Monday, July 22, 2013

Core Standards for Parents

Teachers and parents make up a crucial part of the "village" that is supporting your child or you're children's development. It is important for both to do their best to help ensure that they get a good educational foundation.   Below are some basic standards for parents to follow to support the core standards of education.  This is the first five of ten standards. The other five will be in a future blog post. 
1. Make education a priority over extracurricular activities.
It is essential that parents place a priority on education. So many parents place priorities on sports and extra activities that they forget that an education is what their children really need to get ahead in life. If the parent places priority on the extra activity, they are teaching their child that the extra activity is more important than education. This may very well come back to haunt those parents later in life when they cannot convince their child that education is important.
2. Help your children with their homework. If it is too hard for you, find someone who can help.
The parent must set up home time to complete homework. Create a desk space and a consistent time frame for completing homework. Hold the child accountable for completing homework before extra activities can be attended. I am sure everyone has heard of the TV show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. If the homework that is brought home with your child is too difficult for you, think about that show and get some help. Homework can be hard and there is no reason to be embarrassed about not knowing how to answer the questions. As the parent, what you can do is help the child learn how to find the answers either using the internet or asking someone who may know. There is never anything wrong with asking for assistance. It is a good lesson for your child to see you using resources.
3. Create "Teachable Moments" for your children.
Be legitimately interested in helping your child learn. If you are active in your child's education, then they see the value in their efforts. A teachable moment is when out of nowhere an opportunity presents itself to teach your child something. For example, you are cooking and you are adding ingredients. Use that opportunity to ask your child about fractions and get them involved in using the measuring cups. Use vacations to work on geography; make your child pay for dinner with cash and see if they can figure out if they got the right amount of change, or figure out a 15 percent tip. There are so many teachable moments out there. Don't miss them.
4. Support your child's teachers. If you disagree with them, discuss it privately away from your children.
Your child needs to learn about and respect authority. If they see and hear you not supporting their teacher, then the teacher will lose credibility in the eyes of your child. Your child has now learned that teachers are wrong and can be talked about in a negative way. You and the teacher must be a team. If you disagree with the teacher, discuss it with them privately and away from ear shot of your child. You entrust your child to this person for eight hours a day. You want your child to perceive the teacher with the highest amount of respect.
5. Require your children to be better than you were at their age
I always thought of this as a good indicator of the success of a parent: Are their children held to a higher standard. Not that this is always attainable, but none the less, a good practice for which to strive. I fear that a lot of times, especially in the urban sectors, parents will say that they did the same thing their child is doing and it didn't hurt them. Typically this is a comment related to poor behavior. My thought is always, "Don't you want better for your children?" Didn't you learn the lesson that poor behavior leads to negative consequences? Parents need to hold their children up to a higher standard, if for no other reason than to improve our society.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer Activities to Keep Your Kids from Back Sliding!

Use the daily activities in these fun activity calendars to prevent your children from forgetting what they have learned during the school year while they are out for the summer!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Children and Sports

Children and Sports
As spring approaches your children are probably going to be asking about joining a sports team.
Sports help children develop physical skills, get exercise, make friends, have fun, learn to
play as a member of a team, learn to play fair, and improve self-esteem. American sports
culture has increasingly become a money making business. The highly stressful,
competitive, "win at all costs" attitude prevalent at colleges and with professional athletes
affects the world of children's sports and athletics; creating an unhealthy environment. It
is important to remember that the attitudes and behavior taught to children in sports carry
over to adult life. Parents should take an active role in helping their child develop good
sportsmanship. To help your child get the most out of sports, you need to be actively
This includes:
•providing emotional support and positive feedback,
•attending some games and talking about them afterward,
•having realistic expectations for your child,
•learning about the sport and supporting your child's involvement,
•helping your child talk with you about their experiences with the coach and other
team members,
•helping your child handle disappointments and losing, and
•modeling respectful spectator behavior.
Although this involvement takes time and creates challenges for work schedules, it
allows you to become more knowledgeable about the coaching, team values, behaviors,
and attitudes. Your child's behavior and attitude reflects a combination of the coaching
and your discussions about good sportsmanship and fair play.  It is also important to talk about what your child observes in sports events. When bad sportsmanship occurs, discuss other ways the situation could be handled. While you might acknowledge that in the heat of competition it may be difficult to maintain control and respect for others, it is important to stress that disrespectful behavior is not acceptable. Remember, success is not the same thing as winning and failure is not the
same thing as losing.  If you are concerned about the behavior or attitude of your chi
ld's coach, you may want to talk with the coach privately. As adults, you can talk together about what is most important for the child to learn. While you may not change a particular attitude or
behavior of a coach, you can make it clear how you would like your child to be
approached. If you find that the coach is not responsive, discuss the problem with the
parents responsible for the school or league activities. If the problem continues, you may
decide to withdraw your child.  

