Articles from Pardes Jewish Day School
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“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents.” -Jane D. Hull
Parental involvement starts with communicating well with your child's teacher. Good communication involves meeting with the teacher, establishing a positive and respectful partnership together, and keeping the lines of communication open in various ways throughout the year.
Some of the simplest ways to create and maintain active communication are:
1. Attend the school open house. Even though time may be short, a few simple minutes can show your interest and support.
2. Attend parent teacher conferences. We are prepared and look forward to discussing your child’s progress with you. Parent Teacher Conferences are a wonderful time to touch base and learn about your child, as well as upcoming curriculum in the class.
3. Reach out quickly via email or phone call.Don’t wait until a situation builds and becomes difficult. We appreciate your direct and open communication.
- Please practice email and voicemail etiquette. Teachers are busy working with your children, and we don’t always have time to check email and voicemail. Please keep in mind your child is our priority, and that we will respond as soon as possible, most likely by the end of the day.
- Another essential when using email or voicemail is to keep the correspondence respectful, even if you are upset. Stay calm and choose your words wisely. Better yet, briefly outline your question or problem and simply request a meeting. A face to face meeting is the optimal way to discuss your child.
4. Find the right time to speak with the teacher. When you want to speak with your child’s teacher, please be aware that finding the right time is essential. It can often be difficult for teachers to talk at the curb or outside the classroom, as they are welcoming children in the morning or saying goodbye at dismissal, or in the grocery store. Please reach out, but ask to schedule a time that is convenient for both.
5. Be a partner with the teacher to support your child’s learning. Thirty years of research shows that children do better in school when their parents are involved. Some of the most important things you can do are to:
- Help with homework as needed and as is appropriate.
- Help your child learn the skills needed to manage time and stay on task.
- Refer to Schoology to stay abreast of homework, grades, class updates, and upcoming projects, quizzes, and tests.
- Ask teachers for clarification on instructions and assignments if needed.
- Talk about school matters with your student at home.
- Ask teachers what you can do to help your child at home.
As your children get older, teachers expect them to be able to take on more responsibility and to function independently. Your child likely will want more and more autonomy as well. Help them build these skills while also continuing to be supportive.
Parents and teachers communicating effectively and working together builds a wonderful support system for children and enhances the educational experience for everyone.
With the extra time in your child’s schedule this summer, it’s the perfect opportunity to advance their computer skills. There is so much to learn when it comes to computers, and the more you know, the easier school work will be when they get back from summer vacation. Have them play games to improve their typing, then encourage them to build their own game using code!
Type Like the Wind
Practice typing on a regular basis. There are many free and low-cost programs offered online or for download. Being able to type quickly will cut down on homework time during the school year, so have your child invest those minutes now. You will be glad you did!
Learn to Speak Computer
Learning a coding language is also a very good idea for students in the 21st Century. Once your student has learned to type, put them to work making anything they can imagine. One big incentive when learning to code is that if they learn enough, they could make a game like the games they play everyday on their gadgets. There are so many organizations that offer classes, workshops, and camps to get more kids coding.
Bring Code to Life
Learning to code is fun and using code to control robots could be even cooler! You can make robots that roll, grab and even draw. There are plenty of easy starter kits out there to make it easy to build small robots at home. Once your child makes their robot, they can use their programming skills to bring it to life!
Make it Presentable
And don’t forget to use this time to organize and edit online portfolios, email and electronic documents. That way when your child heads back to school, they can easily show their teachers and classmates all about the things they learned over the summer!
Boy, oh boy! This summer has been a hot one! High temperatures keep us inside and can sometimes decrease the amount of exercise we get. It’s important for kids to stay active this summer. Setting weekly goals for physical activity keeps children in shape and healthy.
Turn on your favorite musical and sing and dance to all of the songs! You can even turn this into a game of “freeze.” Play some music for a while and have them dance and sing until you pause the music. When the music stops have them hold their silly pose until the music starts to play again.
Keep it Cool
Whether you have a pool in the backyard, or you head to a public pool in the area, swimming together is one of the best ways to beat the heat and get some exercise. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Keep it Mellow
Try some yoga. Yoga is the perfect exercise for kids to do indoors! Yoga is quiet, slow and doesn’t require any additional equipment. Your kids only need their own body and little bit of space and they are ready to start posing. Here are a few poses to get you started!
A few other ways you can stay active during the hot summer months are:
- Take a walk in the early morning or late evening
- Join a family-friendly gym
- Challenge each other to an interactive video game
- Play hot potato
Learn Something New
Students should take advantage of summer’s extra free time to work on a hobby, interest or talent. Encouraging your child to use the time inside to learn a new instrument or talent could help them get ahead in all areas of their life.
Summer time offers the unique opportunity to enroll kids in lessons, classes, camps, or workshops to develop skills in an area of their choice. This will boost their self-confidence and improve their lives for years to come!