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).
Connecting with teachers and staying on the pulse of your child’s every move at school is easier these days, thanks to the use of email, school websites, and teacher webpages. Parents can keep up on the details of their children’s academic lives, and kids can download assignments or login to apps such as Google Docs to access projects, all thanks to these modern conveniences.
Is there slower development of important life skills in kids, thanks to the internet? Specifically, I wonder about organizational and time management skills.
I’ve never been bungee jumping. My friend, who is also a teacher and mother, recently described to me what it’s like to bungee jump. She did it in Australia when she was free and wild and in her twenties.
You’re standing on the edge of the bungee platform, all prepared with safety gear in tact. You are storeys above the earth you see below. Deep breath. And then, you step off. The fall is steep and fast and drastic, and when you hit the end of the rope, you abruptly bounce around, up and down, side to side, violently and unpredictably, and anything can happen — you yell and scream and your throat hurts and the feeling of exhilaration takes over your body.
Back to school season is like the bungee jump, she said.
My son likes to beat me at any cost in board and card games. While playing Backgammon, he removes my pieces without mercy. In UNO, he is gleeful when I have to pick up. His ruthless, competitive edge freaks me out! He’s only ten! His sister couldn’t care less about winning. She prefers more cooperative activities.
Regardless of their attitudes towards game playing, my kids love to play games with me. It is a time to share laughter and conversation, never rushed, never pressured.
It’s a couple weeks into summer vacation, and while living at our cottage, I’ve watched my kids chill out after their busy school year. They are sleeping later, staying in their pjs for hours, spending time alone in their rooms, and doing a lot of nothing.