Renascence School Education News - private school

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pick preschools based on education philosophy

The Shreveport Times – Meaghan Long

“A child’s preschool is a place full of alphabet songs and animal flash cards, but there’s more to choosing the right first school than shapes and colors. It’s one of the first tough decisions parents must make regarding their child’s intellectual and social development. And there are many factors parents must consider when making that decision. For many parents, costs are a primary concern. Michelle Brunson, director for Northwestern State University’s graduate program in early education, is a firm believer cost doesn’t always measure quality. “The most expensive school is not necessarily the best,” Brunson said. When it comes to early education, Brunson is adamant the primary concern should be the child’s social and emotional development. “A child must feel nurtured and accepted and form healthy bonds with caregivers,” she said. A school’s educational philosophy — the curriculum teachers and staff use — should also be a priority for parents. Parents need to find out if the school is following an established curriculum and, if so, which one.”(more)

Learning a Language Early On Is the Best Investment

PR News Wire – Staff Writer

“The best advice for the teen you know is plain and simple: Learning a foreign language is one of the best investments one can make, with short and long term benefits. We are bombarded with miracle solutions to learn a language “in 5 minutes.” However, some straightforward facts and truths about language learning must be acknowledged: – Start way before your college years. You must be dedicated in college to learn a language from scratch, let alone two. And even though studying abroad in college is great, it will never bring the same intensity and emotions compared to doing it between 14 and 17. Middle school and high school years are the best time to learn a foreign language.”(more)

Friday, February 27, 2015

As Part of March “Sing With Your Child Month,” Leading Authority on Early Childhood Music Education Asks What Songs Get Your Family Singing and Dancing Together?

PR Web – Staff Writer

“March is Sing with Your Child Month, a time to focus on the importance of making music with children. This year the campaign…will focus on encouraging families to sing, dance, and move together…According to Kenneth K. Guilmartin, Founder/CEO of Music Together LLC, “The aim is to cultivate a larger conversation about making music together as a family; to create a public shared list of favorite songs; and to inspire all families to make music with their children in March—and all year long. When we sing and make music as a family, we form everlasting bonds and memories, which ultimately allow children to feel secure as they grow.” Research shows the impact of early music education and participating in music can have not only on musical growth, but also on overall development. Recent findings include: music instruction can promote key school readiness skills; music education in early childhood can have a profound impact on developing the areas of the brain integral to reading ability; and participation in music activities is associated with child and adolescent achievement outcomes in math and reading.”(more)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bilingual children may have lower Alzheimer’s risk

South China Morning Post – Liz Heron

“Being raised bilingual is good for you. It can boost your language attainment, enhance overall academic performance and perhaps even protect you against Alzheimer’s disease in later life. That is the good news for Hong Kong from one of the world’s leading experts on the biological foundations of language learning. Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Laura-Ann Petitto shared the latest scientific findings on bilingualism – including her own discoveries – in a lecture to mark the launch of University of Hong Kong’s Science of Learning research centre. Trilingualism and full literacy in two languages is the goal for all students in Hong Kong’s public education system…Such kindergartens are absolutely going in the right direction, says Petitto…Early learning is crucial to success in learning two or more languages.”(more)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In LA, Missing Kindergarten Is A Big Deal


“In kindergarten, kids are learning really important stuff. Basic reading skills. Numbers and math concepts. And to keep from falling behind, one of the major things they need to do is make it to school every day. In Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest school district, kindergarten absence is a big problem, with some students missing 10, 20, 30 days or more. In 2012, district officials say that almost 10,000 students were chronically absent from kindergarten. Last year that number it improved, but only slightly. It’s a problem around the country as well, and research confirms the academic peril chronic absence creates for the youngest students. A 2008 report from the National Center for Children in Poverty found that children who missed more than 10 percent of school in kindergarten were the lowest-achieving group in the first grade.”(more)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Building the brain

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


You may have inherited your mother’s eyes and your father’s nose, but probably not their brains. The brain is a biologic computer. But unlike a laptop that contains chips programmed with exact code, the brain has the ability to customize itself based on experience and exposure.


According to Dr. Lise Elliot with the Chicago School of Medicine, “We know…that an infant’s experience can have permanent effects on the wiring of the brain.” At birth the brain contains the cells necessary to handle trillions of processes. If signals are sent between brains cells, the connections become hard-wired. However, if signals are not sent between cells, the connections are discarded. Most researchers believe the hard-wiring/discarding process is complete at the beginning of puberty, leaving adults with many fewer brain connections than infants.


