Does your child feel stress and anxiety about completing homework and understanding concepts being taught in school
Does your child feel anxiety and stress about completing homework and understanding concepts being taught in school?
Does your child feel anxiety and stress in socializing with their peers and being part of a group?
Does your child seem to be faced with more anxiety and stress than you did when you were a child?
Perhaps you experienced difficulties in school and you want to help your child to be more successful. You may see that your child is avoiding their homework as they don’t understand how to do it. They may say they don’t have any or that they have already done it. Your child may argue with you or plead with you to try to get out of itl. They just want to play and forget about school and the dreaded homework. Do you notice that your child plays alone most of the time and complains that they don’t have any friends?
There is always support and help for you and your child.
First, let’s look at the definition of Anxiety and Stress. Are they the same or different?
Anxiety means a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Other words: Worry, concern, uneasiness. (Definition-- Google)
Stress is when a person feels that everything seems to become too much--we are overloaded and wonder whether we really can cope with pressures placed upon us. (What is Stess? How to Deal With Stress. By Christian Nordvist--Medical News Today)
Why are we seeing a rise in anxiety and stress in students?
Since the 1980’s there has been a gradual, yet steady, increase in academic demands placed on our students and in the amount of homework assigned to them (Kohn, 2006). Teachers have felt the added pressures to keep up with the tougher standards movement. (Communique--NASP; Volume 43.5--Viewpoint--Holland, Sisson, Abeles)
With all this added pressure of obtaining academic progress and growth which may be causing your child to feel anxiety and stress toward school. What can you do as parents to alleviate these feelings so that your child can go to school and look forward to and enjoy the experience of learning.
Communication: Talk to your child about why learning in school is important to her future, and that you value education.
Show interest: Your interest and excitement toward what your child is learning will influence them to be interested and excited about school.
When your child does not understand a concept or is struggling with learning, anxiety may surface. They may wonder why all the other students seem to understand a concept and they do not. This is when your child really needs your help. Perhaps it brings back memories when you were in school and there were subjects that were hard or difficult to understand and you think, “How can I help my child?”
Talk to your child’s teachers, as they are a wonderful resource. They can provide you with ideas of how to support your child with extra help in learning a concept or generally struggling in school. Together you can find a solution. (There is homework help at school, and there are also on-line learning programs.)
At home, when your child is struggling with their homework or they feel stuck. It’s ok to let your child take a break. It helps the brain recharge, the body relax and increases stamina. Some fun break ideas include taking a walk with your child, shooting hoops, riding bikes or having a snack break. Sometimes a brain break is all that is needed to give the brain time to process the information. When your child returns to their homework, the brain will be relaxed and ready to work.
When your child feels that you care about them, how they are doing in school and want to help, the anxiety and stress will decrease and they can feel free to be a kid.
Now let’s talk about making and keeping friends. Your child may have the ability to make friends, but after a while the friendship may fall apart--they lose friend(s) and they don’t understand why. It’s important to be understanding and help them problem solve how to make some changes in how they interact and play with other children. Are they too controlling or bossy in playing with friends? Do they always need to win? Are they being possessive of friends? Is there a problem with feelings of jealousy when their friends play with someone else? Your observations of the interaction between your child and their friends will help you answer some of these questions and understand how to support your child with friendships. You can gently talk to him about what they can do to have positive interactions with friends.
Ask your child’s teacher if they observed any problems that your child may have getting along with their peers. The teacher may have recommendations or suggestions on how your child can improve relationships with their peers and help with making friends.
Your child may, at times, not want you to know about the problems that they having with school or with friends because they don’t want to worry you or disappoint you. Encourage them to talk
to you about their problems. If you notice a change in your child’s behavior, such as being less talkative, seeming sad, withdrawn, or short tempered, it is important to let them know that you love them and you would not be disappointed or angry if they need help. Just talking about feelings, and the causes of these feeling, helps relieve anxiety and stress.
If you have concerns or worries about your child’s behavior or emotional needs, there are resources at Van Buren Elementary School that can help. Your child’s Classroom Teacher, School Psychologist, School Counselor or Principal, are here for you and your child. You are not alone.
