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Navigating Your Child’s Education:
A Blog for Parents

Ages 3-K

Upside Down House

Finding New Normal

For an extroverted, enneagram 7 personality like myself, this social distancing and quarantine business feels challenging. I’ve always considered myself a get-outta-the-house mom instead of a stay-at-home mom, but aside from the occasional (and careful) walk outside, we are all a bit confined, aren’t we?

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Springtime Books for Preschoolers

I typically let my kids pick out what books we read at bedtime each evening (I hold veto power over their choices if it's longer than I have the energy for). One of their go-to picks these days is the Little Golden Book classic Home For a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown (author of the classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny). A cute story about a bunny in search of a proper place for himself, this book's first pages accurately sum up how I feel about this time of year:

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Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?

This is a question that crops up in the minds of preschool parents each spring as the next school year is on the horizon. A child’s age is often the initial consideration for kindergarten enrollment (the state of Ohio mandates that a child must be enrolled in school by the age of 6), but there are so many factors to consider as we as parents and educators try to determine true readiness.

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Grades 1-5

A Mustard Seed

"I’m supposed to teach?"

"Take care of my kids? Clean the house?"

"Can we leave?"

"Do we have enough food?"

"They keep arguing!"

"I leave everyday because it’s better for our family: 2 to 3 weeks together at least?"

"But we had plans!"

"My family isn’t all together, do they come home?"

"Do they come over?"

"It can’t be that big a deal could it? Is it?"

Fear. Freak out. Preparedness. Problem solving. Financial stress.

We all handle unexpected circumstances and difficult moments in our own way.

The range of emotions and feelings will vary due to the place you are living in your family right now. Needs are different for all of us and how we accept, interpret and handle this time will look different as well.

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Helping Our Kids Tackle Testing

March not only brings warmer weather, longer days, and the hope of springtime, it also marks a season of tests for many school-aged children. Be it state testing, standardized testing, annual assessments or the like, students are typically evaluated in the major academic disciplines in March and April of each year.

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Think Outside the (Cereal) Bowl: Breakfast Foods that Best Fuel our Kids for School

We’ve heard it since we were kids and likely tell our own children the same: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Yet, in a cereal-dominated breakfast world, it is easy for our kids to fall into a rut of eating the same processed, nutrient depleted (non) foods for breakfast everyday before school. The convenience and popularity of those colorful boxes of cereal are hard to top, yet there is unseen cost to our kids’ bodies that may affect their capacity for focus and learning throughout the school day. Knowing why breakfast is, in fact, the most important meal of the day, and knowing what foods best fuel the body and mind will help us set up our kids for success at the onset of each day.

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Grades 6-8

Understanding Middle School Conflict

Middle school is commonly known as an incredibly challenging time in the lives of young people. This is largely because of the prevalence of interpersonal conflict and an inability to know how to navigate it. Throughout my years as a middle school teacher and administrator, I've encountered more of these types of issues than I can count. One type of interpersonal conflict, bullying, is certainly a major issue in middle school, but in my opinion, true bullying is the least complicated type of middle school interpersonal conflict that occurs. Most conflicts that I have dealt with are incredibly complex, as they involve numerous layers of action, interpretation and assumption, perspective, and communication. It is so important for parents of middle school students to be aware of the complexities of the middle school social structure that often gives way to interpersonal conflict.

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Note to Self: High School Freshmen Reflect on Middle School Experience

I recently asked my freshman English students, “If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your middle school self that you now know?” I challenged them to reflect on this question and write about it, drawing from their own experience to offer advice to current middle schoolers and parents. Their responses were honest and thoughtful.

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Teaching Our Kids to RESIST

Followers of Jesus are called to radical non-conformity to the culture around us. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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Grades 9-12

Learning Online: A Cheat Sheet for High School Students

For students and parents trying to navigate changes in school work and instruction delivery, many of us are experiencing a whole new learning curve. Here are some tips to move us all toward success in distance and online learning...

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Learning as Sanctification: Becoming More Like God Through Education

Back when I taught in a classroom, I was fond of telling my students, "Whenever you learn something that is true that you did not know before, you become more like God."

If God's mind is omniscient and He knows everything about everything, then learning is the process of having our minds formed to be more like His. Even a person who rejects God unwittingly reflects the imago Dei that an unbeliever retains when he learns something true. How does that work and what does it mean for education?

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Cell Phone Screen With Words

Do You Know What I Meme?

Human communication has taken on a whole new flavor of creativity as technology continues to increase and expand. Particularly in the realms of social media and texting, people rely on more than just the written word to express themselves. We now have emoticon, emojis, Bitmoji, filters, and more to add a visual component to our words. For my generation (Gen Z), videos, GIFs and memes are part of our native language. As such, it's a good idea for parents to stay up-to-date on the meaning of GIFs and memes popular among teens.

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