This month's features
Talking with Children About Violence- Tips for Parents and Teachers- In the wake of more incidents of school and campus violence, here are some ideas for healthy conversation with children of all ages, complete with some Talk Time Activities and conversation starters.
TogetheReads- a new monthly feature to have fun, share reading, and enjoy activities for all ages around a monthly theme. Have fun as a family AND build better readers.
Ready for Kindergarten - Is your five-year-old ready? What are the signs she's ready for school, and how can families help children develop the skills they will need in schoo? This article has it all, along with our top ten indicators of a good preschool.
Everything That's Important You Learned in Kindergarten - Here's a look at what you can do before your child heads off to the first-ever day of school... and the steps you can take to ensure that he or she gets off to a good start once school is in session. This article includes a section for parents who may be having more trouble with the transition than their children.
See No Evil - Our series on home computers looks at viruses, web filtering, and keeping high speed connections secure.
Games Children Play - Today's video games are much more sophisticated than the ones you grew up with, and many of them are completely unsuitable for young children. This article offers some tips on how to identify "problem games" and manage your child's use of the video game machine. Read this one before starting your holiday shopping.
Stress Goes to School: How parents can help - Finding ways to reduce stress, whether created by situations at school or home, can be important for both your child's health and his or her academic performance. Read this article for some important insights on how parents can help their children manage stress effectively.
Helping Children Cope with Katrina - A look at some common emotional reactions, and how parents and teachers can support children stressed by Katrina.
Study Skills and Strategies - Helping students study effectively is both a motivational problem and a practical challenge. Children need the right tools and environment, but attitude and planning play an important part in creating a successful study session. This article provides lots of practical suggestions for parents on both fronts.
Choosing a Preschool - How do you know if a preschool is right for your child? What are the alternatives? This article provides guidelines for parents on how to evaluate a preschool and what you should look for to provide the best possible setting for your preschooler.
Kindergarten: Full-day or Half-day? - Today's preschoolers may have lots of experiences by the time they're ready for kindergarten. Which kindergarten program makes the most sense for your child? Here are some strategies to help you decide and understand the differences.
Play - Key to Learning - Young children learn important social and physical skills through play, and offering choices and variety in play is an important way to encourage healthy development in your child. Read this article to learn why playing with your child can be important for both of you.
Developmental Screening - Routine screening is a standard feature of most schools and preschools. This screening sometimes causes needless worry, and parents should understand how they can learn from the process. This article offers helpful tips and guidelines on what to expect.
Girls Bullying Girls - Peer relationships among girls, especially in fifth through eighth grade, can sometimes term destructive. Psychologists call this "relational aggression" and it's a subtle but destructive form of bullying. This article will help parents learn to spot and prevent relational aggression.
What's the Best Public School for my Child? -
Neighborhood school? Open school? Magnet School? Charter School ? K-5 or K-8? Today, even within the bounds of public school systems, parents confront an increasing array of options for enrolling their children, starting but hardly ending with kindergarten.
This article defines the options and guides parents in making a choice that will work for their child.
with Your School Age Child - How to build communication
habits that keep you in touch while letting your child
Homework Tips - Lots of ideas for parents on ways to make homework
time bearable for all concerned. There are separate
"tip sheets" for elementary
school students and middle
Basics - Building responsibility and good study
habits starts early. Unloading the backpack is a great
time to start.
Basics - Staying safe in and around the big yellow
A New IDEA - Recent revisions in the federal legislation authorizing special education have revised the criteria for determining eligibility for some special education services. This month's featured article highlights those changes and the implications for students who have special learning needs.
Your Child and No Child Left Behind: Part 2 - Learn how you and your child's teacher can work together to ensure your child gets the most from school.
Your Child and No Child Left Behind - Learn how the No Child Left Behind law can affect your child and his or her school, and how you can head off some of the unintended consequences.
Bullies and Victims - When does normal childhood behavior become bullying? What can you do to ensure that your child doesn't become either a bully or a victim? This article offers sensible solutions that can help manage this widespread problem rather than making it more difficult.
Tutoring - A Guide for Parents - Does your child need help with schoolwork? If so, what's the best alternative to give him the sort of support he needs to gain confidence and work more independently? This article discusses the options and suggests practical strategies to help you make wise decisions.
Understanding Standardized Test Scores - Testing is all the rage, but what do the scores mean? Our introduction helps parents determine what's important, and how to respond.
Self-Care - Is your child ready to be left alone, either after school or at other times? This article offers suggestions on how to tell, along with steps you can take to ensure success when you first try self-care.
Fostering Resiliency - Helping your child learn how to cope with disappointments can make him a stronger person later on. Approaches and habits that encourage resiliency include attitudes and emotions, feelings of competence, social skills, or physical health. Parents, teachers, and other adults can foster children's resiliency in all of these areas. This article shows you how.
Encouraging Independence - Giving your child room to make "safe" mistakes can result in a more confident, capable young person. Find out how from this new article.
to Stay in School - Habits that can lead to dropouts
start early. Here are some things parents can do to
ensure it doesn't happen to their child.
the Family - Our extensive article on college
planning for parents who didn't attend college themselves
will also be useful to any parent.
to the Nursery Rhymes - New pages with audio and
illustrations you can cut out and re-use.
Tantrums - Ways to manage your "terrible
two" (or three or four) when it looks as though
he is about to "lose it."
"No Child Left Behind" - A look at the
new law that will affect every public school child,
parent, and teacher. Learn what you can do to be prepared
for the effects of the sweeping changes this law will
New in our Members' Section: (Click
here for membership information.)
