Tag Archives: Twelve Tips for Those Attending School

For Those Attending School–Tip #11: Create Consistent After School Routines


 

Tip #11: Develop Consistent After School Routines

 

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn…” Carl Rogers

I know, I know…this blog is filled with things that you, the parent, have to do. Believe me, I know it feels overwhelming and even unfair, at times, to have such a huge responsibility as raising sons and daughters. So much to think about in raising children for the Lord. We have to be good examples of what we want our kids to become; we have to be in charge of their eating and healthy habits; we have to discipline them so that they grow up with self-control; we have to oversee their education and spiritual development; we have to teach them God’s Word; and on and on.

Today I would like to continue this “back to school series” for those who attend school with a post I wrote a couple of years ago about developing effective after school routines. As I said earlier in this series, I have homeschooled for nearly thirty years, so I don’t have a lot of “going to school” experience, but when I see someone doing something that seems to work, I love to pass that along!


A couple of years ago we had an editor working for us who had three children (elementary) in school. One day I stopped by after school to drop off a document and found what I would consider to be one of the most ideal after-school practices (as far as helping her children with school is concerned).

This gal was standing at the kitchen bar with backpacks open in front of her. All three children were seated at the table eating snacks that she had laid out for them when they got off the bus. Mom was opening each backpack, checking to see what each child brought home, looking through homework folders, etc. and dialoguing with the kids about upcoming assignments, what their day was like, etc.

Contrast this with kids coming home, dropping backpacks on the floor of the back porch, grabbing a Twinkie, and going in to the tv or game system.

Yes, kids did just work hard all day at school. Yes, they do need breaks. However, taking part in an after-school routine with Mom or Dad, such as the one described above, does a number of things:

1. The parent, not the child, is determining snacks. I am sure kids are starving when they get home from school. And we all know that when we are hungry, we often reach for convenience, not health. Mom can have healthier snacks ready than what the child might choose.

2. Mom is checking homework right away—not hoping that the child remembers later. No surprises at ten o’clock!

3. There is uninterrupted (by electronics, anyway) dialogue about the kids’ day.

4. In the long run, kids will actually have more free time in the evenings if things are at least checked when student first gets home. They might not have it when they first walk in the door, but there will be a plan for the evening’s activities and schedule—and play time/electronics time may be earned by completing assignments, etc.

5. Lets Mom and Dad know how much they will be needed that evening. No mom or dad likes to be told at ten p.m. that the child needs poster board for tomorrow!

6. Mom can find things lurking/hiding in the backpack—field trip permission slips, note from the teacher, etc.

Now obviously, this is just one scenario that would work. And, once again, the success of this depends on each family’s priorities. If a family prioritizes after school activities or sports, then this meeting might not take place until later in the evening. Each family has to make those choices.

Homeschoolers can benefit from these ideas, as well. My children do much better with their daily chore and school charts when I check them every afternoon before they get “off” for the day.

Homeschoolers and school-away kids alike benefit from accountability and structure. It is our job as parents to provide both of these.

For Those Attending School–Tip X: Morning Routines


Tip X: Develop Efficient Morning Routines for Your Kids*

“Our children are not going to be just ‘our children’—they are going to be other people’s husbands and wives and the parents of our grandchildren.”
Mary Steichen Calderone

I think of the quote above often when I am working with my eight to eighteen year olds on “life skills.” All of the character, skills, routines, relationship abilities, work ethic, and education that they develop now will follow them all throughout their lives—and will have a profound influence on the kinds of spouses, parents, workers, citizens, and Christians that they will be as adults. Every life skill that we teach our children—and better yet, model for them—has the potential to help them be successful in many areas of life—even the morning routine.

If you find yourself chasing your preteen around with a toothbrush and hair brush or following your teen around, helping him find his shoes and stuffing things in his backpack every morning, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way! Again, a huge part of successful parenting is being a problem solver. We can continue chasing every morning, or we can implement routines and schedules that help us “prevent” that morning chaos.

Here are some tips for developing morning routines with older children (beyond preschool):

1. If your family has been of the mindset that chasing, stuffing bags and backpacks, cajoling, etc. are part of Mom’s job description, you will want to change that way of thinking quickly! Allowing our children to be irresponsible because we feel guilty if we do not do everything for them is not going to help us parent our children to become independent.

