Food Allergies – A Parents’ Nightmare !

When your child has a food allergy, you have to take all the precautions you can to protect them. This includes discussing your child’s situation with their school. Clear and open communication with the school can help your child stay safe during the school day.

First, become as informed as you can about your child’s allergies, including the foods that cause it, the signs of an allergic reaction, how epinephrine can help, how to use an epi pen, and how your child might describe a reaction. Also find out how your school approaches food allergy management. They probably have a plan in place. Connect with a local food allergy support group where you can talk with other parents in the area.

Build a team at the school to share information about your child and to educate them about your child’s allergies. Make yourself available to answer questions and to address concerns. This might include cafeteria staff, maintenance staff, administration, nurses, teachers, coaches, parents, classmates, and transportation staff.

File a food allergy and anaphylaxis emergency care plan with your school. It provides an outline of what to do in case your child has an allergic reaction. It also includes phone numbers for emergency contacts. Your child’s doctor signs it. In case of an emergency, your child’s school will know to go right away to their file, look at that paper and can administer the correct medical care while they wait for emergency assistance.

You can also help reduce allergens in the classroom by talking with your child’s teacher about rules like not sharing or trading food, only allowing food items with labels to be come into the classroom (no home-baked cookies), providing snacks for the whole class so your child can eat what everyone else does, etc.

Finally, visit FoodAllergy.org for a helpful list of resources to help you discuss your child’s allergy with their school.

 

Super Hero Staff Educators

My Son Grieves the Loss of His Mom – What About School?

When your child experiences a loss, the grieving process can take a toll on their school work and their relationships at school. If this occurs, it is important to communicate directly with the school about the situation so that personnel and teachers are better able to assist your child as they work through the difficult process of grieving.

While teachers are not grief counselors and may not understand much about how it proceeds, it is vital that you schedule a time to talk with your children’s teachers and the school principal to discuss what is going on. As soon as possible after the loss occurs, set an appointment with relevant faculty and administration members to explain the situation.

Let them know about the loss, about the relationship of the person/animal/object/situation lost with your child, and then explain the impact that the loss is having on your child. Talk about changes you expect to see in their behavior, changes that you have already seen, and discuss how you and teachers/administration will communicate about any changes that will occur at home and at school.

Invite the school counselor or psychologist to attend the meeting, if one is available at your school. This person will be more aware of the grief process than other staff members at the school and can help outline the stages to expect your child to go through. The counselor might also recommend regular sessions for your child to meet with them so that they can work through it with professional guidance. If they don’t suggest it, you can request it.

Stay in communication with the school about the situation, and provide regular updates. Ask teachers about ways to encourage your child to still do their work at home or if they can modify your student’s workload for a time while they adjust to life after the loss. Encourage your school to visit GrievingStudents.org for more information about to help students who are grieving.

Work with a grief professional who can help you help your child through the loss. This can make the process easier for you and your child to handle. You can get tools to help your child do well in school and suggestions to help teachers help your child.

Super Hero Staff Educator

 

My Child is Muslim – The Teacher Is Biased

Discrimination from a teacher of any type makes it difficult for your child to succeed academically. If you are a member of a religious group, such as Islam, that your child’s teacher doesn’t seem to care for, you have some options to make sure your child is treated fairly at school.

1.) Document any discriminatory statements or actions that you witness or hear about from your child. Try to find out the particulars of the situation from others who saw or heard the incident occur if you are hearing the about it only from your child to ensure you have all the objective information you need. Take the documentation to your child’s school’s administration to see what they can do to help you.

2.) Request that your child be moved to a different classroom after you have documented the incidents. This might be a last resort if a meeting with the teacher and administration does not clear up any potential misunderstandings about a supposedly discriminatory statement or action.

3.) Talk to the teacher directly. Many times, having a frank discussion can be the key to breaking down barriers. Misconceptions and stereotypes are best dealt with in a calm, but clear manner.

