I was one of those struggling readers. I didn’t become a reader until fifth grade. That puts me in league with two twenty-five-year-old single mothers whom Julie Pangrac of Project READ introduced me to. They told me their story Continue reading
Chloe went to the large urban grade school, and her parents were very engaged in her “education.” In fourth grade when Chloe’s homework was too easy, her parents sent notes to the teacher. When she came home from school to report that the work was stupid, the parents set up a parent-teacher conference. Finally, in fifth grade they sent her to a school for gifted and talented kids that focused exclusively on making sure that each student was challenged academically.
Chloe’s social skills (never her strong point) became weaker and weaker, Continue reading
A Story from My Good Friend Allan
“No, I don’t want to take a nap! Not tired!” said Elise. Continue reading
A very reliable way of assessing children’s readiness for kindergarten is to bring twelve four-and-a-half-year-olds together for a one-hour mock kindergarten class. A teacher greets parent and child at the door, and the parent says good-bye. Most of the time the children leave their parents happily and launch off into what for them is a super play-date. Continue reading
“I just want him to be happy” is the most natural thing for a parent to say; it can also be the most dangerous. Life has unhappiness built in. If it’s not one thing it will be another. We want to spare our children. We want to protect them from pain and rescue them from suffering. This is completely understandable, but it is not particularly constructive. In fact, it is self-defeating. The pursuit of happiness makes happiness increasingly elusive. Continue reading
“Hey, would you help me…”
Say this to children, and you will usually get an enthusiastic, “Sure.”
If you get a negative reaction, I can think of several possible causes off the top of my head: Continue reading
Even though parents and teachers are both educators, things will work better if parents and teachers play different roles. A year ago Lorrie Soria told the following story in a comment on one of my posts about homework. I read it again this morning and decided it stands on its own two feet as a great story about “playing position.”
Years ago, when my daughter was in 3rd grade, homework was indeed a struggle. Continue reading
Last week I saw 25 kindergarteners walking through the hallway of a school, each with a 4×6 notebook in one hand and a pencil in the other. They flooded slowly along quite naturally, heads turning left and right, eyes going up and down, and all with studious expressions on their faces. Looking, looking, looking. Every onceinawhile one would jot something down. Continue reading
Still face experiments demonstrate the importance of babies’ attachment to their parents. The video below portrays the natural human process of attachment between a baby and mother, and then the effects of non-responsiveness on the part of the mother.
“You were a difficult child,” my mother said to me in one of the last few conversations we had before she died.
“I know,” I replied, and we held hands. Continue reading