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

The growth of language/social skills may start with parents’ gaze

The Seattle Times – John Higgins

“Somewhere around 10 months of age, babies begin watching their parents’ eyes, following the direction of their gaze so that they can look at the same things. It goes like this: Baby looks into mother’s eyes, mother looks at the kitty cat, so baby follows her gaze until they’re both looking at the kitty cat together. That’s long been considered an essential skill for later social and intellectual development — and it’s one of the things doctors check for when diagnosing autism. But it has been unclear how the ability is linked to everything else unfolding in a young child’s brain. Now researchers at the University of Washington are beginning to connect the dots between gaze-following at 10 months of age and skills that emerge later such as language and the ability to see the world from someone else’s perspective.”(more)

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)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Advice for raising bilingual kids

The Latin Post – Jeanne Kim

“The list of benefits bilingualism brings isn’t getting shorter any time soon. Cognitively bilingual people are better able to switch between tasks, have increased problem solving capabilities, and can learn a third language more easily. For working adults, bilingualism can open more doors with jobs, and for the elderly can possibly delay dementia, including Alzheimer’s. But raising kids to speak a second language is tough, even when parents bring a heritage language into the family home. For me, growing up in English-language dominated Hong Kong, my parents had to actively help me learn their native Korean. Later, when we moved to Seoul, the challenge became helping me balance using English with friends and at school (where I spent a good portion of my time) with speaking Korean at home and in public spaces. Whatever your circumstances, here are a few tips on helping your children grow up bilingual, based on expert advice and personal experience.”(more)

Friday, January 23, 2015

The best way to support your child’s development? Let them lead the way

The Globe and Mail – Sara Smeaton

“The notion that we need to trust our kids and the process of growth and development is relevant long after our children are infants. We need to stay attuned to our kids so we can nurture the skills they are ready to focus on. Children will let us know when they are ready to learn something new because they will begin practising it all the time. It’s up to us to notice…The patience and openness needed to do this can be in conflict with our culture, which emphasizes and rewards pushing kids to excel earlier and faster…The best way we can help our children learn the right skill at the right time is by trusting that they know what they are ready for and supporting their efforts. Here are some guidelines (adapted from Active for Life’s Skills Builder tool) to help you support your child in creating a foundation she can keep building on. Being active will improve your child’s health, happiness and self-esteem. It will reduce the risk of injuries, stress, anxiety and depression. The key is to remember that the most important things cannot be rushed.”(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.


Monday, January 19, 2015

How to Talk to Your Kids About Martin Luther King Any Day of the Year

Time – Carey Wallace

“If he hadn’t been assassinated in Memphis in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. might have lived to be 86 this year. And despite the victories of the movement King led, the issues of justice and peace he fought for are still with us. Apart from watching the film Selma—which as Tina Fey joked “is about the American civil rights movement that totally worked and now everything’s fine”—what are some concrete ways to talk with kids about King and his legacy, not just on Martin Luther King Day, but in ongoing conversations?.”(more)

Food for Thought: How Pizza Impacts Kids’ Health

The Med Page Today – Molly Walker

“Pizza serves up the building blocks of obesity, and kids are always ready for another slice. For example kids — be they primary school students or teens — increased in their intake of saturated fat by 3 g and 5 g and sodium by 134 mg and 484 mg, respectively, on days when they ate pizza, reported Lisa M. Powell, PhD, professor, health policy and administration at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at University of Illinois in Chicago, and colleagues. Specifically, pizza from a fast-food restaurant was associated with a 323 kcal increase in total daily energy intake for adolescents (P<0.05) compared to pizza from the school cafeteria, according to a new study published online in the February issue of Pediatrics. Days when pizza was consumed as a snack resulted in a 202 higher kcal and 365 higher kcal increase in total calorie intake for children and adolescents, respectively.”(more)

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)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How Not to Raise a Generation of Quitters

The Huffington Post – Rebecca Jackson

“In the United States, at least 36% of school-aged children will not attempt a difficult or strenuous task. Furthermore, parents report that these children will quit tasks that are challenging “most or all of the time.” In countries with more rigorous standards than those currently imposed by the United States, parents’ report that children are far less likely to quit…How can we stop our children from quitting when things get hard? How can we expect them to comply with a school assignment if they don’t understand it? The answer, within the Empowerment Parenting model, is to praise our children for their hard work and effort…Perhaps the finest way we can help them to become lifelong learners is to convince them that we value their persistence and trying hard, regardless of the short-term outcome…Researchers and clinicians have noticed a single type of praise that is almost magical in its positive, lifelong effects on children. Praise for trying something new.”(more)