Parenting Thoughts for the Month

Quotes

There are days when it can be incredibly frustrating to be a parent. The reality is that when your child is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, you don’t get the same warm fuzzy feeling as when they sweetly look up at you and tell you that they love you. It’s an often thankless job that will regularly test your patience and resolve.
It’s also the most rewarding job in the world.

“To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.
- Josh Billings

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”
- Anonymous

“The guys who fear becoming fathers don’t understand that fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man. The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent.”
- Frank Pittman

Parent Advisory Committee

Our next meeting is Wednesday, September 3 @ 1:30 . Parents play a significant role in helping to provide feedback which directs school rules, policy and protocol at MLFNS - Dalian. A school tour will follow our meeting for any new parents wishing to see our school while classes are in session.

On behalf of the MLFNS-Dalian Staff........thank you to all of our parents who were able to make it out to any or all of our meetings this year. Your advice, opinions and concern helped to make 2013-2014 such a great year at our school.

All Parents Welcome

Just a reminder that parents are always welcome at our 'Student Presenting Assemblies, concerts and events held throughout the school year. Please refer to our school calendar or 'Upcoming Events' on our Wiki Main Page to know what is happening at out school. In fact you are welcome anytime to come in and tour our facility or sit in on your child's class for a period. If you wish to do this, please contact the school to inform us you will be coming.

JUNE 2014 Teachable Moment


What to do with your child in the summer. Here is a great Website titled 101 THINGS TO DO THIS SUMMER
http://www.homeschool.com/articles/101ThingsToDoThisSummer/default.asp#

Ten fun ways to keep your child learning this summer

Backyard gardens, puppet theaters, scrapbooks and crafts are some of the ways to keep your children active and their minds working all summer long.




By GreatSchools Staff
Summer vacation can be either a learning wasteland or a learning paradise. The temptations are great for children to spend hours watching television or playing video games, but with a little ingenuity and planning, the summer can be transformed into a time to stretch the mind, explore new hobbies, learn about responsibility and build on skills learned during the school year.

Keep the Learning Going

Teachers spend an average of four to eight weeks every fall reviewing and reteaching material that students have forgotten during the long summer break. Many students lose the equivalent of one to two months of reading and math skills during the summer and do not score as well on standardized tests as students who continue to learn during the summer. The effect is cumulative: Each summer a student isn't learning adds up and can have a long-term impact on overall performance in school.
That doesn't mean that children should be doing math worksheets and studying vocabulary lists to preserve the skills they have learned during the school year. Summer is the perfect time for children to discover that learning is fun and can happen anywhere. "You don't want your kids to think that learning is only something that happens in places called schools," says Susan K. Perry, author of Playing Smart: The Family Guide to Enriching Offbeat Learning Activities for Ages 4-14. "Rather, you want them to grasp that learning is fun and can go on all the time, anytime, anywhere, with handy materials, not only based on the instruction of an actual schoolteacher. The summer is a great unstructured mass of time to try out new things and explore interests that don't necessarily fit into the school curriculum."
Learning can take place whether you are taking a trip to a far-off place or spending the summer in your own neighborhood. But be careful not to over-plan. "To avoid boredom, a child has to learn to be motivated on his or her own, to a certain extent, and that is an acquired skill," says Perry. "If every time your child says, 'I'm bored,' you step in with a quick solution, they'll never learn to develop their own resources. But do provide some options. Just don't try to instill learning. That's not how it works."

