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…

Dinner Time

So many articles directed towards parents emphasize the importance of sitting the family down around the dinner table. We, sadly, don’t do it enough, but we do make a big enough deal about it that our boys know it’s important. When the boys were very young, getting them around the dinner table was a chore.…

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…

Obsessions

Well, the thing I always wanted for my son has happened. The boy who was the total chameleon has finally focused on one endeavor. Of course it’s not what I had hoped it would be, but he’s obsessed about something. For years, starting back when he was old enough to start socializing – pre-school age…

Define Education Reform

So what is this education reform of which you speak?

It’s a great buzz word, isn’t it? And some people have been great at leveraging it to advance their causes. And when tied to the phrase, “for the children,” arguments become Teflon.

That combination in a hypothetical scenario — ” when I work towards education reform,

What About Learning Styles?

The National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado, provides great insights into the research currently going on in education reform. A recent release reviewing two reports from the Gates Foundation MET project raises an interesting question, “Can we quantify what effective teaching is?”

The review looks at this question from a strictly academic perspective, as good academic research should. The researchers ran into problems — real world problems — of not being able to have children remain with the teachers they were assigned to. The questions the research raised, however, immediately had me thinking about an important component well understood by current educators: learning styles.

In the discussions about education reform a crucial element seems often to be overlooked: the human element. We’re dealing with people. Kids. Teachers. Administrators.