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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Avoid the Summer Slide in Reading with Online Newspapers

April 24, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff According to the nonprofit Reading is Fundamental, “Children who do not read over the summer lose more than two months of reading achievement.” And because reading loss is cumulative, the organization says that by the end of 6th grade, “children who lose reading skills over the summer will be 2 years behind their classmates.” So, what’s a busy family to do? One inexpensive, engaging and fun way to keep nonfiction reading comprehension skills sharp is to encourage children to start the day with a morning newspaper. A mature high school student may be just find reading the entire “A section” of The New York Times, but I’m not a fan of handing it over to… Read More

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IEP Season: 5 Quick Tips to Prepare for the IEP Meeting

April 17, 2015

It’s IEP Season, that time of year when parents and school teams meet to review the following year’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) or the plan students receiving special education services will have to meet their academic goals. IEP meetings can be stressful for families. I interviewed Dr. Wendy Matthews, a psychologist in the Princeton area who spent over 30 years in private practice specializing in children and adolescents. In that time, Dr. Matthews administered hundreds of psychoeducational evaluations. 1.  What materials should parents bring with them to the IEP meeting? All past and present evaluations, doctors’ written comments as well as therapist (speech/psych/tutor) written comments. If you haven’t had a recent evaluation or you think your child might have changed since the last evaluation, you can bring… Read More

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Does Your Child Need an Executive Function Coach?

April 10, 2015

By Sarah Vander Schaaff “What parents see is a very bright and intelligent child who can’t pass the grade because they can’t get the homework turned in.” What the child needs, Joyce Kubik says, is to learn simple skills to fit into the linear world when they need to. Kubik is the president of the nonprofit ADHD Coaches Organization, (ACO) a group that serves ADHD coaches and families. As a coach, she brings another level of expertise to her work: she has ADHD, too. For a person with ADHD, Kubik says, “…their brain is wired to be the person who sees everything and reacts to things—they are the movers and shakers.” Still, in a world with linear expectations, such as following… Read More

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Give Parents a Break: What Would Andy Rooney Say?

April 3, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Spring Break. A lot of our readers are just beginning their week off from school, starting with this holiday weekend. Then, there are those, like my family, who had spring break in late March, and now have Friday off for Passover and Easter Weekend. The kids had a total of four days back in school. Of course, others have Friday and Monday off. And still others, such as our college babysitter, have neither Friday nor Monday off. It’s all very illogical, in an Andy Rooney-type way, with the most egregious spring break scheduling occurring in our local district last year when the unexpected snow resulted in the chipping away at vacation days until students had neither… Read More

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