"If you think childrearing is difficult, it will be. "

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Parents, Not Teachers, Are the Reason for Decline in Education

Posted 5 days ago

Richard Louv, author and former columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune, began a column in the mid-90s as follows: "At the beginning of the school year, it's good to remember the key to...

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Micromanaging Weakens Child's Success in School

Posted on 8/22/2017

Q: Our son attends first grade at the local public school. At the beginning of the school year, all the parents were basically told that we are expected to go to the school’s parent website every...

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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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Recent Questions

College students and control.

Posted yesterday

Our 21 year old son is on a full ride academic scholarship at an out of state university. When he was born, we set up a UGMA account for his college education, but he hasn’t needed it. He has...

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Ten Year Old With Anxiety

Posted 5 days ago

Hello! My daughter is 10 years old. She has quite a bit of anxiety (inherited I believe). Recently, she has been confronted with the task of working on a project with another, very difficult...

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Old School Blues

Posted 1 week ago

My daughters were homeschooled, public schooled, homeschooled again, and back in public school right down the street. They were pretty happy with school but the oldest was always hard to get out...

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Lower the Boom on 18 year old son

Posted 2 weeks ago

My son has just turned 18 and is a senior in high school. He had his first job this summer doing construction work with some people we know. He did well getting up early and they said that he...

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First Time Offender

Posted 2 weeks ago

Received a call from my 5th graders school today he and another boy were making and folded paper craft (ninja star) at lunch. My son turned it into an inappropriate conversation about a private...

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Ill-Behaved Grandchildren

Posted 3 weeks ago

My 4 yr old grandson is already in trouble in school for bullying. A classmate didn't want to go to school because he was afraid he was going to get hurt by my grandson again, who has apparently...

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Kindergartner frustrated by new immersion class

Posted on 9/11/2017

My 5 1/2 year old boy is having a hard time transitioning into a spanish immersion kindergarten. He's acting out by being very disruptive and sometimes "play hitting"/horsing around. We had...

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Should Mom address home behavior or Math grade first?

Posted on 9/2/2017

Our 11 yr old daughter (6th grade) has some small/medium behaviors at home we would like to get under control with a Weekly Chart, but also is having trouble in Math at school (C)...other subjects...

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Daily Report Cards Help School Behaviors

Posted on 9/1/2017

I have a 7 year old who has been having problems at school and just recently we received a form from school saying that the school is requesting for social worker intervention, that is "the next...

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Off to a rocky start at Kindergarten!

Posted on 9/1/2017

For the 3rd time in 8 days my 5 year old has come home from Kindergarten with a bad report from the teacher. She's at a Catholic school, which we are very happy with, but she just can't seem to...

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