Friday, August 29, 2014


Homework is important because it is an intersection between home and school. It serves as a window through which a parent can observe their child’s education. It provides parents an opportunity to express positive attitudes towards your child and his/her education.

As children grow older, it is only natural for the amount of homework to increase. For teachers, homework in an important way to provide additional instructional practice of the content that has been covered in school. When handled effectively, this independent practice can assist a teacher to modify and differentiate instruction whenever needed.

At Discovery School we believe that homework should be assigned at a reasonable amount, depending on the grade level of your child. We believe that homework reinforces learning either by repetition of the information that has been presented in class, or by extending understanding of the concepts being learned at school. The more a child is exposed to a skill or content, the more retention is likely to happen. It also helps the child understand that learning can take place with or without the teacher present. By allowing children to complete assignments and solve their own problems at home, we are communicating that we believe them to be capable, thus contributing to a child’s self confidence.

Homework teaches a child to work independently, which is what everyone has to do later in life in the work force. Homework provides a beginning step in school towards responsibility. It shows students that they can apply themselves to a task. Just the fact that they complete their homework proves that they are responsible. This in turn proves to be a life learning skill that will be crucial for success in later schooling.

Parents should provide constant support and encouragement when it comes to homework. It is important to demonstrate to children how important homework is by taking an interest and guiding them. Helping children with homework means supporting them, not doing the homework for them. Students will not gain confidence in their own abilities unless they complete the work themselves. You may help your child by discussing the assignment with them, making sure that it is at an appropriate level of difficulty and challenge for him/her.

How can parents help their child with their homework responsibilities?
Ø Schedule a regular time for homework to be completed. Allow for a relaxation break after school, but do not let children leave homework until just before bedtime when they are likely to be tired, grouchy, and unable to concentrate.
Ø Help elementary school students set a schedule. Older students can set their own schedules, but make sure these are workable. Younger students need consistency in a schedule that works with each household needs.
Ø Sports, music, art or other activities are important, and time should be allow for these extracurricular activities, but cut back if more homework time is needed.
Ø Provide a homework area that has good lighting, is comfortable, and is fairly quiet. If possible, supply a desk or worktable. Each child is different, so be attentive to what works for your child.
Ø Eliminate distractions by making the telephone, television, video games, and music off limits until the homework assignments have been successfully completed.
Ø Provide homework supplies and hold students responsible for keeping them organized.
Ø Communicate with your child’s teacher regularly about the homework routines, and how your child is handling work at home. Teachers need to know this in order to make adjustments when necessary.

Please help us to stress the importance of homework to your child, and help him/her understand its value and the need for doing one’s personal best in this area, as well as in school! Your positive attitudes in these areas will be reflected in how your child thinks of and does in school.

Friday, August 22, 2014


As parents and teachers, it is our job to train our children to grow to be successful adults. Productive routines are at the core of independence and responsibility. Children crave routines and thrive and benefit from them. Mornings are no exception, and mornings works best when there is a routine in place. Most children do fine as long as everything goes as planned in the mornings.

As an adult you can probably get out of the house in 10 minutes flat. In 10 minutes you can brush your teeth, shower, get dressed, and grab a quick breakfast. Add children in to the mix and there is no way you can get out of the house in 10 minutes. Your child may be one who constantly needs to go back to his/her bedroom to get one last thing, leading to a delay. Another child may need constant reminders to brush hair, teeth, and get ready. On the other hand, some children are early risers. The earlier he/she gets up the more compliant he/she can be. The important thing is to develop a routine that works for you at your home, and allows for a smooth beginning to the school dayl. Here are some things you may want to consider:

1.       Wake Up Time - If you've got more than one kid in the house, and especially if you have a large family, consider staggering wakeup times for greater efficiency. Start with kids who need assistance first, or the ones who are real sleepyheads who move slowly in the morning. Does a parent really have to wake kids up anyway? Except for youngsters, kids can learn to awaken by an alarm clock and get themselves up without mom or dad hovering and yelling, "Are you up yet?" Let them decide what is the best time for the alarm to go off and get ready on time. If this means he/she doesn't get her hair braided or one doesn't get second helpings on cereal, encourage them to set their alarm 15 minutes earlier tomorrow. Cause and's a good lesson to learn!

2.       Getting Dressed - Clothing, down to clean socks, underwear and shoes, and even matching hair accessories should be laid out each night before bed. Youngsters can play a role in choosing the outfit, but no changes are allowed once their head hits the pillow. And, then stick with it! The only exceptions should be an unknown tear or stain, or surprise change in the weather. This avoids missing socks, unmatched shirt and shoes, and keeps getting dressed a simple step in beginning the day vs. a looming battle.

3.       Breakfast - Breakfast is important--some experts argue that it is the most important meal of the day, so your kids need a nutritious start each morning. However, that start shouldn't put parents in a work bind or make kids late for school. Whether you have a weekly menu, or adhere to cereal and fruit, it is important to have a plan for what breakfast will be. Find something that works for your household and that your child(ren) likes.

4.       Making Lunch - The night before, unpack the lunch boxes, clean out wrappers, and refreeze ice packs. If you have more than one lunchbox to pack, pack the same lunch. You know your child the best, so you know what your child likes to eat. Pack snacks and lunches that are acceptable. Lunch works best if all items that I need are in a convenient location. Ask your child what he/she likes to eat at school.