2. Partner with your older child to decide what he needs to do each morning. Let him suggest a doable list with your input.

3. Make a chart or list on the computer—or have your older child do that, so he can monitor his own progress on accomplishing his morning goals.

4. If mornings are extremely hectic now—with older kids on the computer, rising late, etc. and part of the family waiting in the car beeping the horn, etc., you will want to be firmer about establishing the morning routine and what order things are done, etc. We have done this for so many years that our boys, for the most part, know that this is what you do in the morning. When these items are done, I can do something else I want to do, start my school, etc.

5. If your children go to school, I recommend just putting in the morning routine those chores that pertain to that child, such as making his bed, straightening his room, putting his pajamas away, cleaning up messes he made, etc. Save other family chores for after school or before bed. (More on chore charts, appropriate ages for various chores, etc. in upcoming posts!)

6. If your older kids are poor prioritizers, you will want to use this opportunity to help them learn the art of prioritizing. If they consistently make bad choices when it comes to getting things done, you might have to “bring in the boundaries” some and give them step-by-step instructions on what to do for now. Once they gain responsibility and diligence, you can broaden that and give them more leeway. For example, if they get on the computer, text friends, etc. instead of getting their routine done, you might have to institute a “no electronics” rule until they show themselves more faithful. Remember, this entire process is a teaching opportunity—and some of our older kids need more lessons than others!

*reprint from 2010

Those Attending School–Tip VIII: Good Morning Routines


For Those Attending School (and homeschoolers!)–Tip VIII: Establish Good Morning Routines*

“Our children are not going to be just ‘our children’—they are going to be other people’s husbands and wives and the parents of our grandchildren.”
Mary Steichen Calderone

I think of the quote above often when I am working with my eight to eighteen year olds on “life skills.” All of the character, skills, routines, relationship abilities, work ethic, and education that they develop now will follow them all throughout their lives—and will have a profound influence on the kinds of spouses, parents, workers, citizens, and Christians that they will be as adults. Every life skill that we teach our children—and better yet, model for them—has the potential to help them be successful in many areas of life—even the morning routine.

If you find yourself chasing your preteen around with a toothbrush and hair brush or following your teen around, helping him find his shoes and stuffing things in his backpack every morning, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way! Again, a huge part of successful parenting is being a problem solver. We can continue chasing every morning, or we can implement routines and schedules that help us “prevent” that morning chaos.

Here are some tips for developing morning routines with older children (beyond preschool):

1. If your family has been of the mindset that chasing, stuffing bags and backpacks, cajoling, etc. are part of Mom’s job description, you will want to change that way of thinking quickly! Allowing our children to be irresponsible because we feel guilty if we do not do everything for them is not going to help us parent our children to become independent.

2. Partner with your older child to decide what he needs to do each morning. Let him suggest a doable list with your input.

3. Make a chart or list on the computer—or have your older child do that, so he can monitor his own progress on accomplishing his morning goals.

4. If mornings are extremely hectic now—with older kids on the computer, rising late, etc. and part of the family waiting in the car beeping the horn, etc., you will want to be firmer about establishing the morning routine and what order things are done, etc. We have done this for so many years that our boys, for the most part, know that this is what you do in the morning. When these items are done, I can do something else I want to do, start my school, etc.

5. If your children go to school, I recommend just putting in the morning routine those chores that pertain to that child, such as making his bed, straightening his room, putting his pajamas away, cleaning up messes he made, etc. Save other family chores for after school or before bed. (More on chore charts, appropriate ages for various chores, etc. in upcoming posts!)

6. If your older kids are poor prioritizers, you will want to use this opportunity to help them learn the art of prioritizing. If they consistently make bad choices when it comes to getting things done, you might have to “bring in the boundaries” some and give them step-by-step instructions on what to do for now. Once they gain responsibility and diligence, you can broaden that and give them more leeway. For example, if they get on the computer, text friends, etc. instead of getting their routine done, you might have to institute a “no electronics” rule until they show themselves more faithful. Remember, this entire process is a teaching opportunity—and some of our older kids need more lessons than others!

*Re-print from 2010.

Tip VII: Pray! (Back to School Prayer)

 Twelve Back to School Tips for Those Attending School!

