"Parents cannot effectively communicate their love to a child unless they are also a source of effective authority. "

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Micromanaging Weakens Child's Success in School

Posted 4 weeks ago

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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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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Recent Questions

Kindergartner frustrated by new immersion class

Posted 1 week ago

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 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

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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AP Classes and Motivation

Posted 2 weeks ago

Hi! My son started high school a couple of weeks ago. He was placed in an advanced program where they start taking some AP classes in 9th grade. He has been against the program since we went to an...

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When a Child Chooses the Wrong Friends

Posted 3 weeks ago

My 14-year-old son started in a new, academically-driven private school for high school. He became friends immediately with his peer group on the football team and we've allowed him some new...

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Pay Your Way

Posted 3 weeks ago

Hello, I've been asking questions for a few years now about my daughter. I've read John's book "The Well Behaved Child." My question regarding my now 7 year old daughter is this: How do I...

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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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