Why Don’t School Buses Have Seat Belts?

Car seats and booster seats are required by law whenever you transport a child, in a car, under the age of eight and the weight of 80 pounds. Why then, are not even seat belts required on school buses that carry children as young as five for kindergarten, or in the case of special services and private preschools as young as three? This was a question that I debated with our neighbor across the road as we watched our kids, in first and second grade, load on to the bus. This year we have a great bus driver who makes … Continue reading

The Danger of MegaSchools

There is a dangerous trend recently toward megaschools, schools that contain a large number of students at one school, anywhere from 500 to 2,000 students in one building. My own school district is considering doing this with our elementary school, and it scares me to no end. Megaschools can be convenient for school districts for a few reasons. A flux of incoming students can lead to overcrowding, and creating a new megaschool would address the problem, leaving room for further expansion. It is also usually more coast effective to create and maintain one megaschool than it is to renovate and … Continue reading

Scrapbooking With Your Elementary Aged Child

Scrapbooking with an elementary aged child, is without a doubt full of laughter, a lot of giggles, funny stories and a creative mess. However, it is important that this age be allowed the freedom to create whatever it is their hearts desire. And it is also important that they feel that their work has value and that it is honestly appreciated. Children in elementary school are beginning to notice when people don’t like what they do. They are beginning to show their feelings more, and internalize the hurt and pain from others. They are also itching to be creative, working … Continue reading

B.E.A.R. Books

Organization is a huge component of teaching, especially in the lower grade classrooms. Children need a specific place for everything to go. It is also beneficial for teachers to have a special location for all paperwork. To aid in organization, my school’s primary grades use B.E.A.R. books. B.E.A.R. (Bring Everything, Always Ready) books are used in many schools. Some classes in my school do not use the acronym B.E.A.R. but have created their own. In the past, we made kindergarten B.E.A.R. books by using three ring binders and adding pocket folders in the middle. This year, we were lucky. We … Continue reading

Foreign Language in Elementary School

A generation ago, American students generally had an opportunity to learn another language starting in high school. Depending on what part of the country you lived in the two main languages usually offered were Spanish and/or French, and if you had a resourceful school, you might be able to learn German instead of the other two. Rarely were you allowed to learn two or three other languages simultaneously-basically you stuck with one for a year or two at the most. Over the last 10-15 years, there has been a shift to make foreign languages available to elementary students in both … Continue reading

Mainstreaming: The Special Needs Child Goes to School

The kindergarten through elementary school years are crucial, formative years for your child both educationally and socially. There are things you can do as a parent to make these years more beneficial and enjoyable for your child. What is mainstreaming? Mainstreaming means that the special needs child attends a regular classroom along with students who are his or her actual (not developmental) age. Mainstreaming means that the child is not kept isolated in a special class, away from peers, but is included just like everybody else. Adaptations are made so that the child’s special needs are met, while still being … Continue reading