                              Tip VII: Pray! (Back to School Prayer)

We should always pray for our kids—for our family. However, when we are going to be apart from each other, we should pray even more.

I love this “back to school prayer” at the link below!

For Those Going to School–Tip VI: Starting Homework Out Right

Tip VI of XII: Starting Homework Out Right

Once school starts and the textbooks have been previewed, you can help your students get into good homework habits by doing their homework with them for a few weeks.

Here are some tips along those lines:

1. Taking the textbook preview further

There are a number of ways that you can take the previewing of textbooks that I discussed yesterday even further with your children for more comprehension of the material:

a. Do his first few assignments out of the book with him, pointing out the things again that you observed in your first preview. This will help him see that those things are not just good things to know, but also helpful for completely homework quicker and more accurately.

b. Help him prepare for his first test with his textbook and you by his side. Show him how he can use the glossary, sidebars, table of contents, etc. to quickly fill in his study guide or quickly determine what the most important aspects of the chapter are in order to prepare for a test.

c. As you are previewing a text (for the first time or an additional time), use a large sticky note to record what you find. Write the title of the text at the top, then make notes about what it contains as far as study and homework helps. Stick this in the front of his textbook and help him refer to it when he is doing homework or test preparation. You could even record a plus and minus system, such as

+++ means something is going to be really helpful—a +++ beside the Table of Contents, for instance

+ beside a word he writes in the front of his book tells him that this might be somewhat helpful—Example: +Some graphs

– No study questions at end of chapter—again, he can make a list in the front of his book (on a large sticky note), etc.

d. Help him “label” different sections of his book with sticky notes along the edges. For example, you could put a yellow one at the beginning of each chapter and a pink one on the page that has definitions for that chapter, etc.

2. Prepare your younger student for textbooks by using user-friendly non-fiction books

Maybe you are not in the textbook stage with your kids; however, you can begin preparing them for those all important study skills that I described yesterday with quality non-fiction books. If kids at ages five, six, eight, and ten, learn to navigate around Dorling Kindersley, Eyewitness, and Usborne books (among many others), they will be heads and shoulders above other children who have only been exposed to fictional stories (more on the benefits of fiction later!).

These outstanding non-fiction books have literally hundreds of topics that interest kids, but they are so colorful and alluring, you do not feel like you are “teaching” at all. Additionally, they have many aspects that your child’s future textbooks will also have: glossaries, Tables of Contents, sidebars, graphs, pictures, inserts, definitions, bold font, italics, etc. Reading these to and with your children when they are younger will provide a natural step into textbooks later on.

Note: We teach our students (in our home, our cottage classes, and in our language arts books) a simple memory device for remembering fiction and non-fiction:

Fiction=fake (both begin with f)

Non-fiction=not fake (both begin with nf)

Back to School for Those Who Go to School (and homeschoolers!)–Tip V: Preview Textbooks

Tip V of XII: Preview Kids’ Textbooks With Them at the Beginning of School

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” Robert M Hutchins

For all types of schoolers—a post on previewing textbooks with our children. I am going to post this for those attending school, but hope that those who homeschool will utilize it as well. (Note: This was posted in three parts a year ago for back-to-school tips in a different series—with some changes.)



Comprehension and study skills are not necessarily as much remembering all of the details that were read as much as knowing how to read for meaning, remembering the most important parts, and being able to locate information as needed. Students’ textbooks in the content areas (science, history, government, health, geography, etc.) lend themselves greatly to comprehending the information they contain.

I recommend that you have your kids bring their textbooks home, one at a time, and follow some of the tips below previewing their books with them. This will help them (and you) determine the signaling systems, layout, study tools, etc. that each book includes.

A student needs to now quickly how to find information in his book, whether there’s a glossary or index for quick vocabulary help, how each section is summarized, and many other tips that can be discovered right when he begins using that text (with some help from Mom or Dad). By previewing his whole text at first, he will know how user friendly it is, how to set up his notes, and even which study strategies will and will not work for that particular text.

Sitting down with your student and his textbooks (maybe one per evening) during the first week will go a long way towards his comprehension and ease of use of those books throughout the school year. Try these specific strategies for previewing textbooks with your student to help him or her get the most out of his or her texts this year:

1. Graphs and charts—Remind your student that charts and graphs usually restate (in another form) what is indicated in the text. He can use these for quick overviews, as well as for reviewing before tests.

