Back to School Tips
Creating High Expectations
Building Resilience

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September 3 , 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 451
Subscribers: 63,645

In This Issue:

Teach Your Child to Work Hard: Set High Goals

Building Strength and Resilience

Defeating the First Day Jitters

Ten Tips for A Successful School Year

Free Pub: Nine Ways to Achieve Success at School

Next Show: Back to School Special

Disability Preparedness Resource Center: Hurricane Gustav Information


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Planning is the Key to Success
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Ask the Advocate
Nine Ways to Achieve Success at School
Tips for Parents: Starting the New School Year Right
ATTN! VA Parents
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Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043



Copyright 2008, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your web site without explicit permission.

Back to school can be very stressful for families. Parents in your child's class, your school district,and across the country are dealing with the same concerns. We'll try to alleviate some of your fears and help you start your kids off on the right foot.

Beware! Helping your kids succeed is great. But, making things easier for your child by lowering the bar is not the way to create high expectations for them and build the strength and resilience they need for life-long success.

"With some effort, we resist the impulse to "help" our boys much with their homework. Would doing push-ups for them strengthen their arms? The same applies to schoolwork, ..."
-Daniel Akst

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate we'll share some back to school tips from the experts and advice on how you can build lasting strength and resilience in your child.

Please don't hesitate to forward this issue of the Special Ed Advocate to other families, friends, and colleagues.

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Teach Your Child to Work Hard: Set High Goals

One problem for parents of kids with disabilities is the overwhelming desire to make things easier for your child. This is understandable, but it is not going to lead to good outcomes in the end.

Help your child create high expectations for themselves. Then, make sure they do all the work expected of them as well as their abilities allow.

Teach your child to:

  • work hard
  • set high goals
  • handle disappointments without giving up or giving in.

Building Strength and Resilience

Pete and Pam always offer this advice, "Your child needs to be strong and resilient. We emphasize this in our training programs."

Parents need to help kids grow up strong and resilient. This won't happen if Mom is still tying shoes and cutting the child's meat into high school.

In Raising the Bar: How Parents Can Fix Education, New York writer Daniel Akst says that with parental effort, children can do better. He provides some interesting research facts:

  • Parents prefer teachers who make their children happy over those who emphasize academic achievement.
  • The most consistent predictors of children's academic achievement and social adjustment are parent expectations of the child's academic attainment and satisfaction with their child's education at school. Parents of high-achieving students set higher standards for their children's educational activities.
  • Americans ages 2 to 17 spend an average of three hours a day watching television.
  • Weekday TV and videogames were strongly correlated with poor school performance.
  • A mere 30% of 13-year-olds read for fun daily (a number that has been shrinking), while 13% hardly ever read for fun (a number that has been growing). Americans aged 15 and over spent less than 22 minutes a day on voluntary reading of any kind.

"Start insisting that your children fully apply themselves to their studies -- and commit yourself to doing your part."

Find good back to school advice in Raising the Bar: How Parents Can Fix Education.

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Defeating the First Day Jitters

You never know what the school day will bring, especially the first day of school.

Need some no-nonsense pointers to help remove last-minute stress that comes with every weekday morning?

Read 9 Ways to Boost Your Child's Attitude Before the Bus Arrives.

What can you do before your children walk out the door to help them feel they can conquer anything?

  • Plan ahead
  • Embrace the morning
  • Get a Grip
  • ... more

Remember: Kids need time to prepare for the school day. In 9 Ways to Boost Your Child's Attitude, Jackie Igafo-T'eo shares ways to help your child prepare for the day and ways you can learn to talk to them and laugh with them.

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Ten Tips for a Successful School Year

Do you understand what the school agreed to provide? Do your child's teachers understand what they are to provide?

Tip: Reread your child’s IEP.

Never assume that teachers have a copy of your child's IEP or have had time to read it before school begins.

Tip: Leave a copy of your child's IEP with EACH teacher.

Read more tips from Indiana Advocate Pat Howey in Ten Tips for a Successful School Year.

School Supplies: Get a Binder for Your Record

Does organizing your child's educational record seem like a daunting task? You can get a jump on the process if you begin now.

When you purchase your school supplies, get a three-ring binder for yourself to organize your child's file.

As school begins, you will start to receive reports from teachers, notes from administrators, samples of work, results of evaluations, evidence of problems or concerns, and other school related documents.

Tip: Date each item lightly in pencil in the bottom right corner. Save them in chronological order. You'll be glad you started as soon as school began.

Learn more about Organizing the File.

Helpful advice and tips are not hard to find. Go to the Search Box on your internet browser and enter "back to school tips".

Free Pub: Nine Ways to Achieve Success at School, a Back-to-School Report for Parents of Students with ADHD & Learning Disabilities

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Next Show: Back to School Special

Get tips and resources to help ensure your child succeeds this academic year.

Back to School Special

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
8:00-9:00 pm ET

The September edition of Education News from the US Dept of Education will profile key strategies for improving student academic achievement.

The broadcast will ask questions such as:

  • What questions should all parents ask of their child’s teachers and school leaders?
  • What can parents do at home and at school to keep their children on track for success?
  • How does No Child Left Behind support parent involvement and engagement at the local level?
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Disability Preparedness Resource Center: Hurricane Gustav Information

The Interagency Coordinating Council on Individuals with Disabilities and Emergency Preparedness (ICC) is actively monitoring the situation related to Hurricane Gustav in the Gulf Coast Region.

The Disability Preparedness Resource Center web site provides practical information on how people with and without disabilities can prepare for an emergency. It also provides information for family members of, and service providers to, people with disabilities. In addition, this site includes information for emergency planners and first responders to help them to better prepare for serving persons with disabilities.

The following links will provide you with information related to emergency resources and activities within your state:

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What People Are Saying About The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter

"Thanks for the trustworthy information and support you provide through the Wrightslaw web site and newsletter. You helped our family act when we needed to - we are thriving now."


Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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