Renascence School Education News - private school

Friday, March 27, 2015

Parents as Chief Advocates

Getting Smart – Nancy Weinstein

“Did you know that in addition to your responsibilities of Chief Caregiver, Chief Cheerleader and Chief Taxi driver, Chief Advocate is high on the list? If you have a child with special needs, you know exactly where I’m going with this. For those who aren’t familiar, you should know that at some point, your child, every child, will need help in a specific class, with a teacher who is not meeting their needs, with a previously undetected learning problem, with bullying. It’s the problem that doesn’t go away in a week, or even a month. It impacts self-esteem and starts to look like depression or anxiety. And you, my fellow parent, are the only one who will understand the depth of the problem. You will be the one to see the nightly struggle with homework, the tears that wait for the comfort of home, the lack of appetite, the lack of sleep. And then your time as Chief Advocate has arrived. I’ve been there, and here are some strategies I believe can help:”(more)

Growth Mindset Parenting

The Huffington Post – Eduardo Briceño

“Many of us want our children to understand that we love them, and to believe that life can be fulfilling. Developing those beliefs will help them prosper. There is another powerful, research-based belief that will help children thrive. It is called a growth mindset. Discovered by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, Ph.D., a growth mindset is the belief that we can develop our abilities, including our intelligence, which is our ability to think. It is distinguished from a fixed mindset, which is the belief that abilities can’t change…The mindset that we adopt leads to very different behaviors, improvement, and achievement…It turns out that a fixed mindset…leads people to see effort as a sign of inability and to feel badly about themselves when needing to expend effort, so they avoid it. But those with a growth mindset see effort as what makes us smart and capable, so they seek it. Second, people with a fixed mindset are most concerned with being judged by others as smart and talented, so they gravitate toward doing things they already know how to do quickly and perfectly. But those with a growth mindset can get bored when they’re doing something they already know how to do, instead preferring to challenge themselves to learn something new, which is necessary for growth and improvement. And when they encounter setbacks or failure, people with a fixed mindset tend to conclude they’re incapable, so to protect their ego, they lose interest and withdraw, while those with a growth mindset understand that learning something new involves struggling and making mistakes, so they persevere…We’ll be more successful in developing a growth mindset in our children if we also work to develop it in ourselves, which is never too late to do. How can we do so?”(more)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

12 Ways Parents Can Help Their Kids Succeed At School

The Huffington Post – Fuel Up to Play 60

“Parents want their children to succeed in life. And for 94 percent of parents polled by the Pew Research Center, prosperity includes going to college. The time spent in grade school becomes the educational foundation that may determine which college she will attend and whether she continues on to higher education at all. We’re going back to school with Fuel Up To Play 60 to bring parents this list of things they can do to foster their children’s focus and learning throughout the day and ultimately build a foundation for their future.”(more)

5 Smart Tips For Children’s Financial Literacy

Investopedia – Steven Richmond

“Parents today have survived their fair share of economic crises: the Great Recession, the dot-com bubble and the various oil shocks during the Reagan and Carter years, just to name a few. Years of experience teaches us the importance of financial literacy, but what about the next generation of Americans who are facing financial independence for the first time? Good parents want the best for the children, which means making sure they grow up knowing how to handle their personal finances properly. Try one of these five smart techniques when you decide to start teaching your children how to handle their money responsibly.”(more)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Early education and care and out-of-school programs vital to children’s lifelong learning

The Bay State Banner – Wayne Ysaguirre

“Preparing our children for a lifetime of learning requires accessibility to high-quality early education and care programs as well as a consistent, qualified workforce. Great educators are the key to improving outcomes for children. We know that, and it starts at birth, not in kindergarten. The existing career pathway for our early educator workforce is unsustainable. With an average salary range of $21,000-$25,000 and a turnover rate of 30 percent in our early learning and out-of-school programs, it becomes increasingly challenging to retain high-quality educators. Too many skilled teachers either leave early education for district K-12 schools that pay higher salaries or leave the field entirely. The state Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC) has long recognized the need for a career ladder to define professional growth in early education and out-of-school time, and its potential to remedy the inadequate compensation of educators in this field. In Massachusetts, there are more than 8,800 early education and care community-based programs employing over 40,000 people, with revenues of $1.5 billion. A meaningful investment in centers providing this elemental foundation for children is long overdue.”(more)

