Tagged as: education

Top 10 Books for Parent-Child Book Clubs with Tweens and Teens

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As the author of a book about mother-daughter book clubs, and as a parent who often read books with my daughter at home, I cannot speak highly enough about the transformative power of literature. My favorite part of sharing books with my daughter is having a discussion that begins with some aspect of the plot or the characters, and then watching it shift seamlessly to a discussion about something similar that is going on in her own life. Whether during our book club meetings or in private historically these were conversations that might otherwise have never arisen. In those magical moments, the awkwardness and resistance that often prevent kids from talking directly to their parents about things that really matter just melted away thanks to the distance a “fictional” story presented. Read more…

How to Diminish Darwinian Pecking Orders by Modeling Social Inclusion for Kids


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Do you remember being a little kid in your early years of school, sitting on the floor in a circle with your legs crossed? Maybe your teacher was reading a story or maybe you were singing a song and shaking maracas and tambourines. Sometimes a child would arrive late — late to school in the morning, or perhaps just returning from the nurse’s office or the bathroom. For some reason that child was not there when the circle formed, and as that child approaches — let’s call her Katie — the teacher says something.

“Ok everyone, scooch back a bit to make room in the circle for Katie.” Read more…


“Is My Child Gifted?” Sending Up a Flare from Lake Wobegon

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It’s been one of those weeks. I write to you with half a soul. The other half shriveled up and died while I was meeting with yet another client who could not stop talking about how gifted her child is. We once lived in a time when such conversations were in poor taste. These are not those times. The voice inside my head was screaming please, for the love of God, shut up. Her boasting was getting in the way of discussing other critical issues, like her child’s report card that included multiple comments regarding backtalk to teachers and bullying other kids. Read more…

Going Offline: 10 Fabulous Books to Read With Your Kids This Summer

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In today’s world of ubiquitous personal and mobile screens, family time is becoming harder and harder to come by, and is often framed or fractured by children’s (and parents’) prioritization of digital socializing over the in-person relationships right there inside the home. Family book clubs are educational and are a great way to encourage reading, enhance parent-child bonding and provide enjoyable experiences for everyone offline. They can also serve as a very helpful tool for parents because sharing children’s and YA literature allows parents a side door into tricky conversations with their children about some of the challenging issues they face while growing up, such as cyberbullying or navigating early romantic relationships. Read more…

An Educational Consultant’s View on Admissions & Learning Disabilities

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JS: Why do families seek out educational consultants?

LD: Every child deserves the most ideal academic and social environment in which to develop, learn and grow into adulthood. Finding the right school for a child is one of life’s most important decisions emotionally and financially. Families need help in navigating their many educational opportunities, a process that can be fun and rewarding, but for some families also challenging, overwhelming, frustrating, and stressful.

In most cases it is also quite time consuming, so having a consultant to guide parents (and students) and help them stay organized and punctual within the admissions process can make everything go more smoothly and relieve anxiety. Family harmony during multiple school applications is a common positive outcome of hiring an educational consultant! Parents seek an educational consultant for a number of other important reasons, as well. Read more…

GIVEAWAY for Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear

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Once upon a time, bullying took place on playgrounds, on school buses, and in hallways. At the end of the day, both the bullies and the bullied went home. There is no such “home” anymore—at least in terms of a safe retreat—because social media bullies can attack their victims online at any hour of the day. Bullies today seem to have so much more power than when I was a girl. My generation’s bullying was akin to BB guns, but the Internet is more like an AK-47. Cyberbullies who squeeze the trigger feel very powerful, and they are often quite disconnected from the consequences of their actions. And of course not all bullying is cyberbullying, which gets the most media attention. Kids peck at each other like baby chicks do, and if you’ve never personally witnessed that, then you might think it’s not so bad, but chicks will peck another chick to death. Read more…

Eight Favorite Books Starring Interesting, Exciting, Daring, Adventurous Girls!

Google is full of girl-empowering book lists. Favorite female protagonists from the classics, like Pippi Longstocking, to more recent heroines, like Katniss Everdeen, abound on these lists, but I wanted to make my own after reading so many children and YA books to curate for recommendations to mother-daughter book clubs. Here are eight of my favorites, and there’s no better way to raise interesting, exciting, daring and adventurous daughters! Read more…

Why Boys Are Failing in an Educational System Stacked Against Them

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang that we should teach our children well and feed them of our dreams, but for millions of parents of sons, dreams are only that, and boys are falling behind educationally at an alarming rate in this country. Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, Michael Gurian, author of The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and in Life, and many other authors and educational experts proclaim that we have a crisis in the education of boys in this country. The media attention to this topic has been extensive in recent years, yet I do not see the systemic changes that are needed. Read more…


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