2. Enumerations—If his text uses a lot of enumeration, it could be that this subject has a significant number of lists to be learned. Point him to these lists and show him that often what is listed in the margins or sidebars is also expounded upon within the text.

3. Section headings—The more headings a book contains, the easier it is to learn from. The student is constantly reminded, by the headings and subheadings, of what the section is about. Show him how helpful these headings can be as he uses the book during his reading and for test preparation.

4. Pictorial aids—Maps are always in included in history textbooks. If his textbook contains a large assortment of maps, show him how they can help him see the big picture. Maps usually show where something that is discussed in the text occurred.

5. Glossary—Books that contain glossaries give the student an easy way to find definitions that may be more obscure within the text. Teach him to use this for quick finds, but encourage him to use the text itself for most studying since students who learn vocabulary in context retain it better.

6. Tables of Contents—The Table of Contents can be used somewhat like an index to find where information is in a particular chapter. It is especially good for getting a big picture about a whole chapter.

7. Prefaces, introductions, and summaries—If a text has any of these three, some of the work is already done for the student. Show him how advantageous these are for quick previewing of a chapter.

8. Footnotes—If a student is in a class that requires research papers, footnotes can be a real plus. We teach our research paper students to use lengthy works’ footnotes to find other credible sources that they might use in their papers.

9. Appendixes—Appendixes are the “extra credit” of the book. I always like to thin of myself as a prized pupil, so I tend to gravitate to these right at first, since they’re usually for those who want additional information—and I always want to know more! Tell your students that sometimes the appendixes aren’t even used in the actual course, but they are good for learning more, for research-based reports, and for cementing what is found in the text.

10. Indexes—If a book doesn’t have an index, I say send it back and get a new one! Show your student how quickly he can find information with the index. The more specific the index, the better it is for the student.

11. Bibliography—The bibliography gives lists of books, articles, and documents relating to the subjects in the textbook. Like footnotes, we direct our research paper students to these.

12. Pronunciation guides—These guides give the phonetic markings to aid in reading unfamiliar words. Many texts do not have these guides, but they are helpful in a class where a student will be giving presentations so the can pronounce unknown words correctly.

Any signaling or sign posting that a book contains is that much more opportunity for the visual learner, especially, to learn and retain. If you have an auditory learner, you might have to record his vital info on cd or cassette! Smile…

For Those Who Go to School–Tip IV: Start Tomorrow Tonight

Twelve Tips for Those Whose Kids Go to School–Tips IV of XII: Start Tomorrow Tonight

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”

                                 Winnie the Pooh

Here are just a few ways that we have implemented this or heard how others have:


1. We start the next day’s laundry the night before. (We do one or two loads a day now; we used to do two or three loads per day.) The “little laundry lad” (many years ago it was the “little laundry lady”) starts his first load any time during the evening the day before. If it is a “fold up” load, he even puts it in the dryer before bed. If it is a “hang up” load, he leaves it in the washer and in the morning, runs it through rinse again then pops it in the dryer.* This way we have a jump on the next day’s laundry. (It’s even better if his fold up load is in the dryer dry and his hang up load is in the washer, ready to re-rinse and move first thing!)


2. We do not leave dishes to be washed tomorrow. We run the dishwasher after dinner and the dish person the next day just has to unload it and load the breakfast (and last night’s ice cream!) dishes in it.


3. Everybody goes through the house and picks up his or her things before going to bed. We do not have to start the day tomorrow with messes from the previous day.


4. If we have to get up earlier than usual the next day, we adjust our bedtime accordingly. This has had various levels of success—as it is easier said than done. But generally speaking, if we are doing something the next day that requires our getting up one to two hours earlier, we try to get everybody to bed an hour earlier or so.


5. If we have some place to go the next day, we get the things out, bags packed, etc. the night before and have them ready to load or already loaded. This has eliminated so much early morning hassle on “going away” days.


6. If we need a packed lunch for some reason the next day, we pack it and put in the fridge (the entire cooler in the extra fridge in some ways).


A huge part of being organized in home management is warding off problems before they start—seeing potential problems and solving them immediately (or even ahead of time). Starting today last night is one way we have found to do this. There are probably many things that you already do to make tomorrow better—think about these and see if there are others that might help your family, as well.




