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April 2020 Elementary Parents Magazine

Build your child’s online research skills

Help your child develop important research skills by showing him how to find interesting information online. Here are two games the whole family can play:

  • Scavenger hunt. Make a list of 10 questions for which there is only one correct answer. For example: What’s the temperature in Madrid right now? Who was the last Olympic Gold Medal winner in women’s figure skating? Then start a timer and see how quickly your child can find the answers. Teach him to use a variety of search terms to make his search more effective. Give the same list of questions to another family member and see who gets the best time!
  • Panning for gold. Choose a famous person or event from history. Give everyone in the family 15 minutes to search online for interesting facts about that person or event. Share what each of you has learned. Vote for whose “nugget” of information turned out to be gold!

Reprinted with permission from the April 2020 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2020 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

 

Give your elementary schooler practice making decisions

The best way to learn how to make good decisions is by making lots of them. So give your child as many opportunities as you can to make choices.

Young children can decide which healthy items to pack for lunch, or which long sleeve shirt to wear, for example. Older children can make decisions about more significant things. Of course, you must still set the boundaries. For example, your child can decide whether to do her science or her social studies homework first, but she can’t decide to watch TV before she starts her homework.

Gradually give your child more freedom to make decisions. Keep in mind that children don’t always connect outcomes with the choices they have made, so help your child think about the potential consequences of her decisions.

If she makes a poor decision, sit down and talk about why it didn’t work. Ask, “What would you do differently next time?” The next time she has to make a decision, she will be able to draw on what she learned.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2020 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2020 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

photo of a smiling student

Celebrate the month of April with fun learning activities

April may bring showers—but it also brings learning opportunities. Here are some fun things you can plan to do with your child:

  • April 2 is International Children’s Book Day and Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. This day is designed to inspire a love of reading. Head to the library and grab some books!
  • April 13 is the birthday of Thomas Jefferson. Go online to learn more about this president. Take a virtual tour of his home, Monticello, at explorer.monticello.org/virtualtour.
  • April 15 is income tax deadline day. Talk about the purpose of taxes. Practice calculating percentages with your child.
  • April 22 is Earth Day. As a family, think of something you can do to protect the earth. Perhaps you could plant a tree or set up a recycling station at home.
  • April 23 is the day Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated. Ask your child to write a scene for a play and act it out with friends or family.
  • April 26 is the birthday of John James Audubon, who is known for his drawings and paintings of North American birds. Ask your child to draw pictures of the birds she sees.
  • April 30 is International Jazz Day. Find a radio station that plays jazz and listen to it with your child. Then each of you can describe how the music makes you feel.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2020 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2020 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

 

Questions & Answers

Q: My daughter is starting middle school next year and won’t be attending the same school as most of her friends. She’s very anxious about this move. What can I do over the next few months to ease her nerves?

A: Middle school is a really big adjustment for any child. Instead of having one teacher, your child will have several. Instead of staying in one classroom, she will have to move from room to room. Instead of being in the highest grade level in the school, she will now be in the lowest.

It is completely normal for your daughter to feel anxious about this transition. To help her feel a little more confident:

  • Sign up for a tour. See if she can take a tour while classes are in session. Just walking around the building and seeing students will give your child a better idea of what to expect (and even what to wear) on her first day.
  • Buy a combination lock and have your child practice opening it. Lockers are a big source of anxiety for many kids. Even if your child has to learn a new combination when school starts, she’ll feel confident that she can open and close her locker.
  • Remind your child that she won’t be the only new kid in her school. Everyone will be starting fresh. Assure her that she’ll still have opportunities to see her old friends, even if they’re at a different school.
  • Check out school activities. If your child can get started on a team or in the band over the summer, she’ll make some new friends before the school year starts.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2020 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2020 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.