Parent eTips™: Daily Parent Engagement Messages

Elementary English

Monday, December 3, 2018
Homework isn’t optional. How to do it can be

Giving your child some choices about how to do her assignments can reduce homework problems. Let her decide things like: whether to do them in her room or at the kitchen table, whether to start right after school or after relaxing a bit, and whether to start with math or reading. If a choice doesn’t work out, let her experience the consequences. She’ll learn she needs to make a different choice next time.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Teach your child what it means to have a job

It’s not always clear to young children why parents go to work. Talk to your child about your reasons for having a job and the responsibilities it involves, such as being on time every day. Then compare the ways that going to school is like going to a job: people count on you to be there and to work hard, etc. He’ll learn that work and school are important daily responsibilities.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Make your child the anchor of a special news report

When it comes to school, no news isn’t necessarily good news. Parents need to know as much as they can. Find out more by asking your child to give you an “Evening News Report.” When she gets home from school, have her make a list of a few things that happened that day. Ask her to report on what made her happy and what was difficult. Then, over dinner, enjoy this very special news program.

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Show your child how entertaining and satisfying reading can be

Sometime between ages seven and nine, children typically transition from mostly hearing and looking at books to reading them on their own. How can you ease this transition? Boost your child’s motivation to read. Seek out books that make him laugh or want to know what happens next. Nurture his curiosity. Then show him how to look up the answers to his questions in reference books or online.

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Friday, December 7, 2018
Spell out rules on a family rules chart

At home or in school, children need to respect and follow rules to function well in a group. To make discipline easier, create a chart of four or five of your family’s most important house rules and the consequences for breaking them. Make sure your child understands them. Then enforce them consistently. Point to the chart and say, “Taylor, you broke rule #3. What are the consequences?”

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Saturday, December 8, 2018
Choose software for your child carefully

Computers, tablets and smartphones are part of children’s lives and learning these days. But not all software labeled “educational” really is. When choosing programs or apps for your child, look for games with levels that change as your child improves. They should encourage her to discover the content for herself, without distracting her with unnecessary flashing lights or buttons to push. Then use the software with your child and talk about it together. 

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Sunday, December 9, 2018
Fill playtime with opportunities to learn

Learning doesn’t happen only in formal classroom settings. Your child can learn a great deal from his playtime, too. There are many ways to enrich your child’s learning at home. Do a jigsaw puzzle together. Encourage him to write a story. Give him a model to build. Have him read a magazine about a subject that interests him and tell you about it. Plan, cook and eat a meal together.

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Help your teen make a plan for long-term projects

Creating a project board can help your teen keep track of the deadlines and details of long-term assignments. On a large sheet of poster board, have her create a table with two columns. In the first column, she should write down the individual steps necessary to complete the project. In the second column, she should assign due dates to each step. Now one glance will tell her what she needs to do next.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Talk with your teen about difficult choices

Sometimes, it’s easy for teens to do the right thing. At other times, it’s more difficult. If the teacher leaves the room during a test, for example, would your teen be tempted to text an answer to a friend? Talk with him about those hard moments. Remind him that even minor choices can have big consequences, and that often, choosing to do the right thing even when it seems hard will make his future easier.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Set your teen up for success with tests

From state tests to college entrance exams, high-stakes tests are a fact of school life. To promote a positive attitude toward testing, remind your teen that everyone faces tests. Talk to her about times you’ve been tested in your life. Then, help her practice following instructions. On testing day, make sure she gets to school having eaten a healthy breakfast and wearing comfortable clothes.

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Thursday, December 6, 2018
Encourage self-reliance by reinforcing responsibility

Teens may long to be independent, but they still depend on their parents for most things. To help your teen develop self-reliance, connect independence with responsibility. Let him make a few of the house rules (as long as they’re reasonable). If he gets an allowance, agree on items he’ll be responsible for buying. And help him take charge of his schedule; consult with him if you need to make a change in it.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Create family rituals that support your teen 

How does your family celebrate when one of you accomplishes something? How do you support one another when times are bad? Family rituals can be the glue that keeps families together. Create some bonding rituals with your teen. You might have a special breakfast together once a month, for example. Or start an outdoor ritual that helps your teen remember that there’s a great big world around her.

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Help your teen take pleasure in reading

Too many students never learn to see reading as something fun to do. To boost your teen’s enjoyment of reading, offer him short stories, poems or other short works. If he doesn’t like one, he can quickly move on to another. And don’t let your teen stop If he hits a word he doesn’t know. Just have him jot it down to look up later and keep reading. 

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Teach your teen to make decisions step-by-step 

Your teen is still learning how to think critically and control her impulses. That can make decision-making quite a tricky process. Have her break it into six steps: 1. Identify the situation in her own words. 2. Think of possible solutions. 3. List the positive and negative outcomes for each solution. 4. Make a decision. 5. Act on the decision. 6. Evaluate. Did her solution work as planned?

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