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Pastor Cheryl Matthews Report

Dear Friends in Christ:

School has started and soon our Sunday School program will be underway here at Christ Lutheran. The Confirmation students and parents have had their orientation meetings for the 7th and 8th Grade class and for the 9th Grade students who will be confirmed in October. The 7th and 8th Grade will be studying the New Testament this year as well as portions of the Catechism. Classes will meet Wednesday afternoons after school. The 9th grade students will be busy meeting with their mentors, writing their Faith Statements, fashioning a Confirmation Stole, and enjoying their Confirmation Banquet with family and friends.

This year, our Sunday School kids will attend church with their parents and stay through the Children's Message. Then they will be dismissed for a learning time together, assisted by adults and some of our student volunteers. We are looking for a wonderful year of Sunday School. Join us for Rally Sunday with a great meal and lots of fun and games on the church lawn. There will be a bake sale as well.

As I think of the days when my own daughters went off to school, I recall some tips that helped them in their academic success. I offer my Top Ten List as you strive to support your child/children in their learning.

#1 - Take and active interest in their learning. Kids are more successful when parents are involved. You show kids you believe what they do is important.

#2 - Know the teachers — and what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's involved.

#3 - Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within easy reach.

#4 - Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.

#5 - Help make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there's an especially big assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable pieces. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.

#6 - Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)

#7 - Make sure kids do their own work. They won't learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it's a kid's job to do the learning.

#8 - Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.

#9 - Set a good example. Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Kids are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.

#10 - Praise their work and efforts. Post an "A-ced" test or art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives and friends.

If you child has continuing problems with homework, do ask for help. Discuss the issues with your child's teacher. Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others need an evaluation for a learning problem or an attention disorder. The key is to interested, invested, and involved.

That's what we are seeking here at Christ Lutheran - a partnership of learning with parents and their children. Come, worship with us, learn with us, experience the love and grace of God in Christ Jesus in the community of faith that we share together. Let’s have a great year.

In Jesus’ love and service,
Pastor Cheryl L. Matthews

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