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Exercise caution when posting kids on social media

IOL – Lisa Vaas

“All over the country, proud parents and children are sharing pictures of themselves on their first day at school in their school uniforms either at home, or right outside the school premises. However the Film and Publications Board (FPB) have cautioned parents on the following: * The child’s face is all over the internet on social media, this picture can be used by anyone be it for positive or negative use.” (more)

Embrace Change

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

“If you do not create change, change will create you.” ~ Unknown

Change has always been an inevitable part of life. However, the speed of change and the amount of change a person can expect to see over his/her lifetime has increased substantially in the last 50 years. A recent Innosight study gives us an idea of the magnitude of the shift. In 1958, the average age of a company on the S&P 500 listing was 58 years. Now it is about 18 years. In addition, pundits suggest there are significant technological developments about every two years.

This rapid change can be overwhelming and can quickly leave those who are not actively embracing it behind. As a result, young people need practice adapting to change, so they can adjust quickly and efficiently.

In addition to helping children prepare for life on their own, change also:
• Teaches flexibility
Frequent change makes it easier to adapt to new situations, new environments, and new people. When kids have this type of exposure, it is less likely they will “shut down”          when something unexpectedly shifts.
• Encourages growth
Change forces young people to adapt in ways that are outside of what they have experienced which can help children with personal development.
• Reveals likes and strengths
It is challenging for a child to know what he/she enjoys or what comes easily to him/her unless he/she tries many things. Change is often the only way this exploration occurs.
• Creates opportunities
When the environment or activity is changed, kids can start again without any preconceived expectations.
• Fosters creativity
New environments force children to figure out how to integrate and succeed.
• Cultivates risk-management skills
With exposure, children learn to break change into small pieces so adjustment is easier.

Parents are often the biggest reason kids struggle with change. Many adults are fearful that change will make their kids socially isolated and encourage them to embrace risky or anti-social behaviors. Interestingly, many kids who embrace these undesirable behaviors attend the same high school for all four years and participate in the same activities year after year. These same kids often struggle to adapt when they are finally on their own.

Given how fast technology is changing one has to wonder if conventional wisdom still makes sense. Is it possible that 21st Century kids need a different environment to flourish – stable relationships with their parents and family members and frequent change elsewhere in their lives?

The 529 Plan Change That Could Help Families Save On Education And Taxes

Forbes – Renee Morad

“Beginning in 2018, taxpayers will be able to increase their tax savings when funding their children’s private school educations. According to the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 529 plans, a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs, have recently been expanded to include elementary and secondary school expenses. This means that taxpayers will be able to withdraw up to $10,000 per year tax-free for elementary and high school expenses, such as tuition and books.”(more)

Nurture as important as nature for success

Japan Times – Noah Smith

“The question of nature versus nurture is an important one, but also an incredibly delicate one. How much of the disparities we see in society are fueled by a lack of good education, social influences and role models, and how much are due to natural ability? Given that people in advanced countries spend multiple decades of their life in school, this is an important question.”(more)

Parent Engagement in the Digital Age

Edutopia – Emelina Minero

“In school districts around the country, handwritten notes, calls home, and face-to-face meetings are rapidly ceding ground to new technologies that better meet the needs of parents and schools. According to a 2016 report, there’s been a steep drop in the number of parents who believe that more intimate forms of communication—face-to-face meetings with teachers, for example—are the most effective means to convey important information about students. The same study found a growing acceptance of digital methods.”(more)

Family Engagement Key to School Choice Efforts Succeeding; New Report Finds Promising Signs in 18 Cities

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“Family engagement is key to getting education reform and school choice right, panelists said Tuesday at an event in Washington. “There is so much goodwill around the [education reform] strategies that are being deployed,” but leaders are often charging forward and missing opportunities to engage families and community leaders, said Robin Lake, director of the Center for Reinventing Public Education, an education research center at the University of Washington.”(more)