Category - Education

1
Nurturing Creativity in Our Children: More Mess, More Time
2
Standardized Testing: a Primer
3
The Creative Thinker: Is Your Child One of Them?
4
Bookends: the Kids Who Struggle in a Classroom Environment
5
Am I Supposed to Check My Kids’ Homework?
6
The Thing About Box Tops for Education
7
Why We Need to Read
8
Why I Won’t Homeschool My Kids
9
How About Homeschooling? Part Two
10
How About Homeschooling? Part One

Nurturing Creativity in Our Children: More Mess, More Time

  Creativity:  putting things together in novel ways, or seeing the world, or a given problem, with fresh eyes. (ahaparenting.com) “Oh, my, he’s such a mess!!” Grandma could barely get the words out through her laughter.  Her loving observation of my older son at age three was spot on.  There he was, sitting at our kitchen table working on crafts:  stuff was piled everywhere, stuck together randomly with glue from a dripping bottle.  His clothes were streaked with food (oddly, even now, breakfast is on his person before he’s even had any), his face mustachioed with lunch. The perfect picture of a…

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Standardized Testing: a Primer

March Madness!!!! I never realized how zany a month March is.  I mean, take a look: ~Will March arrive like a lamb or a lion? Wait.  No one really cares that much about that anymore, do they? ~NCAA basketball, the ultimate in cager mania.  Go Skyhawks!!! (Fort Lewis College, NCAA II tourney, in case you b-ball enthusiasts were curious.) Wait.  They lost.  Darn.  Well, there’s always next year… ~The beginning of daylight savings time!  More sunlight after dinner! Wait.  Actually, who likes “spring ahead?” I was so tired I accidentally made decaf the morning after.  Not. Good. Anyway, what seems…

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The Creative Thinker: Is Your Child One of Them?

Legos (and Grandma’s sugar cookies) are like crack for kids…at least they are in our house.  Once any of us, dad and mom included, starts snapping together those technicolor pieces, time and reality disappear.  But for my older son, Legos are a way of life.  He eats, sleeps and breathes Lego creations, and he is truly Pavlovian when he watches a Lego master build ships and shopping malls on YouTube.  He is well on his way with logging his own 10,000 hours to attain Lego mastery.  His goal is to be an architect but his dream?  To work for Lego….

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Bookends: the Kids Who Struggle in a Classroom Environment

Imagine a single bookshelf.  Filling the entire length are books, books of varying thickness, topic and cover design.  They are different from one another but all are still books.  At each end of the shelf is a thin, metal bookend.  Present, but easily overlooked.  They are, of course, not books, but despite taking up very little room on the bookshelf, they still occupy the same space. Now think of a classroom of, say, 25 kids.  Most of those kids function pretty well in that setting.  Each child has his own strengths and weaknesses, interests and personality, but these students can…

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Am I Supposed to Check My Kids’ Homework?

  I don’t understand homework in elementary school.  My past, and likely yours, too, had many hours devoted to homework…but I never did any, had any, until middle school.  And I settled myself after school at the kitchen table with paper and pencil because teachers told us do this at home and turn it in tomorrow, and I did (yes, I was one of those kids…).  But it’s a different ballgame today for families: homework comes home for our elementary schoolers, and they really need some supervision, unlike (mostly) the older kids.  It can be a time-consuming process, especially when…

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The Thing About Box Tops for Education

It’s reflexive.  I see that little rectangle of cardboard on a box and automatically rip it off.  I stick the little chips in a Ziploc-brand plastic bag (one of the participating products, I might add), and hand them over to one of my kids to take to school.  I think very little about the process, which has somehow been ingrained in my psyche.  I’m like a rat in a Skinner box. But Psyche woke up.  A few days ago, a call went out on our school’s Facebook page to turn in our Box Tops for Education (or, as the logo…

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Why We Need to Read

It’s summer.  The local library has reading programs for toddlers, high schoolers and everyone in between.  We parents know our kids should practice their reading skills for  cognitive development, vocabulary expansion, and fluency .  But the people who, believe it or not, study, the benefits of reading have much more to say about why not just our kids, but also adults, should indulge in a good read.  Real Simple published an article in 2014 about this very topic, just in time for those summer reading programs.  Some of the details may surprise you: 1)  Ahhh, Oohhmm.  Reading for just six minutes a day…

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Why I Won’t Homeschool My Kids

A year ago, I wrote about whether or not to homeschool my older son and his brother and sister (How About Homeschooling? Part One and How About Homeschooling? Part Two).  In those posts, I described my concerns, thoughts and feelings and was pleased to receive some wonderful feedback from readers.  To all of you who shared your perspectives and positive experiences with educating your children at home, I thank you for providing food for thought.   But I knew my husband and I were going to need more information before making a decision…and that meant sending our kids back to public school…

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How About Homeschooling? Part Two

{Ok.  The first draft of “Part Two” was a mess.  The junk has been corralled and put out to pasture!  Below is the honed, endlessly-edited version.} To get this post organized I had to make a handwritten list of all the points I wanted to include.  (The definition of gravitas in our electronic world!)  Previously on May 13 (How About Homeschooling, Part One),  I wrote how a friend (an educator) and I talked the topic of homeschooling and our sugar-fueled discussion caused me to wonder about the possibility of homeschooling my son.  As I pondered, many thoughts and concerns came to…

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How About Homeschooling? Part One

{I have too many jumbled thoughts and the mental noise is deafening.  To clarify, this is not a researched, fact-filled piece, it is simply my attempt to coherently organize my thoughts and concerns, in two parts, on virtual paper.  Who knew almond croissants and coffee would fuel the blogging fire?} Sometimes the inspiration for blog posts takes me by surprise.  Recently a friend of mine and I (over the aforementioned treats) had an engaging discussion on the topic of homeschooling, an education alternative I never seriously considered for my children.   I attended public school from Kindergarten through twelfth grade….

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