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September marks the start of school for many families, and within a few short weeks or months, you will be meeting with your child’s teacher for your first parent-teacher conference of the year. One of the goals of the parent-teacher conference is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each student and communicate to the parents the areas that need improvement. The parent-teacher conference can help establish a good relationship between you and the teacher so that the student’s progress can be seen as a team effort. It is important to determine short-term and long-term goals for the rest of the school year to keep the student on track towards success.

In order to maximize the time spent with the teacher, you can prepare for the initial meeting in the following ways:
Before the Conference:

1. Talk with your child about how things are going in school. Discuss different aspects of the day in regards to academics and the social atmosphere. You can also ask your child some of the following questions to get a better understanding of his/her school day.
  • Which subjects are difficult for your child?
  • What does your child like best about school?
  • Would your child like you to ask the teacher anything?
  • If there could be any changes made to the classroom or structure to make it more of a comfortable learning environment, what would it be?
2. Write down any questions that you have for the teacher. After the first month or two of school, there may be specific questions you have for the teacher. Talk with any individuals who spend time with your child whether it is a babysitter, tutor, or instructors from an after-school program. They may have more insight on your child’s academic abilities as well as questions to ask the teacher.

During the Conference:

3. With a limited amount of time, stick to the main topics. The conference revolves around one person – your child. All school rules and policies can be found in the handbook or on the school’s website. Talk specifically about the strengths and weaknesses of your child and ways that you can help him/her succeed.

4. Develop a parent-teacher relationship. The parent-teacher conference is an opportunity to get to know the teacher and develop a relationship that can help set the tone for the rest of the year. A child’s academic success is a team effort; the students need the support not only in the classroom, but at home. By establishing a good relationship with the teacher, it allows you to be able to connect with the teacher throughout the year with any comments or concerns that may arise.

5. Have a stress-free conversation. Go into the meeting with an open mind and a positive outlook that both parties are there to help your child succeed. Remember that the teacher is not there to criticize your child, but to have an in-depth conversation about the student’s progress. Likewise, suggestions for the teacher can be delivered constructively, and a relationship of trust can be formed.

6. Try to save time to speak with your child’s other teachers. During the day, students go to other classes such as gym, art, and music. Other teachers may have additional comments and/or concerns regarding your child’s behavior in their class. If you are not able to meet with additional teachers on that day, ask the child’s main teacher if you can call to make an appointment.

After the Conference:

7. Discuss the conference with your child. Arriving home after a parent-teacher conference can be very stressful for your child. First, talk to your child about the positives, academically and socially. If there are struggles your child is encountering, discuss the ways you plan to help your child succeed. The goal is for the student to be proud of the accomplishments he/she has made thus far, and how to make an effective plan so that the rest of the year can be a success!
Getting ready to go back to school after summer vacations is simultaneously worrying and exciting!
As the D-day looms ahead, your kids are excited about going back to school, to new experiences, eager to show off their better selves. At the same time, they are also worried about meeting new teachers, more workload, re-connecting with old friends, and perhaps meet new friends. On the other hand, the parent are worried about organizing things for them, following their daily schedule and assisting them with doing their best. it’s the classic cause for that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling!
Don’t worry, to fight these ‘stress butterflies’, below are some back-to-school tips for children and parents, our solution for your dilemma.

Back to school from summer vacation worries should not deter you or your kids from enjoying either the holidays or the impending school days! However, your kids do face these pressures irrespective of whether or not they have enjoyed their summer vacations. Even kids who have no qualms about going back to school suffer from mild to moderate stress. But worry not, as the tips mentioned below are highly effective in combating them.

1. Understand Your Child’s Anxiety:
They have many fears and worries regarding their subjects of study, friends, class environment, teachers and assignments.
  • Your job is to give them support to cope with the fast changing environment.
  • The other factor, time, will help them calm down and come to terms with what is happening.

2. Direct Them On The Right Memories:
Make them focus more on the happy aspects of schooling.
  • Make your child remember going out with friends, chatting, playing in games classes, meeting new friends, wearing new uniform, etc.
  • Remind them of their new lunch box or water bottle. all this leaves a positive impression on their minds and makes them start afresh.

3. Be Vigilant:
Ask your kids what specifically worries them. Encourage them to confide in you and tell you their concerns.
  • Explain to them that getting tense on the initial days of school is natural.
  • Let them know that there is nothing to worry in the long run. They will soon adjust to the new surroundings and go to the school playfully.

4. Be Flexible:
Alter your timetable to help your kids. Spend quality time with them, in spite of your busy schedule.
  • During the first few weeks, be with them. If this is difficult, give them your undivided attention in the evenings.
  • Your kids may need you during the initial days of school and your presence can help them overcome insecurity and fear.

5. Field Trip!
Organize a visit to the school for your kids before it reopens. Talk to the school authorities, if needed.
  • This might help kids to get used to it and reduces their worries. As many of them don’t feel like going back to school.
  • They will become aware of the school as their next “home” and mentally prepare themselves to settle in comfortably.

6. Fix Playmates:
Get your kids to connect with their fellow classmates. This decreases their nervousness and makes them friendlier.
  • Getting guidance on academics and other concerned subjects then becomes easy.
  • Your kids may also be quite eager to go back school once they make good friends.

7. Ensure Sufficient Rest:
The time to stay awake late now must come to end. Tell them to go to bed early every night. Make sure that their room is comfortable.

  • Also ensure they have a good breakfast as it increases their attentiveness and helps them do well in school.
  • Proper rest and healthy meals are very important for the overall development of your kids.

8. List Them All:
Jot down important points for your kids, i.e., stuff they are likely to forget, in a diary.
  • These could be things like their locker combination, classroom numbers, bus driver’s name and the timings of classes and breaks.
  • Writing down such important stuff steps-up their confidence levels and makes them feel secure.

9. Teach Them Basics:
“Getting ready for school” is an art that has to be taught. Tell your kids to be more disciplined when it comes to packing their bags and preparing their uniforms.
  • This ensures that they are not late for school and spares them morning anxiety.
  • Knowing that their uniform and bag are all set for the next morning also comforts them the previous night.

10. Health Is Wealth:
Suffering from any physical or mental ailment can cause your kids to perform poorly in academics, sports and co-curricular activities.
  • Your kids may have suffered some ailment in the summer hols, make sure they are fully okay now.
  • Listen to your kids’ concerns patiently and teach them how to deal with bullies.

Reference: "Top 10 Back To School Tips For Parents & Kids." MomJunction . N.p., 07 July 2014. Web. 28 July 2015.
Challenge your Math skills in this Global Contest!

The Eye Level Math Olympiad is a test designed to challenge students’ math skills in a variety of areas including problem-solving, reasoning, communication, and critical thinking. Coming November 14th, Eye Level is holding their annual math competition for grades 2 to 9. Your child can challenge his/her math skills in this global contest. Encourage your child to participate in this annual event. The online registration opens on Sept. 1st.. Visit www.myeyelevel.com for more info.
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