Be Above the Fray: Have you had this conversation yet?

February 27, 2015

What is the warning most parents give their children when they hand them a cellphone? According to Thomas Dodson, founder of the nonprofit, Above the Fray, it goes something like this: Don’t do anything stupid and don’t go over the data plan. Dodson, a father of two girls, ages 8 and 10, first became aware of the disconnect between the expectations for “good behavior” and the actual oversight and communication parents provide, when a friend came to him about sixteen months ago. His friend was doing tutoring work and said, “I got to tell you things are just crazy with kids online. Body images, bullying. It’s just insane.” Dodson knew a lot about the power of social media. He made… Read More

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Take a Hot Chocolate Break

February 20, 2015

It’s cold out. And all of us who are not posting photos of a late February escape to the some warm environs, and Mars is looking pretty good right now, will agree. That’s why today we’re going to talk about the benefits of a nice warm mug of hot chocolate. I’m not throwing in the towel on education and science. No, in fact, I’m embracing it and adding a dash of whipped cream on top. Chocolate, as a 2004 Finnish study suggested, has benefits that start even before your children are old enough to beg for a box of Swiss Miss Marshmallow Madness. It starts in the womb. Researchers at the University of Helsinki asked pregnant women to rate their… Read More

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Is there an App for that? Women and the Presidency

February 13, 2015

Could you identify William Henry Harrison out of a lineup of John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, and Franklin Pierce? To be fair, I pulled these presidents from a posting on US News and World Report highlighting the 10 worst presidents, and this particular question is not one of the many my children have been fielding in the app, Presidents vs. Aliens. But it’s not far off. Presidents vs. Aliens is a 4.5 star app in the Mindprint Collection, reviews of apps, workbooks, games and learning strategies focused on how the material meets the cognitive needs or strengths of children. These are no iTunes reviews, helpful as those are. These address concepts that speak to the individual nature of how children learn…. Read More

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Mrs. Frizzle Doesn’t Work Here: Make a Sensible Plan for Summer

February 6, 2015

The time to underestimate your own potential is now, my fellow parents. It’s February, yes, and I hear the groundhog saw his shadow, but summer will be here before you know it. At least the week of camp you really hope to send your kid to will be filled up or canceled before you know it. Some may adhere to a laissez faire approach to June through August, and I’m all for less hustle and more restoration of balance for the body, mind, and academic load. But I have learned two things over the course of nine years of parenting. The first is that days off from school are not days off from meeting the curiosity of children. They don’t… Read More

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Do they shed few tears with those timed math quizzes? Here’s help.

January 30, 2015

Never The First to Finish: Why Pace Matters January 30, 2015 By Guest Author:  Sarah Vander Schaaff: Yes–I’m a guest author, but not a guest on my own blog folks. This post originally appeared on the Getting Smart website this week and I’m very happy to share it here. The post is part of a series of blogs written by parents called, “Smart Parents.” I can only hope to aspire to such a category. Sarah Vander Schaaff Remember how it felt to be halfway through a math quiz and a classmate gets up and turns it in to the teacher? Maybe that other student rushed, or maybe he or she just happened to be super speedy. Either way, I always came… Read More

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