Late Start

For a few years now – ever since the release of the 2009 PISA scores – Finland has been heralded as the new model for Western education, except for the fact that our modeling has been more after South Korea (intense pressure on students) than Finland. What has come out of Finland recently is that…

Problems in Education Run Deep

Maybe there’s something wrong with how we see the world, and ourselves. In a recent Huffington Post article by Karin Chenoweth, three examples are paraded that illustrate the differences between the current US educational environment, and those of Finland, Poland and South Korea, as seen through the eyes of foreign exchange students from the US.…

What’s Best for Your Child?

The vast majority of parents want to do right by their children. One Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) educator I once met put it this way, “In the literally thousands of parents I’ve come to know in my career, I only know of one who truly did not care about her child.” Seeing that…

Parenting: The Grand Experiment

Last night, for the first time…maybe ever (and I’m not proud of that)…I shed my arrogant façade and was open to hearing what someone else had to say about a topic I feel like I know something about: parenting. The occasion was a parenting workshop entitled “Goldilocks Parenting.” Of course I was intrigued by the…

Supplemental Education

Just when I was about to come down hard on my oldest son for his slipping grades, we got to the root of the problem, which I wonder if it is a problem at all. Except for the first quarter of the school year, his grades have somewhat ping-ponged. The final grades for each quarter…

I still love you

Mornings I drive our oldest to school. There is a school bus he can take, but when he asked for a ride instead, because he found the ride on the bus terribly annoying, I jumped at the chance to drive him. I saw it as an opportunity for us to have a daily check-in, to…

The right fit

We had a recent struggle with our youngest not doing so well on a spelling test. Came to pass that he’s finally bumped up against something in school in which he’s going to have to finally exert some effort. We knew this day would come, and hoped it would happen sooner, as it had with…

Grades Don’t Matter

Ever since our oldest was in 4th grade I’ve told him that I’ve never cared about his grades; I care about how hard he is trying. If he’s trying his hardest, and getting good guidance from both his teachers and from me as to how to apply that effort – again with the parent, teacher partnership I find to…

Best Intentions

Hundreds of people with good intentions are putting forth their efforts into what is known as education reform. The disappointing irony is how often good intentions can result in destructive unintended consequences. A February 4, 2013 post by Jeff Bryant on the National Education Policy Center website examines a couple of different possible unintended consequences,…