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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Is Your Child’s Calendar Already Full?

August 23, 2013

by Sarah Vander Schaaff How do we keep from over-scheduling our children this school year? The first step, one I believe many of us only half-heartedly embrace, is that we have to want to keep from over-scheduling our children. When you look around the Internet, there are many posts suggesting tips for limiting activities and over-commitment. But a prevalent undercurrent behind much of the discussion is: here’s what you can do; we all fail, but it’s a noble effort. So, I was happy to find one piece that might make it easier to succeed in the goal of doing less. The website, Family Education, featured advice from David Elkind, author of The Hurried Child, and professor of child development at… Read More

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So they’re Starting….Middle School

August 15, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Last year, I interviewed a teacher just before the start of middle school. She gave us some great advice and framed her discussion with this point: This is a time where kids are tested, especially socially, and they begin to solidify who they are as people. So with back to school already in full swing for some of you–and on the horizon for others–I though we’d take another look at this interview. It may be of great value for kids (and parents) of all ages. WHAT TO SAY BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF MIDDLE SCHOOL: • Know the values of your family and your school and don’t be afraid to stick to them: kindness, empathy, hard work,… Read More

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Freshman Year

August 8, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff I wonder how many readers remember their first day of high school. I don’t think about that day often, but when I cleared away a few summer distractions, my memory of it came back. Yes, I know exactly what I wore. My priorities as a fourteen-year-old were a bit out of order, but probably not atypical. In reading about the transition from middle school into high school, I found many articles that cite social pressure and a teenager’s desire to associate with a group as being strong rivals to the expectations of home or school. And the way a student handles the transition into high school has serious stakes: More students fail 9th grade than any… Read More

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