Learning certain basic skills, such as language and music, becomes much more difficult with age. According to FSU professor Dr. Karen Glendenning in her book Brain, Behavior and Learning, “After birth there are continuing changes in the brain. For example, cell populations in the language area, may decrease by 30 percent between the ages of two months and 18 years…”


These findings create a challenge. We don’t want to pressure-cook our kids, but we do want to expose them to things early so critical brain connections are not lost. One easy way to start the process may be to limit screen time.


According to educational psychologist Dr. Jane Healy, “Too much television — particularly at ages critical for language development and manipulative play — can impinge negatively on young minds.” Even though a tremendous amount of information is available from these sources, the information enters the brain in similar ways and deprives the brain of other critical experiences.


Most experts believe it better to encourage children to build, create, experience, and explore. This not only helps children learn about the world, but also helps build fine motor skills and spatial abilities. One might also think carefully about focusing young children completely on the arts, sports, math, language arts or the like. Instead it makes more sense to encourage children to participate in a combination of things – art, science, music, math, sports, foreign language, public speaking, building…


If we can just step out of our “old”, inflexible brains for a minute and keep ourselves from becoming too rigid, our children have the potential to be a lot smarter than we are.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Brainomics: How Improving Brain Health Impacts the Economy

The Huffington Post – Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D.

“A new study by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth finds that closing the education gap would increase economic growth and reduce economic inequality. It sounds great, but is it really that simple? I think so — I believe the brain is the most significant path to raise the standard of living, not just nationally, but globally…The study suggests several public policy strategies to close socio-economic gaps that affect academic performance, including greater investment in early childhood care and education, criminal justice reform and family-friendly workplaces. However, there is another area crucial to educational achievement and life success: cognitive development and brain health. This area of science is concerned with the health and development of a child’s brain and how that is impacted by his or her external environment…The Washington Center study — correctly — notes the importance of early childhood education in closing achievement gaps. However, new scientific evidence shows there is another window of opportunity for gains: in middle school. Rapid frontal lobe development and pruning during adolescence makes middle school the perfect time to positively impact cognitive brain health.”(more)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The importance of literacy in a child’s development

The Albany Business Review – Dr. Kirk Panneton

“Reading specialists and educators have long known that literacy – the ability to read and write – is tied to everything we do and that connections in social situations and practices are very important in developing literacy skills in children. Today, literacy is evolving into much more than the ability to read a newspaper and the latest bestseller. For many teachers and students, it is also about being intellectually, culturally, and electronically capable. In the workplace, it may mean being proficient in several computer programs, knowing how to research and solve complex problems, or handling multiple projects. From navigating the Internet to making health care-related decisions, literacy is evolving. Regardless of this shifting definition, literacy is essential to developing a strong sense of well-being and citizenship. Children who have developed strong reading skills perform better in school and have a healthier self-image. They become lifelong learners and sought-after employees.”(more)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Learning math early a key to success

The Orange County Register – Fermin Leal

“The earlier students start learning math, the more likely they will attend college and land in high-demand careers. That’s the message from a conference aimed at promoting prekindergarten education in science, technology, engineering and math, a core commonly referred to as STEM. More than 500 educators, researchers and business leaders from local school districts, UC Irvine, Caltech and other universities and companies are gathering for the Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Conference. The event at the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa began Thursday and concludes today. “Early math education has been a critical missing piece of a child’s development,” said event organizer Susan Wood, executive director of the Children’s Center at Caltech. “One of the things we know about young children is that they are a fertile ground for learning.” She said that by the time children start kindergarten, they should know basic concepts of math, including how to count, add and subtract. Children also should understand basic concepts of engineering, including how to assemble structures with building blocks, she said.”(more)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

New Findings About Kids and Money That Your School Can’t Ignore

Time – Dan Kadlec

“For the first time, researchers have directly tied personal finance instruction in high school to better adult behavior. This could change everything. A required personal finance course in high school leads to higher credit scores and fewer missed payments among young adults, new research shows. These are groundbreaking findings likely to alter educators’ thinking in 50 states. Until now, researchers have been unable to show consistent evidence that mandatory financial education improved students’ money management skills. With no proof, states have moved slowly on this front—despite encouragement from the president and federal education officials who see financial education as a critical part of the strategy to avoid another financial crisis.”(more)