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Do You Speak Your Child’s Love Language?

All children have the need to be unconditionally loved and accepted, especially by their parents.  The experience of receiving love, respect and acceptance is tied to a child’s sense of self-worth and value which many experts believe is the foundation for several important childhood outcomes such as academic success, decision making, problem solving, healthy relationships and more. How do you show love to your child?  Did you know that every child (like every adult) expresses and receives love best through one of five communication styles called their “love language”?  Psychologist, Gary Chapman, Ph.D. and Dr. Ross Campbell, M.D., in their book The Five Love Languages of Children have identified these five styles.    They assert that when you identify and communicate with your child in their primary love language that you meet their deepest emotional needs thereby providing them with the best preparation possible for a healthy and satisfying future. What is your child’s primary love... Continue reading Do You Speak Your Child’s Love Language?

Handling Holiday Stress

As we enter the holiday season you may be feeling tired, stressed and out of time. Your child may be feeling the very same way. Consequently, our holiday expectations of joy and family time can take a back seat to the disappointment of impatience, short tempers and frustration. There is good reason however, to protect your family time and joy from whatever the joy “stealers” are in your life and in the life of your kids. There is a significant amount of research surrounding the science of joy and why it is important for you and your child to be intentional about increasing joy, not just at the holidays but every day. Some of the benefits of joyful living are: • Increased life span • Better health • More satisfying relationships • Goal attainment • Greater fulfillment in work and daily pursuits Of course these are outcomes that we would like for both our kids and ourselves. The demands of parenting, especially the challenges of raising school age kids can thwart our efforts of seeking... Continue reading Handling Holiday Stress

Welcome Back to School Parents!

Hopefully your family has had a smooth transition to the routines of school.  Here are a few tips to improve homework struggles and to get the most out of the up-coming October parent-teacher conferences. Schedule yours today! HOMEWORK TIPS…… Allow your child time to decompress after school.  A light, healthy snack a chat with you or about 20 minutes outside can do wonders when it is time to sit down and focus on homework. Make homework time the same time each day.  Building homework into the regular routine will decrease homework battles.  Assume your child will need about 10 minutes of time, per grade level.  So expect a fifth grade student to need about 50 minutes a day for homework.  Most importantly, try to get homework done before tiredness sets in.  Homework will take twice as long and be at least twice as difficult the later it is done. Help your child know when it’s time to move on.  There comes a point of diminished returns when it comes to homework.  If your child is... Continue reading Welcome Back to School Parents!

Our new-look elementary gradebooks/Parent Portal

If something looks different when you check grades in Parent Portal (aka Infinite Campus), it’s by design. As part of our focus on personalized learning, we modified Parent Portal to match a grading system that measures learning — the concepts a student knows and can apply. Too often in the past, traditional grades were goals to reach in order to stop learning. That’s not productive or a reflection of how people actually learn. Learning is a process — sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes it requires extra review and practice. And a final grade, especially at elementary, should reflect a year’s worth of learning. Here’s what’s different in Parent Portal: Subjects (math, reading, etc.) are organized by Power Standard and learning targets. Each subject has Power Standards and under each Power Standard are learning targets. Students show their teacher they have learned each target and once all targets are learned, we are confident the student can apply that Power Standard.... Continue reading Our new-look elementary gradebooks/Parent Portal

Our New-look Elementary Gradebooks/Parent Portal

If something looks different when you check grades in Parent Portal (aka Infinite Campus), it’s by design. As part of our focus on personalized learning, we modified Parent Portal to match a grading system that measures learning — the concepts a student knows and can apply. Too often in the past, traditional grades were goals to reach in order to stop learning. That’s not productive or a reflection of how people actually learn. Learning is a process — sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes it requires extra review and practice. And a final grade, especially at elementary, should reflect a year’s worth of learning. Here’s what’s different in Parent Portal: • Subjects (math, reading, etc.) are organized by Power Standard and learning targets. Each subject has Power Standards and under each Power Standard are learning targets. Students show their teacher they have learned each target and once all targets are learned, we are confident the student can apply that Power Standard.... Continue reading Our New-look Elementary Gradebooks/Parent Portal

