Archives for March 2009

Using Your P’s Correctly

Children rarely succeed on their own. They get most of their direction from you, their parent. Sure, teens, in particular, are influenced by other teens. And teachers and other family members play a big role too. But you’re number one!

They learn how to become responsible, how to follow rules, even how to make decisions from you. Follow these seven strategies, and you’re on your way to helping your children be successful at school and in all areas of their lives. [Read more…]

SATs – Avoid Traps and Trust Yourself

Just so you know, that as with any sport, the opposition uses traps and tricks on occasion. Indeed, on some of the harder questions, it would seem that the SAT question writers are out to get you. However, if you have the right attitude, that’s okay. It’s just part of the game.

Here are a few examples from the math test. [Read more…]

How to Take Your SAT Exam

Whether your SAT test preparation consists of working on your own, in a group or class, or one-to-one with a qualified SAT tutor, a good attitude will help you get a higher score.

Of course a positive attitude doesn’t give you more knowledge but it does make taking the test less stressful. Stress makes you too tired to think clearly. Stress can actually make you forget what you know.

Play the SAT game. [Read more…]

Some Smart Kids Get Bad Grades

A concerned Mom was telling me the other day about her daughter whose IQ is very high but whose grades are lousy. I told her that lots of other kids have the same problem and that we do have strategies that work.

Who are the underachievers?

Underachievers are kids who have a lot of potential but don’t live up to that potential in school. Underachievers span all social, economic, and ability levels. Many underachievers have very high IQ’s. Teachers and parents often accuse underachievers of being lazy, of having attitude problems, or of not caring about themselves. Sometimes these kids get into trouble at school and at home. Nobody realizes that underachievement is the issue.

How do I know if my child is an underachiever?

Sometimes it’s easy to tell. [Read more…]

Do Your Kids Watch so Much TV that They’ve Stopped Thinking?

It’s spring break this week and your  kids have nothing to do. They’re glued to the  TV. You’re going to tear out your hair if you hear even one more “Sponge Bob Square Pants” rerun.  They need something creative to do.

If left to themselves, children are creative–often more creative than we are. However, it seems we’ve created an environment for children that doesn’t allow for much creativity.

Lots has been written about the causes: Television, computer games, mind-numbing toys, highly structured free time, the emphasis on skills and knowledge for school testing, and teaching for mandated “No Child Left Behind” tests.

It goes without saying that children need knowledge and skills, but they also need to learn how to think creatively, that is, to create new ideas from scratch. Creativity is, after all, an important life skill.

Even if your child’s teacher is restricted by “teaching for tests,” you can encourage creative thinking at home. So turn off the TV. Turn off the computer games. Suggest activities and games that promote creative thinking.

Try these activities: [Read more…]

Your Child’s School Success: Working Together to Make It Happen

When it comes to your child, you’re the expert. So if you have even the slightest inkling that your son or daughter is struggling in school, remember, he or she doesn’t have to.

The fact is, when children experience learning difficulties, there’s always an underlying reason preventing the “just as bright” child from succeeding in school.

But the key is acting now to find the cause, and learn what you can do to help your child succeed. That’s what this blog is all about: giving you strategies to help your child succeed in school.

We hope you’ll get involved. Look around. And please, comment. Let’s get the conversation started.

Tell us your greatest parenting challenge. Maybe it’s a nightly struggle around homework. Could be he just doesn’t get math. Perhaps she’s very bright but doesn’t work up to her potential.  Let us know in the comment section below.

Funny at Home . . . Not so Funny at School

We often laugh when children’s perceptions are different from ours. Art Linkletter, a well-known radio and TV personality, now in his 90s, hosted the popular “Children Say the Darndest Things.” Laughing at kids was so popular that years later Bill Cosby had Linkletter asking kids questions on his show.

Linkletter and Cosby chatted with one child after another. The humor resulted from wildly different interpretations of words and phrases. From prayers to geography, from metaphors to popular songs, we laughed because the children didn’t get it. It was disjointed.

In the entertainment field, disjointed is funny. In school, disjointed isn’t funny. In the classroom, disjointed means confusion and possible failure. When a child doesn’t get it, he often fails. An effective teacher continuously looks for clues and expressions of disjointedness to use as the basis of re-explaining. He’ll use other words, drawings, or demonstrations so children get it.

Parents can do the same thing at home. [Read more…]

Fun Tips to Help Kids Read: A Dyslexia Treatment too !

Reading struggles are a long term problem. There are many fun exercises that help children focus when reading and serve as  dyslexia treatments, too. Even if your child doesn’t have a reading disability, a lack of focus gets in the way of reading comprehension and recall.

Difficulties with reading jeopardize not simply your child’s grade in language arts but in school in general. It’s hard to get a good grade in social studies if you aren’t reading well. Even math requires reading. Parents, you can help your child focus on reading, and participate in their dyslexia treatment,  with the following tips. [Read more…]

Homework: Help for Parents

Homework has become one of the biggest issues for parents and kids. It brings with it anger, frustration, tears, fears and family disharmony. And it affects the success your child has in school.

Jack, a nine year old, often spends all afternoon and evening doing homework, sometimes until eleven o’clock at night. In addition, he always needs help with it, so his mom and dad got him a homework helper from a tutoring service. [Read more…]

How to Help ADHD Kids

So many children today have a hard time focusing. They can’t stay on task. They’re easily distracted. Learning and school success are at risk. Perhaps he’s hyperactive. Or maybe she’s just “zoning out.” 

Some hyperactive kids can’t control their behavior. They act impulsively. Shawn blurts out answers at school. Brittany makes poor choices without thinking. Some of these kids have ADHD. Others don’t.

But whether your child has ADHD or just can’t focus, these strategies will help parents help their children to be more successful at school, to learn more, and to be more cooperative at home. And a note to teachers: several of these strategies will work in your classroom too. And you can certainly suggest them to parents. [Read more…]