How to Be More Involved in Your Child’s School

How to Be More Involved in Your Child's School

The school year has just started and the teachers and students are getting to know each other, and buckling down with academics. The most important job your child has is with their school. Education is one of the most important things for a young person and as a parent, you can encourage and support this in a variety of ways. Did you know that most teachers work an average of 50 – 60 hours a week! Their day does not end when they leave the school. Teachers work on projects, grade papers, spend hours learning new curriculum, the list goes on and on. How can you as a parent help teachers? One way you can do this is by becoming involved in your child’s school. A dear friend of mine bought me a coffee mug last year that says “Stop me before I volunteer again.” I love helping my child’s school. Volunteering does not cost you a thing! When you are involved, you are showing your child that their school and the work that their teachers do is important. When you care, your children will care more. You are the first step when it comes to giving your child the best education possible.

Here are a few ways of how to be more involved in your child’s school:

  • Volunteer to help in the classroom. Most teachers send home forms at the beginning of the year to see if parents want to volunteer and in what capacity, but you can always ask your child’s teacher at any time how you can help.
  • Volunteer to chaperone events or field trips. Chaperones are often needed for field trips and other events that deviate from the normal school routine.
  • Become part of the PTA/HSA. Almost all schools have some sort of parent organization and this is a great way to get involved!
  • ALWAYS read notes and sign letters/folders that come home from school promptly. It can be tough when you have a busy schedule already, but looking at their folders shows that it is important and also keeps you up to date.
  • Talk to children about their day. Sometimes just simply talking about school is a good way to be more involved. Ask them how they liked their classes, what new things they learned, and what friends they made.
  • Ask teachers if they are low on supplies (do this throughout the school year). Last year I was the “treasure box lady” my son’s teacher asked since I was so good with couponing if I would look for prizes for the treasure box. I scored some AMAZING deals at Target and on Amazon (I shared these deals with you as I found them), I filled up the treasure box with Lego Minifigures, Star Wars items, arts and craft kits, and more. Everything I bought and resupplied throughout the year only came to about $15!! There is probably enough left over for the next two years of students that come through his classroom. Savvy Shopping and helping teachers!

Now that you have these ideas for being more involved in your child’s school, you can plan accordingly and be supportive not only to your student but also the teachers. School is challenging for children in a variety of ways. You help when you take time to get involved. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2016 – 2017 school year!

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Back to School: Organization Tips For Disorganized Kids!

Back to School: Organization Tips For Disorganized Kids

There are several ways for children to be successful in school, but it is not always easy. Many kids, and adults for that matter, lack the knowledge of how to use organization as a tool for success. Often times, it just takes a little organization to help kids. How do you know what type of organization strategy will work for your child? It might take some trial and error, but the following tips can ease the struggle.

10 Ways to Help Kids Get Organized for Back to School Success

Consistency is Key:

1. Schedules not only provide consistency, they provide security for kids. Create a schedule with your child for before school and after school activities. Visual Schedules work great for kids who are not yet readers or struggle with reading.
2. Routines are vital to organization. Again, the routines should be consistent. Every morning, after school, and bed time need to be the same every school day and night. Now, there are times where that isn’t always possible, but your child should know that at a specific time, they are doing a specific task.
3. Regular bedtimes are part of the routines you establish, but the time for bed needs to be carefully considered depending on your child’s age, activities, and personality. Some kids require more sleep than others, but regardless of how much sleep they get, their bodies actually need that time in order to grow physically and mentally. It also provides kids’ brains with clarity when they receive the rest they need.
4. Have a consistent time during the week when you do a backpack clean out and go through everything that’s inside. Put things in their designated spots and start with a fresh, clean backpack.
5. Get all materials that will need to go to school the next day ready before bedtime. Put everything in the backpack that must go and set it in a place where your child can pick it up and go.

Parental Guidance is a Must:

1. When helping a disorganized child get organized, it’s important to break tasks down into steps. Most of the time the disorganized child is overwhelmed and needs help looking at the larger task in smaller and more attainable steps.
2. Be sure to use specific language when breaking the task down. You will want to make sure your child completely understands what he or she needs to accomplish in each step.
3. Communicate often with the teacher to see how your child is progressing.
4. Be a role model. If you are going to expect a behavior from your child, you should model that behavior yourself so that your child understands how being organized can be a successful tool.
5. Get your child’s input. Find out what they think would help him get organized. Maybe he has an idea that you hadn’t thought of. Give it a try.

