"The child who is disciplined as well as he or she is loved is a happy, healthy child. "

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Children Do Best in School When Parents Do Not Monitor Progress

Posted 1 week ago

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

What's a Young Teacher to Do About Discipline?

Posted on 9/4/2018

As another school year begins, one of many pertinent questions is “Has the per child or per-teacher (it doesn’t matter) rate of verbal and emotional abuse by teachers on students increased...

Read More

The Great Pre-K Debate

Posted on 8/28/2018

It has long been known, but only spoken of in hushed tones by university professors sitting in darkened rooms wearing Fat Elvis masks, that pre-Kindergarten “jump-start” (aka, “push-down”)...

Read More

Parents of Unmotivated Teen Should Stop Stressing

Posted on 4/25/2018

Q: Our 17-year-old son is flunking his junior year in high school. Flunking is not a possibility; it is a definite, a done deal. He has passed the point where he could turn this around. He’s very...

Read More

Don’t Go Down the Road of ADHD Testing

Posted on 4/17/2018

Q: Our son, age 8, did fine in school in first grade, but has struggled in second. We’ve taken your advice and not helped much with his homework other than occasional and brief “consultations.”...

Read More

Weighing the Options of Repeating Kindergarten

Posted on 3/28/2018

Q: Even though he had an early-August birthday, we started our son in Kindergarten this past Fall at a private Christian school. They did some testing prior to the start of the school year and...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

Nip Physical Aggression in the Bud

Posted 3 days ago

We have been doing the ticket system with our four-year-old for the last four days. He has one targeting behavior, “refusing to listen,” and five tickets. Every day since we started, he has lost...

Read More

When Normal Becomes a Disorder

Posted 5 days ago

My son is six years old, and he started kindergarten this year. Somewhere around week three or four, I got a call from his teacher stating that he has "impulsivity issues". I did a quick google...

Read More

Focus More on the Behavior than the Diagnosis

Posted 5 days ago

I have a 10 year old son who was once diagnosed as autistic. A few years later we had him tested again in which the doctor couldn't understand why he was labeled that way and said he was not...

Read More

Preschooler Refuses to Attend School

Posted 2 weeks ago

We have a 4 1/2 year old in preschool. He has been going to school fine. He doesn’t always want to stay without me but usually ends up doing fine. Yesterday he did not want to stay. The teacher...

Read More

End Micromanagement of Grades by Lowering the Boom

Posted 3 weeks ago

I have two sons (13 and 14 years old) and one step son (12 years old). They've gone to a Christian school their whole lives and are all saved. My issue is with my 13 year old. He is very smart as...

Read More

Teach Tweenager How to Manage Anger

Posted on 10/8/2019

Hi There, My daughter will be 11 yo on February, she is such a sweet/sensetive girl who likes to please others, but when she becomes angry she can not control it , she melts down for a while then...

Read More

Too Many Expectations for 9-Year-Old

Posted on 9/25/2019

My daughter is 9, she is very respectful (although disobeying and arguing are not respectful) and has great manners ("yes ma'am", "yes, sir"). She has given me a run for my money her whole life...

Read More

When to Intervene in School Issues

Posted on 9/24/2019

My almost 10-year-old son came home in hysterical tears yesterday. His side of the story is that at school he saw someone’s school ID on the floor, picked it up, and asked, “Whose ID is this?” and...

Read More

5 year old won’t stop chatting in noisy classroom setting

Posted on 9/23/2019

Hi. My son just entered kindergarten at a small parochial school. The teacher has 20 kids, more than she's had. She has told all the parents the class is chatty. She has tried four or five...

Read More

Homework Not A Parent Problem

Posted on 9/21/2019

Our son is in 6th grade and gets good grades. However, each night it's a struggle to get him to complete his homework. Any suggestions on how to deal with his procrastination? Thanks.

Read More
View All Questions