Parenting and Learning Issues

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Each child learns differently. Here we offer resources on learning styles and the classroom models that support them, expert advice on how to improve learning, and tips on parental involvement.
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A commonly cited statistic suggests that as many as 20% of high school dropouts are gifted students. Does this statistic surprise you? On one side of the coin, you might think that gifted students would be more likely to excel in school than traditional students. On the other side of the coin, it makes sense that gifted students might drop out of school if they are not properly challenged. If you are the parent, guardian, or teacher of a gifted student then it is your duty to make sure they are pushed hard enough to meet their maximum potential.

Myths and Misconceptions

The statistic quoted earlier could be interpreted in different ways. Some might assume that gifted students will excel no matter what kind of schooling they receive while others might be able to see that gifted students are often bored in traditional classrooms which leads to a higher dropout rate. Before getting into the details regarding how to properly challenge a gifted student, it is important to address some common myths and misconceptions about gifted students.

  1. Gifted students will do fine in normal classrooms. According to a study conducted by the Fordham Institute, over 50% of teachers have not received any professional development in regards to teaching gifted students. Furthermore, nearly 75% of those same teachers admitted that the brightest students in their classrooms are often bored or under-challenged in school. These statistics highlight the sad truth that, unfortunately, many teachers simply are not equipped to deal with
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Every year thousands of American school children compete in school spelling bees. Kids in grades three to eight compete to spell increasingly challenging words in a tradition that is nearly as old as the U.S. education system itself. School spelling bee winners typically go on to regional spelling bee, which, in turn, funnel winners to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, held each spring in Washington, DC. Top spellers can earn tens of thousands of dollars in prizes and scholarship money.

Being a spelling bee champ takes more than luck. And, while children who are avid readers and who show skills in writing and reading comprehension usually do well, the most successful competitive spellers have identified some “tricks of the trade” that have helped them achieve the top prize in spelling.


Look at Other Languages

Top spellers study with a purpose. English is a unique language because many English words originated in other languages. The most successful spellers focus their study efforts on learning important foreign language root words and spelling conventions. Here are some of the languages that have most influenced English as well as spelling tips and examples from each language:



Latin has been the most influential language on English. Words related to science and medicine are often based on Latin words. To help spell Latin words, remember a few simple rules. First, the u sound, as in ooze or school, is almost always spelled with a u, and not two o’s, as in the word bugle.  Second, the letter

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What is co-teaching?


Co-teaching is an inclusion education model in which students with special education needs are provided the opportunity to learn in a mainstream classroom with the additional support of a special education teacher who co-teaches with the general education teacher. This model has proven successful in many school districts for several reasons.





Benefits for students with special education requirements


First of all, the co-teaching model ensures that students with special needs have access to the general education curriculum. By law students with disabilities must be provided access to learning opportunities that do not restrict their ability to progress in a subject or grade-level. In a co-taught class, special education students have the opportunity to move from modified assignments to typical assignments as they develop skills and confidence. As a result, co-taught special education students are generally more likely to meet grade-level standards.


While they have access to the mainstream curriculum, co-taught students also continue to receive specialized instruction. Special education teachers within the mainstream classroom can coach students individually, or in small groups, providing them the additional coaching and guidance necessary for them to complete activities and assignments.


Differentiated instruction


In addition to in-class support for mainstream assignments, co-taught students also have the opportunity to grow within the curriculum through differentiated instruction. Since there are two teachers in the class, the same material can be taught in two or more different ways. The special education teacher can anticipate student needs and, in planning lessons with the mainstream teacher, prepare
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Life Beyond High School:  The Innovative Frontier


Crafting a Plan Beyond High School

As high school students prepare for life beyond their public or private schools, it is critical that they have a plan in place for their future.  While many students are encouraged to pursue more of an academic route following their graduation, there are other more suitable options available to help them select a more suitable path.  Around the country, more programs are offered to provide students choices about their career paths which include but are not limited to apprenticeships, internships, vocational trade schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges.

Having a plan for life after high school is crucial for students prior to reaching their senior year.  Helping students hone in on their unique interests and skillsets are all components they need when recognizing and defining future goals. Most importantly, they need to be able to articulate their goals.  Many school systems look at several factors as they attempt to direct students towards being ready to pursue either the workforce or further their education. 

  • What are the student’s grades like?
  • Do they have strong community or family support? 
  • What are their academic strengths or weaknesses? 
  • Are they able to communicate their decisions and thoughts to others effectively?
  • What are their genuine interests?

Vocational Schools

Vocational schools specialize in offering very specific skillset options for students while also ensuring completion towards certification and a high school diploma.  There is no need for students to spend part of their day in their zoned school and the

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There has been a substantial decline in the number of children who read for pleasure in the last few years. In fact, according to the annual Kids and Family Report published by Scholastic, in just the last four years, the number of kids that read for fun has dropped by nearly 10%. Today, barely more than half of children in the United States report liking to read for enjoyment. A full 37% of children like to read “a little,” while 12% report not liking reading at all.

When it comes to reading, kids can come up with a million excuses as to why they don’t like it.  It’s boring. There isn’t enough time. It isn’t fun. There’s already too much reading in school. 

Thankfully, there is an art to promoting reading. Some methods, like nagging, definitely do not work. Yet other methods, such as modeling reading behaviors to your child, will pay dividends in the short and long term.


What NOT To Do

It can be frustrating trying to get your child to read, and in those moments, it is easy to rely on unsuccessful methods for encouraging reading. Sometimes the first inclination is to nag your child into submission, or perhaps bribe them to read by offering them a reward for doing so. Unfortunately, these methods often do more harm than good. Nagging can easily wear on your child’s nerves and lead him or her to resent the fact that they are being forced to read. And while rewarding your

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Recent Articles
How to Make Sure Your Gifted Student is Properly Challenged
How to Make Sure Your Gifted Student is Properly Challenged
Gifted students often fail to thrive in traditional academic environments because they are not being challenged. In this article you will learn how to make sure your gifted student gets the quality education he or she deserves.
Secrets of Spelling Bee Champs
An overview of the top tips and strategies used by winners of regional and national spelling bees.
Co-teaching Offers New Opportunities for Students with Special Needs
Although there are some drawbacks, co-teaching is an effective way to help special education students succeed in mainstream classrooms.
Parenting and Learning Issues

Improving Learning

A comprehensive look at the latest trends, expert advice and recent studies into improving student learning. Explore the latest studies into links between student performance, sleep and music. See why schools are opting for later start times and year round schedules.

Parental Involvement from K-12

Learn how direct involvement in your child’s education can impact school performance. Get expert advice on how to get involved, learn why and when you need to talk to a teacher and ways to make changes on campus.


An overview of bullying in schools, laws to protect students, and the impact on education. This section provides great tips on protecting your child from being bullied or becoming a bully. Learn about the latest anti-bullying laws and see how cyber-bullying effects your child’s school performance.

Types of Learning

What type of learner is your child? Be in the know about different types of learning and which classrooms are best suited for each type. What is project-based learning? Cooperative Learning? Would your child benefit from a blended learning experience? Explore these teaching techniques and learn how they could improve your child’s performance.

Kindergarten and Elementary Issues

Weigh the pros and cons of preschool, full day kindergarten and other issues affecting our youngest learners. Learn what can be done to help your child prepare to enter school, boost confidence, and encourage reading at the grade school level.

High School Issues

Learn more about issues specific to high school students. Get an overview of high school graduation rates, college readiness, career choice and social issues impacting teenagers in public schools.

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