Positive September—October 2007
Parenting YOUR PARTNERS IN PARENTING
Helping Children Learn to Learn
Fall is coming and most chil- what they should do. So let Set aside some quiet time for
dren have already returned to them see you enjoying learning! reading – without having the
school to start a new academic television playing in the
year. No doubt your children Read and enjoy books, maga- background!
were excited to get to see their zines, and newspapers.
friends, enjoy extracurricular Plan Family Learning
activities, and attend the first Keep a dictionary and set of en- Activities
football game of the fall. But cyclopedias in your home
Sometimes we make the mis-
were they excited to be return- and use them often to look
take of separating “learning”
ing to classes or did they seem up answers to questions
activities from “fun” activities.
to be worried and anxious about when they arise.
jumping back into a children’s But what if we could make
version of the rat race? Instead of an encyclopedia, you learning one of the pleasurable
could look up information things we do together, just like
Learning should be fun, even on-line using a home com- going to the movies?
though learning can be hard puter. Of course, we recom- Make trips to the library a
work, too. Sometimes, for some mend Ohioline (http:// fun family activity. Get
children, learning new more ad- ohioline.osu.edu), our own excited about helping
vanced information can be chal- Ohio State University Ex- your children select their
lenging. When you see your tension web site as a great own books. Celebrate
child struggling with homework place to start. Another web when they get their own
or feeling discouraged when the site where you can find high
solution to a new math problem quality research based infor-
doesn’t come easily, don’t you mation is eXtenion Take your children to chil-
wish you could help them learn? (pronounced E – extension: dren’s museums, art mu-
Well, you can! You can help http://www.extension.org/). seums, historic sites,
your child learn how to learn! planetariums, or science
Talk with you children about the exhibits. Many of these
Make Your Home a things they are learning in are free or low cost.
Learning Place school. Let them know that Talk about what you see
you are excited to learn and ask them what they
Begin by showing your children about those things, too. enjoyed.
that you love to earn. We all
know the adage, “Do as I say, Tell them about things you are Don’t forget that learning
not as I do.” Children often learning that you find to be goes on in ordinary
learn more by observing what exciting, too. places, too. Trips to the
parents do that by being told (continued on page 5)
Homework Help— Start the School Year Off Right!
It's 4 p.m. and your child • Make a homework box. Pack It's important for the teacher to
has a book report due, a quiz a school box with all the supplies know if your child is struggling
your kids will need to complete with a particular assignment.
to study for and soccer after
homework: glue stick, pencil, Sometimes sending a note to the
dinner. You know the eve- crayons, ruler, protractor. Not teacher is helpful so he or she
ning would run smoother if having to scramble for supplies can give your child some extra
only he'd do his homework will make finishing homework attention on the topic.
now. He, of course, has much less stressful.
other ideas. So what is a parent's job when it
comes to homework?
Sound familiar? You're not • For one, stay on top of the
alone. assignments due. Some teachers
send home a list of assignments;
Homework can be a battle for others have web sites. Find out
some kids. Others seem to breeze how your child's teacher oper-
through the worksheets and dio- ates.
ramas without any trouble at all. • Praise your child's efforts.
Regardless, every family benefits • If your child struggles, try to
when the homework rules are Whose Homework Is It, get to the bottom of the diffi-
clear, well-established -- and Anyway? culty. Is it organizational skills?
rarely negotiable. Reading troubles? Boredom?
It's important to remember that
doing the homework isn't your Try and make it fun. Maybe put
Create a Homework Plan
job -- no matter how much your out a fun snack for homework
Here are some tips to creating a child struggles. Help your child, time, or agree to a game or out-
homework plan that works for yes, but once you take the pencil side play when homework's fin-
you: into your own hand -- you've ished.
crossed the line.
• Set a schedule. Just like you
have a time for dinner and bed, By the time your child is in fifth
establish a time for homework. grade, he or she should be show-
Bear in mind that each child ing signs of independence on the
might need a different schedule. homework front. It's not a good
Some do best getting their work idea to micro-manage their
done after school -- they're too homework at this point. It's cru-
exhausted later. Others need to cial that they learn to work inde-
unwind first. pendently -- and accept the con-
sequences if they don't. Reprinted from: North Carolina
Cooperative Extension, The De-
• Create a study nook. Maybe
it's the kitchen table or a desk -- How do you know if your child partment of Family & Consumer
doesn't matter. The important is on top of the game? Grades. If Sciences, College of Agriculture
point is that your kids have a your child is slipping, then it's and Life Sciences, North Caro-
regular place to do their home- time to step in and talk about
homework. lina State University. Copyright
work. 2004, NC State University.
Children and School Connectedness
School Connectedness? What is drop out of school. School Climate and School
it and why does it matter? What Helps a Child Feel Connectedness
Connected to School? A second factor that has been
The two most important factors found to influence children’s
sense of connection with their
that have been identified as
school is school climate.
influencing children’s sense of
connection with their school are School climate is measured by
parents and school climate. asking children’s views about
several important aspects of life
Parents and School
Do your children feel that they at school including (a)
receive support and caring from opportunities to affect
Parents play a big role in classroom policies and
specific adults in their school?
shaping children’s connections procedures, (b) having positive
Do they feel that they receive at school. Parents who provide relationships with adults at
empathy, attention, and praise children with support, self- school, (c) believing that adults
from teachers and peers? esteem, and a sense of personal at school do not discriminate
Do they feel that they belong competence provide their based on appearances, (d)
and are encouraged to become children with the skills they opportunities for creative
the best persons they can be? need to form the bonds of activities, and (e) believing the
connection. Unfortunately, school rules and policies
If your children experience
children who experience communicate care, value,
these feelings, then they feel
parental neglect or violence in respect, and trust for students.
