"If; when your child does something "bad," you feel bad about it, your child won't. "

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

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: 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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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...

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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”)...

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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...

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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.”...

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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...

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Are College Visits Necessary?

Posted on 1/3/2018

Q: Our 17-year-old daughter wants to begin visiting colleges. She’s a high-school junior this year and this is when the college visitations begin. We’re feeling like the Grinches Who Stole...

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Recent Questions

Standing up to a Bully

Posted 6 days ago

My son is 7th grade and at a new school. Middle school has been hard. Today a very big boy in his class who he normally is friends with pushed him in the hall because he was trying to show out in...

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Kindergarten Homework Hassles

Posted 2 weeks ago

I have a young kindergartner (won't turn six until this summer), although he is doing good enough in kinder, he is very easily distracted - bright light distraction. During school and homework at...

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Bullying at Preschool

Posted 2 weeks ago

My almost 5 year old boy is in preschool 2.5 days a week. Last year, he was always enthusiastic about going to preschool but this year, he has encountered 2 boys (one of them is his cousin) - who...

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Lowering the Boom

Posted 2 weeks ago

I have been seeking help from this site for a long time and would appreciate you looking through our history for insight and understanding. My now seven year old son is still having behavior...

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7th grade boy and school tech use

Posted on 2/15/2019

My 7th grader boy is at a new school. He has gotten a detention for looking at baseball videos on his computer during class. So I grounded him and took everything away..once off being grounded he...

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The Terrible 12's

Posted on 2/7/2019

A few months have passed. This school year seems to have been a big step for my now 12 year old. We have been struggling most of the school year and just got his grades for the second quarter. The...

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Teenage drama

Posted on 2/5/2019

My 14 year old son had a very rough transition to high school this year. Although he has the ability, he is not performing well and has failed two classes last semester. This semester is not...

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8 y/o Boy Distracted Easily At School

Posted on 1/30/2019

We have an 8yo boy. His teacher let us know he “often gets distracted in the middle of a task, needs multiple reminders to turn in work, write down his homework, and to focus on the task at...

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Avoid Making Mountains out of Molehills

Posted on 1/18/2019

Our 12-year-old daughter is raising concerns (both ours and at least one of her teachers') with violence in her writing. Last fall she asked me to read over a fictional short story she had written...

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Should You Worry About a Shy Kid?

Posted on 1/3/2019

My 10 year old daughter is shy and has trouble making friends. She can handle one on one situations, but she shuts down in a group. (and one on one is rarely the case as she has two sisters near...

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