The Family Learning Connection
2nd Quarter Volume 20
Families and teachers, like a path we trod,
Working together, just like peas in a pod.
We're on a journey, like a trail through the trees,
Helping kids grow, guiding with great ease.
Families, like roots, deep in the ground,
Teacher, like guides, wisdom all around.
We plant the seeds of learning, day and night,
Nurturing young minds, 'til they take flight.
Sometimes, there are challenges, like logs in the way,
But together we face them, come what may.
We climb the hill, reach for the stars so bright,
With families and teachers, it all feels right.
On this path of knowledge, we'll never part,
Families and teachers, we're a team from the start.
With each step we take, our bonds grow strong,
Together, we'll help young minds along.
Family Fun During Winter
- Fun in the Snow: If your area gets snow, enjoy activities such as sledding, ice skating, building a snowman, or friendly snowball fights.
- Nature Walks: Go for a winter nature walk and observe the changes in the environment during the colder months.
- Star Gazing: On clear nights, go outside and do some star gazing. See if anyone can identify any constellations.
- Parks: Visit a local park and play with your children. Teach them a game you enjoyed playing as a child.
- Visit Museums: Explore local museums, science centers, or art galleries for educational and entertaining experiences.
- Community Service: Volunteer as a family for a local charity or community service project, or visit a local nursing home.
- Indoor Play Centers: Visit indoor play centers or trampoline parks to let kids burn off energy.
- DIY Science Experiments: Conduct fun and educational experiments at home, like making a volcano or growing crystals.
- Virtual Tours: Take virtual tours of museums, zoos, or historic sites online if going out is not an option.
Indoor Crafts & Projects
- DIY Crafts: Create winter-themed crafts, such as snowflakes, paper snowmen, or homemade decorations.
- Science Experiments: Try simple at-home science experiments, like making snowflakes, or ice crystals.
- Baking: Bake cookies, muffins, or other treats together and decorate them.
- Board Games and Puzzles: Spend quality time playing board games or working on puzzles as a family.
- Reading Time: Read books together as a family, or take turns reading to each other.
- Cooking Together: Involve your children in the kitchen by cooking a meal or trying new recipes.
- Storytelling: Encourage your children to create and share their own stories. This will foster their creativity.
- Cultural Exploration: Explore different cultures by making foods or crafts from around the world.
- Family Photos: Have a family photo session or create a scrapbook to capture memories.
- Gardening: If you have indoor plants or a small garden, involve your kids in tending to them.
- Letter Writing: Write letters or emails to distant family members and friends. This helps kids develop communication skills.
- Educational Games: Play educational games or apps that make learning fun while school is out.
- Plan Upcoming Events: Discuss and plan family vacations, outings, or special events for the upcoming year
New Year's Resolutions for Parents: Getting Involved in Your Child's School
As we step into the new year, it's a perfect time to think about resolutions. A resolution is a promise to yourself to make positive changes. How about making some resolutions to get more involved in your child's education and school life? Here are some simple resolutions for parents to consider.
Set a goal to read with your child regularly. Choose books that interest them. Reading together not only helps with literacy but also creates special bonding time.
Make it a daily tradition to ask your child about their day at school. Ask questions like, "What was the best part of your day?" or "Was there anything that frustrated you today?"
Set limits on screen time. Spend more time engaging in real-life activities, like playing games, doing art projects, or going on family outings.
Make a commitment to volunteer at your child's school or in the classroom. Your involvement can make a big difference and show your child that education is important to you.
Understanding High School Graduation Requirements in Texas
As your child progresses through their education, it's essential to be aware of the graduation requirements they need to meet in high school. In Texas, there are specific rules that students must follow to graduate, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need.
Credits and Core Subjects
To graduate from a Texas high school, your child will need to earn a certain number of credits in different subjects. These include English, math, science, social studies, and more. They will also need to complete courses in subjects like physical education and health. Each school district may have its own set of requirements, so it's crucial to check with your child's school to understand the specific credit requirements.
Texas offers endorsements that allow your child to focus on specific areas of interest. There are five main endorsements, including Business & Industry, Public Services, Arts & Humanities, Multidisciplinary Studies, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Your child can choose an endorsement that aligns with their career interests and helps them prepare for the future.
In Texas, there are different graduation plans, such as the Recommended High School Program (RHSP) and the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP). These plans set higher standards and offer more opportunities. Your child's school will help them choose the most suitable graduation plan based on their goals and interests.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
For students with disabilities, individual education plans (IEPs) play a crucial role in graduation requirements. These plans outline specific accommodations and modifications to help students succeed. If your child has an IEP, work closely with the school to ensure their unique needs are met.
Understanding High School Graduation Requirements in Texas
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests checks how well your child is doing in school academically. It looks at different subjects like reading, math, science, and social studies. It helps teachers and parents know the skills a child has, so they can help them achieve the next level of skills. These tests are taken beginning in third grade and continue through the eleventh grade.
These tests play a significant role in high school graduation as well. Students must pass certain STAAR tests to graduate. These tests assess their knowledge and skills in core subjects. If your child faces challenges with these tests, don't hesitate to reach out to the school for support and options.
What Parents Can Do
- Find out if/when your child takes the STAAR test.
- Help your child practice if they need it.
- Talk to your child's teachers to see how they are doing in school.
The Texas Education Agency gives a date range for each STAAR test. Each school district picks a day within that range. Be sure to check with your district for specific dates.
- February 19-March 29: TELPAS Grades K-12 Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing (For English Learners in the TELPAS Program.)
- April 9-19: Grades 3-8 STAAR Reading Language Arts, English I, English II
- April 16-26: Grade 5 STAAR Science, Grade 8 Science, Grade 8 Social Studies, Biology, and U.S. History
- April 23-May 3: Grades 3-8 STAAR Mathematics and Algebra
- Before graduation: Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), complete and submit a Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA), or submit a signed opt-out form.
2024 PFE Statewide Conference
Make Your Mark
Each year, the Parent and Family Engagement Statewide Initiative hosts a conference for parents as well as educators. Title I, Part A funds can be used for parents to attend. Talk to your district about how this can be done to send parents. The 2024 PFE Statewide Conference will be held in Houston, Texas on October 16-18, 2024.
Cipriano, J. (n.d.). How to Help Your Child Pick A Career Path. Retrieved from School Supply Boxes.
Country Home Learning Center. (n.d.). Winter Activities for Families in Texas. Retrieved from Country Home Learning Center.
Cunningham, C. (n.d.). 28 Winter Activities for Elementary. Retrieved from Teaching Expertise.
Hire Paths. (n.d.). Career Exploration: How to Encourage Kids of All Ages. Retrieved from Hire Paths.
Liontos, L. (n.d.). New Year's Resolution: Help Your Kids Do Great in School. Retrieved from Reading Rockets.
Texas Education Agency. (n.d.). State Graduation Requirements. Retrieved from Texas Education Agency.
The views expressed are not necessarily those of Region 16 Education Service Center, the Title I, Part A Parent and Family Engagement Statewide Initiative, or the Texas Education Agency. All individual or corporate views are solely those of the individual or corporation.