Parent’s play vital role in learning

In Your Corner is dedicated to helping youth learn how to navigate some of the difficult paths of life, empowering them with skills and techniques to help them know themselves better and to communicate to others. The truth is that parents have the most vital role in their child’s successes.

Second in importance is a child’s school. Whether a child is educated publicly, privately, or at home, the skills learned are crucial for the “pursuit of happiness” later in life. Imagine being unable to read a Hawaii Driver’s test, balance a checking account, knowing how to double a recipe or read a drug’s side effects.

In the many studies of what helps foster success in school, the number one factor is attendance! And the number one champions of attendance are the parents. Here is a website for teachers and administrators about keeping kids in school: www.attendanceworks.org

The following excerpts have come from their flier for parents about the importance of keeping kids in school:

Students should miss no more than nine days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.

Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success.

Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.

Make school attendance a priority. Talk about the importance of showing up to school everyday, make that the expectation.

Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.

Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during school hours.

Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety.

Also, the flier speaks of the importance of school children feeling “engaged” with the school. That means that they feel safe, respected, and that they fit in with at least some classmates. It would be good if they could participate in one or more extra curricular activity, like a sports team or club.

They also suggest that you keep in touch with the school. Make sure the school knows how to contact you. If you see changes in your child’s behavior, speak to the teachers. There could be something going on at school. Know the school’s attendance policy and check with the school to make sure that you both agree on days missed. Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting your child to school. There is help available. Ask. You can also ask for financial help if you are challenged with being able to purchase all the “back to school” items that your child’s teachers have requested. A little bird told me that Walmart donates to the schools, and that the Rotary Clubs also help out.

The Kauai County branch of the Department of Education will be publicly providing information on when/where to register students in a few days. Middle and high schools will have different days for different classes to register. The local schools are open now from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to register students who have not previously registered. Remember that kindergarten in mandatory now for all children who will be five as of July 31w.

The DOE also has a website with valuable information regarding parents’ roles in the education process. This is for kindergarten students, but it works for higher grades too. (http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/ParentsAndStudents/GradeLevelOverview/Kindergarten/Pages/home.aspx)

It states, “Parents and caregivers have the most influence in these key factors that enhance a child’s readiness for school.

Ongoing health care, which includes prevention and treatment

A safe, nurturing environment (Yelling interferes with a young child’s thinking and learning even later on in life).

Appropriate rest, nourishment and clothing

Opportunities for physical activity

Consistent love, affection and care

Positive self-concept

Appropriate social behavior

Autonomy

Reading, writing and viewing as natural daily activity

Language development

Development of thinking

Lastly, The Department (of Educations’s) General Learner Outcomes (GLOs) are the over-arching goals of standards-based learning for all students in all grade levels. In other words, these are the core goals that all other goals and behaviors lead to as outcomes.

General Learner Outcomes:

Self-directed Learner (The ability to be responsible for one’s own learning)

Community Contributor (The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together)

Complex Thinker (The ability to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving)

Quality Producer (The ability to recognize and produce quality performance and quality products)

Effective Communicator (The ability to communicate effectively)

Effective and Ethical User of Technology (The ability to use a variety of technologies effectively and ethically) (http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/StudentLearning/LearnerOutcomes/Pages/home.aspx)

So when you see a car with “My Child GLOs at ______School”, you’ll know that a parent is reinforcing good work in her child, which usually leads to more good work from a child. Your kids want your approval and your love so much, and it doesn’t cost a thing. Onward to the adventures in learning! May it be fun for all and lead to bright futures.

• Hale `Opio Kaua’i convened a support group of adults in our Kaua’i community to “step into the corner” for our teens, to answer questions and give support to youth and their families on a wide variety of issues. Please email your questions or concerns facing our youth and families today to Annaleah Atkinson at aatkinson@haleopio.org

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