There are two significant parts in every child’s life: What happens at school, and what happens at home. At Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning, we understand that home life definitely impacts what happens at school – and vice versa. We work with parents and our students to try to keep everything in balance.
Frequent communication with parents
“One way or another, we connect with parents every school day,” explained Angela Cross, who leads the elementary program.
“Every student has a communication book, which we send home each night. It talks about how the day went at school,” she said. “Often we do try to touch base with parents daily, but they can also fill us in on what’s happened overnight through the communication book.”
On days where a student has problems in the classroom, someone from Applewood will try to connect with the parents before they come to pick them up so they know what to expect.
The behavioral cycle
Things tend to change during the year, in a bit of a cycle. “With the transition back to school, for example, September tends to bring behavioral issues,” noted Cross.
“We tend to start off with a lot of core conversation with parents about home life, strategies at home and our strategies at the school.”
Many of the same issues come back after the Christmas break, Cross said, so there’s definitely a pattern within the classroom.
Teaching life skills
Each month, kids learn about a different therapeutic theme – life skills that they can apply in the classroom and at home. “Themes might include anger management, social difficulties, or how to better deal with feelings and emotions during the year.”
Starting the conversation
While we will give out homework if parents request it, most schoolwork is done in the classroom so there’s not a lot to overlap with things at home. But it is important that parents take time to talk to their kids.
“Just ask how their day was,” Cross suggested as a good place to start.