Guidance Parent Newsletter

3rd - 5th Grade

Hello Parents!

My name is Sophia Solano and I am the school counselor for Blessed Trinity. I started in January of last year so I'm still getting to know everyone. I love working at this school and getting to know your children!

My plan for this year is to send a newsletter out at the end of each quarter to discuss different tips and suggestions to help best support your little learner. If you ever have any concerns of questions please feel free to contact me. I am here Tuesdays and Thursdays and can be reached via email at counselor@blessedtrinitycatholicschool.org or by phone at 904-641-3837 ext 336

Welcome to Upper Elementary

Your child is now on the "older kid" side of the hallway. They are now taking on more responsibility and will be expected not to need as much individualized attention as the younger grades. This is still very much a process and they still very much need your assistance. Ideally they are using their planners and keeping up with their responsibilities but we still can't assume they are doing so and they need to be checked up on frequently.

Click Here for a great site that gives guidelines and information based on grade level. They cover topics across each subject area so you can be ahead of the game.

Tips and Suggestions for Parents for 3rd - 5th grade

3rd Grade

Growing Independence & Confidence

Third graders are generally courageous, confident, and open to new experiences at school. They work to understand the reasons things happen. Although most third graders begin to prefer some subject areas over others, they will take pleasure in mastering new skills across the curriculum. At home, however, many third graders start to strive for more independence from their parents which can make talking about school a challenge.

Instead of just asking how their day went, try asking specific questions about the day, "What game did you play in PE?", "What story did you read in Language Arts?", etc.

To help build their growing confidence remember to praise the hard work behind the good grades. You obviously want to acknowledge and celebrate an A on a test but try to include in your comments specifically that you admire the fact they put the time in to prepare. This can help reinforce the idea that it's just as much about the time and effort put in as it is about the grade.

Third graders generally are doers and can sometimes take on more than they can handle. This can lead to disappointments which can turn to worry or self-doubt. Remind your child it's ok to fail and that it's not a failure if they learn from it. Share a personal story that you can relate to them with.

Lastly, because most 3rd graders are eager to participate and share this could potentially highlight learning struggles or difficulties which can lead to worry and anxiety. If they struggle with a certain area and they see friends eager to answer something they don't quite get yet they might start to internalize that feeling and shift their attitudes about school. It's important teachers and parents pay close attention to this - it is much easier to intervene and help change attitudes at the start.
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4th & 5th Grade

Staying Organized and Growing Up Fast

In the fourth and fifth grade children take on new types of work and social experiences, and for some, these can be tough. Fourth graders may struggle to follow the many directions and long-range planning that their school assignments require. They have to collaborate with their peers on group projects, which can be stressful in the charged social dynamics that emerge in fourth grade. The work gets harder and they need to manage it more independently — that includes homework assignments in multiple subjects, as well as keeping track of those assignments and tasks. Check your child's teacher's website often. The teachers here work hard to keep their site updated so you can be aware of upcoming projects, test and assignments. While you want to encourage more accountability and independence you still cannot just take their word on something. If your child is struggling help them set up a routine.

Some things you might try:
*While they do homework you could be doing tasks you need to sit and focus on as well (paying bills, planning family events, writing out grocery lists, etc.)
*Sit with your child and make your own to-do lists while they make theirs
*Keep a communal calendar in a visible place of your house. Have your child write down important upcoming events/projects so they can work on it well before the night before something is due
*Ask to see their homework upon completion, look for errors and have them correct it (it's their hw not yours ;)

More and more students are maturing faster than in the past. Many are starting puberty at the age of 9. This can lead to behaviors that we typically label "middle school behavior" much earlier. However, they are still young enough to usually still be interested in working through problems with help from the trusted adults in their life.

*Check in with your students about potential "dramas and traumas" going on. While you don't want to fuel the fire, you also do not want to trivialize what they are going through. They need to see you take it seriously (without panicking) so they will be more likely to keep you in the loop in the future. Even if they aren't directly involved this can give you an opportunity to weigh in and provide advice on how to handle the situation. Encourage them to get me involved if they need. I can provide them with several resources on conflict resolution and since I'm not their parent they might not fear negative consequences like punishments at home if it's coming from me.
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Individual Counseling

If you would like your child to meet with me one-on-one please fill out the form below. This form goes directly back to me and I will then schedule a time with their teacher to meet with them. Following our visit I will contact you by phone or email.
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