5.       Backpacks, Shoes, Coats, Lunchboxes - Have the children pack their backpacks the night before to make sure homework is in the folder with notes to the teacher and permission slips. Place lunchboxes, musical instruments, coats and any other object that needs to go to school the next day next to the backpacks.

6.       Leaving on Time - When considering when to leave your house to be ready for the school bus or to drive to school, consider the following:
Ø  time it takes to buckle child in car seat (if you have an infant or a toddler factor in the time it will take to get all your children in your car or van)
Ø  time it takes to get coat, shoes, gloves on for all children
Ø  time it takes to find the child’s school bag, lunch box, coat, shoes, spare supplies
Ø  time it takes to drive to school/walk to bus stop
Ø   extra time you may need if traffic is an issue in your area
Basically, leave yourself plenty of time. Children do not know the words “hurry up” or “let’s go.” Even if you are not the most organized person, you do realize that children need to live in an organized home. Stressed out parents = stressed out kids. “Plan” and “organize” are a happy parent’s favorite words.

Remember, it is never too late to establish routines. Look at what has worked so far, what is not working, and what will work in the future. Develop a plan with your children and then realize that you are responsible for training them step by step. If you use patience and understanding, your children will gladly participate in finding what works. Nobody likes a chaotic, hurried experience. After thirty days of intense training, your kids will relax into the pattern and the set routine. This will help them have a great day at school.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

20 Tips For Success In School

Here are 20 ways that will ensure that your child and YOU have a great school year.
1. A child should eat a good breakfast every morning, Don't let them skip breakfast.
2. Wake them up early enough to get up on time so they are not tardy! Even if that means waking them up 15 or 30 minutes earlier than they used to wake up.
3. Be sure your child gets a good night's sleep. Turn in early.
4. Have them prepare all of their things the night before, including clothes, socks, shoes, book bags, homework assignments in book bags,etc. down to the finest details, even hair accessories.
5. Children should keep their book bags, desks and rooms organized so they can find what they need easily and nothing gets lost.
6. Praise your children, encourage them, use positive reinforcement, work closely with them. Let them know that you are available to help if needed.
7. Create a study routine for your child. A good rule of thumb is to have them do their homework right when they get home.
8. Go over homework together.
9. Check their backpacks and folders for notes, missed assignments, library books, etc. 

10. Promote healthy habits like healthy snacks, low in sugar, fresh fruits and vegetables.
11. Children should ask questions. Let them ask questions. That is how we learn.

12. A stress free child is a happy child. A happy child will do better in school.
13. Children should start reviewing notes at least three days before a test. Don't wait until the night before or worse, the day of the test to study for it.
14. Children should write down their assignments carefully. Have your children check their class blogs. Have the number of a few classmates and your child’s teacher in case they have doubts.
15. Parents should be a role model to their children. Your children learn from you. Be positive and supportive of the school system and teachers.
16. Have your child read to you often and regularly.
17. Have them put all of their things in their room right when they get home. This will alleviate the chances of losing or misplacing something. More time is wasted looking for a lost shoe or where they put their backpack.
18. Children should take notes when the teacher repeats something, tells them to write it down or that is very important or will be on a test, or if she writes it on the board. Encourage this habit in your child.
19. Remind your child to avoid cheating and being lazy. Encourage them to do their projects and assignments like reports, ahead of time. Teach them to study and learn, which will make them proud of themselves.
20-Remind your child to read all of the directions, follow directions, read the questions carefully during tests, and to double check their answers after they are done.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Welcome Parents (and students) to a new school year! Our teachers have been working very hard preparing to begin this school year and make it the most exciting and innovating school ever! Our new Head of School, Dr. Jay Ketterer, arrived in our school in mid July and has been working non-stop with all the faculty and staff, bringing about his new ideas and enthusiasm to our campus. It is certainly going to be an awesome year!

As we begin our new school year, we would like to offer you some tips to make this beginning as smooth as possible for you and your child(ren):

  1. Visit your child’s classroom, and meet your child’s teacher – it is important to establish effective lines of communication between the school and home. Getting to know your child’s classroom and teachers tells your child that you value and care for their learning.
  2. Know your child’s schedule and school routines – your support and encouragement at home is crucial for your child’s success! It is important for parents to know what is expected of their child at school in order to provide the assistance each child needs.
  3. Establish sound routines at home – Education comes first! Make a schedule for your child to complete the school’s daily chores. Set aside a place for homework, and make sure all the necessary resources are there!
  4. Keep the School Calendar and Class Schedules Handy – Parents need to be familiarized with the days their children have P.E., Library and other special classes. Keeping the school calendar posted on your fridge can help parents know when special school events are coming up!
  5. Plan your child’s meals – if your child does not eat at the school cafeteria, plan for enough food for both snack and lunch time. Nutritious and energizing food which are healthy and sugar free should be packed in the school lunch.
  6. Talk to your child every day – ask your child how things are going, discuss thier feelings and opinions, and stay involved in your child’s daily life at school.

Discovery School has an open door policy – take advantage of that! Stay involved and in constant communication with teachers and administrators. We are all working hard to make this the best school year for your children!