Is your student struggling at school?Academic support services at Gateway include:
- Study Club | Monday through Thursday 3pm to 4pm in the Library - teachers are available to answer questions and students can use the library computers for homework as well.
- MASH (Math After School Help) | Monday and Wednesday 3pm to 4pm Ms. Howard or Ms. Weber's room
- Online Grades available 24/7
- Email teachers
- A form that you could have your student fill out daily to track their progress: Daily Progress Report
Things parents can do to help their students be successful in middle school
The most important and the most challenging thing parents can do is to become involved with their child's schooling in a way that they feel comfortable. Effective parent involvement can help with students who appear to be apathetic toward school. The following are tips on how to become involved in your child's schooling:
- Have your child explain his or her homework to you from each class. This has several positive aspects. One, your student is able to review for a third time (learned it, completed the assignment and now presenting it to you) the information they are expected to be learning, repetition as the principle of learning. Secondly this allows you to see if your child's work has been completed. Third, it provides you with the chance to encourage your child on the things that have been done well and acknowledge their work at school as meaningful. If you are willing to take the time to go over their work then it must be important. This also is a wonderful time for teaching and correcting to make sure that assignments are done to a specific standard such as correct spelling, clearly marked with name date and what assignment it is, etc. Lastly, this is not a time that should be used to criticize or berate but to encourage and help and to make clear what your expectations are for your student and show them that their school work is important.
- Have your student show you his or her completed work so you know what type of grades they are earning and what they are doing well and what they are struggling with. This will also be a chance for you to discuss the importance of organization. Help your child learn organizational skills that they will use throughout their life by keeping track of homework and being able to get to it when asked and to prioritize what the most important assignments are on a given day.
- Review with your student the online grades the district offers. Get two chairs and sit in front of the computer together and look at what grades your student is earning in each class and how they are doing on specific assignments. If your student is missing a lot of work print the progress report and highlight the missing assignments. Have you student ask their teacher at school the next day for the missing work.
- Whenever your child misses a day of school, have him or her ask each teacher for work that they missed. A lot of students ask, "Did we do anything yesterday?" The question we need them to ask is, "What assignments did I miss yesterday and when will they be due?"
How do I help my student that has ADD or ADHD?
I have had ADD explained to me like this, "ADD is like walking into a TV store and seeing all of the different TVs on the wall and one of them is the TV you need to watch but you don't know how to tell which one is the important one so you end up looking at all of them and not really watching a single one."
Unfortunately there is no magic answer to this question. The following rules taken from The Counseling Handbook – practical strategies to help children with common problems can help: (Flood, N and Nuckols, M. The Counseling Handbook - practical strategies to help children with common problems . Plainview, NY: Childswork/Childsplay, 1998.)
- Start by assigning tasks that the child will likely master, so that he or she has the opportunity to experience success.
- Increase expectations by small achievable steps. (For example, give the following task: Before school, take medication and be ready for the bus with only one reminder. After a week or two of success, add something such as brush your teeth or make your bed. Be sure to add just one task at a time.)
- Have a visual chart of rules, chores, and rewards.
- Reinforce improvements with checks, hugs, and praise.
- Have consistent routines for everything. (For example, tell the child that homework time is 30 minutes after supper.)
- Be predictable. (Say, for example, If you don't do homework one day, there is no TV the next day.)
- Be positive. (Say, for example, that if the child completes the homework one day, there is free-choice TV for one hour the next day.)
- Talk only after you have established eye contact with the child.
- Be brief and specific when giving directions and make no more than one request at a time.
- Ask the child to tell you what was heard and remembered.
- Set rules and enforce them. Avoid debates.
- Avoid physical punishments. They are ineffective and teach inappropriate behavior.
- Prepare a child for transitions.
- Avoid over stimulation.
- Prepare for fatigue and medication wear-off at the end of the day.
If you would like some books on this subject contact your student's counselor they they can get you a list.