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eTips of the Week

Monday, February 3, 2020

Participate in things that matter to your child

It's not always possible for parents to attend every one of their children's events at school. So what's most important? It's simple, really. Ask your child which events mean the most to her. She may not care if you miss seeing her get a perfect attendance award. But she may really want you to hear her 30-second solo in the spring concert. When you can't be there for everything, be there when it matters to your child.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Positive words encourage cooperation

When you want your child's cooperation, send a positive message. Saying "I hope you finish your homework and do a careful job. Then we can play games and eat popcorn," sounds like an invitation, while "No homework, no games" sounds like a threat. It's the same message, but which version would you rather hear?

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

For good behavior, motivate with marbles

Here's a simple system to encourage good behavior. Every time your child does something properly, give him a marble to put into a clear jar. Notable achievements, such as an improvement in a grade, also earn marbles. If your child behaves poorly, he "loses his marbles." When the jar is full, the whole family gets a treat. Keep the jar where your child can see his progress and remember that his good behavior benefits everyone.

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Do music and study mix?

Do you argue with your child about listening to music during homework time? Parents often insist on quiet, while kids say they learn just as much with music on. Who's right? Let your child's progress be your guide. Does she listen to music and still get great grades? Soft, slow music is probably OK. But if she struggles with schoolwork, turn off the tunes. They may very well be distracting her.

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Keeping up with homework adds up to math success

If your child has homework in only one subject, it's likely to be math. Math builds on itself, and your child will have an easier time if you make sure he does all his assignments. Have your child read through any sample problems and explain them to you. If he's confused, remind him to ask the teacher for help right away. On days when there is no math homework, review math facts together with your child.

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Make talking and thinking part of reading aloud

As you read with your child, stop from time to time to discuss what you're reading. What does it mean? How does the story relate to things your child already knows? When new words appear, ask your child what words she knows that have similar meanings. Before you reach the end of a passage, see if she can predict what will happen next. When your child makes these connections, she gets more from her reading.

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Choose age-appropriate news sources

Watching TV news can upset elementary schoolers, and the older they get the more vulnerable they are. Fifth graders are old enough to understand what they see, but too young to put it into perspective. To help explain, look for news sources produced for children, such as Scholastic News. News videos for kids are available online on sites such as NBC Learn. Watch with your child, so you can answer questions and explain what he is seeing.

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