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Raising Bilingual Children: Who Should Speak What?

The Huffington Post – Kevin M. Wong

“With more than half of the world able to speak two or more languages, multilingualism is slowly becoming a priority in the United States, with an estimated 20% reportedly bilingual in 2012. In addition to the obvious linguistic and cultural benefits of being multilingual, research shows that there are both cognitive and social benefits as well. To raise bilingual children, parents are recognizing that they need to start early — well before kids set foot in school. Wanting to immerse their children at home during those critical years of language development, parents are starting to ask: should one parent speak one language, while the other speaks another? What should children speak at home in light of the languages that will be taught in school, spoken among peers, seen on TV and heard in the community? This article addresses these questions by highlighting six research-based models that effectively cultivate multilingual speakers at home.”(more)

Teach Kids About Budgeting And Take A Vacation At The Same Time

Forbes – Neale Godfrey

“Now that spring is finally here, it’s that time again to think about shelling out money for a family vacation…With significant spending aimed at making the whole family happy, don’t you think it’s the right time to get the kids involved in the budgeting?…Vacations can be both a rewarding, learning experience, as well as fun for parents and children alike, if you turn the vacation into a family project from start to finish. When children take an active role in planning a vacation, they make an investment in their own adventure. To begin, set some cost and travel parameters, then have your kids go online to come up with some vacation ideas. Set a deadline for them to present their ideas to the whole family at a family meeting. They have to come up with ideas that will suit the whole family, within the budget…No matter how wealthy you are, I suggest that the kids contribute to the family vacation. It doesn’t have to be in actual money; it is just as valuable if they come up ways to economize during the trip. Again, these are important lessons that they can use throughout their lives.”(more)

How (and why) to create emotional safety for our kids

The Washington Post – Lena Aburdene Derhally

“When I became a mother, my career as a psychotherapist took on a different meaning. I find myself reflecting on how impactful the early years are, and what that means to me as a parent with young children. Many of my adult clients come to me because they struggle with relationships, anxiety, depression or difficulty making decisions. They have shame, guilt, unrealistic expectations for themselves and trust issues. Most of this originated in childhood. Bonding with a primary caregiver in the early years is critical for emotional safety and healthy development throughout life. Caregivers need to create an environment for children that is dependable, trustworthy and loving.”(more)

Teacher Home Visits

Education Next – June Kronholz

“The visit to Almard Bishop’s home promised to be a difficult one for his teachers. Almard had been held back in kindergarten because of his behavior, and now that he was a 2nd grader at C. W. Harris Elementary in Washington, D.C., things were no better. Almard had stalked out or been put out of class so often that the teachers hadn’t been able to test his reading and math skills. But when the teachers—the 2nd-grade team-teaching pair and his 1st-grade teacher—settled around the dining table with Almard’s mother, the four of them talked instead about how Almard idolized his older brother, how he loved helping with classroom chores, that he was keenly aware he was older than his classmates, that he liked math, that he loved having the teachers text pictures of him to his mother.”(more)

How Family Background Influences Student Achievement

Education Next – Anna J. Egalite

“The Coleman Report’s conclusions concerning the influences of home and family were at odds with the paradigm of the day. The politically inconvenient conclusion that family background explained more about a child’s achievement than did school resources ran contrary to contemporary priorities, which were focused on improving educational inputs such as school expenditure levels, class size, and teacher quality. Indeed, less than a year before the Coleman Report’s release, President Lyndon Johnson had signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act into law, dedicating federal funds to disadvantaged students through a Title 1 program that still remains the single largest investment in K–12 education, currently reaching approximately 21 million students at an annual cost of about $14.4 billion. So what exactly had Coleman uncovered? Differences among schools in their facilities and staffing “are so little related to achievement levels of students that, with few exceptions, their effect fails to appear even in a survey of this magnitude,” the authors concluded.”(more)

What goes on in eight-year-olds’ heads: at last, a really clear picture

The Guardian – Jonathan Bradshaw

“Although most eight-year-olds in England are happy overall, there are worrying aspects, according to the first ever comparative study of their lives. Until the results of the Children’s Worlds survey of eight-year-olds in 16 countries were published this week, we did not know how they were doing in England. The survey, which I coordinated, was undertaken in a representative sample of schools, and nearly 1,000 children completed online questionnaires, adapted to their cognitive levels. It covered family and home life, friendships, money and possessions, school life, local area, time use, personal wellbeing, views on children’s rights, and overall happiness.”(more)