January Counselor’s Corner
As we head into the second half of the program (for most) it is a time to look back at what your family and your student have experienced so far, and to look forward with intention to what you would like to create during the remainder of your time together. Where have you been and where do you want to go with this experience?
As always, we encourage open communication between you and your student. That builds trust and can make the exchange experience more rewarding for all.
A few suggestions for discussion and the calendar:
It is helpful to have activities on the calendar to look forward to, and to plan for. For example, you might want to plan something special for spring vacation, discuss your school’s upcoming prom, or look for community events to experience together. Anticipation is part of the fun!
We find that, in general, students who are involved in a club or activity have a more enriching and successful program experience than those who don’t. If your student has not yet signed up for a sport or club, please encourage them to choose one, be it at school or in the community. If you are met with reluctance (it is often fear), reach out to your local coordinator for support. Sometimes we hear students say they feel they were TOO involved in activities in the fall, so they want to just relax for the remainder of their program. It is okay to “slow down”, but we would caution that boredom can set in quickly, which can lead to discontent for the student and for the host family.
Not every student is interested in sports, or able to join a team. And not everyone who tries out will be chosen for the school play (though it is likely they could participate in some capacity). Every student can contribute their unique talents to something! In return, they will gain valuable life experiences, including the opportunity to develop new friendships. (Park districts and community centers often have a lot to offer, too, such as classes and trips.)
- If your student has not yet completed their community service hours, this would be a good time to add plans for those to the family calendar. Contribution, confidence, and friendships are gained from these experiences.
- We enjoy seeing what you and your student are up to! Please be sure to share with other host families on the Greenheart Host Family Facebook page.
- Happy New Year!
- “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson