Tagged as: Education

Top 10 Books for Parent-Child Book Clubs with Tweens and Teens

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As the author of a book about mother-daughter book clubs, and as a parent who often read books with my daughter at home, I cannot speak highly enough about the transformative power of literature. My favorite part of sharing books with my daughter is having a discussion that begins with some aspect of the plot or the characters, and then watching it shift seamlessly to a discussion about something similar that is going on in her own life. Whether during our book club meetings or in private, historically these were conversations that might otherwise have never arisen. In those magical moments, the awkwardness and resistance that often prevent kids from talking directly to their parents about things that really matter just melted away thanks to the distance a “fictional” story presented. Read more…

How to Diminish Darwinian Pecking Orders by Modeling Social Inclusion for Kids

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Do you remember being a little kid in your early years of school, sitting on the floor in a circle with your legs crossed? Maybe your teacher was reading a story or maybe you were singing a song and shaking maracas and tambourines. Sometimes a child would arrive late — late to school in the morning, or perhaps just returning from the nurse’s office or the bathroom. For some reason that child was not there when the circle formed, and as that child approaches — let’s call her Katie — the teacher says something.

“Ok everyone, scooch back a bit to make room in the circle for Katie.” Read more…

Going Offline: 10 Fabulous Books to Read With Your Kids This Summer

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In today’s world of ubiquitous personal and mobile screens, family time is becoming harder and harder to come by, and is often framed or fractured by children’s (and parents’) prioritization of digital socializing over the in-person relationships right there inside the home. Family book clubs are educational and are a great way to encourage reading, enhance parent-child bonding and provide enjoyable experiences for everyone offline. They can also serve as a very helpful tool for parents because sharing children’s and YA literature allows parents a side door into tricky conversations with their children about some of the challenging issues they face while growing up, such as cyberbullying or navigating early romantic relationships. 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…

Boys, Breast Cancer, and the Magic of Boys’ Schools

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I write this post for two reasons. I write in honor of the women in my life who have fought breast cancer, as this is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And I write in response to the September 23, 2011 study in Science Magazine titled “The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling.” I challenge its incendiary and unsubstantiated claims that “segregating” boys and girls by gender is similar to the racial segregation of African-American children in the southern schools of decades ago, and that it “increases gender stereotyping and legitimizes institutionalized sexism.” Here is a small window into my life in a boys’ school, and the transformation I observed, not just in the boys themselves, but in myself as a woman. Read more…

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