10 Fun Summer Learning Activities

Here are some activities to get your child started on a summer of learning fun:
1. Grow the biggest zucchini in your neighborhood.
What better way to learn the basics of science and how things grow than to plant your own garden? You can start with seeds or small plants. Talk about what plants need to be hardy: air, water, sunlight and nutrients. Vegetables are especially fun and educational to plant because your child will learn where food comes from and will also get to eat the end product.
2. Clip, paste and write about your family adventures.
A family vacation is a perfect opportunity to create a trip scrapbook that will be a lasting souvenir of family adventures. Collect postcards, brochures and menus from restaurants and tourist attractions. Encourage your child to write descriptions of the places you visited and tell stories about your family's escapades. Or suggest a scrapbook on your child's favorite sports team or a chronicle of his year in school. The scrapbook might contain photos with captions, newspaper clippings or school mementos.
Many photo-sharing Web sites, such as Shutterfly or KodakGallery,will help you (for a fee) create professional quality photo books, where you arrange the photos and write captions.
3. Get theatrical.
Young children can make their own puppet theater. Begin by cutting off the finger-ends of old gloves. Draw faces on these fingers with felt tip markers and glue on yarn for hair. Or glue on felt strips to create cat, dog or other animal faces. Then your child can create a story that the finger puppets can act out. For older children, find books containing play scripts for young people (see "Helpful Books" sidebar)and encourage your child and friends to create their own neighborhood theater. They can plan a performance, make a simple stage at the park or on the steps of someone's home, create playbills and sell tickets.
4. Make chocolate mousse or build a bird feeder.
Toy stores and craft shops are full of kits for making things, from bird feeders to model airplanes to mosaic tableaux. These projects teach children to read and follow directions, and offer the added benefit of creating a finished product. Science experiment books encourage children to observe and ask questions while providing hours of hands-on fun using scientific concepts.
What child wouldn't be inspired to bake cookies or make chocolate mousse? A cookbook geared for children is a good place to start. Ethnic cookbooks provide an excellent way to explore the food of other cultures, and open up conversations about how people do things differently in other parts of the world. Children are much more likely to eat something strange if they make it themselves.
5. Paint the picket fence, baby-sit or volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Even young children can learn to be responsible by helping to set the table, take care of a pet, clean out a closet, wash the car or paint the picket fence. Ask your child to be your energy consultant and help find ways to conserve energy in your house. Outside summer jobs and community service help children learn to be punctual, follow directions and serve others.
6. Become the family's junior travel agent.
Half the fun of a trip starts before you get there. Involve your child in the planning by practicing how to use a map to find cities and tourist attractions, and how to estimate distances. If you are driving, work with your child to figure out how many gallons of gas it will take to get there and estimate the cost. If you are flying or traveling by train, check travel schedules and costs.
Research your destination in books and on the Internet. If you are going to a different state, look up information about the state, such as the state flower, state bird and interesting attractions. Have your child write to the state tourism bureau to ask for information.
7. Visit a jelly bean factory or a glassblowing studio.
Whether you are going on a trip far away or staying close to home, seek out places where children can learn how things are made. In San Francisco, you can visit a teddy bear factory; in Arkansas, a glass blowing studio; and in Hawaii, a macadamia nut factory. To learn about some of these options, see our "Helpful Books" tips on this page.
8. Turn a museum trip into a treasure hunt.
Get your children excited about visiting a museum by exploring the museum's Web site and taking a virtual tour. When you go to a museum, take into account short attention spans and don't try to cover a whole museum in one day. To make them less intimidating, start in the gift shop and let your child pick out some postcards of paintings or objects on display. Turn your museum trip into a treasure hunt by trying to find those paintings or objects in the museum. Look for interactive exhibits and for periods of history that your child has studied in school.
9. Get stickers, tattoos and comics for free.
Composing a letter helps build writing skills and can be especially rewarding when your child gets a reply in the form of a cool free item. The book, //Free Things for Kids//, suggests more than 300 places you can write to get such items as stickers, temporary tattoos, comic books, magazines and sports memorabilia. Some of the items cost a dollar or less, but the majority are free. The author has been writing about "free stuff" for years and is considered an expert in the field. The book, updated annually, also includes Web sites to check out for free downloadable software, ezines or other items to send for by mail.
You can help your older child build citizenship skills as well as practice his writing by encouraging him to write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper or a local government official about an issue he is concerned about, such as building a bike path or renovating a local playground.
10. Become an investment guru or a math wizard.
Summer is the perfect time for older children and teens to learn about the stock market and the value of investing. A good way to get started is to investigate publicly held companies that teens are familiar with, such as Apple Computer, eBay, Nike or Tootsie Roll. The Motley Fool "Teens and Money" Web site is devoted to helping teens learn about saving and investing. Your older child might also want to join a Junior Investor program to learn more about the stock market. It is also possible to help your teen get a head start on high school math by doing math puzzles.



