Friday, November 30, 2012

25 Manners Every Child Should Know By Age 9

No one is born with good manners. Manners are really practical applications that have to be taught (and yes, modeled) by the adults in a child’s life!

Sometimes children just don't realize it's impolite to interrupt, pick their nose, or loudly comment that the lady walking in front of them is overweight. If you reinforce the follwing 25 must-do manners, you'll raise a polite, kind, well-liked child.

How to use this list?- You may choose to read it and do a mental check on how many your child is doing well on, and which ones you should be focusing. You may want to read it together with your child, and discuss each one. Or you may even want to print it (totally or partially) and display it in your refrigerator or kitchen door as a reminder to your child (and your household) of what is expected at home. Remember, good manners that are seen at home transcend to other places, and it is NEVER TOO LATE TO START! 

1 . When asking for something, say "Please."

2. When receiving something, say "Thank you."

3. Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
4. If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
5. When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
6. The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.
7. Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.
8. When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
9. When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
10. Knock on closed doors -- wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.
11. When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
12. Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.
13. Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.
14. Don't call people mean names.
15. Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
16. Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
17. If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."
18. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.
19. As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
20. If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new.
21. When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
22. When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
23. Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.
24. Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
25. Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach children about being thankful. Here are some ideas to teach your children how to appreciate the blessings in their lives and how to express it. Try these ideas and see if they work for you. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results!
Gratitude is one of the trickiest concepts to teach  -- but one of the most important. Although thankful children are more polite and pleasant to be around, there's more to it than that. By learning gratitude, children become sensitive to the feelings of others, develop empathy and other life skills along the way. Grateful children look outside their one-person universe and understand that their parents and other people do things for them -- prepare dinner, dole out hugs, teach, care for them, buy toys, ect. On the flip side, children who aren't taught to be grateful end up feeling entitled and perpetually disappointed.

Set the Example. Parents have to model the behavior they hope their children adopt as their own. A simple, sincere expression of gratitude when your child does something they were asked to do is always appropriate. Taking an extra moment to thank a sales clerk at the store or to tip your help at home when bringing something to you lets them know that gratitude is acceptable and encouraged. Children model their parents in every way, so make sure you use "please" and "thank you" when you talk to them. ("Thanks for that hug -- it made me feel great!"). 

Work gratitude into your daily conversation.  When you reinforce an idea frequently, it's more likely to stick. Two old-fashioned, true ideas: Make saying what good things happened today part of the dinnertime conversation, or make bedtime prayers part of your nightly routine if this is an important part of your personal belief.
Make a List. From time to time, take some time as a family to list the things you are grateful for. Children might say things like a favorite toy or food, but sometimes they will express thanks for a family where they feel safe or for a dad's income that let's them have a few luxuries.
Don't Demand Thanks.  Avoid demanding thanks from your children. They will internalize example much more than they will threats or humiliation. If you offer it sincerely to them, they will learn the skills of gratitude.
Teach Through Role Playing. If you notice a lack of the gratitude attitude, consider a little role playing. Have children act out a scenario where someone went out of their way for someone else, and have the receiver express gratitude. You might even consider a negative example and see how the giver feels when his or her giving is ignored.
Establish Family Traditions. Give a "speech" before every holiday dinner, talk about the blessings you have in your family (even if it's not Thanksgiving). By having family rituals that center on gratitude, children learn to express thanks.
Have kids help. It happens to everyone: You give your child a chore, but it's too agonizing watching him a) take forever to do it or b) make a huge mess. The temptation is always to step in and do it yourself. But the more you do for them, the less they appreciate your efforts. By participating in simple household chores like feeding the dog or stacking dirty dishes on the counter, kids realize that all these things take effort.
Find a goodwill project. That doesn't mean you need to drag your toddler off to a soup kitchen or shelter every week. Instead, figure out some way he/she can actively participate in helping someone else, even if it's as simple as making cupcakes for a sick neighbor. As you're stirring the batter or adding sprinkles, talk about how you're making them for a special person, and how happy the recipient will be.

Encourage generosity. Donate toys and clothes to less fortunate kids! Giving to others inspires children to go through their own closets and give something special to those in need, as well.

Insist on thank-you notes. Parents sometimes make their children write thank-yous or make phone calls to thank for gifts or kind gestures. This teaches children not to take things for granted.  .

Practice saying no. Of course kids ask for toys, video games, and candy -- sometimes on an hourly basis. It's difficult, if not impossible, to feel grateful when your every whim is granted. Saying “no” sometimes makes hearing “yes”  much sweeter.

Be patient. You can't expect gratitude to develop overnight -- it requires weeks, months, even years of reinforcement. But in time, you will be rewarded.


Friday, November 9, 2012


Midterm reports for the second quarter are just around the corner at Discovery School! We all want our children to experience success in school. Children in Elementary School may sometimes experience frustration (and sometimes even failure). It's not because they lack ability, but because they do not have adequate study skills. Good study habits are important for success in school now and especially in the future. Listed below are a few things parents need to consider in order to assist a child in developing the right study skills.

Ø      Be a good role model. If you sometimes bring work home with you or you're taking a course yourself, your child will learn your habits.
Ø      Help your child organize things. For example, the protractor and compass belong in the math binder, sheet music in the violin case.
Ø      Help him or her organize space. The kitchen table is for eating; your child's desk is for studying.
Ø      Help your child organize time. Establish a routine for completing schoolwork. It doesn't have to be the minute your child walks in the door; just agree on a set time and stick to it.
Ø      Minimize distractions. Learning and practicing skills are not better retained when learned concurrently with loud music, TV shows and a telephone receiver at one ear.
Ø      Check your child's work. Every night is unnecessary (unless there is a particular need for it), but check it often enough that he or she knows you might - and that you care.
Ø      Insist that sloppy or careless work be redone, but don't correct errors; teachers need to know what students don't know.
Ø      Give praise whenever possible and appropriate. A sincere expression of pride in your child's academic accomplishments can go a long way toward making studying a habit.

Tips & Warnings

·                 Don't wait until report card time or progress reports to address concerns about your child's study habits. If you believe he or she needs help, offer it now. Contact the teacher and discuss the possibilities.
·                 See what the school offers in the way of study skills training.
Offering our children opportunities for success will enable them to become happy and productive students!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


The elementary students will all be engaging in an Elementary Science Fair this school year. The big event will take place on February 27. However, the work has already begun! Students in the Upper Elementary (grades three through six) have received their Science Fair Booklet, and will meet their first deadline this Monday, November 5. They will be working at home, and submitting different documents to their homeroom teachers periodically. Students in the Lower Elementary will be working on a class project with their homeroom teachers.

What is the best way to help your child? When is help too little or too much?
That is a questions that all parents face, and that teachers need parents to understand. Here are some things to consider:

  • It is important for the students to do the project themselves. A parent should not try to manage it for them.
  • Students may need guidance and direction when it comes to setting time aside to work on the project, and to obtain the necessary material to do it.
  • A parent can contribute by reminding his or her child about deadlines that need to be met, and making sure the child does the work.
  • It is very easy to take control of a student’s project, especially if you think it should be done differently. This should not happen.
  • Remember that this project is a learning experience for your child, and he or she will not benefit from a project performed by you.
  • If your child is performing all the necessary tasks to an acceptable standard and is not requesting assistance, your job is to supervise. If your child asks for help, appears to be struggling, or is performing below acceptable standards or with disregard for safety measures, then you may wish to offer assistance

The booklet that was given out during Parent-Student-Teacher conferences is very user friendly. Talk to your child’s teacher if you have any questions. We all want to make this experience a successful and pleasant one for our students.