4.) Talk to the school about having some sort of presentation, cultural/religious fair, or guest speaker that can help explain to students about your religion. Invite other religious groups to participate, and encourage staff, faculty, and students to get involved. Expand the program to include discussion about discrimination in general, why it is not okay, and what to do if students witness it.

5.) Encourage your child to talk with you about your religion, its beliefs, any discrimination or bullying they witness because of it (or because of any other reason, such as disability or skin color). This promotes open communication between you to help solve any potential problems with a biased teacher.

6.) Act on reports of religious discrimination immediately when you hear about them. Get other parents on board with you to demonstrate strength in numbers and a united front to combat religious intolerance in schools.

Your child deserves to attend school in a safe, peaceful environment, regardless of their religious beliefs, and, with decisive action to stop religious discrimination from teachers before it gets out of hand, you can protect your child and others like them

Super Hero Staff Educator

My Child Reads! Why Is He Failing?

 

When it comes to reading, you may find that there is some kind of disconnect between what your child can read aloud and what they can actually understand of what they just read. This is the difference between fluency and comprehension.

Fluency                 

Fluency refers to your child’s ability to decode words quickly and accurately, to recognize words on sight and to be able to say them. Think of your child reading a book aloud. How quickly they read and how accurate they are with what they read is the essence of fluency.

At school, teachers test fluency by having students read a short passage at their reading level, or maybe slightly above or below it, and they time how far they can read in a certain amount of time. They also mark how many mistakes they make, such as if they skip a word, mispronounce a word, etc. This helps them determine an overall fluency rate. They will use passages that are slightly above or below their reading level to help them determine the right reading level for your child to be reading at in class.

Comprehension

Comprehension is another vital component of determining how well a child reads. This is how much of what your child read was understood. The teacher will ask your child questions about the passage, and the questions are on the general idea and the details. They may also ask your child to be able to think abstractly about the story and connect what they read to other ideas.

When teachers combine fluency and comprehension rates, they have a good idea of the reading level of your child. This helps them tailor their reading instruction to your child’s current level of ability and to challenge them to the next level appropriately. It also keeps your child’s frustration level down if they are reading at a level that suits them. Additionally, they are more likely to enjoy reading if they can read about subjects they’re interested in at a level that they can read fluently at and at which they can comprehend what they read.

M.L. Page , M.ED.

An Advantage To Preschool?

If you have been fortunate enough to be a parent who has not had to put their child in any sort of formal child care, you may be very reluctant to have your child attend preschool. Preschool can be a frightening idea to many parents, but it is very beneficial for your child as well.

1.) Preschool allows your child to engage with other children on a regular basis. It is the perfect place to learn vital social skills like taking turns and engaging in conversations. Your child will learn how to successfully interact with other children.

2.) Preschool helps your child learn important motor skills. For example, your child will learn how to use scissors, and will develop fine motor skills using the toys and learning materials available in the preschool.

3.) Preschool helps your child learn independence and trust. This does not mean that your parent-child bond is broken. It means that your child’s anxiety about being away from you slowly begins to decrease, and he is able to engage in tasks and play on his own more confidently. He also learns how to trust another adult as his caregiver.

4.) Preschool sets the stage for academic learning in elementary school. This does not mean that the preschool you choose to have your child go to should be hard-core academically focused, but it does mean that being exposed to the alphabet, learning to write her name, and developing basic pre-math skills will help your child succeed when she enters Kindergarten.

5.) Preschool teaches children about routine, structure, and schedules. Even if your lifestyle is more laid back, it is important that your child know how to function in the wider world where the clock and authority figures play an important role in daily life.

6.) Preschool shows your child more about the wider world and her place in it. She begins to develop a sense of understanding about home, school, the neighborhood, the city, the state, the country, and how she fits in with each. She is also exposed to new ideas about the world around her, such as new animals and plants she’s never heard of or seen.

Preschool is a great experience for children. Even a few hours a week can give your child the leg up and the confidence he needs to move self-assured into the next phase of his life.

 

M.L. Page , M.ED.