May 2014 Teachable Moment

Green Living Made Simple

external image Green-Living.JPG
===How Can Our Family Make a Difference?===
You don’t have to look very hard to find news about the problems facing our planet. The good news, however, is that more and more kids and families are doing what they can to make a difference. They’re recycling. They’re making smarter choices when shopping. They’re cutting back on driving and increasing their walking and biking. They’re acting now—and they’re learning more to find out what else they can do. By taking creative, easy steps, families can live and act in ways that promote “going green” and making our planet more sustainable for our generation and those in the future.===Did You Know?===
  • When asked to evaluate responses to global climate change, most kids give their family and school a B-,1 and their country a C-.2
  • About one out of four kids ages 5 to 12 believes he can make a difference in improving the environment.3 Only 18 percent of teens agree.4
  • The top four ways kids predict their family will help the environment includes living in an energy-efficient home (36%), owning a hybrid car (27%), always shopping with reusable bags (24%), and growing their own vegetable garden (13%).5
  • According to Search Institute research, 68 percent of young people say it’s quite or extremely important to make the world a better place to live.6


April 2014 Teachable Moment

Supporting School Success

Every child’s needs are different, but by supporting academic success at home, you’ll be helping your child succeed in school—and life! Consider these tips.
  • Instill good study habits,
  • Instill a love for reading,
  • Instill a commitment to learning.

Everyday Tips

  • Start at Home: School success starts at home. Create a homework center, a specific area in the house (such as an office desk or the kitchen table) where your child can do homework each evening. Make sure that it’s stocked with enough supplies, such as pencils, erasers, paper, a folder or two, and a calculator.
  • Do: Sit with your kids when they’re doing homework. If you have work you need to do for your job, bills to pay, or some other project, do it while your child is doing her homework, and let her know that even adults have homework. Model what it takes for school success by staying focused and not leaving until you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.
  • Encourage Critical Thinking: Help your child with his homework, but make sure that you’re not doing it for him. Your role is to help him succeed in school by asking questions, giving examples, and assisting him in learning concepts, not giving him the answers. Critical thinking skills are crucial for doing well in school at every age.
  • Stay Involved: Work with high school counselors, teachers that know your child well, and your teenager to create an academic schedule from ninth to twelfth grade that challenges her and deepens her school success skills. Do: Keep your teenager growing (without boring or placing too much pressure on her) so that she gradually masters skills that will be useful for doing well in school and beyond. After each semester, talk with your teen and make necessary adjustments to the schedule to make sure that it is still appropriate.
[Related Article: School Involvement – Without Going to School!? 10 Clever Ways Busy Parents Can Stay Involved]
[Related Article: Reach Out! Tips for Building a Strong, Positive Parent-Teacher Relationship]
  • Interests are Important: Encourage your kids to find books that excite them. Don’t overlook graphic novels, comic books, magazines, or other types of reading that may not interest you, but interests them. The point is to keep them reading, which promotes school success. Talk to them about what they’re reading on their own and in class, and ask which books they like and what they’re learning.
  • Remember intelligence is not fixed: Effort and persistence when facing challenges are important characteristics of a successful student. Tell your child, “smart is not what you are; smart is what you work to become.”

March 2014 Teachable Moment

Getting Active and Staying Active!

external image sports_fitness_225.jpg

Why Is it Important for Kids to Be Active?


For kids to be healthy, both now and in the future, they need to develop good exercise habits and get involved in physical activities. Today, the Centers for Disease Control says that one out of three kids is either overweight or obese.1 That compares to only one out of 20 kids between 1976 and 1980.2 To reverse this trend, parents are finding ways to get—and keep—themselves and their kids active.
By encouraging physical activity and being supportive of your children’s activities and fitness, you can help them grow into adults that are physically fit and healthy. And by working to set a good example, you can improve your own fitness as well. Supporting and empowering kids to find physical activities that interest them and get them moving is good for more than just keeping them active—it lays the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle throughout the rest of their lives. Common Questions and Concerns About Sports and Fitness >

Did You Know?

