Here we are in the heart of winter…..
….and I’m going to tell you something about summer:
It’s time to think about your kids’ summer activities.
Huh? What the heck is that?!
You won’t find a definition for this buzz word in the Oxford Dictionary. Or any other formal English dictionary for that matter. But you’ll hear it among young people, who have used the term for a couple years now – when referring to “behaving” like a responsible adult.
Urban Dictionary defines adulting: to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.
High school students who seek my services often complain about their lack of motivation, trouble with focus, or ongoing procrastination.
My diagnosis: a lack of clear goals.
Without goals during your educational journey, you could drift through your courses, school day after school day, and probably not fulfill your academic potential.
Recently, I’ve been reading about the life skills kids need to be successful and independent in the 21st century. In the real world.
I’ve read books and articles through a “teacher lens,” but can’t avoid my other “parent lens.” Some information has caused me to cringe, while I reflect on my parenting style!
Have my own kids acquired life skills, age-appropriately?
I’m not sure I’ve done enough pushing to get my two teens to contribute to household chores, yard work, pet care, and cooking. Have you?
If you have a teenager in grades nine or ten, it’s time to get thinking about her career interests and goals.
Make a plan.
Think about finances.
Make sure that your teenager accomplishes key goals before the busy grade twelve year of graduation and applications.
Does your child speak up for herself?
Does she express her wants and needs to the adults in her life? Think about the vital life skill of self-advocacy and how your child works it. How would she self-advocate at school?
Most of us can name a few amazing teachers who shaped who we are today. The teacher who pushed you to think outside the box, the teacher who motivated you to fulfill your potential, the teacher who inspired you to love learning.
What about the dreadful teachers in your past?
What do you do when your child has a monster teacher?
Through play, a children make sense of the world around them. They develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence they need to engage in new experiences and environments.
Learning through play includes social rules and boundaries, literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, language acquisition, empathy, cooperation, and social, physical, and emotional skills.
Play is an activity chosen by the child, not the teacher or parent. It is a natural process.
With Parent-Teacher interviews approaching, are you filled with anxiety and nerves? Does sitting in that small kindergarten chair, across from your child’s teacher, take you back to the days when you got in trouble at school?
Whatever your feelings or childhood experiences, you must maximize the fraction of time you’ll get to chat about your child’s progress at school.
Remember: a strong, communicative, and positive teacher-parent-student relationship is essential for student success. As the parent, you can make a huge difference in your child’s success, by doing your part in this three-way relationship. Build a respectful and ongoing rapport, become an ally with the teacher, and you will show your child you’re on board, and engaged, with all academic strategies, expectations, and activities.
There are certain days in the school year that are tough for teachers: class photo day, the last day of school, Valentine’s Day, concert dress rehearsal day, and the dreaded report-cards-go-home day. I guess it’s because the kids are out of their routine or expecting something different. The days with indoor recesses and lunches can push teachers to their limits, and windy days are often the toughest. (When it’s windy, the kids become a bit “possessed.” That’s a whole other blog post.)
None is as awful as Halloween.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Ontario. I asked my almost-thirteen-year-old daughter what she is thankful for. Without thinking, she replied, “My phone, my books, shower water and shampoo, my bed, and my bedroom door.” Wow. Out of the mouths of tweens. Apparently I have some work to do! Time for some meaningful gratitude lectures.
Her younger brother, listening from the next room, shouted out some things that I found more pleasing than hers: “food, friends, education, sports, and Summer,” (Summer is our Labradoodle pup).