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Northwest Kidney Kids
School Talk
Posted on 9/14/2022 by Maggie Mackenzie

School talk
by Emilee Kerper

It takes a great deal of effort to stay engaged with our goals and doing well in school is no exception. Attending school requires commitment and a variety of skills to be successful, and it’s no easy task. The additional considerations that come along with kidney disease can have a big impact on how engaged we’re able to be in school and this can snowball if we don’t give it the proper attention.

Most learning builds on past learning, and school curriculum is designed to be progressive. So, what happens when a child misses a month or two of school? It can be difficult to catch up and understand what peers have been working on. It’s important to address this gap in learning early and consistently, to ensure that you or your child student does not become further behind or become overwhelmed. Especially in our achievement-focused society, it’s no surprise that students feel pressured to do well and that their future economic success is impacted by their early school experiences.

So, what can a child or parent do to make sure school issues are addressed early and adequately? First, give it the attention it deserves. You’re here reading this article, so the gears are turning, and you’ve likely already thought about this topic.
Second, communicate with all parties involved. When your child is assigned a new teacher, send an email or set up a private meeting with them to explain why your child may miss school sometimes and establish a plan for how they can make up any missed work. Let your child know that you’re making plans with their teacher because you want to support them doing well in school.

Third, spend at least a few minutes every day (even on the weekends) talking about what your child is learning, working on schoolwork or practicing a skill they’re using in school. This could be as simple as doing a few minutes of free writing, reading a book or learning some new science facts. Whatever you choose to do, remember that making learning a priority impacts your child’s attitude about school and learning.

Lastly, remember to give your child positive feedback about their efforts, even if you wish it looked different for them. Encouraging them to do their best and validating their work is so important for their self-esteem.

We’d love to hear how you help your child with school success! What has worked well for your family? We’re here to support you and your family. We care about your health. Please contact our staff about how you can get involved in our Connect groups, teen or parent mentoring or other fun activities.
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