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Parental Rights and Responsibilities

by Ronald A. Rowe April 16th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, School
school-73497_640Our world increasingly embraces the role of government in the duties of raising our children. Examples abound of parents abdicating their responsibilities one inch at a time and institutions usurping them as quickly as possible. There’s the school in Chicago that's banning home packed lunches, instead forcing children to purchase and eat only the food approved and supplied by the school district. The theory being that parents may pack unhealthy lunches but the all-knowing school district is better suited to identify the nutritional needs of each student and provide for them. This is, of course, nonsense.

Then there's the teacher
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Patience, My Dear

by Lori Sciame April 9th, 2014 | Behavior, Big Kids, Elementary
waitingOver the past 100 years, expectations of a child have changed dramatically.  Long ago, children needed to entertain themselves for hours at time with simple items, such as jacks or a jump rope.  Now they demand to be entertained with TV, computers, and hand held games.  In addition, children in the "old days" tended to be seen, but not heard, in places such as church and at grandma's house.

In essence, parents (and society) used to teach children how to be patient, whereas youngsters today tend to lack this important skill.  I'm not advocating for forced compliance, but I do
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How to Choose a Tutor

by Margot F. April 2nd, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, School
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAre you concerned about your child’s academic progress? Would hiring a tutor be helpful? How do you find a tutor? What issues should you consider?

Firstly, decide why you want to hire a tutor. Are you concerned about remediation or maintenance? “Remediation” concentrates on addressing specific gaps in learning, usually reading, math or writing. As skill development improves, the tutor will broaden the areas that need to be strengthened. For example, a tutor specializing in reading will initially spend time on decoding then move onto spelling and writing.

“Maintenance” refers to helping a student adjust to a new academic environment. For
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Night Terrors

by Ronald A. Rowe March 19th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, Safety
night windowWe spend a lot of time here at Your Parenting Info discussing how to keep our elementary-age children safe from all manner of harm out there in the world. Today’s kids face stranger danger, bullying, peer pressure, sports and play injuries, contaminated food and water, poor role models, and so much more on a daily basis. But some dangers exist only in the child’s own mind. Ghosts, goblins, zombies, and assorted bogey-men can bedevil our children nearly as much as real-life dangers.

How do you protect your child from the dangers that don’t exist?

Nightmares can have a very profound impact
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Tips: Assertive vs. Aggressive

by Lori Sciame March 12th, 2014 | Behavior, Big Kids, Elementary
kids on stairsCall to mind the timid wallflower. This child is painfully shy.  He never says a word; he only smiles and agrees with everything the people in his life say.  Now think about the budding bully who acts overly aggressive when playing a game in gym class or when pushing her way to the front of the line at lunch.

These children, who sit on opposite ends of the behavior spectrum, exhibit traits that are troubling, and because of these behaviors, they will both experience problems in the school setting.

Now, imagine a child who falls somewhere in the middle of that
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I’m Redshirting My Child

by Margot F. March 5th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, School
redshirtThe term “redshirting” in academics refers to delaying an age-eligible child from starting Kindergarten. The practice can be controversial. How does a parent decide when to redshirt a child?

If the child is recovering from a serious illness or has been diagnosed with a developmental disability then it seems reasonable to give them a year to catch up to their peers. When my younger son was not talking by age four, it was easy to postpone his entrance to school. At the time, the government paid for speech therapy until Kindergarten and my son could attend a daycare where he
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3 Tips for Sports Safety

by Ronald A. Rowe February 26th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, Safety
kids soccerIt is a mystery as old as organized youth sports. How do we keep our kids safe when we turn them over to a coach whose goal it is to mold them into peak athletes capable of beating the kids on some other coach’s team? My lovely wife’s initial plan of wrapping our children in bubble wrap until they turn 18 wasn’t exactly practical. So short of that, what can we can do to minimize the risk of sports-related injury?

Most kids hate pre-practice stretching because it is boring and it is the only thing standing between them and the
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Behavior Decoded: Learning Disabilities

by Lori Sciame February 12th, 2014 | Behavior, Big Kids, Elementary
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome disruptive or strange behaviors exhibited by elementary age children may be caused by a learning disability that has not yet been diagnosed.  Here's an example:

Eight-year-old Johnny can't sit still at the table. He says his shirt makes him jumpy, and that his socks make his feet tingle.  He struggles to take a bite of hot mashed potatoes, but soon after, he can't stop his head from shaking back and forth.

"Stop it!" his dad screams.  But it's not that simple.  This is because his child is suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Children with this condition have trouble using
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Transitioning to Kindergarten

by Margot F. February 5th, 2014 | Big Kids, Elementary, School
kids on playgroundThis time of year, some parents start wondering about enrolling their child in kindergarten for the coming September. Is your child ready for kindergarten? What guidelines are there to help make a decision?

Most school districts post suggestions to consider when registering a child for kindergarten. Is the child’s birthday before the cut off date for your area? In Canada, the child must turn five by December 31st of the year of enrollment. Some districts set the cut off as of September 30th.

Has the child attended preschool or daycare? Consult with the teacher regarding your child’s readiness to start at
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