Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Homeschool Quest: What Does It Take to be a Good Student?

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If your child is homeschooled or attends a public or private school, there are still some common tips that will help them become a good student. I am sharing a modified version of my Class Rules and Expectations from the years I was a high school teacher. 

Daily routine

Following a daily routine is a good first step into being a good student.  
  • Be punctual
  • Have all necessary materials at hand 
  • Be aware of what is required each day - read instructions, listen to verbal directions, or begin a daily activity
  • If applicable…have homework ready to be turned in or checked. If you need to turn it in via an online system, make sure you click that 'button' that turns it in for you. 

Class Rules 

If you attend school, almost all teachers have the same rules. And even if you are homeschooled, some of these will still apply (while others will obviously not apply to a homeschool setting):

1.     Respect each other and your teacher.
2.     One person speaks at a time.
3.     Be prepared to contribute to class each day.
4.     Plagiarism is not tolerated.
5.     Unacceptable language and discriminatory or threatening remarks are not tolerated.
6.     All rules and polices are as laid out in your school's student handbook. 

Other ways to be respectful in a classroom:

1)   If you have a textbook or other course books, bring them to class and maintain them. Bringing your books is important because they are good references and having them covered helps protect it for the future and against any fines you might incur.
2)    Please do not bring food or drinks into the classroom.  Most schools do not allow you to have these items in your classroom.  Plus if it spills, your room might attract insects or other pests which are no fun to be around.
3)    Please leave cell phones in your lockers or have them switched off during class unless your teacher is asking you to use them for class. Every phone has a silent option and I recommend you leave yours silent.  If your teacher asks you to use your cellphone for an assignment, use it for the assignment and not to check social media, sports news or to text your friend or family member. In almost all cases, you will be able to wait 40 minutes until the end of class to see what your best friend wanted to tell you.
4)    Please do not open or put on lotion, perfume, cologne or hair spray in the classroom. This is just a respectful way to show your classmates and your teachers that you see the classroom as a place to learn and not a place to beautify yourself.  Plus some of your classmates or teachers may be allergic to certain scents.  



Do NOT plagiarize. Do NOT copy from another student, website, or book.  Your work must be original.  All projects should be accompanied by a work cited page or bibliography. If you think someone might accuse you of copying, create a work cited page even if it is not needed. 

Class Requirements

If you attend public or private school or a course at a homeschool co-op, you will need certain items for each class or teacher. 

What you do you need for class?  Listen to your teacher and buy what they request. They often have reasons why they like certain things like a three-ring binder to a 5-subject notebook. For example, when I taught World History, I required my students to have a three-ring binder because we had lots of worksheets to include in our unit studies.  

If you can't afford the class requirement, ask for help.  Your teacher may have extra materials.  

Organization is a must when it comes to wanting to get good grades or just passing that class.  Find a system that works for you (and that doesn’t mean leaving everything on the bottom of your backpack or locker). 

Being a Good Student Contract

Most teachers require you to sign a class contract or keep a copy of the class rules in your folder or notebook. These are some basic guidelines that will help you excel as a student if you follow them daily. 

1)      I will be ready to work.
2)      I will follow directions the first time they are given.
3)      I will bring all necessary materials to class including:
a.    a pen or pencil
b.    my three-ring binder, notebook, loose-leaf paper, etc
c.    my homework
d.    my textbook covered
e.    other materials as requested. 
4)      I will always try.
5)      If I am absent, it is my responsibility to:
a.      get the notes from a classmate or my teacher before/after school.
b.      turn in homework from the date of my absence(s).
c.      schedule a quiz or test make up.
d.      pick up new homework or worksheets.
6)      I will not plagiarize or copy for anyone (including my classmates, siblings, friends, books, or the Internet).

Every tip or suggestion may not apply to every child but they are a good place to start on one's journey to becoming a good student. 

If you are looking for more assistance in education or homeschooling, you might enjoy my posts on back to school essentials, homeschooling a high school student, or top five tips for studying history. 


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