connected to their school in
early life are less likely to feel
important ways. Research studies indicate that
connected to school during the
Why is School Connectedness middle and high school years. the more positively students rate
Important? These children are often labeled each aspect of school climate,
the more likely they are to feel
Children who experience a early as being “troubled” and
connected to their school. So
sense of school connectedness are less likely to receive the
ask your children if they feel a
are more likely to feel engaged kinds of support and positive
attention they need from sense of belonging at school.
with their schools and their
Celebrate if they do, and talk
peers, to work harder, and to be teachers and other adults to
form positive connections. about it if they don’t. It may
involved with positive activities
make a world of difference!
inside and outside of school. In
addition, children who
experience connection with
Whitlock, J. (2003). Fostering School
school are less likely to be Connectedness. ACT for Youth -
violent, engage in risky sexual Upstate Center of Excellence.
behavior, try or use drugs, or
Prevent the Early Morning Rush!
search for shoes that seems to cleaning up the counters, make
Summertime, and the livin’ begin with every school year. two meals instead of one!
was easy. Not any more!
Start Going to Bed Earlier Have a Place for Everything
Now there lunches to pack, and Make Sure Everything
notes to sign, and shoes to Parents resist an earlier bedtime Needed is in Place
find! How can families as much as children do, but it can
make mornings more make a big difference in how How much of your morning is
manageable? well you feel—and that can make spent looking for keys? Shoes?
a big difference in how well you Homework or books? One way
function throughout the day. Of to avoid these searches is to have
course, children need to go to a place where keys, shoes,
bed earlier, too. It will help themhomework and other necessities
awaken alert and ready to get up. belong, and then develop the
habit of ALWAYS putting them
Start Getting Up Earlier, Too in that place. One method to
accomplish this goal is to have
You probably don’t need to do box or basket for each family
anything drastic—just try setting member. Each person is
your alarm clock to ring 15
Do mornings feel more like a minutes earlier than usual. You
nighmare than the bright start to may find that it is well worth it.
a new day? Then you may want
to try a few tips to help prevent Take Time for Breakfast
You might want to use those
Start the Night Before extra 15 minutes to enjoy a
healthy breakfast. And having
Planning ahead and starting the breakfast with the family—even
responsible for putting books,
preparations for tomorrow before something as simple as cereal,
lunch money, hats and gloves or
going to bed tonight night can and fruit can make a big anything else that’s needed in
make a huge difference in the difference in how you and your their basket.
way your morning goes! Lay children feel all day. Research
out clothing the night before for findings suggest that individuals
Practice a few new morning
everyone in the family— who eat breakfast perform better management skills, and it won’t
including YOU! This not only at work and school, and may see be long before mornings will be
gives you more time in the the added benefit of a smaller the happy start to a new day that
morning, it prevents unpleasant waist line, too!
we always hoped they could be!
surprises. For example, by
laying out your son’s outfit Prepare Lunches While Adapted from:
before going to bed, you won’t Preparing Breakfast
discover there’s a stain on the Dealing with Morning Madness.
shirt he is wearing to have his This is one kind of multitasking Backpack Buddies BB-F-1. Ohio State
school picture taken as he’s University Extension
that is likely to be effective!
running out the door to catch the While you’re getting things in
bus. It will also prevent the daily and out of the refrigerator and
(...continued from page 1) reward for earning good grades, Instead of offering money for
grocery store, home this may not be as helpful as it grades, try rewarding children
store, or bank all offer appears. Consumer Science edu- for good behavior or good
opportunities for learn- cators advise parents to use cau- grades with kind words or a
ing. tion when rewarding children’s hug. Tell your children you are
learning successes with money. proud of them, and complement
Make a family game night at While money incentives can be the study skills they used to
home and remember to beneficial under some circum- achieve success.
play games in the car or stances, research indicates that
while waiting in line at giving children money for good Sources:
the grocery store. Not grades can sometimes prevent
only will it help focus children from developing a love Janet Bodnar, Dollars and Sense for
your children’s attention for learning. That is, instead of Kids Kiplinger: Washington, DC
on something other than developing and enjoying a sense Helping Your Children Succeed at
the toys and candies po- of personal satisfaction that Learning. http://www.aces.edu/pubs/
sitioned to attract them, comes from learning, children docs/H/HE-0676/ HE-676, Printed
it will help them polish may think of the money as the October 1996. Current contact is
reason for studying. Learning, Ellen Abell, Extension Family and
their thinking skills! Child Development Specialist, Associ-
then, becomes like any other ate Professor, Human Development
chore that has to be done to get and Family Studies, Auburn Univer-
Reward Learning with Love
the reward. sity. This publication was originally
written by H. Wallace Goddard, for-
While it might seem to make mer Extension Family and Child De-
sense to offer children a money velopment Specialist.
Parenting For More Information…
For more parenting information,
Address editorial comments to: other Ohio State University Extension
Positive Parenting Newsletter resources and links to your local
OSU Extension Center at Lima county extension web-site, visit
1219 W. Main Cross Street, Suite 202 (without the www):
Findlay, Ohio 45840 http://ohioline.osu.edu/ and
Cynthia Burggraf Torppa, Ph.D.
Family Science Extension Specialist
OSU Extension embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring
that all educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Exten-
sion are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without re-
gard to race, color, age, gender identity or expression, disability, relig-
ion, sexual orientation, national origin, or veteran status. Keith L. Smith,
Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Director,
Mention of a proprietary product, trademark or commercial firm in text
or figures does not constitute endorsement by Ohio State University
Extension and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other products
or firms. YOUR PARTNERS IN PARENTING