Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sept 30

CBMS Picture Day is this Friday, Oct 5  As indicated in Lifetouch's brochure handed out to students, orders can be made on-line,  prior to picture day (i.e. "pre-pay) OR students can bring their order form and check/money order in with them on the day of picture taking.    If you decide to do the prepay, you will need to print out a "confirmation sheet" that will have a bar code on it and have your child bring that confirmation sheet with him/her on picture day. 
If a student forgets to bring the order form/$$ for picture day, parents have up to 4 days after picture day to place an order on-line. (Every student will have their picture taken on October 5th regardless if an order has been turned in or not.)  Please note that  the prices quoted for the school on the form are only good for up to 48 hours after picture day and orders will not be accepted 4 days after picture day.  Retake Day for paid orders is scheduled for November 16th.

The PTO webpage is new and updated...check it out by clicking here.  Joe Corbi sale is on until October 10th...thanks for supporting the CBMS PTO!

The American Red Cross Babysitting Course will be held on Saturday, October 13 from 8:30-3 PM at Harwood Union. It is available to students 11 years of age or older. Contact Mary Holden at holdenm@harwood.org to sign up and receive further details. The class costs $50 and checks should be made payable to "Harwood Union".  You must also email me to get on the list, and receipt of your check will hold your spot...first come first in with a maximum of 10 students.  

The Overscheduled Child:  From our School Counselor Jennie Hempey's Office School is back in full swing, and after our first full week, we are already starting to hear some students complaining about being tired and short on time.  Already anxious, students are presenting themselves, worried about how they will manage completing homework obligations when they also have a full range of extracurricular activities they have become obligated too.  While your children may love their extracurricular activities, we do need to pay attention -  are they overextended?  Is it too much?  

You might ask, isn’t participation a good thing?  The answer is yes, participation in extracurriculars is an important and valuable part of childhood.  “Researchers have shown, children who are involved in such activities reap important benefits. Involvement in sports, for example, is correlated with higher levels of self-confidence and academic performance, more involvement with school, fewer behavior problems and lower likelihood of taking drugs or engaging in risky sexual behavior” (Elkins 2003).  The goal is not to eliminate these activities, but to monitor the toll they have on our kids.  As the adults in their lives, we need to help our students learn appropriate levels of involvement.  We need to help them learn how much is too much and when to say no.  

We all know how it feels to be pulled in too many directions between work and our extra obligations:  anxious, stressed, burnt out.  We need to help our children avoid these same pitfalls.  Helping our kids to create a balance between family, school, and one or two activities is an important skill.   In addition to school and extracurriculars, “children need free time to read, write, think, dream, draw, build, create, fantasize and explore special interests. Such activities promote self-awareness by helping children clarify who they are and what they are truly interested in” (Elikins 2003)

Homework and school obligations have to fit in without causing undue stress.  The rule of thumb here at Crossett Brook is 10 minutes of homework per grade.  So, for example, 6th graders should be doing approximately 60 minutes of homework a night, which includes 20 minutes of reading.  If your child is finding it impossible to “squeeze” this in, maybe it’s time to look at what can be scaled back.   Conversely, if your child is spending an extraordinary amount of time beyond this rule of thumb on homework per night, please contact his/her teachers to discuss what can be done to remedy this situation.  There needs to be a balance here as well.  

“What works best for kids is neither neglect nor over-attention, but a more relaxed family lifestyle...more time devoted to family dinners, conversations with family members, family vacations, experiencing nature, religious education, adult-led spiritual and civic activities such as choirs and service experiences, and more time left with nothing in particular to do except . . . remember this? . . . play.” (Darst Williams 2008)  If you have questions about how to find more balance for your kids and your family there is help available.  Please feel free to call the school counselor’s office here at Crossett Brook, reference the Guidance web page linked from our school web page, or check out the resources below.  

Resources:  

The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap, Alvin Rosenfield, M.D. & Nicole Wise

The Mindful Child, Susan Kaiser Greenland

The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens; Mindfulness Skills to Help you Deal with Stress, Gina M. Biegel, MA, LMFT

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200301/the-overbooked-child?page=3

http://rye.patch.com/articles/are-your-kids-overscheduled

An opposing view:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580388,00.html

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