How do I help my child feel connected at school?
When school begins, children have many questions. “What will I learn?” “Who will be my friend?” “How will I understand?” American schools and culture may be very different from what you and your child have experienced in your home country. Don’t worry! Students learn English as they learn information and skills, as they make friends and as they manage their days in a new culture and in a new language. The EL teacher is there to help your child feel more comfortable in this new setting.
- Special Party Days
- In Clayton, schools are multicultural and students learn many things about each other’s special traditions and holidays. For example, Muslim children may explain their special season of Ramadan. Hindu children may explain Divali. You are welcome to share your particular national or religious days at school. Just schedule the time with the classroom teacher. The EL teacher is also available to help. Each school has its own special days too. These special days provide a glimpse into global understanding and the American way of education. Parents can participate in classroom parties at Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Please check your school newsletter for more information on these special events.
- Friendships and being a part of a group are very important. Your child will probably miss his or her friends from home, and it will be a struggle to make new friendships because there is so much to learn in this new place: learning English, learning about American school and learning the culture of American children. These adjustments may be difficult as your child wants to adapt to how American children play, what they eat for lunch and what clothes they wear. Your child may want to wear the same kind of clothes to feel more like a part of the group. Some children do not want their parents to speak their home language in public. They may not even speak their native language at home. These changes worry parents, but it is very normal. The child wants to fit in at his/her new school world and will benefit from the experience of becoming bicultural and bilingual.
- At this age, children enjoy doing things together. The friendships may begin at school and extend out of school with playdates and sleepovers, for instance. The school Buzz Book can help you find the phone numbers of children at school to invite for a playdate.
- Center of Clayton
- Many students join soccer and basketball teams through The Center of Clayton. Students will be grouped with other children from their school, and it is a great way for families to connect and begin to make friends. To join a team, click here.