Ten Tips To Help Your Children in the New School Year

Summer vacation is almost over and millions of children across Texas are preparing for another school year. In most homes, there is excitement, and in some cases, anxiousness about starting school or returning for yet another year. Parents understand that there are few more important things than getting a good education. Education at a young age is the foundation for what is needed to complete high school and attend college. My wife Harriett and I each have over forty years of teaching experience, and one important lesson we have learned is that the more parents know about how to help their children in school, the greater chance there is for student success.

There are many challenges in getting off to a good educational start, so in the spirit of continuous learning, I offer ten things parents can do to help their children succeed in school. First, make a point to get to know your child’s school. Be familiar with the main office, your child’s classroom, the cafeteria and library. Make a point of meeting your child’s teacher. This knowledge is important because there will be teacher conferences, events, and other activities that will require your presence in the school. Second. Read, read, read. Parents are the child’s first teachers, and early schooling is intended to compliment not substitute the home learning experience. Read to your child on a daily basis. When the child is ready, have him or her read back to you. Third. Get a library card and visit your local neighborhood library on a regular basis. All our major libraries have a children’s section which carefully selects the best books for the different reading ages. Our grandkids are big fans of the Main San Antonio Public Library downtown. Fourth.

Set a time for school work or other learning activities. A third grader might need thirty minutes of homework in a quiet setting absent of distractions. The parents must be the champions of learning, however, the child has to learn to do the work. Fifth. Our schools offer great learning opportunities, but it is the parents’ job to have the child arriving ready to learn. Children learn best when they have had a healthy breakfast and plenty of sleep. Children from ages kindergarten to middle school need ten to twelve hours of sleep. Sixth. Children learn differently. Make time to visit their teachers and inquire about their learning styles and how you may help them. Get to know their friends and their friends’ parents and share learning activities with them. Seventh. Promote curiosity and questions. Most children are curious and tend to ask questions. Dinner time is an excellent time to discuss and ask “What did you learn today?” as well as to inquire: “What is on your mind?” Personal interaction such as dinner conversations have proven to be crucial to good learning. Eighth. Encourage, encourage, encourage. Educators agree that self-esteem is important in learning.

In some instances, children do not perform as well if they lack confidence or see themselves as unworthy. Children who do not feel good about themselves struggle in school. Do not hesitate to praise and always take an interest in their school work. Ninth. Parents must have a positive attitude toward learning. An excellent article in HuffPost noted: “Children look to their parents as behavioral models, especially when it comes to learning. If parents don’t seem to value learning, children pick up on that, and if affects the way they approach school.” Tenth. Set limits on video games, cell phones, internet and television. Schoolwork and proper sleep habits come first. Have a great school year. We are fortunate to have many good schools and dedicated teachers who care about your children and want them to be successful.

UTSA Professor Discusses the Resilience of San Antonio’s Cultural Heritage

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 By R Eguia . Last month, scholars, community members and students gathered at the Southwest School of Art Coates Chapel to hear a conversation by the San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professor at UTSA, William Dupont, called A Resilient Heritage: Designing San Antonio’s Future to Preserve Our Past. The talk introduced Cultural Sustainability as the continuity of cultural systems of human existence. People have heritage identities and values that bind them to places and communities are essential for full sustainability. “Design with respect for Heritage,” was a key theme as Dupont...

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Computer and Internet Addiction is a Real Thing

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 Are you dependent on technology to bring you satisfaction in life? Dependency can be playing video games to escape reality, posting to social media to get attention or validation, compulsive online spending when anxious or bored, or visiting dating sites with the hopes of meeting the love of your life. Are there noticeable negative patterns surrounding your computer or internet activities? Are they causing problems in your relationships or affecting your work performance? Most of the time, these addictions are just distractions to real issues that people are not yet ready to face. They may feel anxious, impulsive or unfulfilled in life. These activities produce a “high”, filling a void and bringing pleasure that lasts momentarily. Overtime, these addictions have negative consequences that outweigh the positive feelings experienced. They can also have long-term negative effects on many areas of our lives. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research has shown that certain people are more susceptible to computer or internet addiction. These individuals include; those who have had prior addictions to other behaviors or substances; a history of depression or anxiety; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; or Low self-esteem. Recovering computer addicts reported feelings of euphoria when using the computer and feelings of depression, unfulfillment and irritability when not using it. They also described feeling withdrawn or neglected by family and...

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S.A Performance Art Collective HoK

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 On March 9, the local performance art collective, HoK (House of Kenzo) presented Permutations, a 20 minute production exploring systems, fluidity, work and cycles, at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston. The trio, Ledef (sound production), Brexxitt (choreography) and Grapefruit (concept design) embodied possibilities through splash choreography and projection mapping. Local carpenter company, Precision Woodworking Texas, assisted the group with an installation that included an indoor water trough, a 10 part pulley system and a network of clear bags filled with water tied onto natural rope. The performance was inspired by...

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Mariachi Girl Stars Lucero Garcia at the Magik Theatre

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 1 Many women have made their mark in the performance arts. In San Antonio, girls go to places like the Magik theatre to begin their journey. Like 14-year-old San Antonio actress, Lucero Garcia. She began acting at the age of 7 during The Magik Theatre’s summer camps and classes. She plays the role of Carmencita in the new show called Mariachi girl at the Magik Theatre. “I fell in love with musical theatre. All I could think about was being on stage singing and dancing and performing for people and making them...

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Guadalupe Cultural Arts

Facebook Twitter Google+ Gmail Print Friendly Like 0 By Melinda Gonzalez There is a renewed energy in the air and the culmination of efforts to re-establish the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) as the beacon of Chicano Art is paying off. Founded in 1980 and located in the heart of San Antonio’s historic Westside, the nonprofit organization serves over 100,000 people each year on a local, national and international scale through artistic, educational, and community programming. Jorge Piña who is a native San Antonian is back and fulfills a key leadership position for the GCAC after resigning from the...

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About The Author

Dr. Ricardo Romo

Ricardo Romo earned a B.S. degree from the The University of Texas Austin; a M.A. degree in American History from Loyola University Los Angeles; and a Ph.D in American History from the University of California Los Angeles. Romo currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Southwest Research Institute, Board of Directors for the Brackenridge Park Conservancy, and Board of Directors for Humanities Texas. He is a member and past Vice President for The Philosophical Society of Texas.

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