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 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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Updated September 07, 2017 |
The Pros and Cons of Sports for Middle School Students
Playing sports is a great way to build your child's confidence and dedication but there are some drawbacks. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of sports for middle schoolers and to learn how to support your student athlete.

Participating in extracurricular events is important for students of all ages but, for middle schoolers, it is even more so. Your child’s middle school years can be challenging what with puberty being thrown into the mix along with standardized testing and more challenging academic standards. Student sports can be a great benefit to your middle schooler during this time, though there are also some drawbacks to consider. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of sports for middle schoolers and to learn how you, as a parent, can support your student athlete.

What Are the Benefits of Sports for Middle Schoolers?

Regular exercise is important for your child’s health and wellbeing and sports are a great way to ensure that your kid gets some exercise. Aside from the physical benefits of playing sports, however, there are some other benefits to consider. For example, a recent study has shown a link between physical activity and improved academic performance. The University of Kansas looked at the performance of students compared to their participation in athletics – the results of the study showed that student athletes had higher GPAs and a 10% higher rate for graduating high school. It is unclear exactly how physical activity boosted academic performance but it could be increased blood flow to the brain.

Another benefit of participating in sports as a middle schooler is the opportunity to work with other students, developing social skills as well as communication skills. Learning to work

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Published June 20, 2017 |
What Are the Top 10 Challenges Facing Public School Teachers This Year?
There is no denying that being a public school teacher has its challenges, but some are more apparent than others. Keep reading to learn about the top ten challenges facing public school teachers this year.

Being a teacher is one of the most difficult careers out there – it may also be one of the most thankless. Though there are certainly teachers out there who make the minimum amount of effort to keep their jobs, there are also plenty of teachers who take their roles as educators very seriously and who make it their life’s mission to improve the lives of their students. Regardless, there is no denying that teaching is a challenging job and the challenges seem to change with each passing year. Keep reading to learn about the top ten challenges facing public school teachers this year.

Top 10 Challenges for Public School Teachers

Though it is difficult to be a teacher in any capacity, public school teachers face an entirely different set of challenges than private school teachers. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are more than 50 million students enrolled in the public school system in the United States each year. Public schools typically have larger class sizes and less flexibility in regard to curriculum than private schools – plus, they are subject to more rules and regulations than private schools. All of these things combine to create a unique set of challenges – here are the top ten:

1. Technology

Technology is rapidly improving and it has begun to proliferate every aspect of the average person’s daily life, including his education. Though technology can do some wonderful things, some teachers find it challenging to keep up with the latest

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Published June 20, 2017 |
What Are the Top 5 Trends in Elementary School Education?
Education is constantly growing, changing, and evolving. Keep reading to learn about five of the most current trends in elementary education.

Education is constantly evolving and being reformed. Over the centuries, as the world has changed, so has the focus of childhood education. Today, early childhood education is aimed at introducing key subjects and core concepts that will be developed later in the child’s educational career but there is always debate about which educational methods are the best. Keep reading to learn about some of the top current trends in elementary school education.

Trend #1: Promoting Inquiry-Based Learning to Develop a Love for Science

No matter where you send your child to school, you are probably familiar with STEM education. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and is it an active style of education that focuses particularly on creating a student-centered learning environment. As part of STEM education, students engage in hands-on activities that use and develop their skills for questioning, problem solving and teamwork all the while addressing relevant, real life issues. In a STEM educational environment, teachers fill the role of a classroom facilitator – they act as a guide to students, helping them through the problem-solving process and creating lessons and projects that guide students toward proficiency in the content of the curriculum. The goal of STEM education is to develop students into becoming effective communicators and logical thinkers – they should also be proficient and literate in science, mathematics and technology.

There is a great deal of research to support the benefits of STEM education, but there are some challenges to face as well. Some research shows

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Recent Articles
September 19, 2017
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.
September 12, 2017
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September 08, 2017
Learn about single-sex education in public schools.
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.