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2019 #JEIEssayContest - The Importance of Books
Books are the gateway to all kinds of information, stories, and feelings unlike anything else. They develop thoughts and help us learn and understand different perspectives. Books can even increase vocabulary, lower stress, enhance imagination, and strengthen writing skills. Join JEI students across the nation in expressing WHY books are important in this year’s #JEIEssayContest. This submission-based contest will help your students focus their reading and writing skills for the chance to win cash prizes and have their work featured in the 2nd edition of Student Stories. Submissions will be scored by division (below) and the ability to fully complete the prompt provided. Division A - Grades 2-3 Division B - Grades 4-5 Division C - Grades 6-7 Division D - Grades 8-9 Registration costs $25 per student and parents can register their active JEI students for this contest at their local JEI Center beginning October 1st through October 31st. All submissions are due on November 15th. Speak to a representative at your local JEI Learning Center about enrolling in a JEI program to find out how they can participate in this upcoming contest!
Quick and easy ways to get kids ready for back to school
Going back to school can be a stressful time for parents and children alike, but particularly the children. They are going into a new grade and are understandably anxious! Will the classes be hard? Will their classmates be nice? How about their new teachers? Do they have enough notebooks? It is up to the parents to help them prepare! There are things that can easily be ticked off a to-do list, but there are also things parents should note regarding their children’s emotional and mental readiness for school. Here are some quick and easy ways to get your child ready for back to school! Do the Paperwork and Prepping For the tangible tasks, parents should foremost fill out all necessary forms with information like emergency contacts and immunizations. They should also think of breakfasts and lunches that could be easily prepped in advance for the whole week. Make sure your children will get the nutrition they need to be healthy and focused! One meal could be the difference between paying rapt attention in class and falling prey to the afternoon slump. Now, for the children, parents can help them with their own choices. Be there as they decide on their outfits for the week, chirping in with suggestions and weather predictions. Parents can also help children prepare a study spot for homework--get them excited about having their own space for work! Get Back in the Groove Perhaps most importantly, get children back in the groove by gradually fixing their sleeping habits and establishing a morning routine in advance. Naturally, during the summer, the sun sets later and schedules are freer, so children go to bed and wake up later. It will be hard for them to suddenly return to a rigid, early schedule once school starts. Make sure to slowly move up their bedtime and wake time so they will not be too exhausted on the first day. Ease Back-to-School Anxieties For children’s emotional and mental readiness, parents need to make sure they are in the appropriate headspace for returning to school. According to a report by CNN, a survey indicated that 53% of the 400 participating parents pinpointed homework and schoolwork as the biggest stress inducers for their children. Alleviate their apprehension beforehand by providing a refresher to last year’s curriculum. Pull out old notes and go over them with your children. Then, reflect on everything from last year, such as what worked and what didn’t work. Did it help to get homework done right after school? Did they get better sleep by turning off all technology an hour before bed? Did that help them perform better? What were some weaknesses and strengths seen last year? Plan to Excel Based on these reflections, you can help your children set goals, make resolutions for the school year, and manage their time, so they have better direction throughout the year. Do they want to focus on the essay writing portion of English classes? Then they could decide to get at least one A+ on an essay this year. This could prompt them to start the assignments earlier than they usually do. You could also lookup further education, such as JEI programs, to help children who might fall behind or want to master a topic. Schools tend to go with a general pace for all and teachers cannot give equal attention to every student in their classroom. On the other hand, JEI calibrates pacing for each individual and pairs one teacher to five students at most. We advise that you speak with your children’s teachers in advance about their curriculum. If you see fractions will be covered and know your children feel uneasy in this area, you could enroll them in JEI’s State Standard-aligned math program. Create Excitement! Lastly, during the whole preparation process, be excited and positive, so that the infectious attitude will leave your child eager to get a start already! If they still seem reluctant about the upcoming school year, you should make sure to talk to them to figure out the base problem. Chuck Norris said, “Asking your children about their fears or worries about going back to school will help them share their burden.” Once they share their burden, they will release it and hopefully feel as ready to tackle it as Chuck Norris! ----- Going back-to-school shopping, figuring out who will pick up the children, preparing lunches, and all of that are definitely important but do not forget the emotional toll on children. If you read through this guide and communicate with your child, they will surely feel more comfortable about heading back. We at JEI Learning Center hope that you and your child have a great new school year! We are always here to lend a hand, so find the nearest center and drop in anytime!
