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MeyerPark Charter News

Curious about the latest buzz around campus? We’ll include all the most recent happenings for you here on our News page along with interesting articles and helpful information for families. Check back frequently so you don’t miss anything!

Secrets to Raising a Successful Student

Raising a child to have a love of learning and a desire to succeed is much like walking a tight rope. If you push too hard for your child to do well, your child is likely to view reading, homework, and studying for tests as one big chore. However, if you are too laid back and don’t supervise his/her learning at all outside the classroom, then your child might lack the necessary discipline and motivation to succeed. So, exactly what steps should you take now to ensure your child will become a successful student? Below are some valuable habits you can adopt to help make the learning process fun and exciting:

  1. Encourage your child and acknowledge his/her efforts in learning. Phrases such as, “you read very well,” “you should be proud of your neat handwriting,” or “you are a good speller” all go a long way toward teaching your child to want to do well. Everyone wants praise for his or her achievements, most especially your child.
  2. Never refer to school or homework as a chore. Present an upbeat attitude and your child will eventually take the cue from you to enjoy the process of school and learning. Don’t make the mistake of simply asking your child, “How was school today?” because you will invariably get the one-word answer of, “Fine.” Instead, encourage a conversation by asking, “What interesting thing happened today?” “What did you and your friends do during recess?” “What was the most fun thing you did today at school?” These questions make your child become more aware of the enjoyable moments during school.  
  3. If your child is young, set 15 to 30 minutes a day to read together. If your child is older, set a specified time (during which the television and all other electronics are turned off) for the entire family to read silently. 
  4. Keep alert to what interests your child. Does he or she like to do puzzles or does your child like to paint? Each child is born with unique traits and talents. Observe your child to discover those gifts, and then encourage him/her toward similar activities or extra-curricular programs. By doing so, you will increase your child’s creativity and self-confidence.

Being a parent or guardian is the most wonderful role an adult will ever play in life, yet it can also be challenging. After all, your children have their own minds and personalities, so to get them to adopt your attitude and viewpoint toward learning, you will need to use a lot of positive reinforcement, praise, and patience. While that may not be easy, the payoff to having your child become a successful individual is worth all of those efforts. 

Good and Bad Peer Pressure – Know the Difference

Have you ever heard the saying, “If someone told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?” A bit extreme, yes. But that would be peer pressure. And while peer pressure is usually seen as a negative thing, it can sometimes lead to positive results. Most middle and high school students are able to identify the difference between good peer pressure and bad peer pressure.
Resisting pressure from your peers to try something with harmful effects (smoking, drugs, a dangerous stunt) doesn’t mean you aren’t cool. It means you are smart enough to make a good choice. You understand the harmful effects of the action and have made a choice that is good for you. Hopefully you know how to say “no” to peer pressure and can walk away from an uncomfortable situation.

But sometimes your peers may continue to pressure you into a situation or activity that is dangerous or harmful to yourself or others. In times like these, knowing some strategies ahead of time will help. Beyond Growth offers some advice on how to be prepared so you can make—and stick to—your decisions.

Peer pressure isn’t all bad though. Sometimes your peers can pressure you into a situation that benefits you or that you were too afraid to do on your own. Maybe a friend urges you to study for your civics exam rather than go to a movie. When isn’t studying a good thing? Or maybe a friend encourages you to enter a piece of your artwork into a contest you were nervous about competing in. Going along with the crowd or giving in to a friend isn’t always a bad thing. Just make sure the crowd isn’t trying to pressure you into something you truly don’t want to do.

Decision-making and peer pressure are part of growing up. It’s how you handle it that will make all the difference!

 

Getting Kids to Eat Nutritiously

Nutritious eating is important for children to learn early in life. They are influenced by what they eat at home and at school. By finding fun and creative ways at home and by supporting schools that provide healthier food, you can greatly influence your children to enjoy eating nutritiously.     

Home is where your children gain a foundation for good nutrition. It’s true what they say, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Breakfast helps fuel your children for their day at school, which is why it is so important that you have influence over what your children eat. An NPR article presents studies showing that children who eat breakfast before going to school perform better, have more energy, and pay better attention to their teachers than those who do not. Studies have also shown that what your children eat for breakfast affects their performance throughout the day.

Sending your children to school with a nutritious lunch can be a deterrent to the vending machines. Dr. Geoffrey Greene, president of the Society of Nutrition Education, found that parental limitations on how many sugary drinks a child was allowed to drink at home made a difference for the better in how many sugary drinks they purchased at school.

As parents, you have a tremendous amount of influence over what your kids eat. The Super Kids Nutrition website has great articles and fun ideas about how to get your children involved in eating more nutritiously. By having fun and being creative with your children, they will want to eat better.

Fun Gifts to Make with Your Kids

Winter is the season for gift giving, and people love homemade gifts—especially when they come from kids. Whether your kids enjoy painting, cutting projects, or working in the kitchen, here are three proven ideas guaranteed to be fun for all.

Salt Dough Ornaments and Magnets

These gifts are easy to make using ingredients and supplies you probably already have around the house. Making salt dough reinforces math skills as kids measure the ingredients for it, and mixing, rolling, cutting, and painting are excellent fine motor activities.

  • Use this simple recipe to make salt dough.
  • Roll the dough approximately 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin, and cut it using cookie cutters. If you plan to make ornaments, use a straw to poke a hole for string or ribbon in each cutout.
  • Bake the cutouts in a 200-degree oven to dry, and allow them to cool.
  • Decorate using watercolor paints, allow them to dry, write the artist's name and the year on the back with permanent marker; if you wish, seal them with a product such as Mod Podge®.
  • Add a ribbon for ornaments, or attach a magnet to the back, then wrap, and share with loved ones.

Paper Snowflake Coasters

Make traditional paper snowflakes special by using fancy paper, and turn them into durable coasters with clear self-adhesive paper. The folding and cutting required to make the snowflakes is great for strengthening kids' fine motor skills. Websites such as Sax Art Supplies offer a wide assortment of colorful patterned origami papers that kids can use to make snowflakes.

  • Sheets that are approximately 6" x 6" work best.
  • Use this diagram to fold a square sheet of paper.
  • Cut out shapes along the folded edges, and then unfold the snowflake.
  • Place it between two heavy books for a few hours to flatten it.
  • Carefully lay the snowflake on the sticky side of a sheet of clear self-adhesive paper (such as Cont-Tact® Paper), and cover it with the sticky side of a second sheet of the paper.
  • Trim the edges into an attractive shape.
  • Place several coasters in a small gift bag or box, and share.

Baking Mix Jars

If your kids enjoy cooking, make baking mix jars with them. Measuring the ingredients for the jars is a great way to reinforce math concepts. Allrecipes.com has many recipes for cookie mixes to layer in a mason jar.

  • For each gift, layer all ingredients in a jar and seal it.
  • Kids can copy the recipe for each jar on a sheet of paper or type it in a word processing program, adding festive clip art or hand-drawn art to each recipe.
  • Fold the recipe sheet, punch a hole in it, and tie it to the jar with ribbon.

These are just a few ideas for gifts you can make with your kids. Once you have tried one of these projects, see how many ideas you can create on your own!