The Power of Home Visits to Connect Teachers With Kids and Their Families

KQED News Mind/Shift – Zaidee Stavely

“The teacher home visit is making a comeback in California because it’s proving to be a good way for teachers to build relationships with families. The state now requires schools to make family engagement a priority, so more districts are turning to the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project in Sacramento that has been training teachers for years to visit students and families on their own turf. It turns out the low-tech home visit can radically improve what happens in the classroom. The mechanics of it, though, are deceptively simple.”(more)

Fall in Love with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

The Caswell Messenger – Staff Writer

” With fall in full swing and seasonal festivities quickly approaching, it’s easy for kids to lose focus on their studies with all of the fun distractions the holidays bring. Rather than skipping out on fall and winter traditions, integrate educational lessons within them to give your family the best of both worlds. Use the changing seasons as an opportunity to introduce your kids to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. There are so many seasonal activities you can do to spark an interest in learning by engaging in fascinating experiments and activities outside of the classroom. Here are a few examples:”(more)

Home reading environment is crucial for children’s reading skills

Medical Xpress – Staff Writer

“Children that are seldom read to and whose parents read very little are at a disadvantage when they start school. There is a strong connection between a child’s reading environment at home from the time they are very young and the progress a child makes in being able to read once they start school. This was the finding of a study undertaken in connection with the On Track research project at the Norwegian Reading Centre at the University of Stavanger (UoS). “There are big differences among six-year-olds. While many new first grade pupils can already read on their own, others are not even at the point where they understand that letters represent sounds. We know from the research that it is important that children are well prepared for reading when they start school and will be embarking on formal literacy. This study shows that the parents’ attitudes to reading, the number of children’s books in the home, the age at which parents start reading aloud to children and how often they read to them all determine how well prepared children are to learn to read when starting school”, says Vibeke Bergersen.”(more)

This Simple Goal Will Change Your Child’s Life Forever

Time – Buck Hartzell

” The principle of compounding is central to growing wealth over the long term. Alas, this subject is rarely taught effectively to American students. Perhaps it’s no surprise that many of them, later in their lives, will struggle with debt and an inability to save. Too much of our schools’ curriculums are dedicated to abstract topics that are infinitely less useful than compounding and the notion of opportunity cost. The latter term, defined simply, is what one would give up by choosing an alternative option. The weaknesses of our current system became abundantly clear to me when I saw my eighth grade son doing his algebra homework last year. Algebra is actually a very difficult subject for students to grasp, yet for some reason we place it at the beginning of the sequence of math courses. Unfortunately, the complexity of Algebra often dissuades students from taking additional math classes later in their course work. And those later courses – like statistics and basic finance – are often a lot more practical for the future.”(more)

Countdown to College: What happens when they’re homesick?

The Charlotte Observer – Lee Bierer

“Longing for the comforts of home when everything is new and different isn’t surprising, but the depth of homesickness among students on college campuses appears to be rising. According to Christopher Thurber, a psychologist at Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding school in Exeter, N.H., “about 20 percent of students entering college say they’re bothered by missing home, and about 5 percent have homesickness so severe that it interferes with their daily lives or causes significant symptoms of anxiety or depression.” My niece, a freshman at Elon University, said she finds the transitions – heading home and returning to campus – are the hardest for her. And she has had a bunch this fall. First, there’s the big drop-off in late August. Then, in varying order, there’s Parents’ Weekend and fall break, when family members come to campus and then students head home. And then it seems, as quickly as the leaves turn, it’s suddenly Thanksgiving and there’s another visit home. After that time off, students return to campus for sometimes as little as two weeks before they head home again for Christmas break.”(more)

How to trick your kids into having a healthy Halloween

The Los Angeles Times – Sonali Kohli

“Let’s be realistic. Halloween is happening, and your kid is going to eat candy. It’s important to accept that fact now, so you can be ready. But how can you minimize the damage? Education Matters spoke to registered dietician Melissa Halas-Liang to get her suggestions on how to prepare for and try to mitigate the oncoming sugar rush. Here are her tips, and some of our own.”(more)