  • Only 35 percent of kids meet the recommended physical activity levels by increasing their heart rate and breathing hard for at least 60 minutes a day on five out of every seven days.3
  • Fifty-four percent of kids say it’s “quite” or “very much” like them to take good care of their body by exercising regularly and eating healthy.4
  • Almost 40 percent of kids say they spend three or more hours a week playing on or helping with a sports team.6 Guys are more likely to do this than girls.7

February 2014 Teachable Moment

Staying Involved in School

Most parents don’t have time to be fully involved in their child’s education, but it’s important to be consistent about communicating with your child and your child’s teacher to put together an accurate picture of your child’s academic experience. By talking with both, you can ensure that you’ll be able to support your child as effectively as possible.

Everyday Tips for Parents

  • Do: Ask what your child thinks of her or his school—some have a strong attachment, while others feel uncomfortable or unattached. Ask your son or daughter which part of school is his or her favorite. (Don’t be surprised if your younger children answer “recess” or “lunch.”)
  • Ask: How Was School? Read your child’s school newspaper or the community newspaper to keep up-to-date on what’s happening at school. Instead of asking your child “How was your day at school?” every day after he or she gets home, talk about some of the issues you’ve come across in the paper.
  • Make Time to Connect: The lives of teens and preteens change with dizzying speed, so you’ll have to ask questions if you want to keep up. Make time to connect over a favorite meal, in the car, or on a walk so that the conversation can flow into what’s really going on.
  • Ask a Teacher: If your child is reluctant to talk about school, try talking to her or his teacher; if there is a problem in the classroom, your child’s teacher can fill you in on the details.
  • Do: Ask what would make the school experience more enjoyable, and see if there’s anything you can do to help. The more your child enjoys going to school, the more engaged he or she will be.

December 2013 Teachable Moment

Supporting School Success

Every child’s needs are different, but by supporting academic success at home, you’ll be helping your child succeed in school—and life! Consider these tips.
  • Instill good study habits,
  • Instill a love for reading,
  • Instill a commitment to learning.

Everyday Tips

  • Start at Home: School success starts at home. Create a homework center, a specific area in the house (such as an office desk or the kitchen table) where your child can do homework each evening. Make sure that it’s stocked with enough supplies, such as pencils, erasers, paper, a folder or two, and a calculator.
  • Do: Sit with your kids when they’re doing homework. If you have work you need to do for your job, bills to pay, or some other project, do it while your child is doing her homework, and let her know that even adults have homework. Model what it takes for school success by staying focused and not leaving until you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.
  • Encourage Critical Thinking: Help your child with his homework, but make sure that you’re not doing it for him. Your role is to help him succeed in school by asking questions, giving examples, and assisting him in learning concepts, not giving him the answers. Critical thinking skills are crucial for doing well in school at every age.
  • Stay Involved: Work with high school counselors, teachers that know your child well, and your teenager to create an academic schedule from ninth to twelfth grade that challenges her and deepens her school success skills. Do: Keep your teenager growing (without boring or placing too much pressure on her) so that she gradually masters skills that will be useful for doing well in school and beyond. After each semester, talk with your teen and make necessary adjustments to the schedule to make sure that it is still appropriate.

November 2013 Teachable Moment

Your Guide to a Peaceful Household

Let's face it. Conflicts are inevitable. Kids have different ideas, different solutions, and different ways to approach problems. Because of this, resolving conflicts peacefully is a key skill that kids need to succeed.1 (It’s also one of the 40 Developmental Assets.2) As kids grow up, it’s important that they learn how to resolve conflicts peacefully (without giving in) and how to get along well with others.===Did You Know?===
  • The number one way young people resolve conflicts is by fighting.3 Most kids say that if someone hit or pushed them for no reason, they’d hit or push right back.5
  • Teenage guys are twice as likely as teenage girls to say they would try to hurt someone worse than that person had hurt them.5
  • Kids who bully others tend to have difficulties in their relationships with parents and friends.6
  • Younger teens (those in sixth grade) are almost four times as likely as twelfth graders to talk to a teacher or another adult if they’re having trouble resolving a conflict.7
  • High-school seniors are almost twice as likely as seventh graders to talk to the person they’re in conflict with and try to work out their differences.8

Conflict resolution skills are gained by experience and practice—so help your child start building these crucial abilities by engaging in peaceful conflict resolution at home. If your child is able to work through problems well at home, she will have an advantage when it comes to conflicts at school (and beyond).