Recent articles related to terrorism
and the war:
Death and Grief
- How do you help a child understand the death of
a friend, a family member, even a pet? This article
offers practical suggestions that parents and caregivers
can use to help children understand death in an
age-appropriate manner. You'll also find links to
selected books and web resources that offer additional
tools and information.
for Teens - Dealing with War - Teens have scores
of questions and just as many opinions about the
war with Iraq. Written just for teens, this page
offers suggestions to help keep reactions and preoccupation
with the war in check, and to encourage teens to
explore their questions and the opinions of others.
a Parent is Called - When a reservist is called
to active duty it places additional strains on families,
relationships, finances, and more. Here are some
ideas that can help children and families manage
the long separations and look forward to the parent's
Events - Unsettled Times: Helping Children Cope
- This month's feature article will help parents
respond to children's questions, concerns and fears
in the wake of the recent shuttle tragedy and the
nation's current atmosphere of heighened anxiety.
Developed in cooperation with the National Association
of School Psychologists, this page outlines specific
strategies parents can use to make their children
more comfortable. It also highlights symptoms which
can indicate that a child is worried, concerned,
or in need of more specifc help.
Stress: How Parents Can Help - How do you tell
when a child's everyday concerns go beyond what's
normal. This helpful article gives parents great
tools to help children deal with stress in their
Also of Interest:
Development and Young Children - Making friends
and establishing relationships are central to any
child's development. For most toddlers and preschoolers,
this road has a few bumps. Learn what you can do to
smooth out the road and encourage the process.
Strategies for Watching the News - Young peoples'
viewing habits frequently impede their ability to
get a balanced perspective on news events. This short
article offers simple tips that can help students
make sense of "wall to wall" reporting.
for Allowances - When should a child first receive
an allowance? What "strings" should be attached?
How much is enough? This article will help parents
and their children establish reasonable expectations
for allowances and their purpose.
- New releases of the best films from the best literature
- along with some perennial favories.
- Here's a listing of classic and newer games that
an entire family can play. Best of all, these games
keep young minds active. Find one for your family,
or suggest a favorite for our collection.
Suggestions for Parents - Here's the first edition
of our listings of recommended titles to help parents
help their children.
When to Start
Kindergarten? Is my child lagging behind or ahead
of the curve? Should we start early? Should we wait
a year? Here's an article that will help you decide
what's right for your child.
Self-Control - If life with your child seems an
endless argument, perhaps there's a better way. Here's
an article that suggests ways to help your child manage
his or her feelings and take responsibility for the
results. The results could be a more peaceful summer
for the entire family. Presented in cooperation with
the National Association of School Psychologists.
and Music Lessons - Young children can be particularly
adept at learning music. What instrument is right
for your child? How much should she practice? Which
teacher is best? Check out our suggestions from a
teacher who works with young students.
for Parent Teacher Conferences - Parents sometimes
fear these as much as students, and there's no reason
to. This month's feature outlines things schools and
parents can do to smooth the process, and suggests
some strategies to ensure that you'll get the most
out of your conference.
Surfing - Get the most out of your child's computer
use, without getting the nasty stuff.
Tolerance and Accepting Diversity - Events of
the past year have made it all the more important
that children learn to be accepting of those who are
not just like them. This article offers suggestions
and strategies to help your child succeed in a world
filled with many cultures and customs.
member section also features the following articles.
They are available only in the members'
Guide for Parents - How
to maintain effective contact with federal, state,
and local officials.
School - What does your child want to be? Planning
for post-secondary education should begin early. Use
this section to learn what the opportunities are and
how to make the most of them.
and Sports - Is playing on a team the right
thing for your child? What sport should he or she
choose. What's the best way to find a good program?
Learn how to help your child find the right sports
program, and why you should be involved.
Development: More than what They Know - An
elementary school counselor explains why stuffing
facts into your young child is not the best way to
build sound learning skills.
Child's Learning Style - Understanding how
your child learns best can be a real help when he
or she has trouble understanding an assignment. This
article will show you how to assess your child's learning
style and use that information effectively.
Partners - Everyday steps parents of preschool
and elementary students can take to help their children
appreciate subjects from art to reading to science.
This section includes printable sheets with specific
activities for each subject area.
Middle School - A middle school counselor suggests
ways parents can help their students manage the practical
and emotional challenges of the move to the bigger,
- Developing a love of reading doesn't happen only
at school Here's a short article that offers tips
you can use every day to help your child develop positive
attitudes toward reading as a lifetime habit.
Read - Learn simple daily habits that can help
ensure your infant, toddler, or preschooler will be
ready to read when the time comes.
and Promotion - Can repeating a grade help
your child? It might, and it might not. Learn the
pros and cons of repeating a grade.
- A Parent's Guide - Extensive, specific resources
to help parents cope with the full range of physical
and intellectual disabilities and work with schools
to meet the needs of their disabled student.
Stay in School!
- High school dropouts shortchange their own futures.
Use this section to learn some of the factors that
contribute to high dropout rates, and what you can
do to motivate your child to stay in school.
for High School - High school can be a challenge.
Here are some ways to improve your student's skills
at reading, writing, math, and more.
Sound? - Part I - Helping your toddler practice
basic word sounds can make him a better reader later
on. This article shows you how.
Sound? - Part II - Here are more activities
and games you can use with your toddler or preschooler
to help her learn basic word sounds.