Education – Who's in charge here?

Over the past several months, I have written several articles on kids in school, mainly because of the troubles I’ve been having with the Taz – a bright kid who has a hard time not being a distraction in class or staying focused on the lessons he is being taught. Mark Alton, a teacher at... Continue Reading →

What The Tortilla Curtain taught me

You had to have been living in a cave to have missed the local hot topic of the week. A Santa Rosa Mom went before the Santa Rosa City school board to plead her case as to why the book, The Tortilla Curtain, by TC Boyle, needed to be removed from the required reading list. .... In the end, the school board voted unanimously to keep the book on the required reading list, and left the option that students may read a different book if they choose not to read this one. But this event brings two very clear points to light... (More...)

Raising the Ambitious Child

Ambition. It’s what the goal of the week is for my son, instructed by his teacher at yesterday’s conference. Really, it’s the goal for the whole year. Ambition to do his work neatly and with care. Ambition to pay attention during class. Ambition to show he is there to learn by staying near the front of the class anytime the teacher has something to show the class to give them more insight into what they are learning about. This week, ambition is the focus as we enter the second half of the year, eventually saying goodbye to 3rd grade as he enters the higher grades at a different school. It’s ambition to change the negative habits of yesterday and create positive habits for tomorrow. (more...)

Kindergarten Big Kid

Her clothes had been laid out the night before, and she brushed me aside, determined to get ready by herself. A turquoise top to go over her new cropped pants. Some brand new sneakers, a stark color of white that would probably be closer to gray by the end of the week. A new lunch box that matched her brand new backpack. She pushed me out of the room so that I wouldn’t interfere. (And what went in her lunch? Read more...)

Parents, the First Line of Defense

Teachers have one of the hardest jobs in the world. As a parent, I am handling the issues of my two children, and there are times when I am so frustrated I want to throw my hands up in the air. I couldn't imagine the frustrations of a teacher who has a classroom full of children that they are trying to teach when they have students, like my own son, who are easily distracted, and who easily distract others. On top of that, the limitations that the state is imposing on schools are making the classroom a much harder place to maintain a proper learning environment. A teacher's job is not easy at all! (Read more...)

Overscheduling and Activity Burnout

The beginning of the school year can be an exciting time. Dressed in brand new clothes and carrying new backpacks filled with sharpened pencils and clean binders of white, school-lined paper, your kids get to see friends they haven’t seen for 3 months and sit in classrooms with a new teacher, breaking up their day in ways they haven’t had to in months. But it can also bring dread to kids who have already endured a very busy summer of camps, summer school, and workshops, only to have an even busier schedule with school, sports, and music, among other things.

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