#123: School Partnerships & Fantasy Football

#123: School Partnerships & Fantasy Football

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How to build home-school partnerships to help students succeed

Everyone wants their children to be successful in school, but how is often a topic of debate. No matter which side of the many school debates you fall on, student success starts with a great home-school partnership.


Practical ideas for how to partner with the school well.

As a parent, it can be easy to let our past relationship with school as a student or as a parent of an older child color our current relationship with school. If we’ve had great experiences before, it’s a lot easier to hope for a great experience this year. But if you’ve had a negative experience, the flip side of the coin is also true. It can be easy to start believing the worst. That’s totally normal!

That’s why it’s essential to treat every year as a chance for a new start, for you, your kids, and your school.

In that vein, we’ve got a few ideas on how to get off on the right foot.


Be intentional about building positive relationships with school staff (teacher, principal, coach, front office, counselor, etc.)

It makes it easier to communicate with someone when there is an issue if you already have a relationship. You also have more compassion for people you know.

It feels more like everyone’s on the same team when you know people’s names and voices. It could start with a simple conversation or a small gift.

Just like with any friend, be respectful and believe the best of the teachers in your life. If there is a problem, talk to them instead of assuming the worst or talking bad about the school.


Have a good attitude about school!

Your attitude will be contagious when It comes to extracurriculars, homework, school rules, etc. If you set an upbeat tone, your kids are more likely to follow.

Your attitude is also key when it comes to school work. If you want to instill a life-long love of learning in your kids, focus on growth and not perfection. It’s hard for most parents to celebrate effort instead of results, but try exchanging a vague “good job!” with “wow you should be really proud of how hard you’ve worked!”

Part of having a good attitude about school can be supporting your general school community. Volunteer at the school when needed. Go to games or shows (even if your student isn’t part of it). Encourage teachers and staff.

When we feel like we’re part of a larger community, everyone benefits and students are more likely to feel like they are capable and able to reach out when they need help!


Create a good home environment for learning

In a busy world, it’s easy to overlook this one. Between sports practice and music lessons and life, being intentional about homework models executive functioning skills (think organization and self-control) for your kids that will help them in every aspect of life.


Here are a few tips on how to do it:
  • Set aside a place for students to study or do homework.
  • Create a routine that helps your student succeed at home.
  • We know everyone is busy, but make time to be available while your kids are working on homework.

Should Your Teen Play Fantasy Football?

As school starts and the fall season is fast-approaching, Fantasy Football is coming into full swing, and many students are playing. So what is it?


So what is fantasy football?

You select your own team of players, setting a lineup every week. Then, you watch as they run, pass, catch and score touchdowns, all of which are worth fantasy points.

Every week, you are matched up with someone else in your league, and whoever has the most fantasy points that week, wins!

At the end of the “fantasy season,” there are also usually playoffs to crown the winner of the league.


Benefits of fantasy football for teens

  • Kids can learn executive function and problem-solving skills playing fantasy football.
  • Academic skills such as math and reading are also routinely used in fantasy football.
  • Fantasy football can be an engaging way to leverage technology use into a family activity.
  • It can lead to connection if you do it as a family or if they play with friends.


Things to consider before your teen plays fantasy football

  • Encourage teens to play with people they know and not join random leagues.
  • Make sure you are monitoring their interactions with strangers.
    Any online platform can be used to groom kids to participate in other activities. It’s vital that you know who they are talking to and have honest conversations about the potential dangers. Help them understand that you never really know who you are talking to and they reality of sextortion and kidnapping.
  • Have conversations around money and gambling.
    Many leagues have a “buy in” at the beginning of the season so that the winners get money at the end. Gambling, including microbetting and sports betting is highly addictive, especially if they win. So use this as an excuse to start a conversation about it.


Fantasy football can be a great way to connect with your teenagers.

