Parents Of Students
Parents Of Students
Harvey Hoyo (President, California School Counselors Association) gives expert video advice on: What are the top three things I can do to help my child succeed in school?; How do I set up a "study area" at home?; What if my child doesn't like his teacher? and more...
How important is it for me to be involved in my child's school life?
We know for a fact, from research, that the more involvement there is, not hand-holding, not taking power and decision-making away from the youngsters, but being there to become a platform, if you will, for the student to talk about what's going on as he or she develops, that is really imperative. The issue of quality time with a parent and youngster is key. It doesn't matter if the youngster is entering Kindergarten or if the youngster is in 12th grade, it doesn't matter; that quality time, that communication, is key. If it's strong, if that parent communication is strong, that youngster will succeed. If it's weak, it's a struggle. There's systems in the school to help. With luck, and everybody pulling together, that student will also succeed. It just becomes more difficult for that youngster.
What is a school guidance counselor?
A school guidance counselor is a person who has the responsibility to make sure that the youngester achieves well in the school system. Whether it be the middle school or the high school. It's very rare that you find a guidance counselor or school counselor operating in an elementary school, although there are some states and school districts that do provide that. The guidance counselor looks at academic concerns for your youngster and they would get involved if they're not coming up to par in that arena. If there are some kind of behavioral or social issues then they'd get involved in providing support there. Other areas, such as chronic absences would require intervention from a school guidance counselor. Oftentimes that would entail parental communication, working with the faculty, and other ways of supporting the youngster.
What are the top three things I can do to help my child succeed in school?
The top three things you can do to help your child succeed in school are the following. One is keep that open door so that you're always communicating with your youngster. Secondly, make efforts to be involved in the school system at one level or another. Thirdly, you really need to monitor your youngster's homework. Don't simply ask the question, “Son, did you do your homework today?” but ask the question in this fashion: “Johnny, tell me, what page did you complete in your history book? What did you learn from this chapter in history?” or “Tell me about this math problem. I don't understand algebra and you're studying equations. Can you tell me about that?” These three things to help your child succeed in school would be for a youngster perhaps in middle school. My three answers to that question would apply to kindergarten as well as high school. It doesn't matter.
What kinds of school materials do I need to buy for my child?
On average, a parent in the United States spends about $400 a year. If you gauge that, it's not always that way. It's not all at one time, but basically it comes to about $400 a year. A youngster really needs a good backpack. Many parents are looking at the flight attendant or pilot kind of carrying cases which have wheels for their child. This is so that the youngster is not straining his back but he's putting the textbooks in there and the materials that he needs, and rolling them to school. Pencils, paper, calculators; those are pretty much essential kinds of things for the average student in elementary, middle, and high school.
What if my child doesn't like his teacher?
If your child comes to you and says, "I really hate my teacher," as a good parent, what you say is, "Johnny, let's sit down and let's talk about that. I'd like to hear more about that." I think that would be the appproach that a good parent would take - "tell me about what it is" - so that you can begin to identify what the issues are. Once you clarify that with your youngster, then my suggestion is, you make an appointment with the instructor, with the teacher, and have a conversation about that, because generally, the problem is either miscommunication, or maybe expectations aren't the same. Maybe the child needs more affirmation, more pats on the back, for example. The teacher may not be used to doing that. Merely communicating that with the instructor will make that awareness present, and therefore the instructor will deal with that, because most instructors are willing to support the youngster. It's just a question of not knowing what's going on. Usually the youngster doesn't feel confident to communicate to the teacher directly, so they would need the parent's help.
Is there anything I can do to help my child enjoy school?
There's a lot of things that parents can do to help their child enjoy school. Mainly, you would think of school as a big celebration. You need to think of the youngster going through the system and reaching certain thresholds. He passes first grade; let's celebrate with that. He passed his fraction test; let's celebrate. If he's having trouble with mathematics, then, okay, we're going to celebrate the fact that you have admitted that math is really difficult for you. Now let's figure out a way to tackle that issue so that you can be successful, and then we'll celebrate that. So the key is to recognize the youngster's achievements. All youngsters excel in one thing or another, so you emphasize the strengths, and then you find out what the weaknesses are, or what the growth areas are, and you slowly work on those. Emphasize the strengths, work on the growth areas; that'll lead to student success.