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5 Powerful Strategies That Help Children Grow Braver And More Confident

Forbes – Kathy Caprino

“In my years as a marriage and family therapist, I worked with many families in trauma, and witnessed first-hand how afraid so many children are – of being alone, of dealing with sad things, of disappointing their families, of not having friends, of being ostracized, abandoned or humiliated, and the list goes on. These deep fears, it turns out, are universal and shared by millions. In addition, these fears can stay with us (and grow larger and more unwieldy) throughout our adult lives unless we’re guided, trained and encouraged to look at our fears and address them with more bravery, courage, and awareness…I was thrilled to catch up this week with Avril McDonald, a former teacher and an expert in helping children develop bravery in the face of challenge…I think that what we are missing is bringing it [bravery] to the forefront of early education by innovating and creating great resources for parents and teachers to be able to help young children build emotional intelligence, resilience and to love, accept and understand themselves and others…Here are the most powerful tips I can offer:”(more)

Online schooling wave of the future or failed experiment?

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


“You have probably heard the claim, “If you choose to educate your child online, he/she will be a social misfit.” To analyze this assertion, it is important to understand online education.

There are two basic types of online education: real-time and self-paced. In real-time online courses, students attend class on a computer. Classes are held at specified times and students participate in discussions during class periods. Each real-time online class is slightly different, because students participate in the instruction.

Self-paced courses are prepared in advance. Students progress through the material at their own pace. There is no real-time class interaction. Proficiency is sometimes tested with quizzes or tests that are integrated into the learning material. In this case, students must pass a quiz/test before they move on to future lessons. In other cases, students are required to go to proctored test centers to take exams.

In general, self-paced courses work well for material that requires little discussion. Real-time classes are more effective when most of the student learning occurs during classroom dialog.

Online education is appealing, because there is less wasted time. There is no need to drive to a physical location, worry about disruptions that occur in physical classrooms, or waste time dressing for school. In addition, students and parents have the ability to work school around other things in their lives.

Self-paced instruction is more cost effective than traditional classroom teaching, because lectures are prepared in advance and are used many times. In addition, this type of course delivery can be of higher quality than traditional classroom instruction, because the best teachers can present the content and there are no interruptions.

Some students find self-paced online instruction challenging, because they can procrastinate to the point that it is nearly impossible to learn the material. As a result, there is a reasonable argument that self-paced instruction is only appropriate for highly motivated and disciplined university and high school students.

Also, it is possible for students to succeed in an online environment without learning how to interact with others. As a result, it is imperative that online students have other avenues for developing social, leadership, and team skills.

Online education is not for everyone, but is an attractive alternative for motivated, self-disciplined students who have a strong social network and opportunities to build leadership skills and learn how to work on a team outside of school.


Top 10 things middle school students need to thrive, and how parents can help – Phyllis L. Fagell

“There is no manual to develop “soft” skills like perseverance and resilience. Just as I did, most kids learn through trial and error. As parents, our quest to protect our children can be at odds with their personal growth. It can feel counter-intuitive, but we mainly need to take a step back. I have come to believe that certain social emotional skills are particularly useful as kids navigate middle school and beyond. Here are my top 10 skills, and ways parents can help without getting in the way.”(more)

You need them: Parents’ affection, support vital for development

Hindustan Times – Staff Writer

“Research from the University of Notre Dame, USA, has found that parents’ affection and support in childhood can have lasting effects on development well into adulthood…These evolved needs include six different components — soothing, naturalistic perinatal experiences, responsiveness to a baby’s needs including sensitivity to the signals of the baby before the baby cries, constant physical presence with plenty of affectionate touch, extensive breastfeeding, playful interactions with caregivers and friends, and a community of affectionate, mindful caregivers — which lead to better child development.”(more)

Learning Soft Skills In Childhood Can Prevent Harder Problems Later

NPR – Lynne Shallcross

“Academic learning is usually in the spotlight at school, but teaching elementary-age students “soft” skills like self-control and social skills might help in keeping at-risk kids out of criminal trouble in the future, a study finds. Duke University researchers looked at a program called Fast Track, which was started in the early 1990s for children who were identified by their teachers and parents to be at high risk for developing aggressive behavioral problems…researchers found that about a third of the impact on future crime outcomes was due to the social and self-regulation skills the students learned from ages 6 to 11. The academic skills that were taught as part of Fast Track turned out to have less of an impact on crime and delinquency rates than soft skills…”(more)

Why parents should talk a lot to their young kids — and choose their words carefully

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“Parent talk in the first three years of life is the power propelling our brains to develop to their optimum potentials…Why is the effect of parent talk so profound? Because its results are not only predictive of academic success in general, but on reaching potentials in math, spatial reasoning, and literacy, the ability to self-regulate behavior, reaction to stress, and even perseverance…Self-regulation allows us to solve problems constructively, rather than spontaneously reacting in ways that would exacerbate them. Without self-regulation, intelligence is an almost meaningless gift. A central factor in a child’s ultimate ability to control behavioral impulses and emotional responses is parent-caregiver language, including how words are spoken. Emerging research tells us that this actually begins before a baby understands language, per se…Interestingly, bilinguality may be an enhancing factor.”(more)