Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861
As schools begin to reopen, we are having to adjust expectations from the confusion of our “COVID-Spring”. No one could have guessed that schools would be closed down for more than a couple of weeks last spring, let alone the rest of the 2019-20 school year. We all kept potential opening dates on our calendars, but the plan to reopen schools did not come to fruition throughout the state and in most of the country.
Now, whether children will be on campus five days a week or doing distance learning each day, the expectation is “school as usual”. Work will be assigned and assignments will be due. All will be graded as normal. Attendance will be monitored, even if it’s from a distance.
A few bad habits may have formed over the last few months, so we thought we’d share some advice to parents from the folks at the Love & Logic Institute:
How to avoid battles over homework
Far too many parents find themselves in un-winnable power-struggles over homework, battles that damage parent-child relationships result in further resistance to learning and they steal joy. There's good news! With some practical tips, we can enjoy cooperative kids while building a life-long love of learning:
Prevent resistance by providing choices within limits. Of course, only give choices that will make you happy regardless of what your child decides. For example: Do you want to work on math first or reading first? Would you like to do the odd problems or the even ones? Would you like to read sitting down or standing up?
When children get resistant, allow them to learn by refusing to. Refusing to do an assignment can serve as a more important life lesson than the content of the assignment. The next time your child gets resistant, experiment with walking away and saying:
I love you too much to fight with you about school work.
I'll be happy to help when I see that you want my help.
Let their grades be their grades. Because there is so much at stake - and because we often feel like our children's grades reflect on our parental abilities - it's tough to stay calm and collected when children earn bad ones. Learning is something that we cannot make another person do. The harder we try, the more they rebel and the more our relationship suffers.
When their grades are poor, be sad for them: "I can't imagine how bad it must feel to get that grade. I love you. Let me know how I can help." or "I bet these grades are really disappointing. Let me know how I can help." Using empathy rather than anger dramatically increases the odds that they'll actually feel bad about getting bad grades.
Build them up in their strengths. Kids who make a lot of mistakes also need to experience plenty of success. That's why it's so important to encourage them to spend time and energy on their strengths. Celebrating their successes cements our relationship and gives them the courage to tackle the tough stuff.