Parental smoking increases risk of future heart disease for kids

The Medical News Today – James McIntosh

“Parents play a prominent role in molding the adult their children become, and new research suggests this is true for health as well as character. A study has found children exposed to their parents’ smoking are at a greater risk of developing heart disease in adulthood than the children of nonsmoking parents. Middle-aged couple smoking. Parents can reduce their children’s risk of heart disease by not smoking in the home and smoking well away from their children. The new study, published in Circulation, adds to the growing evidence demonstrating that parents smoking can have a long-term effect on their children’s cardiovascular health. “To gain more insight on the long-term harms of passive smoke exposure in early life, we undertook the first investigation of whether parental smoking and smoking hygiene in childhood is related to the presence of carotid atherosclerotic plaque in adulthood,” write the authors. For the study, the researchers followed participants in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study – a prospective study conducted across five major cities in Finland, designed to examine the early-life risk factors of cardiovascular disease.”(more)

Here’s One Way to Improve School Lunches

Time – Alice Park

“With so many children getting about half of their daily calories from school meals, it’s critical that school cafeterias provider healthier options. The latest research suggests one way to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables If everyone had a personal chef, we’d all eat better. And if every school had a chef overseeing its recipes and menus, then kids would eat better too, right? That’s the idea behind the latest study published in JAMA Pediatrics. With 32 million children in the U.S. eating school lunches—some of those at schools where pizza is considered a vegetable—there’s a movement to bring healthy food to the school cafeteria. But could a chef really make a difference?.”(more)

How To Make the Most of the Single Best College Tax Break

Time – Kim Clark

“Nearly 2 million Americans pay too much in taxes because of confusion over education benefits. Here’s how to avoid that mistake. Back in January President Obama proposed consolidating many overlapping education tax benefits, a plan that appears long dead. Too bad, since millions of taxpayers make mistakes writing off education expenses on their 1040s and pay hundreds in unnecessary taxes as a result. A 2012 Government Accountability Office report found that education tax breaks were so complicated and poorly understood that 1.5 million families who were eligible for one failed to claim it and overpaid their taxes by more than $450 a year. Another 275,000 families were so confused that they opted for the wrong benefit and overpaid by an average of $284.”(more)

Moving Smarter

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


Although a healthy diet and adequate sleep help prepare a child for a day of learning, experts now believe exercise is critical for academic success.


According to Dr. John Ratey, Harvard University MD and Clinical Psychology Professor, our body, including our brain, is designed to perform most efficiently when we move. We have perfected our hard-wired need to conserve energy and find high calorie foods, but have failed to maintain enough movement in our lives.


We are all culprits. We drive instead of walk; our kids sit in front of the TV or computer instead of playing tag, climbing trees, and digging up buried treasure; and we go the grocery store instead of tending a garden.


Deb Skaret, who holds a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Alberta, and long time student of the brain says there is a strong link between exercise and learning. In addition, she believes attention problems in children can be related to a lack of physical activity.


Dr. Ratey agrees, “Exercise helps us with patience, optimism, focus and motivation. Exercise is like a little bit of Ritalin and a little bit of Prozac. It increases the levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine and allows children to stay more focused, have less disruptive energy, and have less worries.”


He encourages “Time-In”, controlled physical activity on a stationary bike for example, rather than “Time-Out”, sitting quietly. He argues that the physical activity break allows the child time to “recover” and “control” his/her behavior.


According to Ratey, research also suggests a link between obesity and IQ. Obese children, who tend to be relatively physically inactive, have lower IQs than children of normal weight. So logically, a smart child with a weight problem could become smarter if he/she added more movement to his/her daily schedule.


Parent can also help with the process by shut off the TV, restricting video and computer time and encouraging daily activities that require their children to move.


So let’s get moving and get smarter!


Poverty can change kids’ brain chemistry, but educators in Spokane learned how to counteract it

The Seattle Times – Claudia Rowe

“As research mounts underscoring how ineffective school suspensions are for correcting student misbehavior, a parallel truth bears repeating: Some kids are not easy to handle. Often, they do a lot more than curse teachers or talk back, as the new film “Paper Tigers” shows. In it, James Redford (son of Robert) profiles a high school in Walla Walla that was full of kids who’d been kicked out of other programs. They threw chairs. They did drugs. They appeared unreachable. But when school leaders began to understand the role of trauma in students’ behavior, things changed. Brain-changing trauma isn’t limited to living in a war-torn country or watching your family killed. It can come from something as common as poverty. Or divorce. And it has powerful, long-lasting effects. This came to light through research by Robert Anda in the early 1990s. A physician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who was studying cirrhosis of the liver and lifestyle-related cancers, Anda discovered that the vast majority of sufferers — 83 percent — had experienced some form of childhood trauma. He created a catch-all term for them — “Adverse Childhood Experiences,” or ACES.”(more)