four times a week. Post goals where you will all see them. Childhood doesn't last forever, so make family time a priority now. You'll have time for other activities later on.
Help your child make deposits in a 'word bank'
Young writers often have trouble thinking of words to write. Making a word bank helps your child think of words in advance. Say a common word and ask your child to write a list of words with similar meanings. For "said," for example, your child might write words like "whined," "shouted," "whispered," "yelled," etc. Your child can also make lists of words about a particular topic. Collect the lists in a notebook "word bank." When writing, your child can check the bank to find just the right word.
Teach your child to tell time the 'old-fashioned' way
It's the digital age. But some kids get so used to digital clocks that they don't learn how to tell time the standard way. To make sure your child does, keep at least one "old-fashioned" (analog) clock in your house. Practice reading the time on it together often. Make sure your child understands the concepts of a.m. and p.m. Then play a game: Ask how many more minutes or hours it will be until a certain time.
Spelling skills are the prize in this homemade game
Here's a game to make studying spelling words fun! Create a game board that has a path of connecting squares. Write the letters S or R on most of the squares. On a few, write directions like, "Go ahead 2 squares." Next, have your child write spelling words on index cards. To play, each player rolls a die and moves that number of squares. If the square has an S, the player must spell the word on the top card. If it has an R, the player must read the word.
Encourage curiosity and nonfiction reading
Children ask a lot of questions. Reading nonfiction is a great way for them to find the answers. To encourage curiosity and help your child engage with nonfiction, look for books and articles that answer questions about how things work. How does a wheat field end up in your family's pasta? Or, have your child choose a familiar activity and write a how-to manual explaining the process.
When to discuss your child's schoolwork complaints with the teacher
Your child fusses that an assignment is "stupid." But how do you know if you should contact the teacher? Get in touch with the teacher if your child refuses to do assigned work, even after you've tried motivating strategies. Or if your child regularly finds the work too hard or too easy, or doesn't understand the instructions, even with your help. And let the teacher know if your child needs school supplies you can't provide.
Your support helps put academic success within reach for your child
Some kids (and even some parents) believe that smart students are just born that way. But teachers know that students can learn and build the skills they need for academic success. To help your child develop them, make learning a priority and provide lots of fun ways to do it. Maintain a balance between school and sports, work and play. And if your child is struggling, work with the teacher on a plan to help.
Teach your child the rules of school bus safety
Although school buses are the safest way for children to get to school, it's still important to make sure your child follows bus safety rules. Here are just a few: Wait in a safe place away from the traffic. Never walk behind the bus. Don't stick hands, heads or objects out the windows. Don't push and shove. Walk three "giant steps" (six feet) away from the side of the bus. Wait until the driver says it's safe to get off the bus.
A positive attitude is a plus in math
You can help your child learn math even if you don't remember any of the math you took in school. Here are some tips: Let your child know that you think math is important, useful and fun. Ask questions about your student's math work, such as "How did you arrive at that answer?" or "Do you see a pattern in this page of problems?" Then build daily math practice into your child's routine, and involve your child in household math, such as measuring.
A new library card is cause for celebration
What do you do to celebrate special days in your child's life? Did you take pictures on the first day of school? Did you save a lock of hair from your child's first haircut? Getting a library card is another big "first." It opens a world of learning to your child. If your student doesn't have a library card yet, go together to get one. Then do something special to celebrate. Take a picture or fix a treat. And be sure to make regular library visits all year.
Dr. Chip Perrine came to GES today to give a check in the amount $2,000 on behalf of the Junior League. The Junior League Board voted to approve the recess ground upgrades at GES to include a new basketball rim, four new nets (for outside basketball area), a four square volleyball set, a shade canopy with posts, a gaga court and paint for the bb court, hopscotch, 4 square and 2 square.
We are screaming a huge thank you to Junior League!!!!
Daydreaming can be a productive use of time
It may sound surprising, but daydreaming can be a useful activity as kids start thinking in more abstract terms. Daydreaming helps children reduce stress. It allows them to be creative, develop empathy and spend time on self-reflection. Give your child some free time and a place to daydream undisturbed. Build a little downtime into family activities, too. After a ball game, relax on a hill. Watch the clouds.