- Babble.com | Back To School | Fri, Aug 31, 2012 10:13 AM EDT | CommentsA report in USA Today suggests that U.S. schools are too easy. Based on three years of questionnaires, students regularly feel unchallenged by their schoolwork. Ulrich Boser, who worked on the report, explains that while there is a rarified group of hyper-academic students (probably kids of Tiger Moms), "the broad swath of American students are not as engaged as much in their schoolwork."
My Kids are Succeeding in America's Failing Schools
I believe it. Thirty-seven percent of 4th graders say their math homework is "often too easy." No surprise there! My 4th grader often tells me homework is "stupid."
Related: 15 ridiculous things schools have banned in 2012
I don't think the U.S. public school system is perfect, but I don't like it when (albeit useful) studies like this set off alarmist reactions that exaggerate problems in a way that is unhelpful. I am, personally, very happy with my children's schools and with how well my kids are doing. I'm impressed with what they are learning and school is not too easy for them.
I think one re...Read More »
- Babble.com | Back To School | Fri, Aug 31, 2012 12:21 PM EDT | CommentsMy kids go back to school in less than a week, and to say I'm ready would be the understatement of the year.
It's homework time again!
But as much as I'm looking forward to a quieter house and returning to all those gentle routines that give the school year much-needed structure, I know that the beginning of the school year can be hard on moms, too.
Combine a sudden avalanche of paper and important dates to keep track of with earlier bedtimes and waking times and you've got a recipe for exhaustion and stress.
Related: 7 ways to deal with a teacher you don't like
But there are definitely steps you can take to make the back-to-school shuffle easier on yourself (as well as the kids.) Here are some of the tactics I've tried with success:
1. If possible, make Mondays a T.I.E. (take it easy) day
If you go to work in an office or your kids go to school in a building, September means you're getting up early on Mondays no matter what. But that doesn't necessarily mean you ...Read More »
- Babble.com | Back To School | Wed, Aug 29, 2012 3:13 PM EDT | Comments
We bought our house located less than a quarter of a mile from an elementary school the spring before Boy Wonder started kindergarten. "How great it will be to walk to and from school when he gets just a little older!" we thought. Five years later as Boy Wonder gears up to enter the 5th grade where apparently "everybody walks to school" he's begging for the opportunity to go it alone. Sigh. Really? I suspect sometime within this 5th grade school year I'll loosen the reins and allow him to walk alone … I think … maybe … but only if he follows these very important safety tips for walking to school -check 'em out! - Lori Garcia
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- Babble.com | Back To School | Wed, Aug 29, 2012 4:14 PM EDT | Comments
Your first year with a baby is a constant learning experience. After all, there's no instruction manual attached to the umbilical cord, so you process, implement, correct, and keep marching along every day. This holds true even if it's not your first child! My older daughter was 3 by the time my younger daughter was born, so a lot of the baby basics were old hat at that point, but I was shocked by how much I learned during that first year. In some ways, I feel like what I learned with my second baby was more useful than my first one because it was a mattering of honing, not just survival. Here are the 8 most important things I learned during my second daughter's first year. - By Meredith Carroll
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- Babble.com | Back To School | Tue, Aug 28, 2012 4:07 PM EDT | CommentsEarlier this summer, the Centers for Disease Control reported that cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, are soaring: 18,000 infections have been reported so far in 2012, which is twice the number seen by this time in 2011. Dr. Anne Schuchat, a director at the CDC, said recently in a briefing: "We may need to go back to 1959 to find a year with as many cases reported by this time."
Should You Vaccinate?
In general, about half of infected children under the age of one are hospitalized, and so far this year, nine babies have died. Outbreaks are often blamed on unvaccinated kids. But scientists and public health officials say that in this case, part of the problem may be that the current vaccine (on the market since 1997) doesn't work as well long-term, since many cases are being seen in vaccinated kids. In Washington state, for example (where an epidemic was declared this spring), over 75 percent of pertussis patients were up-to-date on immunizations. In a letter in the Journal of the American Medical ...Read More »