Through a partnership with the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Ontario Local Schools will be auditing our math curriculum. We will be taking an in-depth look at the data from our recent state tests given in mathematics and comparing those to our instruction and assessments to look for areas of strengths and weakness. This year we are also exploring our textbook series in math for all grade levels. In grades kindergarten through sixth grade we are deciding between Envision and Into Math, which is the new program that will replace GoMath for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In grades seventh through twelfth we are deciding between Big Ideas and Envision. If any parent would like to look at sample materials they are welcome to contact Mike Ream at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to review the programs.
Parenting Tips for the Digital World
Have you ever thought that your child may pay more attention to you if you messaged them instead of
talked to them? Do you sometimes feel like your child is always on some type of device? Do you hear your child talking about Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, or KIK? If you answer yes for any of these questions – or if your answer was, “What’s SnapChat and KIK?” – then some hints, tips and tricks for parenting in the digital world might be helpful.
1. Set a Good Example: Even on the days when you may feel like your child does not “like you” and even though they will never admit it; they are always watching you and everything you do is setting an example for them. Do you text and drive? Do you have your phone at the dinner table? Do you use your social media accounts to be supportive and build people up or do you use them to be cutting and tear people down? The other day I was watching my 7-year-old son practice football. When we got back to the car I told him he did a nice job, and he asked me, “were you able to watch me or did you have to do your work email?” That innocent question was a tough reminder that everything we do is setting an example for our children. Parenting in the digital world is not easy. The demands of working and parenting in a digital society are hard, but if we won’t set the example for our children who will?
2. Set Rules for Technology: It is important for kids to know that your expectations for them are the same in “digital world” as they are in the real world. Make sure they understand if they are not allowed to say it or do it in your presences, then they cannot say it or do it online. Hold your kids accountable with consequences if they violate your digital rules.
3. Keep Technology in Central Locations: There is no good reason for kids to need to have their devices behind closed door or with them in their room at night. If they can’t do it in a central location, then they probably should not be doing it. Have a location, or basket, or charging station where all devices go at the end of the day.
4. Teach Children about Online Dangers and Scams: Be direct with your children about the dangers of the online world. It is better to have them a little scared of the digital world then for them to be unaware of danger. Make sure your children know that they don’t have a “long lost rich uncle” and there is no such thing as a “free cruise;” help them learn to identify online scams.
5. Teach Kids About Their Online Reputation: Teach your child about the permanency of pictures and words they share online. Give them real world examples of how things that folks have posted online have come back to damage them many years later. You will hear about these examples on the news regularly; share them with your child as a teachable moment.
6. Check Their Devices Regularly: Your children need to know that their devices may be checked at any time. Remember that they are your children and it is your right, actually it is your responsibility, to regularly check up on them. We all want to trust our children, but we need to love them enough to go through their devices and monitor their online activity.
A technology filled world is a fact of life and in many ways has made quality of life and learning more efficient and productive. As it is with many other aspects of life, the key to making your child successful in the digital world involves teaching, tough love and support. Parents need to take a very active role in teaching their children good digital citizenship. There will be times when that involves the tough love of holding them accountable to your rules and expectations for their technology use. The time, effort and
support you give to your children to help set them on the right path of technology use will benefit them for years to come.