There’s a lot of information to consider with your child’s ability to be ready for school and the new social dynamics it brings. Many questions and hesitations may pop in your mind. Is my child ready, or will they forever be laying in their floating carriage while in cute pajamas like Baby Yoda? Well, maybe you’re not thinking about your little padawan that way. You’re probably thinking about their emotional and social interaction skills, and aptitude for developing basic language, math, and general knowledge. Can your child perform basic tasks like using utensils and crayons, or even brush their teeth? How is their overall health, and have you considered their oral health? Did you know dental health may influence your child’s school readiness and academic success?
It's likely that you've heard before that preschoolers need at least 15 minutes of reading time each day. Building vocabulary and fluency, laying the foundation for literacy, instilling a love for reading, and creating a special bond are just some of the benefits of carving out this small amount of time each day between a parent and their preschooler.
Dancing is often considered an activity for a select few, namely those who have a natural ability for creative movement, those who are graceful, those who gravitate towards music and have an innate sense of rhythm. In recent years, youth dance has also been portrayed in a certain way thanks to media exposure such as the popular Lifetime television series "Dance Moms." These platforms cast dance as a dramatic, competitive, even sexualized activity for children and youth, especially girls. Through my experience as a dancer and dance instructor for the last 15 years, I have come to see that these two basic understandings of dance--that it is for a select few and that it is largely dramatic and competitive--are misconceptions worth dispelling.
Books have a way of shaping who we are. As a former second grade teacher, I know first-hand what impact reading can have on a young mind. There are, of course, the essential literacy skills built through reading from exposure to books from the earliest years of a child's life and through elementary school. But of equal value to literacy skills are the ideas presented in children's books, lessons about life, that influence a child and help to shape who they are.
No matter what education or career background we as parents have, it is possible for us to raise our kids as young scientists. We've actually been exposed to the steps of the scientific method from an early age ourselves. By learning to identify this process in our lives, and helping our kids to engage in the scientific method in their own experiences, we can empower and encourage their ability to solve problems and make discoveries.
Ups and downs in school are inevitable, and some subjects and grades might go more smoothly than others for your child. No child has a completely trouble-free school experience, but it’s important to be aware of issues that might have deeper roots and require more intensive intervention.
There are a number of careers spanning multitudes of markets in which the current workforce is aging out and retiring, and there are not enough young, equipped workers to take their place. If more young people do not begin to pursue skilled trades, we are going to see a significant worker shortage in coming years.
One of the great deficiencies of the modern education machine is that it treats learning as a mechanistic exercise in which information is fed to a student’s mind where it is processed, stored, and used as needed, almost as if the student were a computer grinding all the data that it receives from the outside. In this model, the computer itself (i.e. the student) does not really change, it just continues to store and use more information.
With over half of high school students across the U.S. competing in interscholastic sports, it’s safe to say that coaches have a strong influence on our young people. In my own journey as an athlete, parent, and coach, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of coaching. Coaches can have a tremendous impact on their players—both positive and negative. It’s important for parents to carefully consider who is influencing their children when it comes to athletics and coaching.
The landscape of college admissions has changed significantly since 2020. Perhaps the biggest change to college admissions policy has been that many colleges and universities have made standardized tests (the ACT and SAT) optional rather than a requirement. Long hailed as the chief benchmark of college admissions, optional test score submission deeply affects the entire process.
I believe that we have all, at one point in our lives and educational experiences, had a teacher whom we were convinced didn't like us! As students ourselves we likely thought this about a particular teacher or professor, and now we hear it from our own high school-aged children.