Beware the summer slide—not the spiraling, thrilling water chute found at your local water park, but the loss of academic skills during the summer months. Math skills often slip the farthest, with students losing an average of 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in computational ability over the summer. In addition, students score lower on standardized tests administered at the end of the summer than at the beginning. How do you prevent these skills from slip-sliding away? While parents may … [Read more...] about Beware the Summer Slide
In his latest book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton, the best-selling author and philosopher, graphically chronicles the universal anxiety, often unspoken, about what others think of us and whether they judge us successes or failures by our achievements. De Botton asks, “Why do people generally seem unsatisfied?” He answers this by exploring the comparisons people make between themselves and others. People get concerned, he says, when they think of their family, friends, achievements, and … [Read more...] about Coping Skills: What Can We Learn from Those Who Succeed?
A new survey reveals that 79 percent of American middle and high school students participate in some sort of extracurricular activity both after school and on weekends. Activities range from sports to music, with 57 percent of students participating in a nonschool activity nearly every day. When asked about their extracurricular activities, students indicate that they enable them to make good friends, learn, and have fun. … [Read more...] about Couch Potatoes? Not!
Spring is a great time to cultivate an interest in the natural world by investing in children’s field guides. Young nature enthusiasts have two excellent choices: Fandex Family Field Guides, by Workman Publishing, and Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists, by Houghton Mifflin. … [Read more...] about Field Guides for Children
The phone call came in May, just days after my niece had completed the eighth grade. The spunky preteen who had begged to copilot a small plane at age 12 said, “I just don’t want to go to high school.” It took patience and counseling skills to get her to express her fears of demanding academic work, getting lost between classes, and getting teased by older students. … [Read more...] about Smooth Transitions
For teens and preteens interested in theater, film, and screenwriting, I recommend three books: Break a Leg! The Kids’ Guide to Acting and Stagecraft, by Lisa Friedman (Workman, 2002); Screen Teen Writers: How Young Screenwriters Can Find Success, by Christina Hamlett (Meriwether, 2002); and Attack of the Killer Video Book: Tips and Tricks for Young Directors, by Mark Shulman and Hazlitt Krog (Annick, 2004). … [Read more...] about Lights! Camera! Action!
Parent Question: I have a fifth-grade daughter who until recently was an A/B student. She has always scored high on her Iowa tests. Lately, she has been bringing home papers and tests with Ds and Fs on them. She forgets to bring material home from school to study and is making careless mistakes. She seems to like school, her teachers, and her friends. One side of the problem is that she doesn’t know how to prioritize and organize. The other is that her friends seem to be poor students. Can you … [Read more...] about Fifth-Grade Underachievement
Developing and maintaining friendships is an important aspect of any child’s development. However, for many gifted kids this can be a struggle. Using the term “true peers,” the first of the friendship articles discusses the struggle gifted kids may have in forming and maintaining friendships. For gifted children, true peers are probably not the same chronological age as gifted children; gifted children often seek friendships with older children. … [Read more...] about Finding True Peers
I frequently speak at workshops on the topic of raising a healthy gifted child. An increasing number of attendees voice frustration that their children’s lives are overscheduled. Today’s parents feel tremendous and growing pressure to involve their children, at ever younger ages, in after-school and weekend educational and recreational activities. Consequently, the parents are exhausted, and their children have little free time. … [Read more...] about The Value of Downtime
Are children born with an appreciation for music and the ability to demonstrate it? Or do they develop musical ability through early exposure and structured practice? The answer is both, according to Dianna Richardson, graduate of the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music. … [Read more...] about Musical Talent: Innate or Learned?