Parents must play major role in children’s education

Allen Sanders
RISD Community Relations Director

A s I mentioned last week, student success at our schools must include parents playing a major role in their child’s education. This week my focus regarding the success of our students is perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to stick with a task or continue with a goal even when things get rough. Without it, your child’s success in school, and in life, will be greatly limited.

Ways to encourage perseverance:

• Advise your child on a goal. Suppose your child has a goal of raisingagradefromaCtoaB this six-weeks. He/she plans to reach this by studying 30 minutes each night. Leave the studying to your child. But encourage him/her to come to you and report success each time he/she puts in the 30 minutes. Applaud him/her for doing it on his own. Tell him/her how proud you are of the way he/she is growing up.

• Emphasize practice. Each time your child practices getting better at anything, he/she is showing an ability to persevere. Sometimes the thought of a lot of practice is overwhelming. Emphasize small steps. This week, he/she can practice three math problems a night. When this is comfortable, he/she can move up to four or more.

• Waste less time. Too much TV, video gaming, social time on the computer, phone and texting are distractions that can hold your child back. Make a deal that you will each cut back on a time waster for 10 minutes a night. Use the time to do something productive. Later, consider cutting back 15 minutes a night.

As a parent it is important to be a good role model for our children. We, as adults, should realize the importance of perseverance in our own lives, and we must provide a good example for our children to follow.

Also this week, we will begin recognizing notable academic experiences by highlighting each of our four RISD campuses. Rockdale Junior High will be the first campus to have the spotlight and April Eschberger, RJH principal, will share with us the exciting things happening on her campus.

On Sept. 11, RJH was fortunate to have the TAME (Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering) Science Trailblazer visit the junior high. All eight grade students toured the exhibit and participated in the activities on the trailer during their science class. The Science Trailblazer exhibit is a 40 foot trailer with hands-on science and engineer activities and information. This exhibit is the only interactive science “museum on wheels” in Texas.

The TAME exhibit was brought to Rockdale through a grant received by Lucy Hill Patterson Library. Several local volunteers including Joyce Ford, Ashley Stutts, Brittany Stutts, Jane Katz and Eldon Ball helped man the exhibit and helped students experience science experiments of energy, medicine, technology, space, and weather. As students manipulated the science equipment volunteers explained the details of the science related concepts that went along with that portion of the exhibit.

Students particularly enjoyed the space exhibit which allowed kids to feel what the weight of a common object on various planets in relation to the gravity of the solar body. The space exhibit also allowed students to learn about solar flares seeing what they look like, hearing what they sound like, and hear the effects on telephones as a solar flare appears. Another exhibit involved students learning about various types of energy such as solar energy, wind energy, and mechanical energy. Through the experiment students saw a light bulb powered by each of these energy sources.

Students gained a better understanding of science standards taught in grades 6-8. The trailer allowed students to visualize and use hands-on manipulatives to gain insight into the often difficult to comprehend standards. This was an amazing field trip brought directly to the junior high. Rockdale Junior High would like to thank all of the local volunteers, Lucy Hill Patterson Library staff, and TAME for bringing this exciting and informative exhibit to the junior high.

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2013-09-26 digital edition

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