Greetings from the Lower School

September 13, 2019

Heartfelt Greetings~ 

Coffee, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and good company made for a fantastic first coffee conversation! I enjoyed and appreciated the thoughtful discussion and great turn out! Here are a few highlights from the homework discussion and also some tips on what parents need to know about homework:
How do I get my child to do homework?
*Explain to your child that It's Not Your Job—“I am not taking 4th-grade math this year, but thankfully you are."
*Explain the “why” of homework—give your child a rationale on why they are doing homework
*Help your child with organization
*Empower your child to take ownership of the homework process (negotiate where, when, and how—give the child some control)
*Rethink your child's schedule of outside activities
How much should I help?
*Monitor, but don’t micromanage
*Ask to see/don't correct/send a note to the teacher if needed
*Jump in when frustration builds—before “meltdown” stage
*Praise the effort!!!!!
How can I communicate with teachers about homework?
Parents need to be LESS INVOLVED with the homework task, and MORE INVOLVED with communicating with the teacher.
Make an appointment to talk to the teacher if
*homework is causing distress for your child
*the amount of homework is crowding out sleep, play or family time
*homework is causing your child to hate school
What are the purposes of homework?
From the Lower School Handbook on Homework:
Homework serves as a vehicle for practice and a review of important skills. Homework assignments are designed to be appropriate to students' developmental levels and generally fall into three categories: · Those that provide practice or review concepts taught in class · Those that involve preparation of a project or report introduced in class, or · Those designed to challenge and stimulate students’ thinking and curiosity.
Homework is assigned Monday through Thursday and does not include the anticipated 15-20 minutes of nightly reading. Homework is not assigned over weekends. Assigned homework as a rule is designed to last 10-15 min per grade level (i.e., 40-65 minutes for fourth grade). Remember that times will vary depending on individual students.
Also, I hope to broaden the conversation beyond just the practice of homework. I encourage you to trust us. The faculty and staff of the Lower School are the research-based educational experts about 1) what is developmentally appropriate. 2) what the research tells us not only about homework but about motivation, growth mindset, student ownership of learning, stress, sleep, etc. The topic of homework goes much deeper than just assigning work in the evenings. I will leave you with a quote from a viral Facebook post by an elementary teacher, Mrs. Brady Young:
“Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.” (August 2016)
Chuckles: (or funny things these kids say!) Names excluded to protect the innocent! 
Prek 3 Student: “Do you know what the circle of life is?”
The teacher says yes and briefly explains the circle of life.
Prek 3 Student: “No, it’s music on a video.”

Angie Manning
Head of Lower School
(910) 692-6920 X222
From 20 Funny Homework Quotes That Will Make You Laugh Hard
“Time flies so fast when I’m avoiding homework…”
“Homework - the teachers’ way to find out how smart parents are.”


September 19th 8:15 - 9:30 AM Reader’s Workshop Parent Info Session Grades 2-4
McMurray Library
*Parent Only Event
September 24th 8:15 AM Coffee and Conversation with Ms. Manning
Lower School Miles Atrium
Topic: Empowering and Challenging Students through Project-Based Learning
Week of September 30th Fall Spirit Week
Serving Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Whispering Pines, Sanford, West End, Aberdeen, and areas surrounding Moore County, NC.

The O’Neal School
3300 Airport Road
Southern Pines, NC 28387

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