How Does a Parent Set Healthy Expectations for a Child?

A child is usually aware of how his parents view him or her and behave accordingly. Whether the view or expectations are high, low, or non-existent, that child will rise, fail, or remain stagnate. A child will rise to the level that the parent has set in place. Studies have shown that high and realistic expectations are the best for children. Read more at http://fatherhood.about.com/od/succeedingasafather/a/high_expectations.htm

How do you set expectations for your child? We would love to hear from you.

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How Do I Motivate My Child to Read?

As a parent, I have always wondered why some children appear to love reading and why some struggle with it? Although each child is different and there aren’t really concrete answers, I do know that almost every child is interested in something. Whether its fairy tales and princesses, or cars and animals, every child should be curious or fascinated by some topic. This is usually a good place to start and here are some additional suggestions to try to spark the love to read in your child:

• Make it fun.
• Expose your child to all different genres and types of literature.
• Let your child choose a book or magazine of liking to him or her, and once that is discovered capitalize on it.
• Don’t set your child up for defeat. Assist in selecting a book at his or her skill level.
• As you read to your child, make the books come alive! Use animated voices and non-verbal gestures.
• Visit the public library on a regular basis and check out books.
• Read books over and over. Repetition reinforces reading.
• Go to the local bookstore and buy your child a book. Make it special to go to the bookstore.
• Be an example and show your child that you are a reader.
• Read in small time increments that will capture his or her attention span. For a young child usually 10-20 minutes at a time is a good place to start.
• Ask your child questions about the book during and after you finish it.
• Begin to make reading a fun game wherever you are. Help your child read company signs, road signs, advertisements, and grocery item labels. Small successes can encourage your child.

What have you done with your child to inspire reading? We’d love to hear your suggestions!

How to Keep a Child Motivated in School

There are some practical applications that a parent can implement to assist in keeping a child motivated in school. Although a parent can’t light the flame of passion for school in the heart of their child, parental involvement is key in keeping a child motivated. This needs to be more than just helping with school assignments at home. It’s important to keep communication lines open with teachers, the school, and extra-curricular activities. This displays to the child that you are interested in their school, their “work”, and their time outside of school. Generally, parents who are involved “all around” tend to have children that are more motivated to do well.
Other ways to motivate a child include:
• Show your child you are interested in their school work.
• Create a quiet space at home that is free from distractions and specifically designed for study time.
• Set up a specific time for homework every day. Choose a time where their brain has had a chance to recharge and they aren’t tired. For example, right after school isn’t a good time for many because they are tired and have had to concentrate all day. However, right before bed isn’t good either for many because they are too tired. Find a time that works for them.
• Go over their day timers and assignments with them. Help them to stay on track.
• Help them organize their homework. If binders aren’t organized, their brains can be scattered and it’s easy to forget assignments.
• Offer incentives that will motivate them to complete homework. Such as, “When you get your homework done you can watch television.”
• Teach them to study in small bits over longer periods of time rather than trying to “cram” the day before a test.
• Show your child how to take notes and be a good listener.
• Teach your child to manage time. For instance, if he has a big project due schedule it in so that he isn’t trying to fit it in at the last minute.
• Look over their homework once it is completed.
• Be the boss over the television and video games in the home. Use these as an incentive.
• Be available and help with homework and projects when needed. Hire a tutor or speak with the teacher about extra help for your child if you cannot help them.
• Display interest in their day. Ask them what the favorite part of their day was.
• Eat dinner together as a family, free from other distractions, and actually have a dialogue. Children who feel connected in the family tend to do better in school.
• Get to know your child’s friends and something about them. Show them you are interested in what they are interested in.
• Really listen to your child. Let them speak.
• Encourage involvement in school sports/activities and watch when games/plays are performed.
• Get to know your child’s teachers. Volunteer if possible.
Do you have any other suggestions on what motivates your child?

Meet Aida – An Architectural Design Graduate!


Aida was born in Bosnia and came to the Boulder area with her family after the war in Bosnia. As a student in our middle and high school programs, she was inspired to continue on with her higher education. She has recently graduated from the University of Colorado in December 2011, with a degree in architectural design and plans to continue her study by applying for a master’s program. The dream for Aida and others like her continue on. Now she has come bck to FLC while she waits for grad school to begin in the fall to work as an assistant middle school coordinator at the FLC, helping other students like herself achieve their highest potentials and dreams. You can make a donation today to help others achieve their academic potentials today!

