Renascence School Education News - private school

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

An International Look at the Single-Parent Family

Education Next – Ludger Woessmann

“When Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised the issue of family structure half a century ago, his concern was the increase in black families headed by women. Since then, the share of children raised in single-parent families in the United States has grown across racial and ethnic groups and with it evidence regarding the impact of family structure on outcomes for children. Recent studies have documented a sizable achievement gap between children who live with a single parent and their peers growing up with two parents. These patterns are cause for concern, as educational achievement is a key driver of economic prosperity for both individuals and society as a whole. But how does the U.S. situation compare to that of other countries around the world? This essay draws on data from the 2000 and 2012 Program for International Student Assessment studies to compare the prevalence of single-parent families and how family structure relates to children’s educational achievement across countries. The 2012 data confirm that the U.S. has nearly the highest incidence of single-parent families among developed countries. And the educational achievement gap between children raised in single-parent and two-parent families, although present in virtually all countries, is particularly pronounced in the U.S.”(more)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Family Breakdown and Poverty

Education Next – Robert P. George and Yuval Levin

“As a general rule, assistant secretaries in the Labor Department do not produce lasting historical documents. The so-called Moynihan Report, produced by Assistant Secretary Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the winter of 1965 and published under the title “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” is surely the only exception to that rule. But it is quite an exception. The Moynihan Report gained notice and notoriety almost immediately. Its statistical analysis was cited, and its call to action was repeated, by President Lyndon Johnson within a few months of its publication—again, an uncommon fate for a Labor Department report. But its analysis was just as quickly resisted and disputed in the government and in the academy. Moynihan was accused of arguing that low-income black families were simply causing their own problems and of trying to undermine the civil rights movement. The social psychologist William Ryan actually coined the now-common phrase “blaming the victim” (which he used as a title for a 1971 book) specifically to describe the Moynihan Report. Of course, Moynihan did no such thing. To the extent that he attributed blame at all, it was to the long and ugly legacy of slavery and to the persistence of racism in American life. Both, he argued, had worked to undermine the standing of black men, and thereby their roles in their own families, and to deform the structure of family life in the black community.”(more)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Doctors prescribe reading as part of well-child visits

HTR News – Phillip Bock

“A child’s next visit to the doctor may include more than a checkup, as pediatricians at one Manitowoc County clinic are now prescribing reading — and even providing the books…The program, called Reach Out and Read, is a nationwide effort that promotes early literacy in pediatric exam rooms by giving books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading together as a family.”(more)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Feeling stressed? Involve your kids!

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


The economy is weak and well paying jobs are scarce. Technology has changed the workplace and there is constant pressure to learn new things. In most cases, both parents have to work to meet financial obligations. This requirement means that most parents have to balance intense employment demands with childrearing responsibilities. As a result, it is not surprising that stress among parents is an epidemic and that there are record levels of depression, anxiety, heart disease, and diabetes.


Unfortunately, it is not just the health of the adult that has been impacted by the stress. Parental stress impacts kids. According to Dr. Christine Carter, a University of California Berkeley professor and author, after love and affection, the second most reliable predictor of a child’s well being is the ability of a parent to manage his/her own stress.


High stress has led some parents to adopt unhealthy parenting approaches. One of the most detrimental approaches is helicopter parenting.


Helicopter parents micromanage the lives of their children. Among other things, they ask teachers to change grades, talk to coaches when their child sits on the bench, write papers and conduct science experiments on their child’s behalf, apologize for poor behavior, ask for homework extensions for their child, and make excuses when their child is absent.


Even though most helicopter parents have good intentions, their parenting style can create long-term issues for children. Some of the negative consequences are:


Low self-confidence – Most children of helicopter parents are nervous about making decisions on their own, because they have not had the opportunity to develop proficiency in this area.


Poor coping skills – If a parent is always available to handle or prevent problems, children never learn how to handle disappointment and failure. As a result, the children of helicopter parents are often poorly equipped to deal with the regular stresses of life.