Ann Richards, School Psychologist, Van Buren Elementary School
Many thanks to Heidi Jahnke, Speech and Language Pathologist, for her contributions
What is Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes or when you’re able to understand and feel another’s feelings. Such as when a student is feeling sad because they are having a difficult day and someone else feels what they are going through. They may gently ask them if they are ok or if they’d like to talk about what is troubling them. Thus, putting themselves in their shoes. Sometimes people will think that empathy and sympathy are the same. You have compassion for that person but may not necessarily feel their feelings or be empathic toward them.
Empathy is developed as children grow and are shown empathy by their parents and later from other people around, such as their babysitter, their grandparents, their brothers and sisters and their teachers.
A parent may help their children develop empathy by doing the following:
Ann Richards, School Psychologist
Valerie Elwood, School Counselor
A couple members of the Van Buren PTU are attending the Board of Education (BoE) Meetings as well as Master Planning Committee (MPC) Meetings but we need your input. We have heard numerous rumors and speculation floating around our community and want to give everyone a place to find out what is really happening with in the district. While we have decided to commit ourselves to being a voice for Van Buren, we need your help! Please take a minute to read through the following and complete the survey so we can better represent Van Buren.
Board of Education (BoE)
There was Board of Education meeting on February 1, 2017 but was canceled due to the ice storm that hit us that night. The next meeting is scheduled for February 15th at 5pm. While the agenda has not been finalized the MPC is set to present to the board and ask for direction. We will post on the Facebook page when the estimated time of the MPC to present is known.
If you are not able to attend in person you can always watch the meeting via a live webcast, here is a link to the site, http://www.thompsonschools.org/Page/12767. From this site, you can also watch previous meetings, see previous meeting minutes, etc.
Master Planning Committee (MPC)
On February 6, 2017, the MPC met and Nikela Lyke and RaeAnna Tucker where in attendance. The Agenda consisted of Taxes and Reserves, Thompson River Ranch school site, Construction Cost Update and Analysis of Election Results.
While the Taxes, the Thompson River Ranch, Construction Inflation Costs where interesting it was the Election results that really captured our interests. Please see the meeting minutes from the MPC for further details on the topics from the night.
As you can see from the map below the Mill Levy failed in many sections of the district. The red areas are those that failed 59% to 69%, the yellow failed 50% to 59% and the green are areas that passed. The Bond measure was not much different than this and had only one more small section of green. The MPC is trying to figure out the statistics and how they can do better in the future.
Link to the meeting minutes for MPC:
Future of Van Buren
I know several of you have voiced concerns about Van Buren's future. While yes, the district is looking at all the schools and how best to maintain and grow within the district’s needs. You can be assured that the school is not going anywhere tomorrow and we will continue to fight for the school and community that we love.
We will continue to update you on the progress of the MPC and the BoE. In the meantime, I encourage you to get involved!! Let your voice be heard!! I know that not everyone can be at all the meetings, but by completing the survey's, sending emails, making phone calls, etc., you can be heard! You can always email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward your email to the correct people.
All comments are confidential unless you include your name and/or contact info.
We made it back from the Holiday breaks and got back into working hard and learning lots! During the month we had a lot of fun checkout January Spotlight!
Math Mid-Term Bench Marks
Van Buren is very excited to announce being #1 in Mid-Year Math data!! Our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders scored #1 in growth and achievement from beginning of the year math assessments and middle of the year assessments. Our upper graders also need a huge shout out with our 4th grade being #5 and our 5th grade continually showing tremendous growth!!
Congratulations to all of the Van Buren staff who go above and beyond every day for all of our students!
Congratulations to DJ, Sam and Manny for representing Van Buren at the district Spelling Bee! You guys rock!!
Ms. Buie is Van Buren's 3rd grade teacher! While this is her 1st year teaching she has done an amazing job with the 3rd grade class and we are honored to have her as part of the Van Buren team and community!!
Ms. Buie's Bio
Hello, my name is Megan Buie! I have been teaching since 2016 and I was born and raised in Loveland, Colorado. I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2016 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies Elementary Teaching with an emphasis on Elementary K-6 Licensure and a minor in Earth Science. I was inspired to go into education when I was in 5th grade and found my love of learning, thanks to my wonderful teacher. My favorite hobbies include reading, hiking, yoga, and science. A fun fact about me is that I can say the alphabet backwards! I'm very excited to be teaching here this year!
