Good parenting includes involvement in your child's schoolwork and homework. Get to know teachers. Encourage your kids to talk about school, what they're studying, what they find interesting. Read more parenting strategies.

Your Kids Succeed in School when You Succeed

Mom, feeling special helps you succeed.  Not only that, when you feel special your kids feel special.  Feeling special will  help them succeed in school!

So time for you to start feeling special yourself.

Sit in the most comfortable chair in your house. Be sure everything is quiet. Close your eyes. Take a deep breadth.

Visualize being at a fashionable spa surrounded by gardens. Listen to the splashing water from the fountains of mineral water. Experience the whirlpool, exercise in the exercise rooms, and calmly sit on the wooden benches in the sauna. [Read more…]

Work-at-Home Moms Need a Mother’s Helper

One of the hardest decisions women have to make when they become moms is whether they go back to work and leave their children with sitters, stay home and become a full time mom, or become a work at home mom. When my children were babies, long ago, most of my fellow teachers quit teaching when they started their families.

A few of them, the more daring, went back to work and hired babysitters at home or in the sitter’s home. The lucky ones who had grandparents around left their little ones with grandma and grandpa. The first day care centers were just emerging and the concept of au pairs was on the horizon. Both were quite radical ideas at that time.

I decided to be a work at home mom. I would tutor children from my own home and write children’s books in my spare time while my little ones napped or sat quietly next to me and played. Their napping and playing would be the secret to my success. Was I delirious?  [Read more…]

Does Multi-tasking Interfere with School Success?

“What did you say? I was just texting my friend. Oops, sorry, that’s my phone. It must be my mother to see if I got here okay. So, which book did you want me to take out of my backpack?”

Jen, a fifteen-year old, was listening to music, too. As she got settled. I asked Jen if this kind of multi-tasking goes on all day. She confirmed my suspicions that multi-tasking goes on while she does her homework, including all the social interactions on her computer.

I’d bet your teens are doing this kind of multi-tasking too.

Life on this “fast track” doesn’t leave Jen or your kids enough brain cells for homework. [Read more…]

Obsessed with Getting an A

“I have a 98.7 average, and I want to go to an Ivy League college. My mom and dad both graduated from Ivy League schools and so did my brother.” Leslie, age 16, was staying up until two in the morning studying in hopes she’d follow in her family’s footsteps.

Naturally we all want our kids to do well in school. We want them to succeed. However, some kids are driven. They become fixated on getting nothing lower than an A.

In itself, getting all A’s isn’t a problem as long as it doesn’t create emotional problems. However, if you see signs that your child’s natural ambition for excellence is becoming problematic, you need to step in. [Read more…]

Too Stressed for School Success?

Read what Lori, a 13-year-old, said to me. Are we listening to our kids or just asking about tests, grades, and is their homework done?

“All the teachers care about is if I did my homework. They don’t even ask me about my life. My dad lost his job and my mom has cancer. Homework is the last thing on my mind.” Lori is stressed and it’s not about school.

Everyone has personal problems sometimes. Some are serious like Lori’s, others not so serious. Sometimes minor problems are blown out of proportion and appear to be more important than they are, impacting on more important things such as schoolwork.  Big or small, we need to pay attention to how our children think about their lives and what’s worrying them. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]