Archive for the ‘School’ Category

When I was a kid, if homework didn’t get done, there were severe consequences.  Today, with TV, video games, and other distractions available for kids to put off studying and completing homework assignments, encouraging study habits at the beginning of the school year can make all the difference in a child’s educational achievements.

Need some good ideas to help motivate your child?  Here are a few:

  • Designate an area or room where your child has a desk and chair.
  • Ensure there is no TV, stereo or other distractions in the room.
  • Determine when homework should begin.  Some children are eager to begin and get their homework done right after school, while others need a little time to regroup and rest before tackling the assignments.  Decide with your child which method will work best for him.
  • Allowing a specified time for homework is also recommended.
  • Taking ten minutes breaks in between homework assignments can alleviate the child becoming too tired to continue.
  • Getting up and walking around the room or simply stretching can also alleviate leg and back pain.
  • Ask family members to eliminate as much noise as possible during study time.
  • If your child has a problem with a subject area, it is recommended that you offer assistance but not to engage in completing any homework assignment.
  • Ensure the child has a good night’s sleep.  Oftentimes children are so tired they come home and take a nap, thus they begin their homework at a late hour and the cycle continues the next day.

It is estimated that children today have to spend more time attending to homework and studying than the average person spends in an office.  Whether your child attends elementary, middle, or high school, having the tools to achieve success begins with a set of rules and regulations for the entire family which can help your child maintain good study habits.

Children have a lot of pressure at school and are bombarded with assignments every day.  Whatever can be done to alleviate any stress associated with homework and studying can only lead to good habits and a happy and healthy outlook.


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Returning to school is not easy for kids, which makes it especially hard for parents as well. In order to make the process of returning to school easier for your child, here are some tips which can alleviate those back to school blues.

  1. One of the things you can discuss with your child is they will be able to see their friends again, how much fun they will have, and all of the new things they will learn. If you have a child who exhibits anxiety about returning to school, you can tell him or her that there are other kids feel the same way.
  2. Perhaps a trip to the mall to shop for some new outfits will help. This can lift their spirits by allowing them to pick out two or three outfits and shoes for their first day back to school. Another way to improve your child’s spirit is to invite other kids over for a day; kids who are classmates and friends who go to other schools as well. In this way, they can talk to each other about school and other things so they can begin the process of re-connecting with, and feeling comfortable about, going back to school.
  3. Prepare your child for the first day by beginning a bedtime regimen a few weeks earlier. This will enable your child to establish a routine for the school days ahead.
  4. If your child is attending school for the first time, find out if there is another child in the neighborhood who is also attending the same school. In this way, they can go together whether it’s by bus or within walking distance. Having someone to go to school with can ease the tension and anxiety for both children.

Most children will feel anxious and down about their first day back to school. While it is a normal occurrence, it can also be an exciting time for them. Teachers also understand the difficulties of returning to school, and they also take extreme care to ensure every child is made to feel comfortable on their first day back.

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Some kids can’t wait to go back to school to be with their friends and talk about what they did over summer vacation. While others dread going back because they loved being home, spending time with the family, and engaging in all kinds of activities.

Once back at school, however, kids settle in pretty quickly and look forward to learning new things and making new friends. One of the activities most kids look forward to is when they are asked to bring in something special for “Show and Tell” day.

This is a special day for them because they have an opportunity to tell the other kids in their class all about this one item that obviously holds a great memory from the summer.

What are some of the things kids may bring into school for show and tell? Here is a list of some of their “favorite things.”

  1. Bobby may bring in a baseball signed by his favorite ballplayer and tells the class how he was able to obtain it and the signature.
  2. Betsy may have gone to Disneyworld over the summer and brought in a scrapbook she created with pictures to show the class.
  3. Teddy loves NASCAR racing, and he brings in his favorite replica of the winning car while discussing the race and driver.
  4. Jenny has a favorite stuffed teddy bear and she tells the class why it’s her favorite and how she chose the bear’s special name.
  5. Johnny brings in an unusual rock which he found when camping with his had. He talks about why the rock is special and why nature is so important.

While it’s fun for kids who share stories about their favorite toys, stuffed animals, adventures, vacations, pets, dolls, magic tricks, and scrapbooks; it’s also part of the socialization process. For kids who are shy, standing up in front of a class and talking about what they brought to school can increase their self-esteem.

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All parents whose children take the bus to school want to ensure they will arrive safely. However, there can be times when safety becomes an issue, especially at bus stops. Here are some tips to guarantee your child will be safe not only walking to the bus stop, but before and after the bus arrives.

  • Children should be told not to run to catch any bus. Leaving early will avoid missing the bus and any chance of a child falling because they are in a hurry.
  • Stay well away from the curb when standing at a bus stop.
  • When walking to the bus stop with other children, do not play or run around in the street.
  • All children under 12 should be accompanied by another adult or older sibling when walking to the bus stop. In addition, waiting with the child until they safely board the school bus is recommended.
  • Children should be told not to talk to any strangers at the bus stop.
  • Children should be warned that if anyone in a car stops and calls them over, they should run away screaming.
  • Children who are approached by anyone for any reason should report the incident to the bus driver.
  • Children should be told not to shove other kids onto the bus. Board the bus slowly and in a single file.

