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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Teens: What to Expect, When you have No Idea What to Expect

June 27, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff I am not a trailblazer. That may be my mantra as I head into the process of raising a preteen. Someone has done this before—and I want to learn from them. Times change quickly, to be sure; the social media of last year is now passé, and young people seem to absorb cultural shifts light-years ahead of we parents. But there is wisdom in those parents who have crossed these parts, and our next series this summer is going to share it. I’ve asked mothers who have strong relationships with their teenagers how they have maintained such ties and what advice they’d give.  Today we hear from a mother of a fifteen-year-old daughter and sixteen-year-old son. Her… Read More

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Concussions: A Parent’s Education part II, Healing

June 20, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Blurred vision, painful headaches, and the inability to attend even a half-day of school. When her eight-year-old daughter, Charlotte, took a fall into a metal pole on the playground at school, her mother didn’t expect the ensuing concussion would change the course of third grade. Charlotte, as you may remember from our post last week, had been twisting a friend on the swing when the friend spun-out rapidly and knocked her down. Charlotte’s head hit the pole, and after a trip to the school nurse, the pediatrician, and a few days of painful symptoms, it was clear the injury was more than a bump. We pick up today with our interview with Charlotte’s mother at… Read More

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Concussions in Children: A Parent’s Education, part I

June 13, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Concussions in Youth Sports When President Obama held a summit at the White House to address youth concussions, the focus was clearly on injuries incurred while participating in sports. Much of the flak following has related to one sticking point: yes, there’s going to be more money put into research and education, but is anybody going to make it less likely that kids get concussions in the first place by changing the rules of the games? Until then, parents have a few choices. Either don’t let their kids play or insist on changing the culture. “That says you suck it up,” as the President said. But what about when the injury doesn’t happen on the… Read More

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The Curse of the Gifted Class

June 10, 2014

By Nancy Weinstein The United States is failing its gifted students. And despite the national weariness for standardized testing, the answer lies in a test. But it’s a test you can’t study for; would never tie to teacher performance; doesn’t require billions to fund, and thanks to advances in technology, can be taken anywhere in about an hour. I’m referring to cognitive assessments, the uncontested, most reliable measure of a student’s learning strengths and weaknesses and the best way to engage learners of all abilities. Back in the day, these assessments were called IQ tests and there was a notion that when it came to smarts, you either “had it” or “you didn’t.” Thanks to a better understanding of neuroplasticity,… Read More

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End of School Year Blues

June 7, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff I have never liked the end of the school year. It makes me feel, as I do before a thunderstorm, or even when the seasons change, that things are out of my control. There are too many changes at once: tests, ceremonies, parties, performances, good-byes, and the relinquishing of the books or desks, or possessions that defined so much of the school day. And, as a parent, it’s the end of the routine that defined each day. I certainly complained about how much time I spent in the car, and the fact that my daughter’s math homework was too challenging for me, the grown up, and I counted down the days to summer vacation just like a… Read More

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