Weekly Memo (September 9-13)

What To Say To Your Child After School

Each year as school begins on the secondary campus, new students and their parents are invited to New Student Orientation. It’s always scheduled the week before school begins, and it’s designed to give students a low-stress evening to walk the hallways, practice their combination a few times, meet their teachers, and get acclimated with life on Mustang Mountain before the first day of school.

As part of the program, administrators have a session with parents to cover things like dress code, pick-up procedures, RenWeb, etc. When talking with parents about RenWeb, I’d mention how notifications could be set up so that they’d get an email every time a grade was entered that fell below a certain percentage. I’d see parents' eyes light up thinking about how that extra tool could help them hold their child accountable.

And while it is a great tool, I would always pause and warn parents not to use it as a weapon with their child— especially right after school. Middle school and high school is a stressful time for kids, and the last thing a kid needs to hear from mom or dad when getting in the car after school is, "So, tell me about the English quiz grade. You got a 60?"

Most parents would nod in agreement when hearing that, but it would never fail that throughout the year, I’d need to remind some parents over and over again. A conversation should be had if grades are slipping, but timing is everything— and immediately after school in the pick-up line is neither the time nor the place.

So if you shouldn’t discuss that email notification, what should parents say to their child after school?

I’ve talked with several parents and students about this, I’ve read books and blog posts, and I’ve heard professional counselors offer advice. You may have some great recommendations, too, but here is my current favorite (courtesy of Dr. Wendy Model):

The best thing we can say to our kids when we pick them up after school is
"I thought about you today when…"

I thought about you today when I went to the grocery story and got your favorite cereal.

I thought about you today when I was eating my lunch around the same time as your lunch.

I thought about you today when I started sweating in the parking lot and I knew you’d be a sweaty mess on recess today.

I thought about you today when I heard this song on the radio.

Notice it’s not about grades or academic performance or behavior nor is it a barrage of questions like "How was your day?" or "What did you do today?" or "Did you have fun today?" (which usually provide answers of "fine," "nothing," and "I guess so").

Instead, it’s a powerful statement and reminder of your love for your kid. Growing up is hard and school is stressful. Sometimes it’s just good for kids to be able to let down their guard and relax a little right after school and be reminded they are loved. What better way to do that than hearing they were thought about during the day, they were missed during the day, and they were valued during the day?

What We’re Learning Next Week (if all goes as planned)
  • Bible
    • God’s Word is True— Abraham and Faith
  • Reading/Vocab
    • Read-Aloud
    • Independent Reading (AR test by Friday)
    • Journeys— Reader’s Theater
    • DRA Testing
  • Social Studies
    • Studies Weekly— U.S. States and Regions
    • Key Concepts:
      • Identifying and exploring the USA’s Seven Natural Regions
      • Mapping and Charting the Six Major Rivers of the U.S.
      • Diversity
      • The history and significance of adding our 49th and 50th states
  • Math
    • Lesson 11— Word Problems About Combining
    • Lesson 12— Lines, Number Lines, & Tally Marks
    • Lesson 13— Multiplication as Repeated Addition
    • Lesson 14— Missing Numbers in Subtraction
    • Lesson 15— Making a Multiplication Table
  • Spelling
    • Week Four list (see below)
    • Pre-Test Thursday (perfect scores will not need to take Friday’s test)
    • Test Friday
  • English
    • Practice with subjects and verbs
    • Nouns as subjects and objects
    • Test over Nouns on Thursday
  • Writing
    • Paragraph writing/Journaling
    • Narrative Writing (Pre-Write, Rough Draft, Revision Process)

Next Week’s Memory Verse
Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them. We will come to them and make our home with them."
John 14:23

Next Week’s Spelling List
Printable version— Download PDF
Week Four Spelling List
  1. month
  2. friend
  3. grade
  4. cowboy
  5. valley
  6. match
  7. bush
  8. pass
  9. battery
  10. company
  11. donkey
  12. missile
  13. costume
  14. picture
  15. morning
  16. kiss
  17. dress
  18. bench
  19. speech
  20. century

Next Week’s Tests & Quizzes
  • Thursday, September 12
    • Spelling Pre-Test
    • English Test— Nouns and Verbs; Nouns as subjects and objects
  • Friday, September 13
    • Social Studies Test
    • Spelling Test (if necessary)
    • Bible Memory Verse Quiz

Upcoming Projects
  • Send a 4x6 picture for our "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" bulletin board

Important Dates & Upcoming Events
  • Saturday, September 7
    • 5th/6th Grade Football vs CTK (10:30; Mustang Mountain)
  • Tuesday, September 10
    • Mr. Collier will not be at school. Mrs. Burton is scheduled to be the substitute teacher.
  • Thursday, September 12
    • Outside Chapel (8:00-8:30; groups of 5th grade students will help 1st graders lead)
    • English Test (Nouns)
    • Spelling Pre-Test
  • Friday, September 13
    • 5th Grade Chapel Plan (full schedule can be found here)
      • Song— Gus
      • Song— Aidan
      • Prayer— Luke
      • Scripture— Jude
    • AR Test Deadline
    • Social Studies Test
    • Spelling Test (if necessary)
    • Memory Verse Test
  • Friday, September 20
    • 5th Grade Field Trip (with NLR 5th grade) to Wyldewood— more details to come

Resource of the Week

Helpful Links

Classroom Resource Page (for class schedule, safety patrol rotation, textbooks, etc.)

Google Classroom (students may access this from their Google drive account)

Class ShowMe Page (video tutorials)