*We don’t iron much here. I have taught the kids to move hang ups directly into the dryer when the washer is done spinning, then to pull them out of the dryer when they are still hot, shake them, and hang the up. Eliminates most ironing.

Back to School Tip III of XII: Create Reading Environment

Twelve Tips for Back to School–Those Attending (or Homeschooling!)–Tip III of XII: Create an Environment Conducive to Learning to Read

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” ~Anna Quindlen, “Enough Bookshelves”



During my graduate studies (in Reading Specialist) at Ball State University, I did a master’s thesis about children who learn to read without any reading instruction. That is, the kids just suddenly started reading books without ever having phonics lessons, basal readers, or other “formal instruction.” It was a challenging thesis simply because there is so little data about it because of our “early school attendance age.” Seldom does a child learn to read “naturally” before age six or seven, and with kids going to school at age five (and often beginning reading instruction in kindergarten), the research was sparse concerning these “instructionless” readers.

I did find enough, however, and I was also blessed to find a family who had a natural reader to compare the printed data with. My observations, coupled with the studies in teaching journals, etc., led me to find what I called the “environment” in which natural readers are raised. This led me to other lines of thinking—if a child can learn to read with absolutely no instruction in a literary-saturated environment, wouldn’t this environment be conducive to helping those who DO receive instruction learn to read better, more easily, and more naturally?

The answer, of course, was yes. Study after study shows the type of environment that causes kids to learn better. Duplicating the “natural reader’s” environment can only help our kids learn better. Maybe our creating this “literary atmosphere” will not automatically make our six year old pick up a book and begin reading, but if it makes the learning process (actually any/all learning processes) easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful, why wouldn’t we want to duplicate it in our homes for all of our kids?

So what were the commonalities I found in studying the environment of “natural readers”?

Common Characteristics of Natural Reader

1. Interaction with adults—these kids were with adults a lot—and definitely not around peers more than adults. They had adults on hand to discuss things with, to answer their questions, and to provide examples of proper speech patterns, etc.

2. Much book handling by the child—these children were surrounded with books that they were permitted to interact with. They were often found at very young ages with stacks of books around them, just looking at the pictures, making stories in their minds from the pictures, etc.

3. Print abounds and interest in print is evident by itself—not only did the homes of natural readers contain books themselves, but they also contained all type of print. The parents of these children read magazines, journals, newspapers, etc. I think the “interest in print” part probably began with something like a parent saying, “Honey, look at this whale they found beached on the coast of Florida,” as he or she brought the little one up on to her lap to see the picture that was provided with the article in today’s newspaper, etc. This type of activity causes a child to become interested in print.

4. Tapes and books are used—nowadays, of course, this would say “cd’s and books are used”; however, this is the reason why I began using book and tape sets a few times a week for my preschoolers and elementary children—and why we have used audios (talking books, radio dramas, etc.) every week of our lives since our oldest was one year old. “Tapes” and books show our children the benefits and “fun” that reading provides.

5. Memorization takes place—these natural readers often followed a certain pattern—they memorized a picture book (usually many), then through the memorization, they began making print-sound-word connections. That is, when they turned the page and recited, “If you give a mouse a cookie,” they began to understand that i-f says if and y-o-u says you. Natural readers were experts at memorizing large portions of text.

6. Interest in writing words and “language experience” activities—many years ago, there was a movement in education to replace phonics instruction with “language experience” activities (also called a “whole language approach”). Phonics proponents everywhere were up in arms at the thought of “activities” of writing what the child said (dictation) for him, making little homemade books, etc. taking the place of phonics instruction. While I am a strong phonics proponent, I believe that these “language experiences” and “whole language” activities augment the reading instruction greatly. And, of course, the natural readers in the research were exposed to these types of activities early and often. These kids were the ones who dictated thank-you notes to Mom to go to grandparents and colored a picture to send along with it; they were the ones who had a chalk board in the kitchen in which Mom or Dad wrote the day of the week each morning; they were those who “said” stories aloud and parents copied it in little “journal” books for the child. And on and on. Why wouldn’t these types of experiences and activities increase a child’s relationship with print and love for learning?

