Archive for the 'A New Beginning: Encouragement to Parents' Category

School Wind up: Questions to Think About

As parents we almost always sigh with relief when the last school door closes for the summer!  Along with our children, we have worked really hard keeping track of schedules, homework and other assignments, and outside activities plus daily cooking, cleaning, washing, etc!  Before you jump into your summer schedule (which is almost as busy!), take time to decompress with your child, especially if its been a year of struggle.  This might include taking time to talk about the past school year and writing your child’s thoughts down by his yearly school picture:

What did you like about the year? Friends? Teacher? A special subject?

What did you like least about the year?

What was your favorite subject? Why?

Then you may want to take time to think through these questions by yourself plus the following ones:

What would you change if you could go back?  This may help you avoid the same issues this coming year.

What progress did you see your child make?  Sometimes if there is a learning difference its easier to see the struggles than the progress.  Make notes of even a tiny bit of progress in an area.

How do you need to prepare now for the fall? If tutoring or therapy is involved, its time to make that scheduled appointment now if you want after school hours.

Now have FUN!!!! Summer can be about work but must be about FUN and PLAY for both you and your child!



Play With Me: Summer Reminder

Play with me

I tried to teach my child from books;

He gave me only puzzled looks.

I tried to teach my child with words;

They passed him by, oft unheard.

Despairingly I turned aside:

“How shall I teach this child? I cried.

Into my hand he put the key:

“Come” he said, “play with me.”

Author Unknown

Spring Sadness: Your Child

As summer rapidly approaches, your child may experience joy about the end of school mixed with sadness.  Promotion to the next grade level is exciting but may cause anxiety about the new teacher and new classmates as well as leaving the familiar teacher.  Be aware of these mixed emotions and help your child work through the anxiety.  Anxiety can look like sadness, irritability, acting out in school. Some things to think about doing before school is out:

  1. Visit the new grade level and look at the classrooms, meet the teachers.
  2. Help your child write a story about this year’s good and bad times.  Then add his expectations about next year.  For younger children, have them tell you the story.  Note fears and help your child with these. This could be especially important if your child is moving to a different school.
  3. Add play dates this summer with children who may be in the same grade level.  If they are not in the same class, they will have a friend at recess.

How have you helped your child with this sadness?

Parent Teacher Alert!!!

As we rapidly approach February, it is important to think of time lines as Spring Break will be coming our way in March or April.

If you are planning on having your child evaluated, this time of year is one of the busiest for diagnostic professionals.  It may take you several weeks to get your child into see a professional.  Then add a week or two for the professional to score the tests, interpret them, and write the report.  This puts us a month since you picked up the phone and made the appointment.  If your child needs to be evaluated, please don’t wait.

If you are planning to start tutoring or therapy this summer, it is also important to contact the tutor/therapist to place your name on the summer list or to find out the earliest possible date you can do so.  Most tutor/therapists that I know have their summer schedules filled by late March or early April.

Teachers: Please, if you have concerns about a child do not wait till after Spring Break to express your concerns!  As you can see from the above paragraph, parents are probably looking at a month before they receive recommendations after the first contact with the professional.  Spring Break plus a month may mean the end of school.

Jeremiah 29:11

Post Semester Blues: Scenerio #3

Many of you have engaged your child in therapy this past semester and faithfully followed through all suggestions feasible with your families lifestyle.  Suddenly you have realized that great progress has been made in one area while another area has appeared that needs work.  How do you prioritize what you can realistically handle with your child time wise, financially, and family wise?  Prioritizing needs will change as your child’s academic needs change.  That is why it is important to have one or more professionals that will help you understand your child’s changing priorities.  This may mean that you need to switch from your favorite professional to a new professional at times which I know can be very difficult emotionally for you and your child.  But we all know that running from one professional to another each day after school can become very tedious and at times impossible.  Sit with someone who can help you look unemotionally at the whole picture of your child, his needs and your time and energy.  Have a good fit for everyone so no one becomes “burned out”! Make sure there is time for FUN!!!!


Your child struggled, he was tested by professionals, but you:

Felt that the results did not  reflect your child as you know him;

Felt totally overwhelmed by the results and do not know what to do next;

Agreed with the results, looked to put in place the recommendations but became bogged down;

Agreed with the results, contacted the recommended professionals; found no one you cared to work with;  stopped.

Agreed with the results, contacted the recommended professionals and have things in place.

Which route did you take? Its never too late to get started again!  Find a support person or group to help you move forward.  It can take alot of energy to put a plan in place but it is very important to do so for the sake of your child.  Praying for you…….

Post First Semester Blues

Often I find that parents who have watched their child struggle during the first semester of school are now  faced with the question of “what do I do next?”  Through the first semester of school, words like “give him time to grow, mature” have been the repeated phrase.  But time has not helped.

If you are one of these parents, you may be experiencing sadness and even anger. Your sadness and anger may be  a form of grief.  Your hope that your child would “outgrow” the problem has been dashed!  You may find yourself asking “how severe is the problem?”, “can it be fixed?”, “will they be successful adults?”, “will the school allow my child to stay?” Fear may step in. Try to use your fears to move forward rather than becoming paralyzed.  Seek support from your school counselor, a trusted friend, journaling, prayer as you begin answering the question of “what to do next?.” Also please remember  that your child is also asking “what’s next?” Please help him ……..

Handwriting Questions

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R