Readers: If you don’t happen to use the technology available to monitor your student’s grades and attendance regularly, we would like to encourage you to check on these things as soon as possible. The first quarter has come and gone, and the second quarter will fly by due to the holidays. It’s much easier to check now and guide your student into making any needed adjustments than to wait until the week before the end of the semester when it’s virtually impossible to do anything and permanent grades are recorded and/or posted to a transcript. A lot of semester test grades count 20 percent of the total semester grade, so this can certainly make or break a student’s progress.

We have two children in high school. Both have part time jobs and are active in extra-curricular activities. We require them to spend their own money for their entertainment, but we would like your opinion as to who should pay for the school-related expenses such as yearbooks, tickets to events, t-shirts, etc.

— John and Donna, OKC

Dear John and Donna,

We commend you for having high school students who work part time and still participate in activities. We feel both of these help children to be well-rounded. What we might ask is, if they have cars, who pays for their gas, insurance, tires? Do they buy their own clothes and pay for their own cell phone plans? We have a couple of examples:

If your children are currently working to pay for necessities such as upkeep on a vehicle and their clothing, then by all means, get them a yearbook. On the other hand, if you are carrying the load for the above-mentioned items and they are using their money for music, movies, and the latest fads, they could do without one of those to save for their own yearbooks. The point we are trying to make is that kids need to learn at the earliest age possible the difference in wants and needs and how to manage their money. We recommend a sit-down family discussion where their income and expenses are written down,and a decision should be made as to what you are willing to provide.

Things become a lot clearer when everyone can see in black and white what’s coming in and what goes out. If you aren’t familiar with Dave Ramsey who is a financial planning guru, check out his excellent programs for kids starting as early as age three. He has special information for teenagers that is well worth looking into. Check into it at

Please keep in mind that we firmly believe your children’s education is the absolute most important thing and shouldn’t be compromised by them feeling they need to earn more money for ‘things.’

Please send questions to questions.classact@gmail. com.

Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with over 50 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district.

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