Renascence School Education News - private school

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Smartphones making children borderline autistic, warns expert

The Telegraph – Javier Espinoza

” Children struggle to read emotions and are less empathetic than a generation ago because they spend too much time using tablets and smartphones, a leading psychiatrist has warned. Iain McGilchrist said children as young as five were less able to read facial expressions because of too much interaction with technology. He added that he had evidence that more pupils were displaying borderline “autistic” behaviour. Dr McGilchrist, a former Oxford literary scholar who retrained in medicine, said he had heard of increasing numbers of teachers who had to explain to their pupils how to make sense of human faces. However, experts have said children’s lack of ability to read emotions may be down to cultural or language barriers and not just technology. Mr McGilchrist said he’d heard from teachers who said they now have to explain to their pupils how to make sense of the human face more than a few years ago. Mr McGilchrist said he has been contacted by teachers of five to seven year olds who have estimated that roughly a third of their pupils find it difficult to keep attention, read faces and show empathy.”(more)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Child Mental Health Affects World ‘Happiness’ Ratings

Education Week – Sarah D. Sparks

“Education researchers and policymakers spend a lot of time debating the best way to measure success. Is it good grades, top test scores, high school and college graduation, civic-oriented character? How about whether students are, you know, happy? The 2015 World Happiness Report is out today, and as usual in recent international benchmarks, the United States is fine, if not exactly leading the pack. It ranked 15th out of 158 countries, above Brazil and Luxemborg but below Mexico and Finland. (It’s always Finland.) American happiness levels have fallen since the group’s last calculation in 2005-2007…The report calls for more school and family support for children’s social-emotional development…”Every parent wants their child to be happy at school and to learn how to become a happy adult. Yet many schools do not see this as a primary objective of their institution,” the authors wrote. “There is no conflict between these objectives. In fact, the evidence is clear—if children are happier, that is also good for their intellectual development.””(more)

Free Range Parenting: The Key Is Balance

The Huffington Post – Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed.

“When it comes to free range parenting, the key is balance. Yes, it is important for your child to test himself against his environment. However, that environment needs to be both age-appropriate and safe. Children also need supervision and they may venture out further if they can turn back and know that there is a significant caretaker nearby…Creative play is both important and beneficial in child development. By knowing what stage your child is in, you can affect that stage through age-appropriate stimulation…throughout my own research, I’ve learned that bonding is the most significant requirement for a happy, healthy child. If you bond well with your child, you can lower stress and anxiety, support security, and help your child reach his full capacity…At the end of the day, extreme parenting is out of balance and therefore can cause emotional, intellectual, security, and safety problems. Moreover, it is important to remember that children are children, and even though we want to teach them maturity by allowing them to test themselves against their environment, we have to take into account their stage of brain development, including their understanding of danger. Parents are entitled to parent, and must parent wisely.”(more)

7 Things to Do Before Reading (and Any Other) Homework

Scholastic – Allison McDonald

“Creating a homework-friendly home is a great way to sidestep some of the big obstacles parents and children face with homework. Try these 7 tips to get started:”(more)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

10 Strategies to Help Children Define Success for Themselves

The Huffington Post – Smart Parents

“Today, we live in world where we can make a living out of just about anything. We can pursue our passion, serve the world and make money at the same time. I strongly believe that youth can start as early as possible in playing and exploring their passions. They can take part in various activities they enjoy, take a variety of courses to figure out which ones they like, talk to mentors, spend time with someone they admire, join causes they support, or even create an organization. Such activities can help them find their purpose in learning and guide their future journey in education…There are a million ways to be successful, but each of us needs to find our own…The parents that I have seen who help their children define success for themselves usually do the following:”(more)

Kids, Smart Phones, and Social Media: 6 Rules for Success and Safety

The Huffington Post – Smart Parents Series

“As a former high school administrator I know all too well the dangers of social media and adolescents. I have mediated plenty of fights, verbal confrontations, and school disruptions due to conversations conducted via social media. When my own children entered middle school I vowed that they would not become members of the social media society…I did relent and allow them to have electronic devices…At this time in their lives teens and pre-teens want to fit in with their peers. Social media allows them to join in the conversations their friends are having and feel connected to the group. If they are not familiar with what is happening with their peer group, they will tend to feel like an outcast or an undesirable. Also, children have to learn responsibility. Parents cannot do everything for their children nor can we shield them from everything…I give them freedom but it is supervised freedom…Here are a few of the rules that I have established for electronic device and social media usage that have worked for me.”(more)

Earth Day

Activity Village – Staff Writer

“Earth Day, which was established in 1970 in the US, is celebrated on 22nd April each year. It is a day to think about our planet and what we can do to keep it special; to think about saving water and energy, reducing pollution, recycling, protecting our animals, trees and plants, and generally getting kids interested in protecting their environment. Here are some quick ideas for celebrating Earth Day with your children:”(more)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Parents of Successful Kids Have These 7 Things in Common

Entrepreneur – Drake Baer

“Anybody who has kids — or hopes to — wants them to stay out of trouble, do well in school, and go on to do awesome things in the professional world. While there isn’t a set recipe for raising successful children, psychology research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success. They are: .”(more)

Schools And Parents Disagree Over Serving Breakfast In Classrooms

The Huffington Post – Christine Armario

“The number of breakfasts served in the nation’s schools has doubled in the last two decades, a surge driven largely by a change in how districts deliver the food. Instead of providing low-income students free or reduced-price meals in the cafeteria, they’re increasingly serving all children in the classroom. Food policy advocates say the change increases equity, however, it’s fueled a backlash from parents and teachers. They contend that it takes up class time that should be devoted to learning and wastes food by serving it to kids who don’t want or need it. Lilian Ramos, a mother of two elementary school children in a working-class Los Angeles neighborhood, said she takes offense at the district’s assumption that she hasn’t fed her children: She serves them a traditional Mexican breakfast each day.”(more)

Monday, April 20, 2015

13 Money Management Lessons for Kids

The Huffington Post – Christ Mettler

“Research shows that America’s youth has a deep lack of understanding when it comes to finances and how to properly manage money. These disturbing statistics have generated a national movement to incorporate financial literacy into our education system and encourage parents to teach money management lessons at home. Since only 17 states require a course in personal finance to graduate high school, it is imperative that young Americans learn financial literacy at home. Teaching kids how to appropriately manage their finances is essential so they have the necessary tools to become financially responsible adults. Below are 13 tips for parents that will help them teach their kids about healthy money management.”(more)