October 2013 Teachable Moment

Supporting School Success

Every child’s needs are different, but by supporting academic success at home, you’ll be helping your child succeed in school—and life! Consider these tips.
  • Instill good study habits,
  • Instill a love for reading,
  • Instill a commitment to learning.

Everyday Tips

  • Start at Home: School success starts at home. Create a homework center, a specific area in the house (such as an office desk or the kitchen table) where your child can do homework each evening. Make sure that it’s stocked with enough supplies, such as pencils, erasers, paper, a folder or two, and a calculator.
  • Do: Sit with your kids when they’re doing homework. If you have work you need to do for your job, bills to pay, or some other project, do it while your child is doing her homework, and let her know that even adults have homework. Model what it takes for school success by staying focused and not leaving until you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.
  • Encourage Critical Thinking: Help your child with his homework, but make sure that you’re not doing it for him. Your role is to help him succeed in school by asking questions, giving examples, and assisting him in learning concepts, not giving him the answers. Critical thinking skills are crucial for doing well in school at every age.

September 2013 Teachable Moment

10 Back-to-School Tips for Parents of Elementary School Aged Kids

A mother helping her daughter with her elementary education.
A mother helping her daughter with her elementary education.
Start a successful school year—and keep it going!
1. If you and your child have fallen out of your bedtime routine this summer, get back into a solid routine! A week before the first day of school is a good time frame in which to begin.
2. Plan and shop for healthy breakfasts and lunches a week in advance. This will save you precious time and prevent much stress in the long run!
3. Go shopping for school supplies together. Some elementary school teachers will provide specific supply lists for their classes. Your area’s office supply store may also have local school supplies lists on hand. Shopping from a teacher-supplied list will ensure your child has the right supplies, and could save you a ton of money and time.
4. Save time on those busy school mornings by preparing your child’s clothes a week ahead of time, already paired. Place a pair of socks, underwear, a shirt, and matching bottoms together in the drawer so that your child can easily grab a stack and go.
5. Support positive study habits early! Create a homework center—a specific area in the house where your child can do homework each evening. Make sure that it’s in a quiet place and stocked with enough supplies, such as pencils, erasers, paper, a folder or two, and a calculator.
6. Pack light—a backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the student’s body weight. Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles and may increase curvature of the spine.
7. Prepare your child for social situations in the elementary school classroom. A certain level of social anxiety is normal for elementary school aged kids. Teach her to introduce herself and make friends: “Hi, my name is Sarah; what’s yours?” If she’s older, role play various social scenarios with her—from sharing classroom supplies to encounters with older kids.
8. Keep encouraging literacy at home. Read frequently with your kids and make frequent trips to your local library.
9. If your child is going to be riding the bus to school for the first time, be sure to talk about bus safety. It’s also a good time to reinforce general school safety rules including who he should and shouldn’t talk to, and when he should and shouldn’t get off the school bus (when you or a guardian is not there waiting to pick him up).
10. Parent involvement in education is important throughout elementary school! Talk to your child’s teacher regularly about his educational and social development or, if your schedule permits, volunteer your time in the classroom or become an active participant in your school’s PAC.

Dress Code

This is the Dress Code for our school. Thank you for working together with us so students are always properly attired.


