Educating Your Child About School Violence

When considering the discussion you should have with your child(ren) regarding school violence, it seems like a daunting and unpleasant task. How do you broach this subject? What are the signs that it is time to have this talk? How can you recognize if your child is being bullied and what can you do to prevent bullying in your child’s school? We may not want to think about this or believe it, but what if your child is the one doing the bullying? All of these questions lead to the same important answers that, as parents, we can’t always rely on children to make the right choices naturally. There have been 31 school shootings ranging from elementary school to college in 2017 and the year isn’t even over. We must step in and do our part to prevent tragic violent events in schools.

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Advantages to Being a College Athlete

If your child is talented enough to play a college sport – the next question may be whether this is the right decision for your child. Balancing academics, a social life, family, and college athletics is demanding. There is no question that this path may not be the right one for every student. However, there are many student athlete benefits that extend way beyond graduation.

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5 Reasons Why Your Child Needs a Dictionary

In this era of technological advancement, our children are being raised in a time and place where books are being shelved for good, printing presses have gone out of business, and our 2-year-olds have the ability to work a cell phone (i.e. mini-computer because let’s be honest these aren’t just phones we carry anymore). By the pre-school years the majority of children have at least one electronic device or tablet. In elementary school, not only do the students all own personal devices of some sort, most of the schools are feeling it necessary to keep up with the technology trend providing one-to-one tech, meaning they have enough computers, iPads, or tablets to cover every student in their school. And finally, by middle school, virtually every student has a cellphone (i.e. mini-computer), tablet, game system, or laptop computer.

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Exploring the World with Science: The Basis of Our Food Chains

Plants are the foundation of our food web. Every living thing depends on them. Plant growth is stimulated by the sun and rainfall. We must understand the importance of plants and how they are of vital importance to our planet – plants clean our air, help prevent erosion, they provide habitats, help keep our environment steady, and they can even provide important medicines. We must protect our earth, and we must teach our kids how and why plants are important early on. Start simple and explain the very basics so our kids grow up learning the importance of plants in our world.

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8 Tips for Navigating the Athletic Recruiting Process

If your child is elite enough to play at the college level, you may be wondering what is the next step. Did you know that the average high school coach contacts fewer than five college coaches? That’s right – It is the athlete’s burden to contact college coaches. Navigating the world of athletic college recruitment can feel overwhelming. Here are 8 tips to help manage the process.

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The Intellectual Benefits of Teaching a Child to Play Chess

When we think of chess, many of us picture old men in the park sitting at tables in the shade playing a game of old. What we don’t necessarily consider is how that game can benefit the daily life of our children. Chess is a strategic skill game that allows our children to develop a multitude of highly sought after skills, can be taught from an early age, and will allow your child to excel both in the classroom and in the real world. Chess opens up a dialogue between young and old, it is a language in and of itself that allows those who can play to find common ground no matter the age or native language of the player. This game is played worldwide amongst avid opponents from across the globe.

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5 Signs That Your Child is Struggling to Read

For many parents, there is nothing quite like snuggling up with your children and a good book and traveling off into an imaginary world of awe and wonder. Reading to our children not only fosters a love of reading, but it has been proven to give children a higher aptitude for learning in general. Sometimes, however, children can develop reading disabilities that rob them of the joy of reading they once had, and if the markers of their struggle to read go unnoticed, the child is at risk of falling far behind. Being able to recognize the signs of reading deficiencies early can make a huge difference by getting your child the help they need. Because early intervention is key to a child’s success in overcoming such difficulties, we have listed for you some of the most common signs of a child’s struggle to read.

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6 Reasons Parents Want Uniforms

Now that the school year has begun in most of the United States, parents are back to the daily battle of what not to wear to school each day. Only these episodes don’t feature a sarcastic Stacey or fashionable Clinton holding a gift card for an all-expenses paid shopping spree. No- these episodes feature crying children (or teenagers), a plea for the coolest new shoes, a search for a translator for the school’s dress code, and parents throwing money down the proverbial drain. And, every year parents all over the country wonder why their local schools don’t switch to uniforms thereby ending the argument as to why your ten year old can’t have those $150 pair of shoes everyone else has or getting a call that your daughter (yes, only your daughter) is out of dress code. So educators and politicians, we are here to tell you- we want uniforms!

