""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Beware of 'The Protocol'

Posted 2 weeks ago

Q: Our son is seven years old and in the second grade. His school went virtual this past Spring and we see no end to it, not in the near term at least. When he was going to a brick-and-mortar...

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Time to Shake Things up When It Comes to Your Child's Education

Posted on 8/11/2020

Q: Our nine-year-old has just learned he is not going back to school on schedule in the fall. Instead, he will be doing distance learning by computer and home instruction. We had to do this for...

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Why Small Classrooms Are Overrated

Posted on 5/5/2020

No rational person would argue that the smaller the class size, the better, right?” asked the radio talk show host. “I think I’m a rational person,” I said, “and I can offer proof...

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It Is Not Necessary to Help Your Child With Homework

Posted on 11/26/2019

After a recent talk in South Florida, women came up to me in droves asking, “How much should I help my children with their schoolwork?” That not one man asked the question...

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In Today's Parenting, Feelings Trump the Truth

Posted on 11/19/2019

Okay, it’s time to set the record straight, confront the gorilla in the proverbial room, call a spade a spade, and so on and so forth. I recently published a column on “The...

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Children Do Best in School When Parents Do Not Monitor Progress

Posted on 10/29/2019

The Portal. It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, the gateway to an alternative universe that lures, then traps the unwary in its nefarious web of illusion, where things are...

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School Discipline in Steady Decline

Posted on 2/12/2019

I receive a steady stream of missives from teachers, ex-teachers, and other folks who have insider knowledge of America’s schools. They all say the same thing – classroom discipline is falling...

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Public Education Myths and Facts

Posted on 2/6/2019

As regards nearly every public policy topic these days, myths abound, but few mythologies rival that of public education. A sample: <b>Myth: Smaller classrooms promote better...

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9-Year-Old Daughter Says She Doesn't Like School

Posted on 11/28/2018

Q: Our 9-year-old daughter recently announced to us that she doesn’t like school, doesn’t want to go, and doesn’t want to do the work. We’ve been unable to get a coherent reason out of her and...

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Determinism Muddies Parental Judgement

Posted on 10/24/2018

As the current school year kicked off, I began hearing the same-old, same-old report from teachers and principals: children who have never lied. At least, that is what the parents of said children...

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Recent Questions

How We Can Help

Posted 3 weeks ago

Good afternoon, We have an adopted boy in our Christian School that has had trouble working in a classroom environment. He does not seem to have learning disabilities, but if lessons seem...

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Loss of Grandfather Angers 13 year old Granddaughter

Posted on 12/5/2020

My 13 year old grandchild has been mad about everything since her grandfather died last year. Her grades are suffering and she has no interest in anything except playing on her phone. She has...

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Difficult is Not Bad

Posted on 12/2/2020

I am homeschooling my Grandson, who is in first grade. He is a bright child, but not motivated for school. He has struggled with handwriting and anything which requires manual dexterity, or fine...

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It's Her Problem to Solve

Posted on 11/14/2020

My daughter is struggling in school since grade 2. She's in French immersion. She has failed three tests in a row so far because she didn't study for them.. Her teacher says that she seems to...

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Who pays for what - the college years

Posted on 11/8/2020

19 yr old in college on substantial scholarship not taking her academics seriously and, given the trajectory, will lose the scholarship come year's end. From her history, I think she's just a...

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This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun

Posted on 11/4/2020

My 8 year old daughter is struggling at school. She just wants to have fun and be creative mostly...Anyway she has failed two tests so far and now her teacher is asking me to sit down because she...

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Prepare HS Senior or Repair College Freshman?

Posted on 11/1/2020

My son is a high school senior. He is a good kid, volunteers in the community and helps out around the home, doesn't drink or do drugs, respectful, etc. His grades have been mostly A's with a...

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Keep Delicate Conversations As Simple as Possible

Posted on 10/22/2020

Hello! I am wondering how, when the topic comes up, should I address same sex relationships with my kids (mainly my 8 year old son for now; I also have a 4 year old daughter). We are Catholic...

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Adjusting to a New Pre School Can Be Hard

Posted on 9/25/2020

We are struggling with our 3-year-old at school. She started in PK-3 this year at a new school. The past 3 years she has been in daycare/pre-school. Where to begin... and by the way all of these...

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Normal Kindergarten Boy

Posted on 9/21/2020

Our 5-year-old is struggling in kindergarten because of behavior. He runs around the classroom instead of staying in his seat, refuses to stay quiet (shouts) when the teacher is teaching and...

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