As with most aspects of parenting, being actively involved and talking with your children
about their life is very important. Being proud of accomplishments, sharing in wins and
defeats, and talking to them about what has happened helps them develop skills and
capacities for success in life. The lessons learned during children's sports will shape
values and behaviors for adult life.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

K-12 Students' Veiws on Digital Learning

§  1. Use the Internet to help with homework at home? Over 50% of students in grades 6-12 say that they do that at least weekly; for 29% of high schoolers, it is a daily event with 68% saying their primary Internet access is through a 3G/4G device.
§  2. Learning anytime, anyplace, any pace? 41% of students who have not taken a fully online class would like to take a virtual class; they see the #1 benefit as being able to learn at their own pace.
§  3. What do kids think about flipped classrooms? 6 out of 10 students say it would be a good way for them to learn.
§  4. Pixel or print – what is your reading style? 1/3 of students in grade 6-8 say their preference is to read a digital book for schoolwork; put that hard copy book away – 44% of students want to read on a digital reader.
§  5. Learning via YouTube? Yes, 29% of students have used an online video to help them with their homework.
§  6. Teacher – I have a question! 30% of students say that being able to text their teacher during class (and getting a personalized response) would help them be more successful in science.
§  7. Who is today’s gamer? 75% of students in Kindergarten through second grade are using computers and mobile devices to play educational games on a regular basis.
§  8. Tweet-tweet? 34% of high school students are Twitter users now – a three-fold increase since 2011 when only 11% of students acknowledged tweeting as part of their social media profile.
§  9. Where do kids do school group projects in 2013? They do them on Facebook – 38% of students say that they regularly use Facebook to collaborate with classmates on school projects.
10. Students are mobilists! Students’ personal access to mobile devices has reached several significant tipping points: 80% of students in grades 9-12, 65% of students in grades 6-8 and 45% of students in grades 3-5 are smartphone users now; middle school student tablet access doubled from 2011 to 2012 with 52% of those students now tablet –enabled.

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 Steps to Motivate Your Child

A big part of life is doing things we don’t want to do — and not making a huge deal about it. But when you’re 8 or 9, having to finish your homework or practice piano for 30 minutes can feel like the biggest burden ever. Here’s how to give your child a dose of perspective while making it easier for her to manage (you’ll keep your own sanity intact, too!): 

1. Think small. Breaking projects down into smaller components helps your child avoid the feeling that she’s about to climb Mt. Everest. Ways to do it: Have her study for Friday’s spelling test a little bit each day or practice piano 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes before dinner, and 15 minutes after.

2. Make like Goldilocks. Keep your child motivated and involved by setting “just right” goals together: If they’re too easy, your child might become bored — and if they’re too challenging, she might feel frustrated and give up. Don’t expect a LeBron James performance from your basketball player, but explain that he’ll need to shoot hoops a few times a week in the backyard (outside of practice) to make progress. 

3. Fork over some power. Whenever possible, leave room for choice so that your child has a sense of control: Do you want to start with math or reading tonight? Would you rather sign up for dance or gymnastics? When she can buy into the task, it feels easier for her to tackle. 

4. Offer up praise. By acknowledging your child’s efforts, you teach him to value and believe in himself. This type of encouragement will help him keep working when the going gets tough. 

5. Try a reward. Note that we did not say bribe. There’s a difference! A reward is something you offer as incentive in advance. For instance, you might say: If you can start and finish your homework without being asked for one week, you can take a friend to the movies. A bribe, on the other hand, is usually an act of desperation and is often given before the child completes the desired task. When used correctly — offer them for one or two behaviors at the most — tangible rewards will spark your child’s natural drive, desire to please, and love of learning. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Read Books On-Line for FREE!

It’s going to take a couple of years and probably a few major court battles but Google and another organization called the Internet Archive is working to create a searchable internet databases of all the world’s books.  There have been other efforts along these lines such as the Gutenberg Project which currently offers 25,000 free online ebooks  and Lit2Go which comes from Florida's Educational Technology Clearinghouse.
The Google project can be found here:
They have already scanned thousands of books from major universities all across the nation.  You can search their database and read the books right off the screen like this:
As you might imagine this book scanning project has caused an eruption of copyright issues.  Currently you can only read selected pages from most of the books that are available.  The Google Book project might someday charge a small fee to read or download a book or it might eventually be free or a combination of for free and pay books. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Data Button

We are pleased to announce the launch of the DoDEA “myDATA Button” initiative. This initiative provides parents with a web-based “button” linked to the Aspen Student Information System Parent Portal by School Year (SY) 2012-2013.  Loyd School was chosen as one of the Pilot Schools for the program.  Please visit the web site for information on how to register for the program and use the data portal.

The portal will provide families with access to their child’s electronic academic records, such as unofficial transcripts and student performance data at any time and any place.

Providing parents with this access will allow them to better plan and manage their children’s educational needs, particularly during school transitions. This project is a reflection of our belief that providing parents access to their children’s educational information contributes to better engagement in school matters, and ultimately, better educational outcomes for students.
myDATA for Parents
Mom and daughterThe myDATA Button portal is currently available only to the schools who are participants in the pilot launch of the portal. A phased deployment for all DoDEA will take place no later than school year 2013 – 2014. Read More... 
myDATA for Students
Back to School 2012 IconStudent access is only available to students in grades 4-12 in schools that are participating in the pilot. Students will be provided their logon credentials by their school administration.