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10 Books Every High School Student Should Read Before Graduation

High school is the time when our kids truly begin to test their wings and gain some freedom while still in the safe confines of their parent’s embrace. On the verge of young adulthood with many more freedoms and responsibilities than ever before, this is such a critical period of development, maturity, and decision-making for our teens that we need to set them up for success. As parents, we need to gently direct them, support them, and accept them, regardless of many of the decisions they make. Mistakes made now matter, but hopefully are still correctable with Mom and Dad’s constant love and attention. Soon our children will spread their wings and fly out into a bigger, scarier, and much more competitive world than where we have sheltered them so far. As such, our children need to learn about the past, present, and future, and there is no better way to educate oneself than to read.

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Advocating for Your School-Aged Child

Every parent’s hopes are high as the end of summer approaches and we all start to get our kids ready for school. We imagine them having the greatest year yet – making new friends, having a good teacher, and enjoying every minute of their day. But as the year starts, we realize quickly that school is not very fun for our children. From the moment they walk into kindergarten they are expected to sit down for extended periods of time, eat and go to the restroom at only prescribed times of the day, and have little to no active movement throughout their day. They are sent home with hours of homework, having little to no downtime between school, family responsibilities, and extracurricular activities. No matter if your child is 5 or 15, traditional school curriculums are not made for their bodies or their minds. It has been like this for decades, getting progressively worse as the years go on. But who is going to change that? 

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Exploring the World with Science: A Water Pollution Experiment

The earth is remarkable; the only planet in our solar system to hold life. However, our planet is also changing at an alarmingly fast rate. It is our duty to teach our children how to love and cherish the environment we’ve been gifted. The best way to do this is through education. The best time to do this is when they are young. It is hard to narrow down all the topics that go into protecting our earth. This experiment isn’t designed to impose all the woes of the environmental issues on young minds, but more so they can think critically about the importance of our environment and the world that surrounds us.

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10 Books for Your Middle Schooler to Encourage a Love of Literature

Middle school is a tough time for all children. It is an awkward period of pre-teen adolescence that, let’s face it, has even been given an awkward name: the tween years. Pimples, periods, pot, and trying to fit in with your very broadly developing peers encompasses the three years that as parents we fear most. Unfortunately some of the decisions made during these years can make or break your child when it comes to self-esteem, self-confidence, and the ability to withstand peer pressure.

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Back to Work Basics

As a non-mom, back to school makes me nostalgic for the days when shiny new binders and crisp bright sneakers where the most important part of my summer. Trust me, I was was weird even when I was a kid. You may be wondering why on earth someone without kids is writing a back to school post, but I promise it’ll make sense eventually.

The end of the summer marks new beginnings, without the stress that comes surrounding the actual start of the year with the holiday season. Now years out from being enrolled any kind of actual school, I am still drawn to participate in activities that start their season with the school year. From volunteer activities to refreshing my office style, back to school is the time of year I focus on getting back to work with some basic updates.

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Prepping for Pre-K and Keeping it Minimal

I feel like it was just yesterday that my son was still latched onto me breastfeeding and I researching on my phone looking into all the different schooling options he would have when he finally reached that age. In hindsight, this is comical because it seems like I blinked and then there we were last year sending him off on his very first day of preschool. And now, I have blinked again and here we are about to start his second year of school in a Junior Kindergarten program at a local private school.

I have spent much of the last year working on simplifying, minimizing, and organizing our lives and our home. About a year or so ago, I decided that I had had enough with all the extra stuff or “fluff” as I like to call it. I felt that we were consuming too much, purchasing too much, and holding onto things for no real reason. In an effort to find a bit more peace of mind for my family and to show my son what is truly important and worth valuing in this life, I have worked very hard to clear through the clutter and focus on the things we really need. Figuring out what we really need and what constitutes fluff for our family is an everyday learning process, and with back to school upon us it has given me a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate what is REALLY essential for going into the new school year.

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Back to Busy with a Mom of All Boys

No matter how much I keep hoping these boys will stop growing so fast, each year seems to come and go, flying by faster than the last. As a full-time working mom of three active and energetic boys, the hustle and bustle of getting ready for a new school year has already begun. Between soccer sign-ups, school supply shopping, and a baby on the way, this year is going to be exciting and busier than ever as my oldest enters 2nd grade, my middle child heads to kindergarten, and the youngest begins his adventures into the realm of extracurricular activities… oh yes, not to mention the new addition arriving in February.

Trying to keep track of everyone’s schedule – school and extracurricular activities – while working full-time, making three healthy, organic, and edible meals for five people a day, and getting anywhere on time requires patience, planning, and a lot of preparation. That said, it is always fun and exciting to jump into a new school year watching my boys thrive socially and academically while discovering the joy that comes from learning.

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