Ask about their team; ask about trades; watch games with them on the weekend; and cheer for their players! The more you get excited about things they are excited about, the more trust and connection you can build.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources about home-school partnerships and fantasy football

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

About Us

Chris Robey

Chris Robey


Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

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More Resources You Might Like

Episode 20 School Communication and Acronyms
Episode 19: Back to School Anxiety and Simone Biles
Why Apologizing Matters for You and Your Kids

Ep. 21: School Communication & Acronyms

Ep. 21: School Communication & Acronyms

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Back to school is its own learning curve. Every. Single. Time. Catch this week’s episode for tips on how to improve communication between teachers and parents and how to make the most of those relationships! We’ll also translate some of the top acronyms teens are using and give you insight into why some teens might seem rude when they’re really suffering from anxiety.

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey


Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Follow Us

How to Help Teenagers Make Choices

How to Help Teenagers Make Choices

When it comes to making a decision, many people would rather not. There is always inherent risk when it comes to choosing a path, no matter how grandiose or miniscule. You could easily choose the wrong path, then potentially face ridicule from the 20/20 vision of future observers.

I am a reluctant decision maker. Usually, I am the one called upon to choose where the group eats or to choose the focus or direction of a conversation within a new group. I likely appear comfortable with the task, but inside I can be riddled with doubt and anxiety. Usually I’ll make the choice because no one else will. But it would be untrue to say that I am the one who wants to decide because I always think I’ll make the right choice.

Yet, to grow and lead in this world, we have to find a way to make choices and to make those choices good ones. I come from a faith background that talks a lot about finding God’s will for our lives. You hear about “waiting for God to speak” and trying to discern what God is desiring for one’s life choices. Often you will find this language peppered throughout sermons and private prayer lives – hoping God will rescue us from having to make the tough choices.

You see it in the second guessing of people who do have to make hard choices. I think this is why politicians are so maligned. While I’m not saying they are always virtuous or faultless in how they make choices, they have to make hard decisions on law, budgets, and policy. It is their job to choose a direction and stick with it, no matter the criticism or shift in public opinion.

Most of the criticism for those who make hard decisions comes from those who do not have to make those choices. There is an entire cottage industry of political pundits and newspaper columnists who exist solely to critique or criticize decisions other people make, without really having to make any of their own (at least of equal consequence).

Stack that on top of the advent of social media where everyone can say anything about anyone, anytime and you find a recipe for a populous who has very little vested stake in any kind of meaningful decision making.

I think we learn how to make decisions and hard choices earlier in life than we realize. If you were raised in a house where there were very few consequences, or overly harsh consequences for your choices and actions, likely you could struggle making hard choices. Or if the opportunity to fail was taken from you and all you have ever known is success, then you could struggle to make decisions as well.

Deciders will inevitably make the wrong choice. But someone who is adept at making these choices is willing to live with the consequences of making the wrong choice. They take ownership in the process and know they made the best possible decision with the information available.

Friends, we have to help teenagers make choices and informed decisions. And, I think this is where we start. So often we want teenagers to make “good” or “better” choices, but often they aren’t making many choices to begin with. I understand the logic behind the idea of “not making a choice – that is a choice,” but I’m speaking of proactive, informed, and future-thinking choices.

I’d encourage you, as you work with teenagers, to consider these things to help:

  • Start with the small stuff. We don’t get the big, important choices right until we can practice with the small stuff. Encourage students to engage in decision making throughout their day in a way that they can point back to.
  • Encourage them to choose one “hard” decision a day. Something like eating salad instead of a burger, or choosing to exercise instead of watch TV. Learning to make the harder, but better choice builds up the confidence to make the right choices in the long run.
  • Finally, help them take ownership of their choices. So if things unravel and blow up after a decision, they can look you in the eye and tell you why they did it, why it failed, and what they plan to do in the future that might be different. Failure is not a bad thing. Failure is something to learn from, but you have to take ownership to begin with.

Imagine a world where teenagers started making good choices based upon good information, support from their parents and peers, and with ownership of their failures and successes. I believe we would see a drop in crime, drug use, and and increase in community, church engagement and school involvement. And, I think we can agree we would all like to see these things!

What do you think about this? Do you have other ideas for how to help teenagers make good choice?


Chris Robey, Program Director, has worked with teens for over a decade and strives to help students see the best in themselves.