The FLC’s High School Senior Nominee makes it as a Daniels Fund Scholar FLC

Just recently one of our student’s, Gabriela Weldon, was selected as a semifinalist for the Daniels Scholarship. This is a great honor because out 2,300 applicants only a few are chosen.

Gabriella and her family have been a part of The Family Learning Center for over fifteen years. She is a current senior at Centaurus High School in Lafayette. Her achievements, including an AP Scholar with honor, as well as her leadership skills, community service, and participation in college enrichment programs, display her strong character and heart to serve her peers and community. As the captain of the varsity cheerleading squad, and a leader in school activities such as National Honor Society, Warrior 360 Leader, Eco-Warriors, and Senior Senate, it is evident she is not only ambitious but a contributor. Also she serves the community through organizations outside of school inspiring and helping youth, volunteering her time with non-profits, like the FLC. Gabriela is definitely a woman who stands out!

If you ever wonder if you make a difference, remember Gabriela and many other children like her, now young adults, who got their start at FLC. You are important to us; you are important in the lives of children like Gabriela. Your support does make a difference in ways none of us can fully realize. Congrats to Gabriela! We are so proud of her!

Become 1 of 100

Dear Family and Friends,
Happy New Year! Looking forward into 2012 we are excited and overwhelmed. Although we are seeing great success among our students, the needs are great and the financial weight is heavy. We are looking for 100 new donors this quarter to increase our level of supporting the kids. If you are already a supporter of the FLC, we thank you. If you aren’t, we would strongly ask that you consider being a part of the great movement that is mobilizing our youth to end the high school dropout epidemic, build them up for success and the 21st century workforce, and to regain America’s competitive stance in the global marketplace.

In addition, we urge you to spread the word and to be a voice for the FLC. If you know anyone who is interested in children and the future of this community and America tell them about us. A voice is a powerful thing. One word can set people free. One voice can start a movement that rocks the whole world. Speak up and see what a social agent you can be! Changing the course of one life can affect one family, one community, and, ultimately the world. If everyone tells just one, the Power of One becomes the Power of Many! Using your voice doesn’t cost a thing, yet it can change everything. Here’s how you can spread the word.

Connect with us online at http://www.flcboulder.org and through Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Family-Learning-Center/122507324433479 and Twitter .http://twitter.com/flcboulder . Tell your friends to check out our Facebook page and to spread the word to their friends. Invite your friends to be a part of the change and become a donor and sign up for our email distribution. We need you and we need you to tell your friends!

Together we can mobilize a powerful force that empowers our kids, and will change the destiny of this great nation. Our work truly changes lives, and for this I’m more excited than I have ever been before. We can change the future of America one life at a time. Thank you.

How Do I Motivate My Child in School?

This time of year, about half way through the school year, I hear the same thing from all of my children, “Mom, I’m so sick of school.” Many children feel this way and its normal. However, there are definite signs that a parent can look for in assessing if a child is motivated or not, and whether it’s just a temporary lack of motivation or beginning to be a long term concern.

A motivated child usually has a positive attitude regarding school and learning in general, does homework and tasks without having to be asked or asked more than once. He is a self starter who displays effort and concentration. Also, he tends to choose tasks that are challenging, rather than exerting minimal effort and looking for the easy way out. In addition, he is a problem solver when faced with challenges, is persistent and has a stick-to-it-tiveness. He won’t give up.

On the other hand, a child that is struggling with motivation can display opposite characteristics. For instance, he has a hard time getting started with homework and tasks. Focus is absent, concentration is lacking, and effort is minimal. His attitude is apathetic and many assignments, tasks, and projects are left unfinished. There isn’t an obvious desire to learn or excel. Boredom is a frequent visitor in the mind.

It’s not hard to see the differences between motivated and unmotivated students. Although each child is different and each child is motivated differently, it can be frustrating as a parent to try to pinpoint how to ignite the fire internally with a child who is lacking motivation. In the weeks to come I will offer simple suggestions on how to motivate a child in school. How do you motivate your child? Visit us at http://www.flcboulder.org.