Friday, February 28, 2014


At Discovery School we love to read and we want to motivate our students to continue to discover the wonderful world found in books, where just about anything can happen! Through the DS READ-A-THON our Early Childhood and Elementary (Grades K-5) students will be encouraged to read more often in the classroom and at home.

In organizing this READ-A-THON our objective is to help our students re-discover the joy of reading.  A READ-A-THON  is an event that encourages students and their families to read more, try new books, and have fun doing it. Extensive research proves that children who read for pleasure will gain advantages that last their whole lives. Research also demonstrates with overwhelming evidence that literacy has a significant relationship with a person’s happiness and success. Furthermore, the academic benefits of a strong leisure reading habit are not confined to improved reading ability. Leisure reading makes students more articulate, develops higher order reasoning, and promotes critical thinking – all of these skills for lifelong learning skills!

Our READ-A-THON will take place from March 3 to March 31, 2014. Each student will be given a Reading Log sheet and a special bookmark for this event. The goal is for every student to read as many books as he or she can, and keep a record of his or her reading. Once the sheet had been filled out, each student will need to turn it in to their homeroom teacher, and will be given a new one. The student in each class who, at the end of the month, reads more grade level (or above grade level books) will be honored in an assembly, and will be treated to a special lunch outside the school on Friday, April 4.

We ask our parents to support his initiative at home by providing their child with appropriate books for reading. Parents can borrow books from their child’s class library, check out books from our school library, download (free or purchased) books for their e-readers, borrow from a friend…the possibilities are endless! Let’s face it, parents will LOVE seeing their child lost in the world of a “cant-put-it-down” book! Who doesn't want to bring reading back into family time?!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Part 2

We have many responsibilities to our children. Feeding, clothing and sheltering them are the basics; however, there are other important responsibilities that come with parenting. Teaching our children to behave, how to relate to others, to be considerate and how to make friends are but a few more of the challenging aspects of being a parent.

What about teaching our kids to be responsible and accountable for their actions and their words? These are equally important responsibilities we have to teach our kids.
Teaching children to be accountable for what they do, say and feel is a gift that will help them throughout their lives. The “rules” also involve teaching children compassion and tolerance for others. When a child feels secure because they know and understand the “rules,” they are more willing and able to accept accountability for themselves. Teaching our kids what is right and wrong is a big step in teaching them responsibility. Once they know the “rules,” they are more able to make solid decisions and understand how they fit into society and how to react or respond to both joy and challenges.

If a child knows that throwing sand in another child’s face is wrong, that it hurts and they wouldn't want anyone to throw sand in their face, they begin to learn compassion for their peers and other human beings. If a child knows that taking something that does not belong to him is wrong and how losing a treasured toy would feel, he will be less inclined to wander off with someone’s favorite action figure.

Once children know and understand the rules of right and wrong, we can then teach them to be accountable and responsible for themselves. An especially meaningful lesson is teaching children to be truthful and honest. This may include teaching them that if they tell you the truth about any situation, they will not get in trouble. If they lie, they will most certainly get in trouble. This teaches them that being honest works, but also that lying isn't going to get them out of trouble or help them achieve a desired outcome. They are less likely to lie to anyone else, expecting that by being straight forward, honest and secure in their truth, they will not encounter resistance.  If they do, they are strongly rooted in their knowledge of right and wrong to stand firm in their beliefs and remain accountable for their words or deeds.

While we want our children to be secure, we must also realize and teach them that if they mess up, there will be consequences. Consequences do not have to equate to punishment. For example, if your child takes something from the checkout counter at the market while you are paying for the groceries, an appropriate consequence would be to bring your child right back into the market and have him/her give it back to the manager and explain that they took it and then apologize. This will make a much bigger impact on your child than a swat and/or an accusation - and they will learn accountability. This is a lesson in positive consequences for parents as well as a great lesson to teach a child. They will be much less likely to break laws as they get older knowing that Mom or Dad will not let them get away with breaking rules and they will understand respect for authority, which will keep them out of bigger trouble as they grow up.

Teaching your child by example is an excellent way to impart a life lesson. For example, if you accuse your child of taking something valuable that you misplaced and then you find said valuable, make it a point to tell your child you found it and apologize for wrongly accusing him/her. Saying I’m sorry” to your child does not negate your authority. It will teach them that it’s OK to make mistakes and to apologize when they do. If we are accountable, our children will learn that accountability is the “rule” and they will naturally accept that rule. We are teaching our kids how to behave every moment. They watch and see everything we do.