Sense of entitlement – Children who have had their lives adjusted by their parents become accustomed to always having their way. The world does not revolve around anyone, so these children often have difficulty adjusting to workplace expectations.


Inadequate life skills – Parents who always handle household tasks like preparing meals and cleaning bathrooms, after children are capable of handling the tasks, prevent their children from mastering these necessary life skills.


So when you are feeling overwhelmed, ask your kids to do more, not less. It will make you feel less stressed and prepare your children for adult life.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Expose kids to science and technology

The North Shore News – Kathy Lynn

” Science is fun according to almost three quarters of Canadian youth. Youth today also recognize that studying science will offer them a range of different career options. Let’s face it, in this day and age of technological changes science is going to be increasingly important on the job scene. Spotlight on Science Learning: Shaping Tomorrow’s Workforce, a new research report released recently by Let’s Talk Science, and made possible by Amgen Canada, looks at just this. When it comes to thinking about their futures, interests are extremely important, with 86 per cent of youth saying that their interests drive decisions about education and career aspirations. What’s more telling is that youth are motivated by their values and want jobs that use higher order skills like making a useful contribution to society (84 per cent), making decisions (75 per cent) and solving problems (70 per cent) – the exact skills that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning fosters. So, why aren’t kids lining up at the door to be involved in STEM careers?.”(more)

Young People Must Know Their Own History

The Huffington Post – Martin J. Blank

“Do our young people know about our own nation’s history, particularly how our society has responded to marginalized groups? This question has been coming up consistently for me in recent months. It emerged again as I watched the new film Selma, and wondered how much our students know about the shameful incidents at the Edmund Pettus Bridge that are at the center of the film — incidents that too many would still prefer to ignore. Understanding one’s own personal history has been consistently recognized as important in young people’s learning and development. Students are often asked to write a story about their own family’s history or about a particular individual in their family who may have contributed any particular way.”(more)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Parents hold the key to children who are on the money

The Guardian – Rohan Boyle

“Shopping has never been so easy. The ubiquity of smart phones and tablets, and the boom in online retailing, has ramped up pressure on everyone to consume. As children are particularly vulnerable to such influences, parents and carers face the challenge of ensuring they impart the right knowledge and experience to help them avoid the biggest pitfalls. The Money Advice Service, a UK government-backed initiative, urges parents not to underestimate the effect their own good (and bad) money habits have on their children. In 2013, it published a report by two Cambridge academics (pdf) who concluded that adult money habits are set by the age of seven.”(more)

Stable childhood may lead to healthy adult heart

Reuters – Kathryn Doyle

“(Reuters Health) – In Finland, kids who have a “stable, healthy” childhood grow up to have better heart health as adults. In a long-term study of more than 1,000 men and women, those who had a higher socioeconomic status, positive emotional factors, better parental health behaviors, fewer stressful events and better social adjustment from age three to 18 had more ‘ideal cardiovascular heath’ 27 years later, well into adulthood.”(more)

Grieving In The Classroom


“Deborah Oster Pannell’s husband died when her son, Josiah, was six years old. That week, Pannell visited Josiah’s school and, with his teacher and guidance counselor, explained to his first-grade class what had happened. “I’ll never forget the three of us sitting up there — and all these little shining faces looking up at us — talking about how Josiah lost his dad and he might be sad for a while,” Pannell says. Josiah, who is now 11 years old, has a few painful memories of the visit. “That day they were all just blatantly explaining what had just happened to me,” he says. “It was really uncomfortable.” But Josiah also believes the visit helped make his classroom a healthy, safe space for his grieving.”(more)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Early caregiving may affect child’s academic, social success

Fox News – Melinda Carstensen

“Individuals who experience sensitive caregiving during the first three years of life may see lasting effects on their relationships and academic achievement, research published Thursday in the journal Child Development suggests. The question of whether caregivers’ behavior can impact these aspects of their children’s lives spans even before Sigmud Freud’s psychological study of parent-child relationships in the 1800s. However, research has yet to analyze this potential association in adulthood, said lead study author Lee Raby, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware.”(more)