Parent Appeal Process


For parents who wish to appeal any decision made at Maple Leaf Foreign National School - Dalian, concerning their child (including school marks, classroom or school discipline), the following process will be followed:

1. Parent should meet with the staff member who made the initial decision

2. If no resolution can be found, the matter can be taken to the B.C. Principal.

3. If parents remain unsatisfied the matter can be appealed to the B.C. Superintendent of Maple Leaf Schools.


Student Led Conferences

In order to get the most out of a Student Led Conference, parents can use questions to both help encourage and guide the conference in a way that students are still empowered to lead and the conference becomes a valuable process for everyone.
Here are some good questions to ask:
• What did you enjoy about this project/essay/assignment?
• Why did you choose to show me this? (Your tone is important here.)
• If you could do this again, what would you do differently?
• Did your group work well together?
• What did this teach you?
Also, rather than just questioning, also provide positive feedback about things you like or things you think are done well. Let them know what kinds of things you appreciate seeing them do. It’s ok to also ask about improvements and offer suggestions, but the key idea behind a Student Led Conference is to allow a student to both showcase what they have done and also reflect on how they can improve. But nothing means more to a child than their parent’s approval and they will be very appreciative that you’ve taken the time to take a look at their work (and let them lead).

Respecting people and cultures

One of the best parts of being at an international school is the experience that students have sharing and learning with students from other cultures. Having students from different parts of the world isn’t the only thing that makes the experience great, what makes it great is how different cultures mix and show respect for one another.
In China I often here generalizations about different cultures or even different parts of the country, such as “People from the North are honest and hard working.” These generalizations can be a positive reflection on people, but they can also serve as negative stereotypes when less than flattering things are said. As parents, I think it is important that the things we say about different people and different cultures are always phrased in a positive way. When speaking to, or in front of, your children about a group of people or a person from a different background, please take the time to think of these questions:
• Am I making a positive generalization or one that is not flattering?
• Do I need to make this generalization? (Most generalizations are not true of everyone!)
• Is this something that can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) as rude?
• Will my children repeat this in a place where it may not be understood or accepted?
What we say can have a very powerful impact on what our children think and say. Are we encouraging them to respect others by what we say to, and in front, of them?

Report Cards

Report card time can be both exciting and scary for a child. We all want our children to be the best that they can be. As tempting as it is to focus on the letter grades on the last page of the report, please take the time to read the comments (translating them to your language if necessary). Comments can provide you, your child, tutors & other teachers, and future institutions with concrete and specific information about your child's progress.
Your child's teachers have taken time to carefully analyze what your child is able to do, and provided details about the specific things that he or she are working on – in every subject. This snapshot is a wealth of data about where your child is right now, and what teachers are working on to help your child be more successful. Talk to your child about their report card comments, and also about their work habits too if those need improving or commending.
Spend some time finding out what your child likes and dislikes about their report cards and ask them what they are proud of, and what they would like to improve? We learn from our mistakes and if we come to school knowing everything then there really is no purpose for school. In the end, it is our hope that every child leaves school with a love for learning and so report cards should be an opportunity to seek new opportunities to learn.
When seeking improvements from your child, set learning targets rather than letter grade targets. Ask your child what skills, such as proofreading, note taking, and editing, that they can work on and help them determine a schedule or plan to meet their goals to improve. As always, continue to show an interest in what your child does at school and they will be far more likely to find future success than if they are punished or rewarded for letter grades.

Homework Routines

Often it is difficult to determine just how much homework a child has to do. “I got most of it done at school”, “We don’t have any today”, and “It isn’t due until later”, are all comments that most parents have heard at some point. Here are some questions to discuss.

Does your child have a specific location where they do their homework?
Is it done at a specific time? Are there minimum time requirements for homework?
What are the distractions to homework getting done? Can they be removed?
Do you monitor what is done for homework? Do you talk to your child about their homework? Are you available to help them? Is someone else?
If they have no homework or limited homework, are they ‘done’ or can they spend more time doing review or pre-reading to prepare them for the next day?
Is reading part of their homework or evening routine?
Is there such a thing as too much homework?
When should I speak to my child’s teachers about our homework concerns?

There are no ‘right’ answers here, but discussing these as parents, and/or as a family, can help you decide what your limits and comfort zones are.
Thank you for being our partners in your child’s education!

Previous Years' Teachable Moments










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