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GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SERVICES
There are many guidance services available to students at WJH.
The major areas are:
1. Providing information to students and parents on all aspects of the school program;
2. Providing educational and vocational information for present and future planning;
3. Counseling individual students to better understand their behavior and environment;
4. Testing - achievement; aptitude, and interest inventories

Students are encouraged to visit the counselor as often as necessary. Students wishing to see the counselor should go by the office before or after school, between classes, or at lunch and request to do so. The counselor will send for the student at the first available opportunity. Teachers may send a student to visit the counselor, if they deem it advisable.
Students should never take it upon themselves to miss class time to see the counselor.
Understanding Peer Pressure
Peer pressure may be intense or subtle, positive or negative, but its basic definition is the influence a peer group exerts over its members (Kaplan 1997). It is important to remember that children may feel pressure even if their peers do not intentionally try to exert pressure over them.

Drugs, sex, and underage alcohol consumption are all volatile issues children and teenagers face every day. Parents can teach their children to remain true to themselves in the face of peer pressure. Effective communication skills and the avoidance of mixed messages are two key weapons parents can use in the battle against negative peer pressure.

When parents and other adults hear the term peer pressure, they often think it relates only to teenage drinking, drug use, and other irresponsible behavior. Such negative connotations of peer pressure, however, are far from the entire story.

Peer pressure also can be a subtle positive influence. When children notice a group of students who work hard and study diligently, they may want to be part of that group. It is not unusual for the grades and attitude of a child or teen to improve when his or her peer group takes school seriously (Kaplan 1997).

Parents and other adults can give children and teens the opportunity and encouragement needed to blossom in their peer groups. Positive peer pressure can make a difference in a child’s or teen’s life in a way adult influence cannot.

Teenagers’ strong desire to fit in with their friends is not something parents can change. They need to have consistent and clear impressions of what is and is not acceptable. Peer pressure never goes away. When parents speak to their children, it is important to keep the lines of communication open so children will feel free to talk about the pressures and problems they face. When children feel that they are respected and not under attack, they are more likely to go to their parents for help.

PARENT RESOURCES
Brewer, Chris. Freedom to Fly: 101 Activities for Building Self-Worth. Tuscon: Zephyr Press, 1993.
Kaplan, Leslie. Coping with Peer Pressure. Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden Information Education, 1997.

Swets, Paul. The Art of Talking with Your Teenager. Holbrook, Massachusetts: Adams Media Corporation, 1995.


End Homework Hassles
End Homework Hassles

If homework time is always a headache, these strategies may make life easier for your student ….and you.

Homework. It may be the least favored compound work in a student’s vocabulary and one that many times elicits moans and groans. “But Mom, School’s over. I’m home. Why do I have to do more work? I’ll do it later.” Sound familiar? Your student hates doing homework, and you hate the nightly test of wills when you push him/her to complete it. But there is a better way. It starts with understanding what’s keeping your students from doing the work: a lack of motivation or a lack of skills.

“There’s a principle in psychology that states ff you want somebody to like something they don’t like, you need to make all of the surrounding conditions as positive as you can,” says Sydney S. Zentall, a professor of educational studies at Purdue University and coauthor of Seven steps to Homework Success: A Family Guide to Solving Common Homework Problems. Fortunately, striving to create a pleasant homework environment for your student involves techniques that motivate as well as address some specific skill problems.

Set it to Music
Research has shown that music is a great motivator. Teens complete more homework with background accompaniment and students with ADHD show markedly better performance when they’re listening to music. Since so much of homework is rote or simply completing unfinished classwork, music can help relieve the tedium, and in the case of students with ADHD even help them focus. But skip tunes with lyrics, Zentall suggests. It’s best to limit students’ choices to music that’s mostly instrumental so the words don’t interfere with their thoughts.

Define a Work Space
Although a desk is nice, some students may do better at the kitchen table, closer to you while you’re preparing dinner or working on other things in the kitchen area. Just make sure it’s clear of clutter, including the daily newspaper, junk mail, or any other distraction.

Zentall takes it a step further and suggests constructing a learning station. A trifold cardboard such as the kind used for science project displays would do the trick. On the right side of the panel hang a folder for pending homework; on the left side hang a folder for completed assignments. In the middle, post a list of activities your student can enjoy in five-minute breaks after completing a designated amount of work. That could be five minutes of anything from a favorite prerecorded TV show or a chance to roll around on the floor with the dog after the student has worked steadily for 20 minutes. Once assembled, this kind of learning station can really center a student who has difficulty completing homework.


Make Homework a Game
There are plenty of ways to teach various skills using games. Flash cards are a reliable way to reinforce sight words or math facts. Geography games can help commit all those state capitals to memory, and there’s no shortage of educational software for computers. Games can be fun and educational at the same time.

Stay the Course
Eventually there comes a time when students have to face up to the fact homework is just that – work to be done at home. Nobody likes it, but in reality everybody gains something. For a teacher, homework extends instructional time: for a parent, it provides a window into the classroom; and for a student, it’s an opportunity to acquire real organizational and study skills that will serve the student over a lifetime.

That’s why it’s so important to maintain a firm, serious attitude about homework, says Michele Borba, an educational consultant and parenting expert. Sure, it’s fun to mix it up with games and even rewards, but ultimately your student needs to know that homework has to be done well – no ifs, and, or buts about it.

Encourage Independence
Parents also need to fight the temptation to fill in those last remaining answers themselves just because it’s late and everybody’s tired. “Never do for your child what your child can do for himself,” Borba says. In fact, it’s her mantra for most things child-related and it certainly serves a purpose here. You’re definitely not doing yourself or your child any favors by doing the homework for your students. Your student will only come to expect it on a regular basis, and you may come to resent your involvement.

If your student is really stumped by an assignment, demystify directions by having him pretend to be the teacher and explain to you how if should be done, Zentall suggest. This role reversal often yields surprising results as the objective of an assignment suddenly becomes crystal clear.

Keep Communication Lines Open
Picture a triangle, with the sides representing your student, the teacher and you, the parent. Zentall refers to this configuration as a homework alliance. It’s the maintenance of good relationships between parent and student, parent and teacher, and student and teacher. Your monitoring of homework communicates to your student an interest in the student is learning.

Getting and staying in touch with teachers is important. Send them an introductory email and don’t hesitate to express concerns as the school year progresses. Encourage your student to speak up in class. Students need to ask questions and let the teacher know when the student doesn’t understand something.

Try a number of different approaches to homework. It may take a while before you hit upon the solution that works best for your student.

Our Mission
Wharton ISD will provide exceptional instruction to every student, every day, with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride.

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