Archives for August 2010

Community College or Four-year University: Which is better?

Choosing a college is a big decision, and sometimes families don’t agree.

Maybe Dad thinks it’s best if their son starts out close to home at a two-year college, but Mom thinks their son should go away to school.

Often, as parents, we come to these conclusions because of what we did. If Dad, who started at a two-year school, is successful, he might believe a two-year community college is the obvious answer.


Every successful adult has a story, but most successful adults would have been successful even if the story had been different. [Read more…]

Dr. Linda Answers Your Questions | Not Reading in 2nd Grade?

Dr. Linda's School Success Q & ADear Dr. Linda,

My daughter is in second grade and is still not reading. My husband and I are very concerned. My mother in law is a retired teacher. She keeps telling us to relax and that she will read because everyone reads at a different time of their life. Her teacher wants to test her to see if there are other issues that might be causing the problem. I agree with my mother-in-law, but suppose she finishes second grade and still can’t read. I also agree with her teacher because I want to know what’s wrong and if I can do something to help her.  Mom of Non-reader

Dear Mom of Non-Reader,

Your daughter’s difficulty with reading is very frustrating for you and your daughter. Be assured that your mother-in-law is right. Every child reads when they are ready to read. However, some children have more difficulty than others and need a little more help to learn to read. Therefore, the teacher is also right.

You need to learn what is causing the problem and then address it. You may discover that it’s just developmental delay and there are no issues causing the problem. Your mother-in-law will be right, and that’ll be great.

But if there is something that you can be helping her with now, it’s good to start right away. Talk to the teacher and the specialist who will be doing the testing. Look into the tests that will be given. Continue to be a supportive and informed parent with an open mind and you’ll see, your child will read.

Best wishes to your and your daughter,
Dr. Linda

Be sure to leave your school success question for me in the comment box below. I’ll be publishing Q & A every Friday.

Stressed out Kids: Activities can Hurt School Success

Daniel wasn’t doing well in school, and he was very busy. Every week, in addition to school, he had drum lessons, tennis lessons, chess club, swimming meets, religious instruction, and karate.

Not surprisingly, he was up to all hours of the night finishing his homework. Daniel’s Mom worried because Daniel kept having  meltdowns and she didn’t know why.

Daniel wasn’t suffering from low confidence. He was suffering from one of the “Terrible Toos,” having too much to do.

Now that school is starting, it’s a good time to plan ahead for outside activities. You may not know exactly what will come up but you’ll have a good idea. It’s much easier to schedule fewer outside activities right in the beginning than to wait until your child is involved and then discover that she needs to drop a couple of them.

Keep in mind that school is your child’s most important activity. If your child is involved in too many outside activities, [Read more…]

School Success Requires Organization

A 3-hole punch is one of the most important items to buy for your six-year old, your 12-year old or even your child going off to college.

Your child is going to have piles and piles of papers. These papers need to be organized. they need to be hole punched and filed in 3-hole binders. Some are necessary for the next test and some are notices about next week’s cupcake sale . . . or last week’s sale, oops!

Every night or at least once a week, go through the papers with your elementary-school child, tossing the unnecessary sheets into the paper recycling bin and hole punching the others. Encourage older children to follow this plan. It could even be on their to-do list that’s on the fridge. [Read more…]