'Tis the Season for Parent-Teacher Conferences in Texas
The end of the 9-week grading period is among us. Many students had a couple of days off and found themselves back in the classroom for the infamous parent-teacher conference. For many students (and parents), this is a stressful time as grades must be entered, missed work must be accounted for, and we’re all a little on edge if we hear some not-so-great news.
So, we’re here with some tips to help that conversation between you and the teacher and hopefully some effective tips for implementing structure at home. At Planting Seeds Tutoring & Test Prep, we’re all about high performing students both inside and outside the classroom!
Questions to Ask
Let this year be the year that you, as a parent, support learning at home with effective questions directed at your student’s teacher. Oftentimes, it can be hard to bring up questions that you may not even know how to ask – trust us, plenty of us have been there with our own kiddos!
So, what do you do when you’re at the parent-teacher conference and your concerns need to be raised? Let’s go over a few key questions:
1) What are some study habits we can try at home?
Studying is a key element for a students’ success. Performing homework consistently will increase retention for students and build independence, confidence, and set a great foundation for lifelong learning.
2) What is this school’s STAAR report card?
The STAAR report card will likely determine what the students will focus on throughout the year to increase the likelihood of passing the STAAR test. Be sure that your child is receiving adequate instruction in the weaker performance areas.
3) What programs are in place for discipline? What about phone use during class?
This is a must. Don’t be caught off guard during a stressful situation. Some schools require parents to pay in order to retrieve a child’s phone,
4) How can I access the syllabus?
The syllabus will allow you to supplement with worksheets, extracurricular activities to support retention and understanding, and will assist tutors in instructing your student.
5) What systems are in place to prevent bullying?
Implementing habits is difficult, but we’re here to help with some tips we’ve shared earlier this year. We’re going to suggest increasing focusing stamina via exercise, reading, and implementing homework tips.
1) Habits + Structure = Success
If your student has developed the habit of procrastination, this can modify a kid’s stress response to homework. Does anyone want to do something that makes them feel afraid, nervous, and gives them legitimate FOMO? Of course not!
Establishing the daily habit of setting aside time in a quiet, undisturbed place will allow a kid (no matter the age) to restructure his or her thinking about homework from a negative to a positive experience. Tip: don’t let siblings, pets, or family disrupt this time, and don’t schedule fun things for the rest of the family to do during this time. Does the student have a favorite show? Don’t schedule homework during that time. That will likely train your child to hate homework!
Think of it as imperative to your child’s success. Because truly, independent relearning is how we remember more complex structures of thinking. We truly are incredible!
Having a reward system for your kids is always a great way to get them to do homework! Use popular methods that you know is unique to your child. We’ve heard it described as the “When you…” statements (“When you finish your homework, you can….”
Also having the set-aside homework time right before a favorite show is a popular method to have a set time where homework must be completed.
3) Reading Tips
Many elementary schools stress the importance of reading daily with your child. Hey, by the way, we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE that habit in all children! But did you know that ADULTS could benefit from setting aside 20 minutes a day to read? Other than general knowledge, reading has been shown to increase vocabulary, brain function, and even sleep!
Here are some books we recommend for children and young adults:
- Amelia Bedelia
- Mercer Mayer Books
- Dr. Seuss books
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Harry Potter
- Shel Silverstein
- Night by Elie Wiesel
And here are some recommendations for adults:
- 7 Habits for Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Let us know some of your recommendations in the comments!
4) Exercising – Improve Mental Stamina Away from Homework
Children (and adults) who are consistently active reap plenty of physical and mental benefits from regular exercising. Just some of the benefits are:
- Improved sleep
- Improved brain function and focus
- Hormone regulation (particularly important for growing teens!)
- Mood regulation
And you know what’s really great about exercising? Playing! Knocking out your to-do list! The utilization of the METS system (Metabolic equivalent, a.k.a how tasks that include bodily movement, including daily chores, are rated) shows that vacuuming, walking up and down stairs, or playing outside can yield considerable METs. Even playing an instrument can yield exercise-related benefits! So, that’s a little bit more motivation to get your household cleaning done with a little more gusto, eh?
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