Welcome to a New Year
Your child is a little more independent and capable today than he or she was when school started. I’m so proud of our 6th graders who worked incredibly hard to produce a moving exhibition about resilience that inspired those of us who had the pleasure of viewing it in December. It wasn’t all THAT long ago that they were in kindergarten… learning to write. Now they can use their writing to move and inspire their community.
Your child is on an exciting educational journey. Take a minute to stop and reflect on the growth and progress your child has made since August. Imagine how much more they can do over the next six months!! What is your child excited about accomplishing by the end of the year? By the end of 6th grade? January is a great time to set goals together as a family.
La Mesa Dale Lions, chase your goals until you’ve conquered them!!
Laying the Foundation - Homework
The key to truly helping kids with homework is to know when to step in. Make sure your kids know that you're available if there's a snag, but that it's important to work independently. Encourage effort and determination — not just the grades they get.
Be a good example by showing your own love of learning. While your child does homework, do your own — read books, magazines, and newspapers; write letters, lists, and emails; use math skills to calculate expenses or balance the checkbook. By showing that learning remains important — even fun — once school's over, you'll help your kids understand that building knowledge is something to enjoy throughout life.responsibility for the questions from you to your child.
Easy as 1-2-3
For kids, all tasks can be broken down into a 1-2-3 process.
1. Getting organized means a kid gets where he or she needs to be and gathers the supplies needed to complete the task.
2. Staying focused means sticking with the task and learning to say "no" to distractions.
3. Getting it done means finishing up, checking your work, and putting on the finishing touches, like remembering to put a homework paper in the right folder and putting the folder inside the backpack so it's ready for the next day.
Once kids know these steps — and how to apply them — they can start tackling tasks more independently. That means homework, chores, and other tasks will get done with increasing consistency and efficiency. Of course, kids will still need parental help and guidance, but you probably won't have to nag as much.
Not only is it practical to teach these skills, but knowing how to get stuff done will help your child feel more competent and effective. Kids feel self-confident and proud when they're able to accomplish their tasks and responsibilities. They're also sure to be pleased when they find they have some extra free time to do what they'd like to do.
Things to Remember
It will take time to teach kids how to break down tasks into steps. It also will take time for them to learn how to apply these skills to what needs to be done. Sometimes, it will seem simpler just to do it for them. It certainly would take less time.
Here's why it's worth your time and effort:
*Kids learn new skills that they'll need — how to pour a bowl of cereal, tie shoes, match clothes, complete a homework assignment.
*They'll develop a sense of independence. Kids who dress themselves at age 4 feel like big kids. It's a good feeling that will deepen over time as they learn to do even more without help. From these good feelings, kids begin to form a belief about themselves — "I can do it."
*Your firm but kind expectations that your kids should start tackling certain jobs on their own send a strong message. You reinforce their independence and encourage them to accept a certain level of responsibility. Kids learn that others will set expectations and that they can meet them.
*This kind of teaching can be a very loving gesture. You're taking the time to show your kids how to do something — with interest, patience, love, kindness, and their best interests at heart. This will make kids feel cared for and loved. Think of it as filling up a child's toolbox with crucial life tools.
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. - John Dewey