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.
View the most popular articles in Parenting and Learning Issues:
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Back to School Means Renewed Debate Over Later Start Times for Students
With back to school just around the corner, the debate over when to start and end school has revved up once again.
As students begin to face the realization that their days of sleeping in are nearly over, school districts continue to debate the benefits of later start times for older students. With plenty of research to back up the idea that teens sleep on a different cycle than many schools allow, districts must once again consider the theory that later start times could mean higher student performance. Would later start times really impact how well high school students learn?
 
Research Supports Later Start Times
 
As back-to-school logistics are put into place, research on the benefits of later start times come back into play. There is plenty to choose from in that category – most showing teens that head to class later tend to perform better overall. Unfortunately, coordination of school schedules doesn’t always support allowing teens the later start.
 
According to a recent report at Times-Union, 40 percent of high schools in the United States start prior to 8:00 a.m. A small minority, 15 percent, start after 8:30 a.m. That minority is often the result of coordination of bus schedules, which tends to favor younger students for the later start times.
 
Logistics aside, research certainly seems to favor allowing older students to hit the books later. Students in the teen years require just as much sleep as younger children, according to the National Sleep Foundation. That amount can range from 8 ½ to 9 ¼ hours of sleep every night. Decades of studies support this theory, including a Stanford study in
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What is Project-Based Learning?
Project-based learning has been highly touted by some educators as a viable option to traditional learning models. We’ll take a look at what project-based learning is and why it is getting so much attention today.
Project-based learning is a unique type of pedagogy that moves beyond the traditional “memorize and regurgitate information” approach that is commonly seen in classrooms today. Project-based learning brings relevancy and practical application to the lesson, by making students active participants, rather than mere bystanders. Although project-based learning is still used on a relatively limited basis today, there are a number of reasons why educators might want to consider incorporating this methodology into their classrooms.
 
A Definition of Project-Based Learning
 
According to the West Virginia Department of Education, project-based learning involves students coming together in groups or working individually to explore real-world problems. Through their explorations, students create presentations that sum up what they learned and their proposed solutions to those problems. Teachers in project-based learning classrooms serve as facilitators and guides, helping students find answers to questions without spoon feeding the answers directly to them.
 
The Edutopia website explains that project-based learning comes from the belief that students learn best by becoming active participants in the education process. The methodology involves the following:
  • Students using knowledge learned to tackle problems experienced in the real world
  • Students exercising more control over their learning environment
  • Students typically working in groups or pairs, although individual projects can also be used
  • Teachers serving as coaches to encourage student reflection and problem-solving skills
Project-based learning is similar to problem-based learning, which presents students with a real-world problem and allows them to explore possible solutions. However, in project-based learning, there is a final product
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5 Tips for Getting Ahead in High School
We take a look at the various ways high school students can get a leg up on higher education while they are still in high school.
While most students anticipate summer break as a time to let down and recharge, others spend the summer months planning ways to get ahead during the next academic year. For those over-achievers, there are many options to choose from, between summer school opportunities and accelerated programs once the regular school year rolls around. If you are a student looking for fast-track opportunities, or a parent of one of those ambitious students, we have the tips you are looking for to get a step up on the high school years.
 
Advanced Placement
 
This tried and true program offers high-pressure demands and challenges comparable to a college-level course. So why undertake Advanced Placement classes in high school? According to the Princeton Review, Advanced Placement, also known as AP, offers a myriad of benefits to high school students, including:
  • The ability to pick and choose the subjects for acceleration
  • The chance to impress prospective colleges
  • The opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school
Currently, there are more than 30 AP subjects available, although the options may vary from high school to high school. If you excel at writing, an AP English course may be the perfect choice. Math gurus may prefer an AP math class, while aspiring scientists can find AP courses in biology, chemistry or physics. Even history buffs will find a variety of options in AP world and American history, government or other classes.
 
Advanced Placement courses offer the ability to take an exam near the end of the school year. Students
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Summer Camps Keep Kids Learning
Be inspired by this list of summer camp ideas that keep kids learning all through vacation, even while they are having a warm weather blast with their friends.
If you are looking for a way to keep your kids in the learning game this summer, there are many fun options to choose from. Summer camps, whether scheduled for a day or a week, are an excellent opportunity for students to explore subjects and embark on adventure during the summer season. Camps may be held during the day, or consist of consecutive overnights to give participants a true feel for the camping experience. With subjects ranging from science to performing arts, you are sure to find a camp your child will love.
 
Benefits of Summer Camp
 
According to the Cigna website, there are many benefits children may enjoy from attending a summer camp, including:
  • Unique experience helps children broaden social skills
  • Embarking on new activities builds self esteem
  • Opportunity to form long-lasting friendships
  • Learn important skills like leadership and communication
  • Teaches children resiliency and responsibility
  • Additional physical activity provides health benefits
With many advantages to be gained from attending a camp this summer, the next question for parents becomes how to choose the best camp for their child’s needs. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help parents make the best choice for their kids.
 
Choosing a Summer Camp
 
The National Camp Association recommends beginning the selection process by asking the following questions:
  • What do you want your child to take away from the summer camp experience?
  • Does your child have any specific interests he would like to explore at camp?
  • What are you and your child’s expectations of summer camp?
  • What type of environment will be best
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New Study Shows Cyberbullying on the Rise at High Schools Nationwide
With many tragic cases of cyberbullying reported to date, a recent study shows the problem is actually increasing among high school students across the country.
Cyberbullying is becoming a prevalent problem at high schools across the country, according to a new study. Researchers also found that teenagers are spending more of their free time online than ever before, which could play a role in the increase of cyberbullying noted in the study. For parents and teachers, the news is concerning, since most are unaware of precisely what goes on between students through texting and online social networking. Awareness of the problem is just the first step in protecting students from electronic bullying and the sometimes tragic consequences that can result.
 
The study was performed by researchers at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York and presented recently to the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Washington D.C. According to a report at Science Daily, researchers analyzed data from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which involved more than 15,000 students at public and private high schools across the country. The survey is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every two years to monitor high-risk behaviors that lead to death, disability and social problems. This is the first time the survey included questions about cyberbullying.
 
White Female Students Most Common Victims of Cyberbullying
 
According to a report at the Examiner, the new study found that 16 percent of high school students have been victims of cyberbullying in the past 12 months. This calculated to one in every six high school students nationwide. Victims were more likely to be female, with girls
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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.