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The Value of Sibling Relationships: Don’t Listen to the Stereotypes

March 8, 2017

The nature vs. nurture question comes up frequently in education and parenting circles. By most estimates, it’s about 50-50. In other words, 50% of who you are comes from genetics and the other 50% is environmental. That allows parents and educators plenty of influence. So what does that imply for stereotypes about the “selfish only child”, the “responsible first child” or the “lazy youngest child”and the value of sibling relationships? Parenting and psychology expert Dr. Susan Newman provides us the research behind the stereotypes. She explains what parents can proactively do to avoid the stereotype trap so “onlies” have the value of sibling relationships without the siblings. What is the Stereotype? If you are the parent of one child, it’s hard not to… Read More

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How to Get Kids to Do What You Want

February 15, 2017

Without question the best way to get kids, all kids, to do what you want them to do is… Let them choose. If this is a new concept to you and you are dealing with a teenager I’m not going to guarantee it will work the first time. However, after a few trials you are likely to discover why this approach, while perhaps against our most visceral impulses, is far more effective than asking, telling or demanding a child to do what you want. Why it works? Quite simply, choice empowers. When students choose, they take responsibility, and when they take responsibility they follow through. Glorious isn’t it? Ok, so it doesn’t always work perfectly. But as you get more comfortable letting… Read More

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News Fatigue: Supporting Students in Challenging Times

February 2, 2017

by Nancy Weinstein Is there anyone not feeling news fatigue? It’s hard to watch and yet you must. If you are a parent or teacher the challenges are compounded. Quite simply, you can’t hide kids from the news. And lest we forget, kids are not little adults. In most cases, they are not socially, emotionally and intellectually ready to process the drama, trauma, and full implications of what they are hearing, seeing and reading. Our solution: business news. Yes, business news. The networks like CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business that cover the daily markets. While their programming of charts, graphs, and, let’s face it, [mostly] men in suits might not garner the same enthusiasm of general news, you can rely on them for factual, bi-partisan information across… Read More

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A Smarter Way to Improve Test Scores

January 19, 2017

Start by Knowing Your Child The most efficient way to improve test scores, whether it’s ACT, SAT orPARCC is to step back and really know your child. You probably won’t hear test prep tutors say, “All the strategies and practice in the world won’t help if you don’t know how your child learns.” But it’s true. If your child’s scores don’t match your reasonable expectations, it’s likely that there’s something in his test-taking approach that is holding him back. More often than not, he can’t articulate it and your tutor won’t figure out by observing. The traditional approach to improve test scores is (1) identify the types of problems with the most mistakes, (2) re-teach the skills that should have been learned in school and (3) give… Read More

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A Teachable Moment

January 18, 2017

  Whether or not we want it, life has given us a teachable moment. Yes, the inauguration. Unlike years past, the political climate, coupled with 24 hour news, means that even some of our youngest children are navigating issues around leadership, ethics and fairness. Which means that if you are not having these difficult discussions with them, they are very likely having them with their peers, on the playground, and yes, (gasp!) on social media. Children are hearing (and in some cases experiencing) very adult topics through the lens of a child’s eyes and ears. That filter could leave them blissfully unaware. Or it could take them down paths less desirable by believing exaggerated claims of peers, overhearing comments out of context, or experiencing their own… Read More

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