I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. (Charles Dickens)
I hope you had a relaxing, joyous Christmas holiday! To keep those winter blues at bay, remember this quote from Charles Dickens, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
The 5th grade students started a lunch group called the “Nifty Knitters”. After the students eat lunch, they join me and several women from St. Hugo Parish, headed by Irene Mohan, and learn how to knit. Ironically, I do not know how to knit! However, I am slowly learning, and as the student’s progress in their knitting abilities, we will incorporate “topics of the day” in our knitting sessions, such as coping with divorce, what to do if you feel bullied, how to study for tests, etc. We have a great group of 5th graders and I am enjoying learning how to knit with them!
In the 6th grade, I gave a presentation on how to take great notes. We discussed how note taking helps you stay focused in class, and how notes help students remember what was said in class. Did you know that the average students forgets nearly 80% of the classroom content by the end of the day? We discussed the type of things that should be written down, and how to incorporate lecture notes with notes they take from reading the text book.
Students from Brother Rice kicked off our first tutoring session for St. Hugo children in 4th through 8th grade. The sessions are held on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 until 4:30 and are a wonderful way to get a little extra help for your student. All the students seemed to enjoy the Brother Rice tutors and many of them seemed just a little more motivated to get good grades so that they could be “as smart as” these young men!
Project Team been busy. Several of the students created a short video which explains why St. Hugo is a special place to them. It is very creative and will be used during the St. Hugo Open House and part of it may be used in other ways as well, in an effort to help market our school. Additionally, Project Team is busy decorating our school for Christmas and making plans for the upcoming 7th and 8th grade dance. The dance will occur on Friday, February 1st from 5:30 to 8:00, as a part of Catholic Schools Week. We are always looking for parent chaperones!
Finally, I want to leave you another “Parenting Tip of the Month”. This month I have noticed a theme in my conversations with some of our students. We all know that St. Hugo’s is a challenging school with high academic standards. Many of the students thrive in this environment and love the friendly competition amongst their peers. Nonetheless, others become anxious and insecure; they feel that they aren’t as smart as their peers, or perhaps not as beautiful. Nearly all of them would love to have more friends, but have no idea how to go about doing that.
Many kids think that to be popular they must be the head cheerleader, the jock or the class clown. But, being popular in school is much easier than it sounds. I recently read a great article from eHow.com that has 5 wonderful tips for how to make friends. Perhaps you could review these steps with your own children.
First determine your motivations for wanting to be popular. Ask yourself if your desire for popularity stems from low self-esteem or shame. If it does, then work first and foremost on your self-esteem and personal worth.
Be friendly to everyone, even people that other people think are weird or different. If you yourself are weird or different, realize that everyone is weird in their own way. Become involved in school activities and make yourself more visible to the general school population.
Locate a talent or special skill. Whether your skill is telling jokes, drawing, singing, playing soccer or knitting, showcase your skill in a humble way. Affiliate yourself with all groups and learn how to mesh well with anyone by using good listening skills and sincerity.
Distinguish yourself amongst your teachers as a good student. Volunteer to help with classroom or school activities that will help you to become more focal to other students. Cultivate a personal style that you feel goes well with your personality.
Be yourself and have fun. Maintain your strong sense of self and individuality yet get along harmoniously with most everyone. Join school clubs, sporting teams and student government to establish yourself as someone who makes a difference at your middle school and to set you apart from the average student.
Let me leave you with a quote.
“A child is like a butterfly in the wind. Some fly higher than others, but each one flies the best it can. Why compare one against the other? Each one is different. Each one is special. Each one is beautiful.