22 Feb 0

How to Help Your Child Adjust to a New School

Whether they realize it or not, most children find comfort in routines and can develop healthy habits when placed on a regular schedule. When a child switches from a familiar environment to a brand new school, he or she often has a difficult time adapting to an unfamiliar routine. Making friends, building relationships with teachers, and completing schoolwork are tough for newly transferred students. To keep your child from falling behind, here’s a guide to help your young student adjust to a new school.

First Day Preparation

First impressions are important at every stage in life. Just as you would want your first day at a new job to go smoothly, your child similarly wants everything to be perfect on their first day at a new school. To help put their mind at ease, visit your child’s school a few days before the start of class to develop a sense of familiarity. Have them locate their classroom, locker, restrooms, cafeteria, school office, and other important locations in the building.

Then, the night before the first day of class, make sure that your child’s clothes are laid out before bedtime. Have them pack their backpack with school supplies and make sure that they have a lunch prepared or that they have money to buy lunch at school. Afterward, have your child go to bed early, ensuring a good nights sleep before their big day at a new environment.

A healthy breakfast is a great way to boot your child's energy for their big day.

A healthy breakfast is a great way to boost your child’s energy for their big day.

In the morning, make sure that your child wakes up with plenty of time to get ready, as a rushed morning can set the course for a stressful day, and have them eat a well-balanced breakfast. If your schedule allows, it’s also best if you can drive your child to school on their first day, which can help add a touch of comfort to their new adventure.

School Involvement

It’s normal for children to shy away from extracurricular activities when attending a new school. To counteract this, try finding out which activities your child’s school offers and encourage them to join a club or two. While you may encounter some initial resistance, it’s best to remind your child that they’ll have a better time in their new environment if they can make new friends while participating in something that they enjoy. Pull out old photographs of your own school talent shows and choir concerts and describe to your child how much you loved being part of a school organization. Or play a round of basketball or soccer to show how much fun participating in sports can be. They’ll soon realize that they don’t need to be shy and can take an interest in more school activities.

Encourage your child to join school activities by playing sports with them at home.

Encourage your child to join school activities by playing sports with them at home.

Parental Support

Even if you try to do everything right, your child may still become depressed and withdrawn in their new school setting. Even if they fall behind or act out in school, try and remain a constant source of support and encouragement. Make sure that you’re always available to listen to your child’s frustrations, hurts, or fears, and seek out professional help if you start to see signs of depression or other emotional disorders. As long you react to your child’s problems in a positive and loving way, they can find comfort in your family’s stable environment, which will help them in the long run of life.

Thanks to Cheap Movers Chicago (www.cheapchicagomovers.net | tumblr) for contributing to today’s post. When it comes to Chicago relocations, these guys are experts. Let them handle the logistics of your transition, so you can focus on the more important things, like helping your little ones adjust to a new school.

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23 Jan 0

Reasons You Should Join the PTA at Your Child’s School

Taking an active role your child’s education can help their success as a student and help you to understand the school’s methods and strategies at the same time. One of the ways that you can do this is by joining a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). A PTA is a community group that works together to advance the education, environment, and quality of a school. If you’re interested in helping your child do well in their classes, here are a few reasons why you should join their school’s PTA program.

Advance Your Child’s Development

As one study conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education shows, children of involved parents tend to do better academically than those whose parents have no involvement. The study also indicates that these children can develop better behavioral skills and have fewer disciplinary issues, giving parents a huge incentive to join forces with a school to help promote their emotional growth.

Develop a Supportive Community

Schools depend on parents more than ever to organize events, raise money, and participate in activities. By helping a school run different programs that support teachers and administrators, you can create a caring and supportive school environment that’s beneficial to the entire community.

Joining a PTA is beneficial to the whole community.

Joining a PTA is beneficial to the whole community.

Stay Connected

Being part of a PTA will guarantee you privileged information on upcoming decisions, changes, and events that are taking place at your child’s school. You’ll be able to stay connected to the latest news and updates, and will be better prepared for any transitions that the school may go through.

Meet Other Parents

PTA meetings can give you the opportunity to meet other parents who have the same struggles or concerns as you. You’ll have the chance to talk with someone who knows how you feel, which can include homework duties, behavioral issues, or dealing with stress as a parent. It can feel good to vent and discuss education issues with other parents and is an excellent way to make friends as well.

Make a Difference

Volunteering with a PTA can allow you to put your individual skills to use, as they usually plan get-togethers, fundraisers, charity events, and parties that the whole family can enjoy together. These events will benefit the school and can play a significant role in the lives of your children.

Make a difference in the eyes of your child and in the lives of other children.

Make a difference in the eyes of your child and in the lives of other children.

Set a Good Example

As you get involved in the education of your children, they’ll begin to see that you care for them and want the best for their future. By staying active in their school, you can set a good example for your students and help them get more involved in their school as well. In time, they may want to further the education of other students, creating a ripple effect of change around the community and beyond.

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17 Jan 0

5 Ways to Get Parents Involved as Classroom Volunteers

Enlisting the help of parents in classroom settings can improve student achievement within our schools. In fact, students have been shown to exhibit fewer behavioral issues and perform better academically when other adults are included in classroom activities. And with an overall higher class morale and improved communication between parents and teachers, everyone wins when parents pitch in their share of involvement. If you’re interested in recruiting a few adults to volunteer in your class, here are five ways to get parents involved as classroom volunteers.

1. Be Direct

When different teachers have varying expectations about what’s expected in their classroom, things can get a bit confusing. Parents can be cautious or hesitant when it comes to volunteering, as they don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or cause any trouble. Instead of being vague about how great it would be to see parents in your classroom, give them specific details on what your expectations might be. It would also be wise to write a letter to parents about how many volunteers you’d like to have each week and the responsibilities you plan on giving them.

Write a letter to parents about specific classroom needs. Write a letter to parents about specific classroom needs.

2. Develop Relationships

Whenever the opportunity arises, try to develop relationships with your students’ parents. Whether it’s at drop-off, pick-up, or outside of school, be friendly and proactive when talking to parents. If anyone ever shares particular strengths that they have, such as artistic skills or math prowess, keep that in mind to use in your classroom and present the idea of volunteering when the time comes.

3. Provide Motivation

Some parents might be interested in helping out the entire classroom, while others might be motivated on a more personal level. For example, if you’ve shared with a student’s parents that their child needs to work on developing creative ideas in writing, perhaps one of them can volunteer during your writing period to help aid the whole class. The parents can watch you teach a lesson and then help your students (as well as their own child) put new skills into action.

4. Be Considerate

Volunteers won’t feel comfortable or respected in your classroom if they have to crouch down in a corner. To avoid this, be sure to set aside one or two desks and chairs to act as a volunteer station. Parents will then have a place to put down their things and feel more connected to the environment. Even though it’s a small detail, this sign of consideration can lead to a greater volunteer return rate.

Give volunteers their own space within your classroom. Give volunteers their own space within your classroom.

5. Show Gratitude

Since most parents have busy schedules with very little free time, they’ll appreciate being thanked each time they volunteer in your classroom. In fact, many parents will want to come back and help when they realize how welcomed and important they are. Have your students write or draw notes about how grateful they are to have each volunteer in the class and compile a book as part of a thank you gift.

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