Test Anxiety: How parents can help a child who doesn’t “test well”

How to help a child who doesn't test wellSchool has just begun! And, along with many exciting and happy events, such as reuniting with friends and a full roster of fun activities and sports, school also brings homework, essays, and – worst of all – tests.

For many students, taking tests can bring on feelings of anxiety, apprehension and even panic. If your student is one who doesn’t “test well” there are some strategies that parents can employ to put their child at ease and raise confidence.

In advance of the test

  • Give your student adequate time to prepare. Don’t start the day before the test!
  • Pace the

Help! My child doesn’t like to read

Help! My child doesn't like to readIn theory, it’s easy to celebrate National Read a Book Day on September 6. Simply find a book that you think your child will enjoy, find a nice, quiet and relaxing spot and encourage him to read for a while.

But, what if your child doesn’t like to read?

There are many reasons children may avoid reading. According to author Amy Mascott in the recent piece “What to Do When Your Child Hates Reading” for PBS, “Reluctant readers are often struggling readers, so creating safe, comfortable environments where fluent reading is modeled and where children are set up …

Failure, mastery and resiliency: Allowing kids to fail (some) helps them succeed in the long run

How allowing kids to failure helps them succeed in the long runFor a parent, watching a child struggle is difficult. Sitting idly by while they fail can feel downright impossible. No matter how tempting it may be to swoop in to rescue your child in times of distress, experts agree that this behavior is actually damaging to children.

According to psychologist Michael Ungar, head of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University, “The point of parenting should be to grow a child who is capable of taking on adult tasks.”

Easier said than done, think many parents. And, worry can often drive parents to take control. But, these good intentions are destined to …

What every parent must know about reading proficiency: Has your child been left behind?

What every parent must know about reading proficiency: Has your child been left behind?The importance of achieving reading proficiency by the end of third grade is well established among education professionals. And, the goal is by no means arbitrary. According to current research, if “graduating” third graders don’t develop the necessary reading skills, they can quickly fall behind not only in reading, but in other subject areas.

Given the high stakes, it would seem that this goal would be the #1 priority for most schools. Yet, only 35% of starting fourth graders across the country are proficient in reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Is your child one of them? …

How school anxiety impacts teens (and how parents can help)

Teen anxiety and how parents can helpBack to school is an exciting time for high school students! The season reunites teens with best friends and favorite teachers, as well as means a return to highly anticipated dances and fun-filled sporting events.

Of course, there is also plenty of frenzied studying, late nights writing endless essays, and double shot Starbucks espressos. If your student is high school senior applying to college, add college applications and scholarship to the mix.

The combination can lead to anxiety… lots of it.

“Given the array of changes and uncertainties facing a normal teenager, anxiety often hums along like background noise. For …

Why a 4-day school week may be right for your student

Is a 4-day school week right for your studentIs a 4-day school week right for your student?

The 4-day school week concept was originally intended as cost-savings measure for cash strapped schools. But, a funny thing happened as schools nationwide began to implement the program. They found that a 4-day school week actually can provide significant academic and behavioral benefits to students, too!  

Approximately 560 districts in 25 states have one or more schools on a 4-day schedule. And, by lengthening the school day, it is possible to provide the same amount of quality instruction in four days.

The move is not without challenges. For parents who …

Why multitasking is ineffective for teens (and how to get yours to stop!)

Why multi tasking is harmful for teens“But Moooommmmmm, of course I can listen to music, watch TV, and text my friends while I “study” for my math test!” Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. Research from Common Sense found that more than half of teens surveyed admitted to watching television while they do their homework. And, 60 percent say they regularly text while they study. In today’s hyper-connected world, a barrage of stimuli at all times has begun to feel normal to many kids and teens.

But, is multi-tasking all it’s cracked up to be?

In a word… no. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking significantly interferes with …

The Great Homework Debate and How to Head Off Homework Battles

The pros and cons of homeworkWith the school year almost underway, many students are dreading the piles of homework that are sure to follow. And, with good reason.

While research has shown that homework does offer some benefits, especially for middle and high school students, there are risks to assigning too much. Too much homework can negatively impact kids by increasing stress levels, leaving less time for sleep and relaxation, and decreasing the amount of time available for family, friends, and activities.

Homework is so ingrained in the fabric of our concept of school that many parents, and educators, have ignored or minimized the …