Monday, February 23, 2015

What's Happening?

It happened again. I met a child who was totally confused about something he or she should have learned at school. This time it was math, but I see it in reading, spelling, and other basic subjects.  These children, some as young as 5, find school a frustrating, confusing place.

The system probably can't or won't change in time for your child, but parents can help their child navigate through it. As a retired teacher I have seen how effective parents help their children. Here are some general suggestions:
  • I know it is personal but remember it is about your child - not you.
  • Before you talk with a teacher decide what you  need to ask, what you want, and what you will accept. It helps to write down questions before you have the meeting.
  • If you are having problems communicating with a teacher or with admin always, always, always take someone with you to the meeting. It can be a spouse, parents, in-law or best friend. Make sure to let them know you are going to be doing the talking, and you would appreciate them taking notes or reminding you of a topic you wanted to discuss.
  • If there is a surprise at the meeting, i.e your child is not going to pass, should be tested for an LD, etc., you may want to set up another meeting. This will give you time to gather your thoughts and write down questions.
  • Young children usually like school. Keep you negative statements outside of their young ears. Yes, you may dislike their teacher, hate the assignments, think that the other children are wild little animals, but your child needs to like school. It your child hates school, then you need to focus on why and not add fuel to the fire.

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