Writing on Education

When Parenting Your Adult Child Is Like Parenting Yourself: A Story

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When my daughter Charlotte went off to college, suddenly and abruptly petless, it did not take long before she determined the rule about pets in dorms: fish only. On impulse, and accompanied by a new friend who had a tank of goldfish in her room, Charlotte made her way to the nearest pet store and bought two Siamese fighting fish, also known as Bettas, and a small plastic divided tank to keep them from killing each other. Read more…

Why Boys are Failing in an Educational System Stacked Against Them

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang that we should teach our children well and feed them of our dreams, but for millions of parents of sons, dreams are only that, and boys are falling behind educationally at an alarming rate in this country.  Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, Michael Gurian, author of The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and in Life, and many other authors and educational experts proclaim that we have a crisis in the education of boys in this country. The media attention to this topic has been extensive in recent years, yet I do not see the systemic changes that are needed. Read more…

Middle School Survival Kit: Build Strong Supports To Help Your Child Survive Middle Grades Struggles

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While I could have written an article about the middle
school years based on my career as a school administrator,
educational psychologist, and teacher, as well as my
observations as a parent, I wanted to get out of my own
head a bit, so I interviewed 15 parents of current middle
schoolers around the country. Many of the parents expressed
much angst, for which I recommend creating the support
systems described below. Let’s consider a couple of typical
parent concerns. Read more…

Encouraging the Artist in Every Child

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Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” A quick glance around an African-American friend’s home recently showed me that he and many of his relatives have, delightfully, not grown up. At least, not in the way that concerned Picasso. Read more…