"Children need parents who know where they stand as well as where they want their children to stand. "

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Put a Lid on Materialistic Excess for Kid With Sticky Fingers

Posted on 7/19/2017

Q: We’ve just been informed that our 7-year-old son has been effectively “expelled” from the private school he attended last year because of repeated instances of stealing small items from...

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Do Your Homework Before Choosing a School

Posted on 5/30/2017

Q: We have just moved and are seeking a new school for our two children – 6- and 8-year-old boys. They are smart, respectful of adults, and creative. We know that sounds like typical bragging, but...

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Stay the Course With Rebellious Teen

Posted on 5/23/2017

Q: Our 18-year-old daughter is a month away from high school graduation and she is failing nearly every class! About six months ago, she took up with a group of young adults who are less than...

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Don't Fret About Teen Son With Average Grades

Posted on 4/18/2017

Q: Our 17-year-old son is an unmotivated student. A junior in high school, he is clearly capable of making straight A’s, but typically makes B’s and C’s. He plays on both the football and tennis...

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Teaching Academics to Toddlers is Worthless

Posted on 4/12/2017

There is no good evidence that the artificial gains produced by so-called "jump-start" educational programs for toddlers, whether computer-driven or human-driven, are of lasting value....

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Bring Back Vocational Education in High Schools

Posted on 4/11/2017

During my sophomore year at Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois, my guidance counselor, Mr. Gusloff, refused my request to take auto shop because I was, he said, college-bound and my...

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Success Is a Matter of Character, Not Grades

Posted on 2/15/2017

There must be some relationship between aging and the “You’ve got to be kidding me!” response, if I am any indication, that is. What was once occasional has become almost daily. ...

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How Much Homework Is Enough?

Posted on 1/26/2017

One of the most unfortunate things that the never-ending rollout of "education reform" has spawned is an overemphasis on <i>quantity</i> where homework is concerned. The following letter, sent to...

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What to Do About a Poor Report Card

Posted on 1/24/2017

<i><b>How to transform bad grades into a learning experience -- and into better results.</b></i> When your child brings home disappointing grades, don't panic, and don't lose your cool. Studies...

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Help for the Unmotivated Teen

Posted on 11/1/2016

Q: Our 17-year-old daughter is bright but puts very little effort into her schoolwork. For example, she currently has very low grades in several classes simply because of not turning in...

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Recent Questions

Diagnosis and parenting.

Posted on 7/17/2017

Our 8-year old daughter was psychologically evaluated upon a request from her school and pediatrician. This was done for a determination of possible ADHD or Autism Spectrum issues. The results of...

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8 yro hurting others using ticket system

Posted on 7/11/2017

Our 8 year old son has had some instances of badly hurting others. He's aggressively hurt kids at school twice and the school has intervened. In both instances, we have punished him at home as...

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When mean children say mean things.

Posted on 6/8/2017

My 7 year old son has been saying that kids at school say he's fat and that he has "big fat thighs". The truth is he's a bit husky but he's very active, eats a well balanced diet, and is shaped...

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11 yo, Depressed, Won't Do School Work

Posted on 5/15/2017

We read him the riot act and lowered the boom. It's the first time our son (11) has been grounded. He has been refusing to do his school work. He sits and stares at his math book for hours, even...

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School Problems for a 7 year old

Posted on 5/3/2017

7 year old son smacked a classmate's hand while walking by their desk. When asked why by the vice principal his response was he "thought it was funny". Need to nip this in the bud, this is his 3rd...

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15 yo Slacker

Posted on 5/1/2017

My son (15) will be 16 in August; I'm a single mom he has 2 other brothers, 8,13; I juggle extracurricular activities for the 2 (15 & 12) with others peoples help; acquaintances, friends helping...

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4 yo Doesn't Want to Go to School

Posted on 4/23/2017

Hi Gurus, Our 4-year-old has been very upset about going to school (pre-k) lately - tonight she was crying and saying she doesn't want to go to school, ever ever ever. She attends an after-school...

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9 Year Old Playing Instead of Learning

Posted on 4/3/2017

My 9 year old son is getting in trouble at school for playing games he is not supposed to be doing. He has also started missing assignments. He went to his room at 4 last Friday and Saturday...

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Finances and the Bank of Mom and Dad

Posted on 3/28/2017

We have our first child in college. We are giving her a monthly stipend to pay for incidentals. Room, board and tuition are paid for both with money we saved and a scholarship she earned. She also...

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College student lessons.

Posted on 3/21/2017

Against our advice, our college student chose a roommate known to be prone to histrionics. Before the decision was made, we outlined all the potential ramifications but let her make the final...

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