Now That We’ve Passed The 1st Grading Period – How Are We Getting Along At School And At Home?

As we celebrate our students and teachers we get to know more about their various learning styles.  We also find that depending on the age (younger are more receptive, where as the older MS/HS students like to be more independent) there is opportunities to incentivize study habits. We find that working at home can be a complicated process. Students first do need a time to play with friends and outside, and they also need a structured working at home patter doing homework as they prepare for adulthood.  Young men especially think that by osmosis the work will be absorbed in their sleep :).

Students At SC Philharmonic

I’m bringing this up because we know students will resist taking notes from their reading at home, they may not read at all when at home, and this will not be helpful as they mature, graduate, and attend higher education.  Of course these are skills that will need to be relearned should higher education be a part of their future.  Students and parents should have an understanding of required study times.  For example in Higher Education for every 1 hour in class 3 hours are expected for outside reading and research.  Now, this is not the case in HS but an hour is recommended of reading with some note taking expected during that time.

Such tools that aid a child in the classroom, and ways the teacher can better communicate success in the classroom requires study at home.  Although the expectations of the student in their learning process will fight you as the parent, you are shaping their skill sets as time progresses. These 3 items can make for a very successful student or it can bring about a good portion of frustration in years ahead.  For example, did the student remember to bring home the materials to study and if not what is a fair consequence?  Did the teacher communicate adequately for the work to be accomplished and did the student take any notes?

If not what assistive technology resources are available to assist the student in achieving a level of understanding where everyone is progressing.  For example, can a calculator or laptop assist in making math simpler if there is a disability / difference involved, or would a recording note-taking pen (Livescribe) be possible?  These types of items can make for a reduced level of frustration.  It will not eliminate the boundaries and consequences required for study habits to be formed.  If this goes unaddressed there will be long term issues for the child in adulthood.

The first step in such questions is to meet with Mrs. Cevallos of course to review your student’s profile.  Sometimes an accommodation is beneficial, but other times the student is using their disability to prevent an ability that they do have.  The next step is simply to talk with your classroom teacher about what is of importance according to their classroom plan (syllabus).  The teacher is on your side, and is supportive of your child’s progress.  I promise you, there is always two sides to a story when a student suggests otherwise, please come and observe the student in class (we would love to have you visit class).

The progress made from the 1st marking period in class between students and teachers will be the difference needed to keep everyone moving forward for a 2nd marking period.  My encouragement to you is to discuss this with your student, to make a plan as to how to best operate when at home (tv, friends, study times, reading locations, extra activities that may interfere with school like Boy Scouts or college football games) and what goals as a family do you wish for your student to embrace.

These shared goals with your student will either provide a reference point when an activity may be a diversion or when there is a lack of structure the family arguments increase.

Your agreement will aid in their overall understanding of your expectations, and can assist you in seeing the light at the end of the tunnel so you don’t, as the parent, feel like there is no long term hope when addressing your student’s requests.  There are counselors, and a great deal of research to support these comments, but that may not be enough for your student.  Please spend some time reading not just articles, but a few authors on this subject.  If you need some suggestions we have many.  Your success is our purpose for being.
Chris Winkler
Head of Glenforest School


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