Yes, being a parent means being a better person in order to teach our children what it means to be a decent member of society.

Make it a point to ask for your child’s kids, citizenship and how she behaves with her peers at every parent teacher conference you attend. This is equally as important as learning academics in a school environment and a good, caring teacher will have rules for the classroom that teach children to behave with respect for their fellow students and hopefully, to be accountable for themselves.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Part 1

For some reason, many children seem to be growing up thinking that they are not responsible for their actions and that there will be no consequences for their choices. It could be the modern media, video games and cartoons where the main character has nine lives, or even popular Hollywood figures that help them to believe this lie. No matter who or what it is that seems to be spreading the idea that there is no accountability for our choices, it's up to us as parents and teachers to stop it.

As an adult, you are accountable for your own actions. Whether it's cleaning up your mess, apologizing for a mistake or taking care of your belongings, it's important to show that you are accountable. In addition to being accountable for your actions, it is important to teach your child to be accountable as well. By starting early, you can teach your child to take responsibility, so he/she makes better decisions as he/she becomes older.

Family meetings are a great way to teach children and teens alike between right and wrong. Sometimes it's hard to come up with ideas on how to teach children in the most effective way. Here are some simple ideas on how to teach your children "the consequences of making a choice."

ü     Give your child responsibilities. Provide them with things to be accountable, whether it's taking care of their belongings or certain chores around the house. Whatever responsibility you give your child, make sure it is age appropriate. A toddler can be made responsible for putting his toys blocks away when he is finished playing. A grade-school child can carry his own lunch money to school or make his bed in the morning.
ü     Establish rules in your home. Make it clear to your child that not following your rules will lead to consequences. For example, you can say, "I will not tolerate any pushing or shoving in this house. It doesn't matter if your brother started the argument, it still isn't right to hit him. If you hit him again, you will be punished."
ü     Follow through with a consequence if your child doesn't follow your rules. If you don't enforce your rules, your child won't think he has to be accountable for his actions. For example, if he continues to receive bad grades on his report card, do not allow him to go out with his friends until he improves his grades. Your child will recognize that he can't just do what he wants, and there are consequences for his actions.
ü      Model good behavior. If you don't hold yourself accountable for your actions, you can't expect your child to be accountable. When you make a mistake, apologize and don't blame your mistake on someone else. If you told your child you would take her to the park on Saturday, don't make other plans. By leading by example, your child will likely adopt those good habits.

Friday, February 7, 2014


1. ASSIGN SOME ACCOUNTABILITY - Age-appropriate chores are a simple way to teach your child responsibility. Add in a little financial incentive and your darling will begin learning how to manage finances, too.

2. LET THEM MAKE DECISIONS - Letting your child make some of his/her own age-appropriate choices will teach accountability and help them gain independence.

3. FOSTER INDEPENDENCE - The only way to master any skill is through practice. By letting him/her tackle age-appropriate tasks, like getting dressed, he/she will also become more self-reliant.

4. SET A GOOD EXAMPLE - Taking your own responsibilities seriously sets a good example for your children’s watchful eyes. Keeping your promises or being on time are ways you can lead by example.

5. PICK UP A BOOK - Stories pack a lot of punch, so when it comes to reading time, select books that illustrate responsibility. Interesting characters and situations she can identify with will hold his/her attention. Even better, they won't tune you out because they aren't
 being lectured!

6. TALK THROUGH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS - Although your first instinct is to direct and protect your child, instead of automatically telling him/her what they should do, guide him/her through the process of coming to a conclusion on his/her own. Ask questions and encourage them to think it through with your support.

7. SHOW THEM THE BIGGER PICTURE - The ultimate goal is for your child to act responsibly because he/she wants to, not just because he/she is told to. Explaining to your child how doing her part is helping the family as a whole can sometimes help young children understand how their actions affect others.

8. BE PATIENT, IT’S A PROCESS, IT TAKES TIME – Children are children, and they will learn. Making mistakes is part of their learning. If they fail at something, talk it out and start over. Children need to feel that parents have not given up on them!

Teaching your child responsibility helps build character and makes him/her a more independent, self-reliant person.

Finally, don't forget to give your child plenty for praise for a job well done!