NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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School Days

School Days  8/25/16Earlier this month, a colleague and I co-chaired a week at the ND 4-H Camp near Washburn, ND.  Our camp session was called, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Junkin’ Camp.”  Starting with an introduction to the elements and principles of design, our campers then got busy with creative projects.  By the end of the week, they each had 14 completed projects to take home.

“Color” was one of the elements of design that the campers learned about.  They got to do some experiments with color, play a game with color, and go on a scavenger hunt for colored eggs.  They also made a human color wheel, learning how colors on the color wheel are named, that some colors are “warm” and some are “cool,” and how to use it in art and design.

Most children learn the names of colors (hues) before or during kindergarten. Learning to get along with others is one of the other lessons we begin to learn when we are in kindergarten.  In fact, the analogy has been made that we can learn a lot from crayons that “get along with each other” inside the crayon box.

Kindergarten is a big deal, in so many ways, and for so many reasons.  Parents can do a lot to make their child’s school experience positive and set the stage for a positive attitude toward learning for a lifetime.

In the early elementary years, spend time each day going through the backpack with your child and/or reading electronic messages from your child’s teacher.  This can save you time and prevent hassles or unpleasant surprises.  Put school events on your calendar so you don’t miss events that will be important to your child.

Ask your child open-ended questions such as “What do you do while you wait in line?” “What are some of the rules you are learning at school?” “What do you work on quietly alone at school?” “What can you tell me about a friend you have met at school?” “Who did you help today?”  Your child’s answers can become a springboard for practicing skills he or she is learning at school.

Be a good listener when your child answers your questions or volunteers to tell you things about school. This builds trust, and trust builds strong relationships and communication for the years ahead.

Keep a positive attitude about your child’s school, teacher and classmates. If your own school experience was unpleasant, this can be difficult to do.  However, your enthusiasm and positive comments will be contagious, and striving to make your child’s school years better than what you had can be very rewarding.  If problems or concerns do arise, adopt a positive, problem-solving approach and take care of them as quickly as possible with an email, phone call or visit to the school, preferably when your child is not able to hear the conversation.

Volunteer in the classroom or at school events. This will demonstrate to your child that you are sincerely interested and supportive.

Communicate with the teacher regarding your child’s likes, dislikes, joys and fears. Inform the teacher of any out-of-the-ordinary events or developments in your family, whether they be positive or negative.  This gives the teacher a heads-up to watch for and understand any changes in your child’s mood or behavior.

If you would like more information on this topic, or additional practical suggestions, please contact me at 724-3355, extension 5.

Adapted from:  Parenting Posts/Kindergarten/September, NDSU Extension

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/kindergarten-child-play-color-206883/  (downloaded 8/31/16)

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