Strathmore Elementary School

April Newsletter

Mrs. K Bera, Principal

April Events
  • April 3 Chipotle Night for Relay for Life
  • April 4-7 Book Fair
  • April 6 PTO Girl's Night Out
  • April 10-17 Spring Break
  • April 19 PTO Meeting 10:15 AM
  • April 19 Star Student Meeting 7:00 PM
  • April 20, 21 & 24 PARCC Testing Grade 3 only
  • April 20 & 21 School Store
  • April 25 Report Cards Marking Period 3
  • April 27, 28 PARCC Testing Grade 3 only
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School is closed April 10-17

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Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is a worthwhile goal for parents to hold for their kids, and while parents are right to think they can have an impact on their kids’ developing self-confidence, there are two widespread misconceptions that can stand in the way of that.

Misconception # 1. People are either confident or insecure. In reality, very few people feel good (or bad) about themselves in every area of life. A child who feels confident in her social abilities, for example, might feel insecure about her athletic or musical ability.

Misconception # 2. Praise helps people feel confident. In fact, hollow praise actually diminishes a person’s self-esteem. A strong sense of self is built on feeling genuinely competent in areas that matter to the individual, whether sports, painting, academics, social popularity, or something else.

Not everyone is skilled at everything they do, of course, and certainly not right at the beginning. Sometimes what’s required is more effort, guidance, or assistance.

Here are some practical tips to help your child or teenager develop self-confidence:

1. Unique ability profile. Encourage your child to appreciate her uniqueness—what comes easily, and also what’s harder for her to learn—and to understand that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.

2. Incremental learning. Celebrate the small steps, and help your child see how those steps are required for larger achievements. Say, ‘I admire how you stayed with that picture. Those flowers make me feel happy when I look at them.’ Not,you’re just like me, not very good at painting,’ or, ‘You’re a terrific artist!’ ‘You’re just like me; I was not good at math either.’

3. Engagement. Help your child discover learning opportunities in his areas of interest. His confidence will build through experiencing activities he enjoys.

4. Availability, especially through change. Be available to encourage your child as she considers her options, reviews her goals, and adjusts her efforts to adapt to changing demands and circumstances.

5. Growth mindset. Show your child how to face setbacks with a positive mindset, seeing difficulties as ways to learn, not as insurmountable obstacles. Help him understand that everyone experiences problems during the course of learning anything that’s worth learning, and encourage him to take pride in overcoming hurdles.

Working together with your children (and adolescents) to bolster their self-confidence will keep them in good stead at the outset of the school year, during the months that follow, and beyond.

For more information on this topic, research Dona Matthews, PhD, and Joanne Foster, EdD


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Parents Shouldn’t Do Homework, But There Are Times to Step In

Parents who get too involved in their child’s homework can do harm. Their children don’t develop independent study habits. They get the message that they’re not competent enough to do the work themselves. And when parents correct misspellings and other errors, teachers don’t get to see where their children’s skills need strengthening.

But there are times when parents should intervene with homework:

  • When frustration interferes with learning. If your child is stumped by an assignment and so upset that she can’t complete it, help her regain her equilibrium. Offer a snack or some companionship while she takes a time-out. Or suggest she take the assignment to school unfinished and ask for help from the teacher.
  • When procrastination may derail a project. When the due-date for a science project is four days away and your child hasn’t even started, help get her on course. Suggest she break the project into smaller parts. Then check her progress to ensure some part gets done each day.
  • When your child isn’t turning in assignments. You and your child should meet with the teacher to work out a system that suits everyone’s needs. Follow up in two weeks to make sure the system’s working.
  • When your child is having trouble learning. She might require a different approach to homework, as well as to supervision. Talk with the teacher. Consider having your child tested professionally for a learning disability.
  • Copyright (c) 2017 The Parent Institute, a Division of PaperClip Media, Inc.
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My son has a habit of either telling lies about homework or doing the homework, then not turning it in.


I have tried different types of consequences and nothing has improved the situation. What can I do?


Talk with your child. Tell him how concerned you are about his failure to complete his homework and his habit of telling lies. Ask him to tell you why he thinks he does these things.

Then, work with him to resolve the problem:

  • If he fails to complete the homework because he does not understand the work, contact the teacher. Explain that your son does not understand the concepts being taught in class and therefore cannot complete the homework. Ask if your child can receive additional help. Some schools have peer tutors or students in honor societies who tutor. The teacher may be willing to spend extra time with your son or help you find a professional tutor to work with him.
  • If he fails to complete the homework because he is disorganized, help him get into a homework routine. Have him double check before leaving school that he has all the textbooks and papers needed to complete homework assignments that evening. Establish a specific place for him to complete homework and a designated homework time each day. Expect him to complete homework before he watches TV, talks on the phone or spends time with friends.
  • If he fails to complete homework because he is too busy, evaluate his schedule with him. Explain that homework must come first. Help him decide which activities to eliminate until his grades come back up. Then allow him to resume activities gradually as he becomes more organized and his grades improve.
  • If he fails to get a passing grade on homework because he doesn’t turn it in, make sure he takes his completed work to school each day. Have him put all completed assignments in his backpack the night before and then place his backpack by the door so he won’t forget it.
  • If your child lies about completing homework, consider what is motivating him to lie. Don’t accuse him or overreact if he fails to complete homework. Instead, say, “What can we do to help you resolve this problem?” Then take some of the steps listed in the bullets above. Let him know that it’s OK if he doesn’t understand everything on his homework, but it is never OK for him to lie to you.
  • Also work with your son’s teacher and school counselor to resolve this problem. They have worked with many students and will be glad to share their suggestions to help your child have success with homework.



Copyright (c) 2017 The Parent Institute, a Division of PaperClip Media, Inc.