As you know, on Thursday of this week, we are going to have our first quarter parent - teacher conferences. Again this year, students will participate in these conferences. Those who are ready to do so will even lead the conference. They are busy planning for this now.
This is still not a common practice, although more schools are adopting it. You may wonder why we do it. Simply put, we want students to be the "owner" of their education. If you are the parent of young students, then you make most decisions for them. As they grow and mature, you will make fewer of their decisions. They will naturally grow into this role. You will be with them to advise them along the way. Leading their own educational conference is one step in the process of growth and maturity. That's why as a parent you increasingly make them responsible for the school work. It's a valuable part of the experience. We want our students not to just be passive learners but assertive leaders in their education process.
At the conference, depending upon their age, they will describe what they have learned, what they expect and hope to learn, and how their grades show this. As students are increasingly able to do this, you should get accurate reports on their progress from them in the future.
Although students are only present briefly on that day, it's an important part of their education and counts as a school day. If you have any questions about it, please contact me. I so appreciate hearing from parents by email and in person.
In His Service,
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I'm curious about how many of us have regular chores for our children. When I was growing up child labor was far more common. My dad used to say that just when I could finally do a full day's work on the farm I went off to first grade.
According to a recent survey this is not the case in today's household. In that survey 82% of parents said doing chores was a normal household experience when they were a child, but only 28% of the same parents said they asked their kids to do chores.
Why is this? In the survey several reasons were given. Some parents believe their children are too stressed out to do both homework chores. Many didn't want to fight the battle. Some said it was just plain easier to do the work themselves than to teach their children to do it.
Let me be clear about this. None of those are good reasons. Of course it's easier to do it ourselves, but it's better to teach our children to do it. Chores really don't take very long, if they are done correctly and with proper training. The problem comes when we just tell children to do something without taking the time to show them how to do it.
In a study of chores done by the University of Mississippi, Dr. Marti Rossman found that chores instilled in children the importance of contributing to their family. He also concluded that those people who had done chores as young children were more likely to be well-adjusted and have better relationships with their peers.
So how do you start chores? Select something that is age-appropriate, that is simple enough for your children to accomplish. Show them exactly how to do it. Have them help you do it. Help them do it. Watch them do it. Don't leave out any of the steps. Problems arise when we simply dump chores on children without taking the time needed to work with them on how to do the chores themselves. Describe the importance of what they are doing and how it helps the family. Model a good work ethic for them. Don't sit on the sofa watching TV while they are mopping the floor. I think you will be surprised how proud children are of the work they accomplish. This weekend would be a good time to begin.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal