Hello Upham Community,

I wanted to reach out and just share a couple of items that we are working on right now. First, I have shared a very short article with you from Danielle Brunson. In it, you will find some practical ideas on how to help your children struggle. Right now, we are all struggling, and please do not miss the opportunity. These “struggles” are little or big opportunities to help develop resilience, confidence, and independence in your child.

Additionally, on the professional development day Monday, November 30 (No School) we will be listening to Ph.D. Marc Brackett. He is the Director of the Yale Center For Emotional Intelligence. During his presentation, we will be learning about his latest book, Permission To Feel. The book outlines his ideas on unlocking the power of emotions to help our children thrive. I highly recommend the book.

Please be reminded that there is NO SCHOOL on Wednesday, November 11. There is no change to the days for the cohorts. It is Veteran’s Day and there is no school.

Please enjoy your weekend and thank you for all your support. You truly have wonderful children and it is an honor to serve them.

Benefits of Struggling

Do you ever find yourself assisting your child with just about everything, even things you know he or she is perfectly capable of doing? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Parents have a natural tendency to continuously help and protect their children. After all, you want the best for them. Ironically, when it comes to schoolwork, a parent who jumps in to help too quickly could actually be doing more harm than good. Letting your child struggle and even fail sometimes can be highly beneficial to his or her development.

Why should you let your child struggle?

Here are some important things your child gains from struggling to master a new task or concept:

The way we think about struggle affects our behavior as students, teachers, and parents. Stepping aside and letting your child struggle a bit is not easy. But don’t be disheartened! Below are a few reasons why helping your child less—or delaying your help—is incredibly beneficial in the long run.

  • Mistakes are valuable

Try not to correct your children too quickly. If you notice some mistakes in your child’s assignment or project, encourage him or her to communicate with the teachers and ask questions. You will be pleased when your child gains a valuable lesson from the mistake and experiences a gratifying “aha” moment.

  • Failure prepares children for the “real world”

A constant “quick fix” can cause a false illusion that success is standard. Instead, teach your child that failing is part of the learning process and that it will help him or her do better next time. It is important that children feel capable and competent enough to overcome setbacks when they eventually go off to college or enter the working world—it will make the “real world” much less daunting.

  • Struggle is good for the brain

If you overstep your support in daily assignments and tasks, is your child really gaining any knowledge? A parent or Learning Coach’s role is not to do all the work for the student! Instead, it’s important to step back and take an advisory role, guiding children while they learn valuable academic skills so they can become more independent over time. Children need to be challenged in order to learn and cultivate their brains. Allow your child to earn that A, or even that C, on his or her own merit.

  • It shapes identity

Kids face a tough question as they move from their preteen years and into adulthood— “Who am I?” When you attempt to meet your child’s multiple academic obligations, he or she might never discover a sense of identity. Instead, your child could feel confused and insecure. Sometimes, it is how children cope with different challenges that shapes who they are. Perseverance, character, and strength often develop in the midst of struggle.

Dare to Dream,

Mr. Dees

Principal’s Message
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