Tag Archives: school

Back To School Reminders for Parents of High School Students

When I was going to school, the first week of school was usually reserved for socializing and catching up on what everyone else did over the summer. I think times may have changed a bit since then.

This was the first week back to school for our district and already, even before the first school bell rang, my high schooler has been off and running. She’s been working on finishing her summer assignments in time for the first day of school. During open house, when students usually go to scope out their classrooms and meet their teachers, these students were going up to their teachers to ask questions on projects that they were assigned to work on over the summer. You can already feel their anxiety and exuberance before they even sit down for the first class. While it’s nice to see students excited to get back to work, it’s a bit daunting at the same time to see the kind of pressure some of these kids put themselves through.

Parents of high school students now have a different set of worries. The rules are somewhat different and the role of parents have drastically altered. I don’t ever remember my mom needing to be as involved by the time we were in high school. And while I have always been the laid-back mom who tried to stay out of the way and let the kids work things out on their own as much as possible, I am finding with my youngest daughter that I have to be just a little bit more involved in helping her manage her school work.

While we as parents don’t have to be as ‘hands-on’ with our high school students as when they were in grade school, they still need support and guidance. Here’s a few guidelines that have worked for me.

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Our Hearts are Broken and Tonight We Pray

Image source: Heather McCloskey Beck's Photos  on facebook.

Image source: Heather McCloskey Beck’s Photos on facebook.

“How can anyone do that?” my 15-year old daughter asked me today, to which I had no easy answer to give.

She is 15 now, not 5; I can’t sugar coat bad news anymore and I can’t honestly tell her that everything is OK, because they are not OK. No one is OK tonight, knowing that 20 parents cannot hug their babies and tuck them in to bed.

Tonight, we pray for everyone affected by this, another horrific and senseless tragedy.

Tonight, we grieve with the whole community of Newtown, Connecticut for the loss of their loved ones.

Tonight, we hug our girls just a little tighter along with many parents nationwide who are also holding on to their loved ones after the tragedy.

And tonight, as a mom, I add my tears and outrage of this event.  I pray and wish and hope that it won’t happen again, even as I know that it probably will.

And I feel selfish and guilty as I silently add, “please, not my kids”…

But I know, that prayer too, is a tenuous hope.

But when our heart is breaking, our only hope is to pray…pray that everything will be OK.


First Day of School!

It’s the first day of school for my girls and they all actually got up on time this morning even though they never really adjusted their sleeping schedule and were still living like vampires up until this weekend. They were actually glad to go back to school, I think. I know they’re looking forward to seeing their friends again.

The only one not too happy this morning is my youngest daughter who is starting middle school. The school she’s going to now is much bigger than her elementary school and it’s a magnet school so the kids that she went to school with since kindergarten won’t be there (except for 2 that we know of). Everything is brand new and she is a little nervous. Well, maybe a lot more nervous.

She is excited about her classes though. She’s finally getting to choose her electives and I think that made her feel more grown up and in control. She’s going to a magnet school with a concentration in the arts so her electives this semester are 3D art media and piano; then she has her usual core classes. I can’t wait to pick her up this afternoon to see how she fared.

schoolWhile visiting other mom bloggers and seeing how they are coping with the back-to-school experience, I ran acorss these useful back-to-school tips for dealing with your child’s teacher from MomSpark:

  1. Don’t gossip and don’t go behind the tearcher’s back. Make her your ally, not your enemy.
  2. Do be open and honest with the teacher. Stay positive, not defensive. Tell her your expectations for your child and that you’re willing to work with her to accomplish your mutual goals.
  3. Do give the teacher a head’s up on anything major going on in your child’s life ( ie: divorce, a death in the family, etc) with a quick phone call or stopping by before or after school. You would be surprised at how many parents don’t do this!
  4. Do write quick notes or emails to the teacher. Email is a great way to communicate with teachers.
  5. Remember to read all notes sent home and sign homework folders/agendas/etc. every night.
  6. If you have time, volunteer! It might give you a unique perspective into what the teacher is dealing with on a daily basis.

The bottom line is, communicate. Stay in touch with your child’s teachers from day one and don’t wait until parent conference time to meet with them and discuss your child’s needs and goals.

Report Cards

I read Connie’s article yesterday where she said:

I don’t reward my daughter for her good grades on her report card. Call me a mean Mom. To me, that’s a compliment. Her reward for good grades are just that, her grades.Report Card Rewards, Apr 2009

Report Card

I left her a comment telling her that I don’t reward my girls for getting good grades either. Connie and I agree on this, that the good grades in school should be reward in itself.

I would love to say my daughters all have excellent grades, but they don’t so I won’t. When they bring home good grades, we make sure they know how pleased we are that they did well in their classes. Even when they’re nonchalant about it, believe me, they still look for the praise, even when they’re old teenagers in high school.

When they come home with less than stellar grades, then we sit down and talk about what they need to do to bring it up next time and if there is anything that we can do at home to help with this.

Of course, there are times when there is just nothing else to do for next time. Maybe the class was just too hard for them. Or maybe they just didn’t try hard enough. Whichever the case may be, it’s not the end of the world. We all just have to live with it. Sure, we may have been disappointed, but they know that this is not a make it or break it deal. They know that their grades are not a condition to our approval, attention or love. Their grades are their responsibility and their ‘job’ as Connie said in her post. (I tell my girls school is their ‘job’ too.) So how they handle the consequences of a low or failing grade is up to them; we simply support them however we can.

How about you, how do you handle good grades or bad grades from your kids?