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Parenting Is Educating

The U.S. News and World Report – Liza McFadden and Doro Bush Koch

“As millions of children headed back to school earlier this month, educators across the nation prepared their classrooms and lesson plans with high hopes for a successful academic year. While the learning that takes place within those classroom walls is undeniably important, we must remember that it does not represent the entirety of a child’s educational experience. This week, as we celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, we must focus on a critical, and often overlooked, component of K-12 student success: parents. Nationwide, concerns about student achievement are well documented. Mounting data makes us question whether our children are receiving the education they need and deserve. The U.S. spends more per student than other countries on K-12 education, but that spending does not translate into better performance. Only 36 percent of our nation’s fourth graders are proficient in reading, earning the U.S. a ranking of 17 out of 34 counties surveyed by the Program for International Student Assessment.”(more)

Good relationships with parents may benefit children’s health decades later

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Growing up in a well-off home can benefit a child’s physical health even decades later — but a lack of parent-child warmth, or the presence of abuse, may eliminate the health advantage of a privileged background, according to a Baylor University study. “Previous research has associated high socioeconomic status with better childhood nutrition, sleep, neighborhood quality and opportunities for exercise and development of social skills. But good parent-child bonds may be necessary to enforce eating, sleep and activity routines,” said researcher Matthew A. Andersson, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.”(more)

Teaching parents to talk math with their kids

The Boston Globe – Kevin Hartnett

“In 1989, pediatricians at Boston City Hospital started urging parents to read to their kids. That effort, “Reach Out and Read,” is often credited as the start of the early childhood literacy movement. Indeed, reading bedtime stories is now considered as much a part of a parent’s responsibilities as encouraging teeth-brushing. What if we did the same thing with math? Researchers with a group called the DREME Network (which stands for Development and Research in Early Math Education) say it’s time for parents to begin to teach their preschool-age children basic math concepts with the same urgency that they encourage reading.”(more)

Emotionally invested parents give children a leg up in life

Medical X-Press – Mark Wartenberg

“Children with emotionally invested parents are more likely to be successful, a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows. Looking at 27 children aged between four and six, the study examined the quality of the emotional bond to their parents, and their cognitive control including: resisting temptation, their ability to remember things, and whether they are shy or withdrawn. Maximizing children’s chances of success can seem daunting and an impossibly tall order. Future indicators of success seem driven, to a large extent, by factors beyond our immediate control: genes and the environment. This research, however, found a caring and emotionally attentive environment is liable to be a long-term game-changer.”(more)

Schools that teach in two languages foster integration — so how come so many families can’t find programs?

The Hechinger Report – Connor Williams and Catherine Brown

“U.S. Education Secretary John King has proclaimed school integration a key priority. Policymakers have focused on attaining diversity because of the benefits for all students, regardless of their background. School integration has been a critical priority for many waves of education reformers: students in diverse, integrated schools grow up better prepared to flourish in a plural democratic society and economy…So, what to do? Some have wondered if instead of promoting diversity for its own sake, school districts might attract families of diverse backgrounds to enroll in integrated schools by promoting unique educational themes. Might privileged families be willing to enroll their children in integrated schools that promise thematic instruction focused on science, the arts, or technology? Perhaps. But what if we took this thinking a step further and designed and promoted schools that actually required integration for their model to work? Dual immersion programs offer precisely that.”(more)

Bad at maths? Blame it to your parents

The Indian Express – Staff Writer

“If mathematics give you nightmares then stop feeling guilty as parents who excel at mathematics produce children who would also excel in the subject, says a study. The study specifically explored inter-generational transmission — the concept of parental influence on an offspring’s behaviour or psychology — in mathematic capabilities. “Our findings suggest an intuitive sense for numbers has been passed down knowingly or unknowingly from parent to child. Meaning, the math skills of parents tend to ‘rub off’ on their children,” said lead researcher Melissa E. Libertus, Assistant Professor at University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, US.”(more)