7. Experiences related to literacy and books—these obviously include the types of activities listed in number six, but these kids knew from birth that books and reading were important. They were the ones in a double stroller at the library lawn sale as toddlers—child in front seat with back seat full of picture books. They were the ones who had their own “book basket” in the corner of the nursery almost from birth. In other words, they were immersed in literacy and books from an early age.

8. Self-regulated behavior and risk taking—This characteristic related to how they “organize” their little lives. These kids would pull all of the Curious George books off the shelf and stack them up to look at after lunch. They often had little learning systems in place at ages four and five. And they were not afraid to be wrong. This, of course, stems from not being talked down to or made fun of when they did ask questions. These kids were risk takers because taking risks in learning (“Mommy, is this word (dapper) ‘Daddy’?”) yielded information that helped them in their quest to learn. The questions did not yield put downs or “you should already know this.”

9. Read to often—Obviously, a link has to be made from the squiggles on the page to the sounds that those squiggles make in order for a young child to teach himself to read. Thus, a child must be read to (or follow along with books and tapes) in order to learn to read without formal instruction. Now, this is not to say that a child who is read to will automatically learn to read early and on his own. I read aloud to our first three kids three to five hours everyday for years and years—and not one of the three was a natural, or early, reader! But it certainly created a love for print and learning in my children!

Children who learn to read naturally, without reading instruction, are raised in an environment that is conducive to learning to read naturally—an environment that creates a love for learning and a very perceived need to learn.

While I have never had a natural reader myself, I tried all throughout my children’s learning days to create this type of environment. It has created outstanding learners and avid readers in the Reish home.

One of the “rules” that Ray and I had for our children’s early education was that if something could be taught informally (and painlessly), we would teach it that way (as opposed to using workbooks or “curriculum” for something that can just as easily be learned while driving down the road or snuggling on the sofa).

That is one thing that I truly loved about the “natural reader learning environment.” Why get a workbook to teach capital letters when you can teach it while you are running errands (from all of the store signs)? Why get a program for rhyming words when nursery rhymes, silly songs, and I spy games on the road can do the job without the stress? The “natural reader learning environment” fit how we thought young children should be taught—regardless of whether our kids truly became natural readers or not.

The environment described in the last couple of days’ posts is extremely conducive to teaching a myriad of things that kindergarten and first grade curricula often use workbooks, worksheets, and other “formal” approaches. And kids do not even know they are doing “school” with Mom and Dad while running to the hardware store or cuddling during an extensive story time!

Here are just a few of the skills that the research on natural readers indicated are learned/enjoyed by kids in this environment:

1. Contact with print

2. Thinking skills

3. Comprehension (especially when a wide variety of materials is presented and discussion follows)

4. Expanded vocabulary

5. Enunciation and pronunciation

6. Love of and need for reading

7. Sentence patterns

8. Relationship between parent and child—the most important one of all, of course!

Create a “natural reader learning environment” in your home—regardless of your kids’ ages….and watch the interaction with print increase; the love for learning grow; and the positive relationships bloom.

Twelve Tips for Those Attending School–II of XII: Get Organized!

Twelve Tips for Those Attending School–Tip II of XII: Get Organized!

Second “tip” (link from other sites) for those whose children go to school. Remember to check out both articles–for homeschoolers and for those whose children go to school. We can definitely learn from each other!

    Back to school organizing tips: http://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/back-to-school-the-pressures-of-public-school-1427808.html

Twelve Back-to-School Tips for Those Going to School–I of XII: Academic Pressure

                  Twelve Tips for Back-to-School for Those Attending School
                                              Tip I of XII

My husband and I began homeschooling my younger sister twenty-nine years ago this fall. I can hardly remember life that did not include homeschooling as our anchor, our way of life, my daily routine. Homeschooling if life and life is homeschooling around here.

However, for Positive Parenting this fall, I wanted to be able to give tips to those going to school as well as for those who are homeschooling. Since I prefer to write and speak out of experience, as opposed to theories, I don’t have anything to base back-to-school advice for those attending school. So…rather than giving generic advice that might or might not work (I can think of how I THINK I would handle things, but who knows what they would really do until they are in those situations?)….I will be linking you to some pieces of advice I have picked up from other blogs.

I hope that this is a blessing to you–and that your “back to school days” with your kids are wonderful times filled with affirmation, closeness, and success!

Tip 1: Decide What Your Expectations for Academics Will Be–Article about pressuring kids to succeed