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Topic Archives: Interests & Passion

Mindprint Exclusive: Ideas for Reluctant Writers

June 29, 2016

In today’s digital world, both in business and in our personal lives, we often communicate more through writing than through face-to-face contact. The ability to write clearly and effectively is considered to be one of the most important workforce skills. How we present ourselves in writing has a direct impact on how others form opinions of us. Although reading is an important aspect of developing good writing skills, the best way to improve writing will always be through writing. Writing is a complex process that involves the interplay of many skills. So if you have a reluctant writer, you first will want to rule out a specific problem that might be holding them back, like fine motor skills or difficulties with working memory… Read More

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Exclusive Mindprint Guide: Ideas for Reluctant Readers

June 26, 2016

  This is one of many exclusive Mindprint guides found in the FREE Parent & Teacher Resources section of the Mindprint website. Independent reading is so important for students of all ages. We hope this list enables you to successfully foster a love of reading. If your child is reading below grade level consider audio books to help keep him engaged. But be sure to get to the root cause of a learning struggle. Early intervention can make all the difference. You can learn more about the potential causes of reading difficulties here.

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Does Your Child Have the Right Skills for the WEF’s “4th Industrial Revolution”?

January 28, 2016

By Mindprint Staff A new report out of the World Economic Forum last month says that over one-third of the most important workplace skills will change over the next five years. That’s a rate of change that we know our schools can’t possibly keep up with. So what’s a concerned parent to do? Not panic for starters. Parents who are pleased with their own child’s school, and surveys show that 75% of parents are satisfied, need first and foremost to continue to support their children’s academic learning. Historically, schools have focused on teaching students content knowledge, leaving career skills for on-the-job training. It’s not necessarily the wrong approach. Foundation skills such as vocabulary, reading comprehension, math rubrics, and factual knowledge in history, science and social studies are the essential building blocks… Read More

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2016: The Year of the Resolution Revival

December 30, 2015

by Mindprint Staff Is the New Year’s resolution just a foolhardy tradition? By most estimates, approximately 50% of us make them and less than 10% of us follow through on them. Or, in other words, half of us have reached the point of “why bother?” You may wonder why experts in child development would recommend that children keep up this New Year’s tradition when the most essential skills needed to make and keep resolutions (planning, impulse control, and self-awareness) are still maturing. If adults with a fully-developed prefrontal cortex don’t have the executive function skills to keep a resolution, why even consider suggesting our kids try? Because it is our responsibility as parents and educators to help our kids be the best they can be. New Year’s resolutions… Read More

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It’s Creativity, Mom

July 30, 2015

  By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or the middle of February, at some point a parent stands before her child’s messy room and has to make a decision. And 9 times out of 10, the solution is simple: close the door. From the hall, the mess is gone. To clean or not to clean, is not really the question. The question is how the child finds a matching pair of socks, her homework, and earbuds beneath the upper layer of clothes, books, and unidentified objects. I do have one confession, however. My own desk is a mess. My office? Pretty clean, in the sense that a small toddler could be let loose on the… Read More

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Jury Duty

July 2, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff I began my summer by reporting to jury duty. I’d been summoned twice before, and both calls fell shortly after the birth of one of my girls. I got excused for medical reasons; I was more than my babies’ mom, I was their milk machine, and only source of food considering they wouldn’t take a bottle. Now that the kids were older, I had no medical excuse. But the responsibilities of motherhood don’t lessen just because the kids can tie their own shoes. So, with a husband whose work schedule was inflexible, and my regular baby sitters out of town, I waged a desperate search. I finally found two sitters who between them could watch… Read More

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Parents: What is Your Take-Back?

June 12, 2015

How to Stay Educated When Your Focus is on Them By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Most Saturday mornings, I am awakened around 6:30am by my youngest daughter. There’s the regular routine of unloading the dishwasher, feeding the dog, making the beds and figuring out how my husband and I will divide and conquer the rest of the day, and rest of the weekend. Last Saturday morning, I woke up around 6:30 and snuck out of the house quietly. We were visiting my parents’ house and it would be my husband and mom who’d figure out the bowl of Cheerios and morning schedule. My father and I were on our way to a conference for biographers. I got to listen to… Read More

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Pretending: When it’s ok to be someone you’re not

May 15, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Yesterday, my six-year-old announced that she and her good friend had swapped lunches for the week, pretending to be one another. “I had a salami sandwich and no pickles. And she had a bagel, cream cheese, yogurt and two pickles.” The pickles were a key part to this story. It’s evidence that each girl had embraced their alter ego’s preferences with full commitment. My daughter has had her regular order of a bagel with cream cheese, yogurt and two pickles for most of the last 100 plus days of school. Had I suggested she mix it up a bit, I’d have been met with a firm “no.” She really likes pickles. But when she pretended… Read More

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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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Not your Typical College Day: Transform this Camaro

March 19, 2015

Kaylie Crosby is the project manager overseeing a team of 134. Using the special technology of the auto industry, VDP (Vehicle Development Process) she and her team of engineers are working on making a Chevrolet Camaro more fuel-efficient while “retaining the vehicle’s performance, safety, and consumer appeal.” Kaylie’s a fourth year student at the University of Alabama. Yes, she’s still in college. While some of the work on this multimillion-dollar project is integrated into course work, the large majority of it is in addition to her studies in the University of Alabama’s 5-year STEM path to the MBA program. I spoke with her on the phone a few days ago to learn more about what this mechanical engineer and her classmates are… Read More

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