School has begun and our DuBow Preschool and Martin J. Gottlieb Day School students are off to a strong start. I believe that parent involvement is pivotal in creating life-long learners. The conversations and questions you ask at home in the afternoon and evening demonstrate your support of education to your child. Here are some after-school questions that can help you know more about what your child is learning and doing each day. By asking questions that require thoughtful answers, you will gain much more knowledge and you will model respectful dialogue with your child.
* What's the coolest thing that happened today? What wasn't cool? What did you do?
* What was something creative you did today? Did you think outside the box?
* What made you laugh?
* How were you kind or helpful? What could you do tomorrow to be your best person?
Additionally, it is beneficial for you to engage throughout the week, in a less focused way, with your child about school. This fosters an understanding for your child that you value the act of learning and not just grades associated with assignments. Consider asking your child to describe a book they enjoyed. Encourage reading at home in different ways including independent reading, shared reading (I read, then you read), and reading to your child. One of my most precious memories is of reading chapter books with each of my children during their early middle school years and participating in a parent/child book club. Today, my now high school and college-age children and I love visiting the library together, which I am positive can be contributed to having this pleasurable experience fostered throughout their lives.
Finally, ask your child what they would like to learn more about. If they love shapes or geometry, consider doing tangram puzzles together. If their interest is in how spiders create intricate webs, look online together for videos that show the different spiders in action. Homework can take many forms, but the most impactful work at home is in interacting with family and delving deeper into topics that carry school learning into the broader world. Helping your child make connections between themselves and the family, as well as themselves and their community, has life-long value on being exceptional global citizens. This helps children to know that the world is about so much more than just their personal needs.
Throughout the year we will have varied writers sharing academic, parenting, child-development, and other learning information in this space. Once a month we will highlight the work of alumni and current students. We will also use this space monthly to update you on parent/teacher association news. It is our hope that you will find the various articles in our Connections useful and engaging. Thank you in advance for your participation in our schools. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Shabbat shalom, and enjoy the weekend.
Raquel Scharf-Anderson, MS
Proud Head of Schools