Teaching Self-Control, the American Way – NYTimes.com

Good news!  You don’t have to be a tiger mom — or a French bringer-upper-of-beber to instill self control and initiative in your kido.  Check this article on good old fashion American play as a way to develop your child’s mental and physical strengths.


Teaching Self-Control, the American Way – NYTimes.com.


3 Ways that Kids’ Anger Bites Back | Psychology Today


Signe Whitson is a licensed social worker and co-author of The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools, and Workplaces,

Posted in Psychology today a great article on helping kids with anger.  My experience is we have too many kidos who do not have good strategies to address their feelings of anger and we need to do more to help them out.  Check out the article and see if your seeing any of this in your little one.


3 Ways that Kids’ Anger Bites Back | Psychology Today.

Helping Your Child Finish Their Homework (or what to do when they don’t have your homework gene)

Here are three strategies that can help a parent and child get a better handle on completing homework.

1) The Sandwich.  Always use at least a two to one ratio of positive to negative comments on the child’s homework.  Looking at their math?  If they got 6 out of 10 right, then notice the hard ones they completed.

“Your long division is really great and your hand writing is so neat on this one.  You only have a few that aren’t right.  All your fractions are correct!, Way to go!” Focus as much as possible on developing a Growth Mind-Set — that is, reinforce effort and hard work over natural intelligence.  Of course your little darling is a genius, you know it, just don’t tell her.  Convince her instead, to always give 100% effort.

2) The Rough Check  Dr. Phelan (Author of 1,2,3, Magic, makes a compelling case for 8:00 pm being no time to try to find perfection.  His protocol for the rough check is to see if the work is 80% correct, neat, and complete.  If so, call it good.  We want kids to complete their assignments, not perfect them. You can find Dr. Phelan’s materials here.

3) Contingency Rewards  — Lastly, set up a contingency system where you reward the child for a week of completed homework.  The trick here is to not make it all or nothing.  Think in terms of a sliding scale.  Each day, if there is homework, your child can earn up to ten points:

1 for neatness if they exceed the 80% neatness criteria of the Rough Check

1 – for completeness — f they exceed the 80% completeness criteria of the Rough Check

1- for correctness — f they exceed the 80% correct criteria of the Rough Check

1 – for not complaining about doing the homework, or your evaluation

6 – for starting on their own with out you having to remind them

If at the end of the week your student has averaged an 8 — they get the special reward or privilege, if not, well, there is always next week. If they score a 10 each day, throw a party!

The idea here is you are valuing self starting and removing the arguing from the equation.  As a warning you do have to be prepared to let your child miss a few assignments, for the contingency plan to work.  Just be sure the privilege or reward is something they won’t want to pass up on (skiing with dad).

Combined these strategies can be a very powerful tool to get a homework adverse child “retrained” and prevent a perfectionist child from becoming bogged down in the habit of procrastination because the work isn’t good enough.

gardening play ideas from the NurtureStore

gardening play ideas | NurtureStore.  I think these ideas for playing and learning about how things grow are GREAT!  I’m planning on trying out a few with my Kindergartener this weekend.  I hope some of our school families will do the same.

These are great ways to tap into your kinesthetic  learners’ strengths and into multiple intelligences.  A love of things growing is also a great way to instil and love for science in young kids.

What kids learn through baking

kids cooking | NurtureStore.  Great article on how to use cooking with your kids to teach a variety of topics (and have fun).  Henry and I do this every Saturday when we make his weekly waffle stash (a huge batch of nutrition packed super waffles).

Great Article on Keeping your Kids Motivated to Learn



Real Mom Q: Why do children love early learning but burnout by 4th grade?.

My Kindergartener is like a sponge, always wanting to find out new information.  Your’s probably were too.  So, what happens to our kids that as they get older they become reluctant learners?  Dr. Lynne Kenney has some thoughts on why this happens, and what we can do to prevent/reverse this process.


College Prep Guide: 11th Grade – SchoolFamily.com

College Prep Guide: 11th Grade – SchoolFamily.com.  If you are an 11th grade student, or the parent of one, it is really time to be serious about thinking about what comes next.  If you think you might be interested in college, here is a handy guide to help you navigate your way through some of the challenges.

I’m here to help you, if you are one of my students, but I know sometimes you want to work on these things when I am busy at another site.