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September 2009 Newsletter
Tuesday, October 06, 2009

September 10, 2009  Issue IX Volume 1  
Inside this issue...
Monthly Tip for Parents: Homework Help
Blog Topic: Attack of the Grump Monster
Blog Topic: Virtual Teacher's Gradebook
Age Appropriate Media Choices
Habla Con Tus
Parenting Q & A
TLC's Sponsor Prepares for Busy Holiday Season
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Monthly Tip for Parents
Homework Help
The school year has begun and with it, the dread of homework--on the part of both kids and parents.  The right kind of homework, and the right attitude about homework, can both be valuable factors in your child's learning and school success.  Below are several free parenting videos and Tips for Parents to get this year's homework off to a great start. 
Resources Added to TLC this Month
Troubleshooting the source of a child's unusually grumpy behavior can be a challenge when they don't have the developed communication skills to know how to say what's wrong.
Many school districts now offer an online version of teachers' gradebooks so parents can keep track of grades, missing assignments and outstanding achievements between parent teacher conferences.  Don't miss this opportunity to stay on top of your child's progress and keep in touch with teachers.

Age Appropriate Media Choices
Cartoons with adult content?  Toy-based movies with make-out scenes? It used to be that cartoons were family friendly and movies about toys were safe for most children.  In today's media, however, all bets are off and most parents are either really confused about what's appropriate or are oblivious that anything has changed and allow kids to view inappropriate content without any supervision.
The current rating system is some help--if you take the time to read it--and many parents don't.  Parents, this rating is important, and should be the first, but not only, indication of a movie, game or song's appropriateness for you child.
Some concerned parents feel that they have to preview everything before their child sees it.  This is a guaranteed way to make sure you're comfortable with the content, but can be extremely time consuming.  To save time, there are a number of family friendly media review websites with really helpful information about what your kids want to see, play or listen to.  Give yourself a break and check them out; but remember, in the end, you are the best judge of a certain song, movie or game's appropriateness for your child.  You have discretion, be sure to use it!
Nell Minnow, "The Movie Mom".  A popular blog with detailed reviews, trailers and grading system of TV programs and movies.
View our Family Life: Media page for a number of links to organizations that offer family friendly media reviews and commonsense tips about choosing appropriate media.
"Encuentra la ayuda que necesitas para hablar con tus hijos sobre las drogas y el alcohol."
""Habla Con Tus Hijos' is the first-of-its-kind Spanish-language web resource and educational campaign encouraging parents to have frequent conversations with their kids about the risks of drug and alcohol abuse."

TLC News
Parenting Questions...
TLC Sponsor, Ornaments To Remember, Prepares for Busy Holiday Season
The Learning Community is able to offer its many free parenting resources because of the generous funding of Ornaments To Remember.

Ornaments To Remember designs "I Get You" gifts for many gift giving occasions and all profits support The Learning Community.
Support The Learning Community by adding a couple of Ornaments To Remember to your Christmas gift giving and don't forget a couple for your own holiday and special occasion decorating.
This season, Ornaments To Remember is offering free shipping on every retail order and you can expect some fun promotions throughout the season.
Skip the holiday rush and get your shopping done early.  Visit Ornaments To Remember today!
My son's third grade teacher has opted to do a different reading program than the rest of the school.  Rather than have each child record their daily reading time on a calendar and have their parents sign it (which we were used to doing), he just asks them to use the "honor system."  I'm frustrated about this because it seems like some kids aren't reading, are lying about it, and are getting a good grade while my son's grade suffers if he misses a day and is honest about it.  I'm not happy about the system.  What should I do?

The honor system often brings a mixed reaction among people.  Some people feel that expecting that a child will be honest actually encourages them to do so.  Others argue that kids at this age still have cloudy vision when it comes to telling the truth.
Start by discussing your concerns with your child's teacher.  Ask them to explain why they're using a different system than the rest of the school and carefully consider their answer.  It may be that other parents appreciate not having another paper to have to sign and reduced paperwork helps the teacher have more time for teaching.  Or perhaps the teacher sees this as an opportunity to include some character education.
If you still don't agree with the policy and the teacher isn't open to a change, you may just have to live with it.  This is a good opportunity to talk about the value of hard work and honesty with your child.  After all, the best reward for doing schoolwork isn't the grade you get but what you learn.  And honesty, even when others are lying, is still a character trait highly valued in our society.
I've been hearing a LOT about the swine flu for this school year.  How deadly is it and should I have my kids vaccinated?
The Swine Flu has been highly publicized and this publicity has created a near panic.  Schools everywhere are breaking out the hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes and are reviewing proper coughing and handwashing techniques with students.
If you watch three news reports, you're likely to get three different answers about how dangerous the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu) will be this flu season.  Rather than rely on dramatic news reports, we recommend you consult with the experts.  Contact your family physician for their advice, and/or visit the Centers for Disease Control's H1N1 information page.
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