It’s not always easy to help a child learn to be organized. However, it can be done with help from you and the tips above. If something doesn’t work, it is ok, just readjust and try something else. The key is that it works for your child so that they can have success in school and for a lifetime.

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New School Year Means New Beginnings

Bullying

Recently our family has made it a point to have family movie night (where even I put down my computer gasp ;)). Recently we watched the movie Forrest Gump (one of my favorite movies). My son laughed throughout the movie and afterwards said he really enjoyed it. We said good night and everyone went to bed or so I thought. Sometime in the night my little one crawled in beside me and woke me with a question.

“Momma were kids mean to you because of your cerebral palsy (leg braces) and left arm curled up?” Wow umm didn’t think I’d have to explain this to my child in the middle of the night. However I was honest with him.

Many of my readers know I have cerebral palsy which has required me to wear leg braces and arm braces of various sizes and lengths ever since I was 10 months old. I am proud to say I was a Shriners Kid! Years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy have helped me to the point that when I wear jeans, most people do not even know the struggle I have fought. However that was not always the case.

When I was in elementary school, the kids were very cruel to me, mostly in the 4th – 6th grade. They would call me names, laugh and point at me, and would not let me play with them. One was so cruel that he broke my arm! Till this day I still remember EVERY single one of their names.

As I got older though, I made some great friends, and high school was awesome even a safe haven of sorts for me. I had a few big brothers who NEVER let the few bullies in high school bother her. The two who were always close by were Brian L , who would simply give a bully “that look” and they would back off, Brian later in life fought his own health battles and overcame them. The other young man who protected me in high school was Ricky H. He always turned my frown into a smile. He told me never to listen to the people who were mean, as I was a beautiful young lady who was going places. This gentleman is now a decorated member of our Armed Forces and a father of two beautiful little girls. To this day, I am thankful for these friends.

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When I got into college I had a ton of big brothers. They were the entire Georgia Southern University football team. I was a football manager for the wide receivers. My wide receivers were very protective of me. On my first date in college, they were all in the dorm lobby with their arms crossed as I got into my dates truck. Till this day I still smile when I think of them being so protective of “their football manager Melissa” I still talk to a majority of my protective big brothers even after 12 years!

[Read more…]

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Pay It Forward In Your Community – Spread Kindness Not Hate

Pay It Forward - How a cup of coffee could change your life IMG (2)

I want to pose a challenge to all every person reading this! This week I want every one of you to do something kind for someone else, Pay It Forward! It does not cost anything to be kind. You can hold a door open for a stranger, help an older neighbor bring in their garbage cans, the list goes on and on. Teach your children and grandchildren this trait, better yet let them help. Case and point, while looking for Pokemon after church yesterday, we met a homeless woman (she was resting in a parking lot), my son had snacks in the back seat and got out of the car and gave what we had to her. This morning we paid for the person behind us in line at Starbucks ( I had a gift card). You may never know the persons name, but for at least one moment, you made another person smile, and offered kindness. Neither of these things cost anything.. get out there and be kind..Pay It Forward!

Paying It Forward: It Only Takes A Minute

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Getting Back into a Routine after a Fun Summer

schedule

You have had a great summer, filled with fun outings. You’ve stayed up late and slept in, getting used to a more relaxed routine. It’s been perfectly fine to do this, that is, until you realize that it’s time to get back into the normal routine. How are you going to go from having no set schedule back to a regular routine? Follow these tips to make it easier to transition from a fun summer to a normal day.

 

Get Some Sleep

Your sleep schedule is the first thing that goes when you have some time off. The sun doesn’t set until later at night in the summer, and you have some extra freedom to stay up late. When you stay up late, of course you’re going to want to sleep in too. To make it easier to get back into a routine, you need to go back to your normal sleep schedule. Decide what sleep schedule you will most likely follow when you are back in your normal routine, and a week or two before you start back up, try to go to bed and wake up at those times. This will allow your body to have time to adjust back to your normal sleep schedule, and you won’t feel as exhausted that first day back.

 

Make a List

It is very hard to get motivated once you have had some time off. You’re used to getting things done as needed, and you’re able to postpone things that can wait. Now that you need to get back into your normal routine, make a list of what you would like to accomplish for the day. This list could include anything from what time you would like to wake up to a workout regime you’d like to get done. If you have a list of tasks you would like to get done each day, you are more likely to be motivated enough to check things off of the list.

 

Have Fun Still

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that you can’t have any more fun. The weather is usually still pretty nice during the late summer and early fall, so take advantage of that. Schedule some weekend excursions or nights out. This will give you something to look forward to, and you won’t feel as if you are giving up all of your summer fun.

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