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:
Published April 08, 2008 |
Learn about graduation rates in the U.S., and tips for keeping your child in school.
The high school graduation rate is a "barometer of the health of American society and the skill level of its future workforce," according to Heckman and LaFontaine, the authors of a 2007 study. From a different perspective, graduation from high school can mean the difference between an individual student's future success and a future marred by unemployment, poverty, and even crime. Whether the viewpoint is broad or narrow, the significance of a high school diploma is evident. This article discusses government efforts to improve graduation rates, examines a recent study that attempts to gauge the magnitude of the dropout problem, and suggests steps that parents can take to encourage their children stay in school.
In an age of information technology and a global economy, high school graduation is a minimum requirement for higher education and gainful employment. It is surprising, therefore, that there is no national average graduation rate on which all experts can agree. That is because there are numerous methods for calculating graduation rates. Estimates have ranged from 66 to 88 percent as a national average graduation rate, with 70 percent accepted by many authorities as the best estimate. Moreover, an average graduation rate does not tell the whole story. Black and Hispanic students drop out at higher rates than Non-Hispanic white students and Asian/Pacific Islander students. Students in urban environments are much less likely to finish high school than students in suburban areas. In some years, boys drop out at a higher rate than girls. These differences make
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Updated April 06, 2018 |
Bullying, Name Calling, and Put Downs - Tips for Parents
Learn tips for helping your child deal with bullying, name calling and put-downs.
"Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…" - English Proverb. Once echoing throughout the halls of the nation’s schools, this simple phrase reminded children that the taunts that had been considered a rite of passage in childhood would one day end. 
Fast forward several decades and “sticks and stones” becomes increasingly rare as schoolyard bullying is recognized as a serious problem. School administrators and teachers now know that, not only do words hurt, they often escalate into physical conflict that envelops the bully and his victim as well as those around them, including adults and other children who may get caught in the crossfire.
All too often, what begins as minor name-calling or teasing, ends up with those involved coming to blows at the victim attempts to defend himself. This type of escalation is what experts insist leads to even more violence. Violence does not begin with a physical attack, but rather a psychological one. What begins as words, perhaps a taunt or name-calling, escalates into pushing and shoving, which then may lead to a bloody nose, a black eye, or even a broken bone.
Experts insist that today’s lifestyles put so much pressure on children that they often bring that added stress into the classroom making what would normally be a minor incident just the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The reality is that the intimidation, the anxiety, and the raw anger that children cause when they tease or harass their peers can all too easily spin out of
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Updated April 06, 2018 |
Should Sixth Grade Be in Elementary School or Middle School?
Should sixth graders be placed in elementary or middle school? We explore the pros and cons of the issue.
Sixth grade has been described as a major crossroads of a child's development. Thus, it would seem important to place sixth graders in the proper environment during this critical period. Curiously, a decades-long debate continues regarding whether sixth graders are better off in elementary school or middle school. After looking at common characteristics of sixth graders, this article examines the pros and cons for each approach. Although a 2007 study concluded that sixth graders in elementary school behave and test better than sixth graders in middle school, 75 percent of school districts in the U.S. place sixth graders in middle school. Moreover, school district decisions to place sixth grade in elementary or middle school are sometimes based on purely financial considerations. The article concludes with some tips for parents who are concerned about sending their sixth graders to middle school.
What Are Sixth Graders Like?
Educators agree that sixth graders are an unusually diverse group to which few generalizations apply. They are all moving from childhood to adolescence, but each one seems to moving at a different pace. Here are some milestones that parents can expect as their children approach and enter sixth grade:
? Children mature physically around the time of sixth grade. Girls become concerned about their physical appearance as their bodies begin to change. Boys may gain a lot of height and may start to shave. These physical changes often occur before children develop the emotional maturity to deal with them.
? Girls mature physically sooner than boys.
? Children begin
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Updated April 30, 2018 |
Parental Involvement is Key to Student Success
Parental involvement plays an important role in student success.
Extensive research has shown that students achieve more in school when their parents are involved in their education. This article discusses the critical role moms and dads can play in a child's education. It also examines what the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) says about parental involvement and offers practical tips that parents can use to become involved.
Role of Parental Involvement in Education
The critical role of parental involvement in a child's education has been examined in countless studies and reports. The research overwhelmingly supports the following conclusions.
1. Academic achievement increases when parents are involved in their children's education.
The more intensively involved the parents are, the greater the positive impact on academic achievement.
2. Parental involvement leads to better classroom behavior. 
Parental involvement not only enhances academic performance, but it also has a positive influence on student attitude and behavior. A parent's interest and encouragement in a child's education can affect the child's attitude toward school, classroom conduct, self-esteem, absenteeism, and motivation.
3. Parents should stay involved in their children's education from preschool through high school.
Parental involvement can make a positive difference at all age levels. Parental involvement tends to be the greatest with young children and tends to taper off as children get older. Studies have shown, however, that involvement of parents of middle and high school students is equally important. In high school, for example, a parent's encouragement can influence whether a child stays in school or drops out. Similarly, a child may consider going to college more
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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.


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.