Help Your Child Set Goals and Achieve Them

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In school, we often use the term goals with your children. How can we help our students set realistic goals and stick to them? Consider these ideas you can also support at home:

  1. Make the goal specific. The target needs to be very clear for your child. Help him/her clearly articulate what it is they want to achieve. For example, instead of a goal to get better at reading, the goal could be to better understand what is being read.
  2. Set a short timeframe. Many goals fail because the timeframe is too long. Set small, specific timeframes (2-3 weeks) that can be more easily monitored.
  3. Make a plan. Help your child figure out actions they can take to reach their goal. How will you better understand what you are reading? Will you write a summary after a certain number of pages? Will you ask questions as you read?
  4. Adjust the goal. There is nothing wrong with your child adjusting his/her goals. Adjusting will be more successful than quitting.
  5. Celebrate. Celebrate the small successes like sticking to the goal’s steps. There is something about acknowledging progress, even small progress, that propels us to keep at it and work toward the next small step along the road of attaining a goal.

Help your Child be a Successful Student

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Every parent wants to help their child do their best in school. Here are some tangible things that can be done at home to help foster success at school. 

  • Feed your child a healthy breakfast each morning
  • Make sure they are getting enough sleep each night
  • Attend Parent-Teacher Conferences and ask for specific things to work on at home
  • Support homework expectations
  • Help your child study by providing a quiet place where they can concentrate
  • Know the school rules and let your child know your expectations of them at school

Be Prepared for the First Day of School

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  1. Shop from the teacher’s supply list
  2. Sharpen all of the pencils
  3. Turn in forms on time
  4. Return to a school bedtime routine
  5. Prep for lunchtime by practicing how to open items in lunches
  6. Label all of your child’s things
  7. Keep reading at home each day
  8. Remind your kids that you expect their best, but that doesn’t mean perfection. Students learn from mistakes that are made, so bring on the mistakes!

Tips for making Praise Matter

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Praising children is very important whether you are a teacher or a parent. Here are some tips that will help make praise mean more to the child.

    1. Be Specific. “Good job Johnny” is not specific and can be said to anyone for any reason. “Johnny, I noticed that reading that paragraph was tough, but you took your time and tried your best, nice job.” This is specific enough so that Johnny knows that you mean it and it is real.
    2. Give praise when you really mean it.  This teaches children that you recognize when a task is tough for them. It also helps them value the praise that you give.
    3. Quality over quantity. Praising too much can cause a child to feel belittled and actually achieve lower. Give specific praise when praise is due instead of meaningless praise often.

 

Open House

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Open House is an opportunity for families to come to school and meet teachers for the upcoming school year. It also gives students a chance to see where they will be for the year and can help reduce stress and anxiety. It also gives parents a chance to connect with the school and possibly sign up for ways to become involved throughout the school year. We hope to see you at Open House on Aug. 18.

Words Matter

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As parents and even teachers, it can be easy to default to certain phrases that we heard as children. Research has shown over the years that words truly matter and some slight changes can completely change the outcome that we’re looking for. Here are some examples. 

Instead of:                                                               Try:

“Be quiet.”                                                                “Can you use a softer voice?”

“What a mess!”                                                         “It looks like you had fun! How can we clean up?

“Do you need help?”                                                 “I’m here to help if you need me.”

“I explained how to do this yesterday.”                     “Maybe I can show you another way.”

“Do I need to separate you?”                                    “Could you use a break?”

“Stop crying.”                                                            “It’s okay to cry.”

“Do you have any questions?”                                 “What questions do you have?”

“You’re okay.”                                                            “How are you feeling?”

“It’s not that hard.”                                                    “You can do hard things.”

 

Which ones will you try with someone you love today?

10 Great Summer Read Alouds

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Reading out loud to your child can not only be a great way to bond, but it can be a great way for your child to learn to read or hold on to those skills they learned this past year and avoid the summer slide. Here are some great books that your child might enjoy. 

  1. Holes By Louis Sachar (Ages 10+)
  2. Charlotte’s Web By E. B. White (Ages 8+)
  3. The Secret Garden By Frances Hodgson Burnett (Ages 7+)
  4. James and the Giant Peach By Roald Dahl (Ages 6+)
  5. The Giver By Lois Lowry (Ages 10+)
  6. The Harry Potter Series (Ages 9+)
  7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory By Roald Dahl (Ages 8+)
  8. Because of Winn-Dixie By Kate DiCamillo (Ages 8+)
  9. The Boxcar Children By Gertrude Chandler Warner (Ages 6+)
  10. Where the Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein (Ages 4+)