The fact that schools do not take responsibility until the moment the children boards the school bus is a major factor in ensuring the child is safe before arriving to school. In addition, in some states where children are picked up by school buses, care has to be taken to avoid any injury to the child.

Oftentimes buses stop in the middle of a street, double-park, or stop away from a child’s home. Children should be told to look both ways before boarding the bus in these instances since some school buses have the automated stop sign which signal other vehicles to stop, and others do not.

These bus safety tips are just some ways in which children need to be made aware of situations which may occur when waiting for the school bus to arrive.

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For many of us this day just seems to rush up on us. We’ve known for years that our babies will be going to kindergarten but when the time comes, many of us are unprepared. It’s definitely an emotional time for both parents and kids but it’s important to help our little ones through this time by staying positive and upbeat.

Here are some tips for helping prepare your child for kindergarten:

  1. Talk about the new change – Children tend to deal well with change as long as we explain to them what is happening. Before starting have little talks with your child about what going to “big kid” school will be like, what the routine will be and so on. Try to have these talks in short spurts as your child may not be able to process too much information at once and may get more confused. Lots of little talks here and there should do the trick.
  2. Show them their new school – Many schools will have introduction days your child can attend ahead of time to meet their new teacher and see the school. You can also take them for a drive or walk to their new school a couple of times before starting. Show them where they will go and where mommy will pick them up after school.
  3. Read a book – Visit your library for a selection of books on starting school, many also have videos and DVDs. Sit with your child and read the book or watch the video and explain how they will be doing something similar when school starts.
  4. Go Shopping – Go school shopping with them and let them be involved in the process of choosing their school supplies, lunch box and even clothes or uniform where appropriate. Let your child feel that he or she is older and can now choose some of their own things.
  5. Draw a Picture – Once you visit the new school have your child draw a picture of themselves at their new school. You may even be able to tell what your child is feeling by what he draws. Talk about the picture and how your child is feeling and then hang the picture up in a prominent place to remind everyone that school will be starting soon.

Above all remain light-hearted and upbeat even if you are feeling a little bit weepy yourself. Talk in a positive way of how much fun school will be and enjoy this milestone with your little one.

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Deciding whether or not to send your child to preschool is a question only you can answer because you know your child better than anyone. There are certain criteria, however, which can determine whether or not your child might be ready for preschool.

Research indicates that most preschoolers begin between the ages of two and four, and while it seems very young, it is nonetheless an important starting point in your child’s educational experience.

Here are some readiness tips for you to consider:

  • Your child can speak in short sentences
  • Your child can be understood by others
  • Your child exhibits listening skills
  • Your child is able to follow simple directions
  • Your child gets along with other children and can participate in play groups without incident
  • Your child can pay attention to the teacher
  • Your child can sit quietly and focus on an assigned project
  • Your child does not have separation anxiety – a little is normal, but crying for longer than a half hour shows signs of not being ready.

The age at which you send your child to preschool can only be determined by you and your assessment as to whether or not the child is ready, capable of listening and taking direction, playing with other children, sharing, and interacting in a friendly and polite manner.

You may not choose to send your child to preschool at such an early age, which is absolutely fine. You can begin teaching your child at home, and when you feel the child is physically and emotionally ready, a decision can then be made. There is no age defined time nor any law that says you have to commit to preschool at the tender age of two.

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Before teens begin to prepare for the new school year, it is important to set boundaries beforehand so they know what is expected of them as they continue on with their high school studies.

Curfew: A specific curfew should be set on school nights and weekends, especially if there are tests involved or they haven’t caught up with homework assignments, reports, or papers. If the teen does go out with friends, the parent should be told where he or she is going, and who will be accompanying them.

Homework: A certain amount of time should be allotted to homework and studying. No TV, video games, music, telephone conversations, or any other distraction should be present when teens study and/or work on their homework assignments.

After-School Employment: There are some teens who would like to earn extra cash, and working after school for a few hours a day might be considered. However, if it interferes with school work, or they begin putting in too much overtime, an alternative arrangement has to be made so that high school studies come before anything else.

Sleepovers: If your teen asks to stay at a friend’s house on the weekend, a curfew should be set in place and the parents of the other teen should be informed as well. In addition, unless a parent is present, it is recommended that your teen not be allowed to spend the night.

Report Cards: If a teen brings home a report card that signifies he or she is not doing well in all subjects, perhaps it would be time to discuss the reasons why the grades are low and find ways they can be improved. In the course of the discussion, perhaps your teen will open up and tell you about a certain problem or issue.

The teen years are fraught with self-image problems, physical and emotional problems, and anger and frustration. It is recommended that parents keep the lines of communication open with their teens. To let them know they understand and will always be available to listen or give advice if asked.

Remembering what it was like being a teenager, some may say it was great while others may say “it was no picnic.” Either way, teens need to feel safe, yet have room to breathe and grow. Though teens would never admit that parameters are a good thing, preparing and setting boundaries for the new school year is one way in which parents can help.

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