Ann Richards the Van Buren Psychologist and Valerie Elwood, Van Buren Counselor are looking for your feed back. Please take a minute to answer a couple of question to help them provide you with information that is valuable to you.
THOUGHTS ABOUT SELF ESTEEM AND HOW TO BOOST YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEM OR SELF-WORTH.
Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. Positive self-esteem is confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. It is consistently felt on the inside no matter what may happen or occur in the environment. For example, someone might call you a hurtful name and you might feel upset, but you do not take it as being true about yourself. (You are able to shake it off and go on with their life.)
A child that has positive self-esteem will usually work hard in school and be unafraid to take educational risks or do something new. If they should fail at a learning activity, they will not be discouraged; instead, they will take it as a learning opportunity and continue working to understand it or find someone that can help them. A child with positive self-esteem will also seek out positive relationships and interact with others in a healthy and appropriate manner.
Negative self-esteem is possessing little self-regard for yourself which causes one to take anything that is hurtful said to them as being true about who they are and will allow it to define them. They may be discouraged from reaching their potential if they allow a failure or a roadblock to stop them from picking themselves up and trying again. It will also effect relationships if they allow the other person to put them or their abilities down or bully or abuse or them. The child or person could also be that person that puts down other people or be a bully or even abusive.
Here are ways to boost your child’s self-esteem in life and at school:
The principal, school counselor or the school psychologist are also available to help devise a plan to help you help your child feel better raise their self-esteem.
Ann Richards, School Psychologist
Valerie Elwood, School Counselor
About Ann—She has worked in the Community Mental Health field as a Mental Health therapist for 14 years and as a School Psychologist for 17 Years. Her primary “helping work” has been with children and families and now in the schools.
About Valerie—She taught Elementary School for 10 years and was a Middle School Couselor for 4 years. Being a student advocate and supporting families has long been a passion of hers.
Studies about self-esteem and academic success that I have reviewed:
Results from most studies concerning the relationship between self-esteem and academic achievement suggests that high self-esteem is an important factor and strenghthen the prediction of academic achievement in students. (Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Academic Achievement,2010, Journal of Applied Science)
Self Esteem is one of the key factors in affecting an individual academic performance. (Relationship between Self Esteem and Academic Achievement, 2010)
Decades of research also support the notion that believing in your ability to do something enhances your ability to do it. “Confidence is ones belief in ones own ability. Studies also suggest that students with high academic confidence are better at searching for new solutions and more persistent on difficult tasks, whereas people with low academic confidence give up more easily when dealing with difficult tasks and cannot concentrate on tasks as well. (Article on self esteem and self confidence by Saga Briggs 7/2014)
Holiday Craft Fair
Canned Food Drive
Thank you to our wonderful Van Buren Community for coming out to support our Student Leadership's canned food drive. Over 1000 items were donated! Kindergarten and 2nd Grade tied with 250+ items being donated and were both treated to an Ice Cream Party! Our little school beat a larger school in the district also doing canned food drive! Way to go Van Buren!!
Holiday's Around the World
PTU donated books to each student for the holiday break.
New Spotlight on Van Buren
Every month we will have a spotlight, highlighting all the amazing things happening at Van Buren! Our Kids, Staff and community are amazing and need to be showcased on all the awesome things happening everyday. If you have something you want to see in the spotlight send it to VBESPTU@grmail.com.
Olsons' Pajama Project was created to honor the late Sharon Olson, a longtime teacher and school board member in Loveland. Due to the generosity of the Thompson School District community, hundreds of Thompson School District students received new pajamas right before the holiday season last year. This year, pajamas will not only go to Thompson School District students, but extra pajamas will be sent to students living on the Pineridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Flyers will be distributed as soon as they are printed, so please send the flyers home with your students by the end of the week. NEW pajamas will be collected in the plastic tote in the lobby until December 9th. The school that collects the most pajamas will have the official Olson's Pajama Project traveling trophy for 1 year!
Website: Olson's Pajama Project Website
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Olsons-Pajama-Project/1503959186538532