Fifteen Minute Breaks Could Help Kids Stay Focused

When adults take a fifteen minute break at work, they tend to come back a bit less stressed and more able to focus on the tasks at hand. It turns out that kids at school can obtain the same benefits from a fifteen minute break. Schools in Finland have already implemented this strategy. They’ve been doing it since the 1960’s. A typical American public school could include one 30 minute recess per school day. The exact amount of time can vary. Some schools might have recess that lasts for 45 minutes, while others might only allow 20 minutes for recess. … Continue reading

School Suspends Fourth Grader for Using Imagination

It is typical for young children to re-enact the stories that they watch in a movie. One of the reasons they do this is simply because it is fun. In addition, children engage in imaginative play in order to figure out the world around them and where they might fit into it as an adult. Play can be an important component of learning. That being said, a fourth grader who is a student at Kermit Elementary School, in Kermit, Texas, was suspended for using his imagination in a way that is typical of children who have been inspired by a … Continue reading

Some Parents are Following their Teens to College

Students who graduate from high school are eligible to continue their education by going to college. These students are eighteen years of age (or older) and are adults. For whatever reason, there are now some parents who choose to follow their son or daughter to college. We have all heard of the phrase “helicopter parenting”. While some will argue that this parenting style provides certain benefits, many others continue to view it as less than ideal. A helicopter parent is one that swoops in and solves his or her child’s problems for them. That’s a great thing to do if … Continue reading

Young Adult Sues Parents for College Tuition

Caitlyn Ricci’s parents divorced in 1997 when she was four years old. It appears that she primarily lived with her mother but also was able to spend time with her father. In February of 2013, Caitlyn Ricci (who was now past the age of 18) left her mother’s home. Technically, she was an adult who was no longer living with her parents. Instead, she went to live with her grandparents (her father’s mom and dad). It is unclear exactly why Caitlyn Ricci decided to move. Her mother, Maura McGarvey, wrote about the situation on her blog. In short, Maura McGarvey … Continue reading

Don’t Do Your Child’s Homework for Them

One of the biggest complaints of students of all ages is the amount of homework they are assigned. This is true for kindergarteners, college students, and everyone in between. Teachers expect that the students will do their own homework, perhaps with a little help from their parents. You don’t do your children’s homework for them, though, right? An article in The Telegraph reveals some surprising things about who is really doing the homework that teachers assign. The information comes from a poll of 2,000 parents who had children between the ages of 5 and 15. The research showed that in … Continue reading

Advantages of Extended School Days

Would you like your children to attend school for eight hours straight, five days a week? It may sound a bit excessive to some parents. However, there are some school districts that have implemented an extended school day. It turns out that there are several benefits to doing so. Extended school days, which are also called extended learning time, have gained popularity within charter schools. Some charter schools may have a bit more freedom about how long their school day runs than some public schools do. That doesn’t mean it would be impossible for an extended school day to be … Continue reading

Banning Chocolate Milk Doesn’t Improve Nutrition

Parents who had children in several schools in Oregon noticed what they viewed as a problem. The kids were much more likely to drink chocolate milk than they were to drink white milk. The parents believed that banning the chocolate milk would force the kids to start drinking more white milk. Instead, things did not work out as planned. It is safe to say that the parents in the school district’s PTA meant well. They were hoping to make changes that would provide better nutrition for the students. They believed that removing the chocolate milk, and only offering white milk, … Continue reading

How to Set Up a Homework Station

The new school year is upon us. Your kids are likely to have at least a little bit of homework to do after school. Many parents find it difficult to convince their children to sit down and do their homework. One thing that can make the situation a little less stressful, and more productive, is to set up a homework space. How to Setup a Homework Area It is easy to see why kids and teens don’t enjoy doing their homework. They just spent their whole day at school trying to learn things that are new to them, working on … Continue reading

Have Some Mountain Dew Before a Test?

How do you feel about standardized testing? Chances are you aren’t an incredibly big fan of it. Children tend to strongly dislike taking standardized tests because it is stressful, confusing, frustrating, and very different from how their typical school day goes. Perhaps this is why a school in Florida found a controversial way to motivate students to take their standardized tests. Someone at Creel Elementary School in Florida came up with an unusual way to get students excited about taking the FCAT. The FCAT stands for “Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test”. A grandmother who learned about it contacted the local media. … Continue reading

A Cornucopia of Tools 2

Yesterday I started to talk about some tools that have served me well over the years. I talked about operating systems (of which I strongly prefer GNU+Linux), and an office suite (of which I strongly prefer LibreOffice). The last two tools I’m going to talk about are the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (commonly known as GIMP), and FreeMind. First up: the Gnu Image Manipulation Program. GIMP: Despite having an unfortunate acronym, the Gnu Image Manipulation Program is a powerful tool. While in school (and as an instructor) I often had reason to create small graphics to assist in teaching or … Continue reading