Parenting and Learning Issues

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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Updated March 05, 2018 |
How Does Standardized Testing Affect Teaching Quality?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative has changed the course of education in the United States, particularly with its emphasis on standardized testing. But how does standardized testing affect teaching quality? Keep reading to find out.

Introduced in the early 2000s, the Common Core State Standards Initiative is designed to ensure that students across the country receive a similar quality of education. The initiative set specific standards for what students should know at the end of each grade with the goal of making sure that every student has an equal opportunity to attend college after high school.

Since its introduction, the Common Core State Standards Initiative has encountered a great deal of controversy. In some ways, it may benefit students to have a more structured education, regardless where they go to school. In other ways, however, the standards don’t always work for every school or every student. One of the biggest problems about the initiative, however, is its emphasis on standardized testing.

As one of the major tenants of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, standardized testing has a significant impact on the nation’s educational system. Keep reading to learn more about how standardized testing affects teachers and teaching quality.

What is the Deal with Standardized Testing?

According to the Common Core website, the Common Core State Standards Initiative is, “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematical and English language arts/literacy” that were created to ensure that “all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life”.

Having standards designed to increase the quality of education in the United States is a good thing – there are no arguments that quality of education is not important. The problem

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Published September 27, 2017 |
Tips for Easing Test Anxiety in Public School Students
Even the smartest of students can sometimes perform poorly on tests when they become anxious. Keep reading to learn how to ease test anxiety in public school students.

If your student attends public school, you are undoubtedly familiar with standardized testing. Standardized testing is designed to determine the effectiveness of a school’s curriculum and teaching staff as well as the degree to which students understand core concepts.

Many schools engage in standardized testing once a year or more in grades 3 through 8, focusing particularly on subjects like math, science, and language arts. Though these tests are partially designed to measure the effectiveness of a school program, they are also used to determine funding for public schools – this puts a lot of pressure on schools to ensure that their students perform well.

With so much riding on these tests, it is no wonder that many students develop test anxiety. Anxiety over testing can turn even the smartest, most intelligent student into a F student. But what is text anxiety and how do you deal with it? Keep reading to find out.

What is Test Anxiety?

According to the American Test Anxiety Association, test anxiety is a psychological condition in which students experience extreme distress before, during, and/or after a test or exam. This level of stress makes it difficult for the student to do their best work – it even causes some students to freeze up entirely and to forget everything they’ve learned. As many as 20% of school children have severe test anxiety and another 18% have a more moderate form of the condition. Understanding what test anxiety is and how it affects students is important for both

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Published September 27, 2017 |
The Top 10 Study Tips for High School Students Preparing for College
Are you preparing to make the transition from high school to college? Many things are going to change for you in the coming years, so prepare for them academically by learning strong study skills now that you can apply during your college years.

Preparing for college can be nerve-wracking for a high school student, even if you’ve already been accepted by a school. During that final year of high school, it may be difficult to concentrate on academics, but you want to show your college that you aren’t slacking off just because you’ve already been accepted. It is always important to do your best.

As you prepare for college, not only should you be keeping up with your school work, but you should take some time to evaluate your study habits to see if you are properly prepared for college. In this article, you’ll receive the top ten study tips to get you ready for the transition into college.

How Much Studying Do College Students Do?

According to a national study, the average full-time college student spends about 15 hours per week studying. Of course, the number of hours a student spends studying doesn’t necessarily correlate with their level of academic success. For example, students who studied an average of 20 hours per week or more were not always fully prepared for class, according to the results of a campus-wide student engagement survey. The amount of time students spend studying may also depend on their major and their class load. For example, senior engineering students reported 19 hours of study per week while students in the social sciences and business studied an average of 5 hours less.

What is the takeaway here? While spending more time studying isn’t necessarily a guarantee of academic success, improving

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Updated September 19, 2017 |
Gap Year: Points to Consider and How to Do It Right
Though many students move straight into college after high school, there is some benefit to taking a "gap year". Keep reading to learn what a gap year is and how it might benefit you.

Every year, millions of high school students graduate and move on to attend college or university. So many students follow this path that it has almost become an expectation for high schoolers to move immediately on to college after graduation. Of those millions upon millions of high school graduates, however, there are some who don’t follow tradition – some who take a year off between high school and college. This is called a gap year.

What exactly is a gap year and what are the potential benefits? In this article, you’ll receive an overview of what a gap year is as well as the associated pros and cons. You’ll also receive tips for making the most of your gap year, should you choose to take one.

What is a Gap Year?

Though many high school graduates move immediately in to college in the fall after they graduate, there are also many students who do not. The term “gap year” refers to the year off some students take between graduating high school and attending college. There are many reasons why a student might take a gap year. For many, a gap year is time to work and to save money to pay for tuition, lodging, and supplies while attending college. For others, it is something unexpected – an unplanned setback caused by an injury or major life event.

Gap years first became a standard practice in the United Kingdom during the 1970s as a means for students to gain practical and professional experience

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Published August 02, 2017 |
How to Help a Child with Depression Excel in Public School
Mental illness does not descriminate - it can affect children as well as adults. Keep reading to learn more about mental illness in children and how to support your own child.

Has your child started to withdraw from friends and family? Does he spend a lot of time on his own, seemingly uninterested in activities he once enjoyed? Have you noticed changes in his behavior, sleep, or eating habits? If you answered “Yes” to any of these, your child could be depressed. Many people think of depression and other mental health issues as adult problems, but the truth is that they can affect young adults and children as well.

Mental health problems are nothing to scoff at and they certainly shouldn’t be ignored. Childhood mental illness can affect the rest of your child’s life, depending on whether he gets treatment at a young age or not. Every child experiences mental illness differently so it is your job as a parent to know your child well enough to identify the signs and to take the initiative in seeking treatment. Keep reading to learn more about mental illness in children and to receive tips for supporting your child.

Mental Health Issues in Public Schools

According to the CDC, as many as one in five kids on the United States will exhibit signs of mental illness in any given year. This means that in a typical classroom of 25 students, as many as five of them will be struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, or other forms of mental illness. Unfortunately, about 80% of children who suffer from mental illness don’t get the treatment or support that they need which ultimately leads them in a downward

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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.

Bullying

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.