Back to school challenge: decorate lockers as vision boards
Back to school can be stressful with harder classes, unfamiliar teachers, and busier schedules. Students are working toward something--but they do not always see what that is. Some wade through the drudgery, hoping they will get somewhere eventually--but there is a better, more fun way to do this. They can envision the exact future they want and choose the right process for themselves! How? Through vision boards! A vision board is like a scrapbook page that can be hung or propped up, except the purpose is not to save up memories but to create future ones. Think of it as a scrapbook page from the future. What would that future ideally look like? Then imagine it will come true and decorate the vision board to portray those specific goals. Students can transform the drab lockers that are filled to the brim with stress-inducing content like textbooks into fabulous vision boards with all their hopes and dreams. This gives them a sense of purpose and direction throughout the school year. What do they want to accomplish in fifth grade? Ninth? Eleventh? The constant exposure to these boards can help them visualize a future and remind them of the action they need to take to get there. Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith utilized visualization to get to where they are today! While Oprah often repeated, “My life will not be like this,” and visualized a better life for herself, Will Smith once said, “In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know about it yet.” A survey on vision boards further showed how effective they could be. Participants who created vision boards felt double the confidence that they will achieve their goals than those who did not make vision boards. 82% of participants reported they accomplished more than half the goals on the board and were still going strong! Want to see the same results with your child? First things first, let your child write out a list of all their goals. This is a chance for them to learn the importance of goal setting. What is significant to them? What future do they want? What is their intention? Afterward, let them prioritize what is most important and least important, making sure to ask them why. The more important the goal is, the bigger the space on a vision board can be saved for it. The stronger the why, the likelier the goal will be reached. Secondly, make sure your child has the right focus. Have them focus on feelings more than the results. The vision board should evoke strong emotions such as pride, victory, and resilience. If they only envision the end goal, particularly material gains, they will not be as motivated. For example, instead of pasting a picture of a nice house, your child can place a picture of a happy family having a picnic on their lawn. The warm and fuzzy feeling from viewing that picture will last longer and be more effective. In a similar vein, have them focus on the process more than the results. If they get stuck on visualizing the ending, they may lose sight of how to get there. They will feel satisfied with the false feeling of achievement that comes from daydreaming. This, in turn, will decrease the drive and effort to actually realize the dream. A lot of hard work will be required, which they must always remember and accept. Include pictures of the process, such as a student rigorously studying at a desk or a mathematician surrounded by crumpled up pieces of paper. Advise your child that they get out of it what they put in. The more effort they put in, the likelier the goals on the vision boards will come true. Oprah and Will Smith may have successfully manifested all their desires for success and influence, but they were able to do so because they also worked extremely hard and persevered through challenges. Thirdly, let your child be creative! This is a time to express themselves. They can show what kind of people they are growing up to be and what is important to them through their vision boards. Students should browse many books and magazines, as well as tap into their artistic side. Make boards personal with doodles, drawings, writings, and photos. Fourthly, make sure the boards are encouraging! It is supposed to be your child’s cheerleader, so fill it up with positive affirmations. Students will be constantly exposed to the inside of their lockers, so these boards should boost their moods and confidence! Parents could share their favorite motivational quotes and write notes of love and encouragement so their child always feels bolstered. Once you are convinced that vision boards will uplevel your child’s life, find some fun content and get creative! Help your child out if they need and watch as they work toward their dreams! Have an amazing school year, and JEI hopes they reach all their goals.