Parents for Charter Schools

Week of December 3, 2018

FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

Homework isn’t optional. How to do it can be

Giving your child some choices about how to do her assignments can reduce homework problems. Let her decide things like: whether to do them in her room or at the kitchen table, whether to start right after school or after relaxing a bit, and whether to start with math or reading. If a choice doesn’t work out, let her experience the consequences. She’ll learn she needs to make a different choice next time.

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Teach your child what it means to have a job
It’s not always clear to young children why parents go to work. Talk to your child about your reasons for having a job and the responsibilities it involves, such as being on time every day. Then compare the ways that going to school is like going to a job: people count on you to be there and to work hard, etc. He’ll learn that work and school are important daily responsibilities.

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Make your child the anchor of a special news report
When it comes to school, no news isn’t necessarily good news. Parents need to know as much as they can. Find out more by asking your child to give you an “Evening News Report.” When she gets home from school, have her make a list of a few things that happened that day. Ask her to report on what made her happy and what was difficult. Then, over dinner, enjoy this very special news program.

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FOR MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Help your teen make a plan for long-term projects

Creating a project board can help your teen keep track of the deadlines and details of long-term assignments. On a large sheet of poster board, have her create a table with two columns. In the first column, she should write down the individual steps necessary to complete the project. In the second column, she should assign due dates to each step. Now one glance will tell her what she needs to do next.

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Talk with your teen about difficult choices

Sometimes, it’s easy for teens to do the right thing. At other times, it’s more difficult. If the teacher leaves the room during a test, for example, would your teen be tempted to text an answer to a friend? Talk with him about those hard moments. Remind him that even minor choices can have big consequences, and that often, choosing to do the right thing even when it seems hard will make his future easier.

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Set your teen up for success with tests

From state tests to college entrance exams, high-stakes tests are a fact of school life. To promote a positive attitude toward testing, remind your teen that everyone faces tests. Talk to her about times you’ve been tested in your life. Then, help her practice following instructions. On testing day, make sure she gets to school having eaten a healthy breakfast and wearing comfortable clothes.

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This tip is brought to you for free as part of your membership in Parents for Charter Schools.

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