Top 10 Back To School Tips

You did it! The kids are back in school, routines have been established (well mostly) and another begins. Here are ten tips to help your family navigate the transition more smoothly. 1.  Limit after school activities.  Over-scheduling undermines your child’s overall success in school, at home and with friends.  Keep the schedule simple and predictable. 2.  Ensure adequate sleep & nutrition.Most children require 10 hours of sleep nightly.  Healthy meals and snacks (non-processed, fresh foods) fuel optimal school performance. 3.  Create predictable and manageable routines. Routines provide structure, self- control and build time management skills.  Post the schedule on your refrigerator. 4.  Build down-time into your schedule.  Your child needs time to play outside every day.  Outdoor time is good for your child’s brain, body, creativity and reduces stress. 5.  Help your child get organized. Make a daily checklist (do homework, get mom/ dad to sign planner, pack... Continue reading Top 10 Back To School Tips

Summer, Summer, Summer!

It’s true, school is almost out.  You may have lots planned already or perhaps you haven’t given it much thought yet.  But it’s coming.  Your kids are excited.  No more text books, teachers and homework, for a few months anyway.  For parents however, summer may present mixed feelings.  You might be excited for the change in routine too.  But with the change in routine comes the question, “What do I do with the kids all summer”?  Then there’s the kids question that generally happens sometime during the first week of summer break, “I’m bored, what can I do?”  Ah, the joy of summer! As parents we want to consider summer activities that do more than simply fill time.  We want to be intentional about the developmental opportunities that summer presents.  Here are a few important suggestions for helping you and your kids make the most of the warm, wonderful days of summer. Make an idea jar.  With your kids, brainstorm ideas for things they can do at home this summer and write them down on... Continue reading Summer, Summer, Summer!

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKING HARD AND BEING A PERFECTIONIST?

Most likely you were raised with the idea that it is important to work hard and do your best at everything you do.  It can be the foundation of a great work ethic.  Unfortunately though,  some kids will misinterpret doing your best or working hard at somethings as meaning being the best and/or being perfect.  This kind of thinking can lead to Perfectionism.  Although having high standards is generally a positive characteristic, perfectionism can lead to negative consequences and undermine success. Perfectionists may exhibit some of the following behaviors: Spend lots of time worrying about school work, friendships, activities etc. Afraid of making mistakes (embarrassment). Often run out of time on projects, homework or timed tests. Always have to win. Has to make “A’s”. Reluctant to try new things or will quit if they are unable to do it well right away. Angry with themselves for not being able to do things just right. Have a hard time making choices/decisions. Always compare their... Continue reading WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKING HARD AND BEING A PERFECTIONIST?

Parent Input on Student Placement Forms

Parent Input on Student Placement Forms Student Placement Process for 2017-2018 begins soon. In the coming months, our teachers will begin the process of creating next year’s class placements. We will be working hard to consider the following factors as we create next year’s classes: Academic achievement Emotional/social combinations Effective grouping Special needs of students Teaching styles Gender balance If you have information about your child you believe should be considered as we build next year’s classes, please pick up a form that is available beginning on April 3rd called Parent Input on Student Placement. These forms will be available in the office. Please understand that many factors need to be considered as we build class lists. While your input is valued, we may not be able to honor special requests. We do our best to place all children in a classroom that best meets individual needs. The forms will be available in the office after April 3rd with a... Continue reading Parent Input on Student Placement Forms

Mindset Matters!!!

As parents, we are always looking for ways to bolster our teen’s self- confidence.  Most of us have been using praise as a way to cheer them on from the time they took their first steps and we continue to do so as they take on new challenges.    We praise our children’s efforts with the very best of intentions. Dr. Carol Dweck, of Stanford University has done extensive research on the use and effects of praise on student’s academic performance that may cause us to rethink how we praise and coach our kids.  The details of her research can be found in her book, Mindset, The New Psychology of Success. Her research found that kids who are praised for their intelligence are less likely to pursue more difficult or challenging tasks, and children who are praised for their hard work and effort are more likely to persist in challenging or difficult tasks.  Of course we want our kids to work hard and persevere in their school work whether that be trying to figure out a really difficult math... Continue reading Mindset Matters!!!