As a parent, sometimes we ask our children how their day was at school only to be replied to with a monotone, “It was fine.” If you feel you are lacking a connection with the place you are sending them off to every day, there are several ways to get a more inside perspective. [Read more…] about Tips For Getting More Involved In Your Child’s School
Ever since my daughter started 1st grade, one thing that has been a constant battle is HOMEWORK. I can’t say that I blame her point of view. After a full day at school, then some club or sports afterwards, who wouldn’t just want to veg on the television when they got home? Add the fact that she has 2 little brothers making noise (and a mess) somewhere close by in our very “cozy” (read: small) house, or the new puppy is tugging at her heels….so it can’t be easy to get back in school mode and work when there are so much better things to do at home!
After another especially bad argument of “This is the 10th time I’ve told you to do your homework!” , my husband, who is always silently neutral when I am close to hysterical, said why not try this – LET HER FAIL. Hmmmm……. If she wont do her homework, she’ll have to deal with explaining to her teacher why, she’ll be made to do it at recess instead of the playground and she’ll probably not be happy at all with the consequences. So instead of Mom-the-Ogre banging her head against the wall, our 8-year-old will learn a valuable lesson on her own…….what a great idea!!!
So this is the plan starting tonight at our household. Will let you know what happens. In the meantime, here are a few useful homework tips I found:
Hot Homework Tips
Photo via Jessicizer
The other day my husband and I went to the first PTC meeting with our daughter’s teacher, Ms. A. Report cards had just come out and I was eager to see how N had fared in the first term of first grade. It was a big adjustment for her as her preschool was tiny (8 kids on her class!), and her new “big school” was huge (almost 1,000 kids up to grade 12!). I knew that she was happy there, but as any parent knows, the way your kid is at home and at school can be two very different things.
Well, Ms. A told us that N was an enthusiastic learner, did well in all her subjects, especially p.e, art, computer and music. She then also said N was not really a “self starter” and needed some time (i.e. would play, draw or get distracted) before she could sit down and complete a task. In maths, she was very good with numbers, but often got confused with “problem solving” work. In reading, she had also improved vastly (she could hardly reading at the end of Kindergarten), but tended to rush through reading, using context clues to guess the words rather than going through them slowly.
Of course, I also had other questions- like the grading system, which was new to me, ranging from 4-1 (4 being the highest, and meant to be “super, super” not given lightly) and I was used to the old-fashioned ABC’s or 95, 85, 75 etc. N mostly got 3’s, a few 2’s, and two 4’s, but I can’t help but feel that she could have done better – that I could have done more to help her.
I think its up to us as parents to really know and understand our kids learning styles (again, think of the Animal School) as it could really help them not just in their school years, but for the rest of their lives.
Photo via AJC1
Happy Earth Day 2009! One of the best things you can do to Save the Earth is to educate your kids about the environment and sustainability – making it a fun process that they can carry through for the rest of their lives.
Luckily, most “big” schools now teach kids about the environment, about recycling and even organic farming, so helping kids in grade school or older is easier than ever before. My daughter’s 1st grade class, for instance, visited an organic farm for their field trip last year and they saw how lettuce was looked after and harvested naturally. She knows not to leave the tap running when she brushes her teeth or washes her hands (I hear her scold her little brother that he’s “wasting!” water), turns off lights when nobody is using them, and talks to me excitedly about what it means to recycle.
For preschoolers, it’s a little more challenging. I have been trying to teach my 4-year-old some of the basic principles I taught my daughter, but I just get a sort of “bored” look most of the time. So my project, beginning this Earth Day, is to get my son more involved with some hands-on work. I found some great ideas online, like on iVillage, for instance, they have a useful article about how you can “Go Green at Any Age”. For preschoolers, they suggest things like this:
Teach your preschooler how to help pick out ripe seasonal fruit and vegetables for their snacks and meals. Show them that when they have finished their fruit and vegetables, there are parts that can be composted. Involve your children in composting your food scraps, coffee grounds, etc. Get them used to seeing that food waste is not garbage but rather something that can be turned into soil to grow more food.
Another site I like is Funschool, which has a lot of fun games and activities I know will appeal to my computer-loving little boy.
And lastly, for baby Wills, I’ll be dressing him in organic or sustainable clothing today (and as much as my bank account can afford!) but more often than not, I’ll be doing this: let him use his big sister and brother’s old clothes, shoes and toys. That’s recycling for you!
Photo via BecoThings
When you have a new first grader, the world suddenly revolves around two words Moms like me hate to hear (and, gulp, do). Let Go. Ever since Kindergarten, my daughter has proudly been telling us, her teachers, and anybody who cared to listen, that when she turned 6, she would be going to the biggest school in our area. A huge co-ed establishment with fantastic facilities and a great sports programme, my sporty, sassy and independent kid loved the idea of it, and so did I, until the day came when I actually had to leave her there. On her own.
So there she was, hair neatly braided, brand new Hannah Montana backpack and My Scene lunchbox, sitting in her first grade classroom with 13 other 6-year-olds whose Moms were slowly leaving the open door where we all peeked in. As I watched my child sitting proudly at her desk, I secretly hoped that she would look back at me and say she didn’t want me to go (which she never did), and eventually, as I made myself walk away as all the other parents had, I realized that today we had both reached a milestone. She was growing up and I was letting her get to it.
Photo via against the tide