"There are no argumentative children; only adults who argue with children."

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

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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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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Recent Questions

Adjusting to a New Pre School Can Be Hard

Posted 5 days ago

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 1 week ago

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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Unwell Mom Struggles with Screen Time Abuse

Posted 1 week ago

I am really unwell at the moment and my son is being kept home from school, I also have a 1 year old. I am trying to look after both while I get through this illness. Discipline has slided and...

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School Performance Ultimately Belongs to the Student

Posted on 8/20/2020

My son is going in the 3rd grade and so far has had great performance at school both with academics and behavior. When school went virtual in the spring, it was a horrible few months for both of...

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What Is A Normal 3 Year Old?

Posted on 8/19/2020

Our little boy turns 3 in a week. He is one of the youngest in his preschool class (cutoff is 9/1 and his birthday is 8/25) and some classmates have been 3 since last fall. I feel that he is...

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Assist with Homework - or Not?

Posted on 7/23/2020

Based on the book The Well Behaved Child, what age/grade should a parent stop assisting with homework?

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Emotional Intelligence Begins With Good Manners

Posted on 6/14/2020

Are you familiar with the term 2e kids? Or twice exceptional? Our 10 year old son appears to fall into this category. He is at above average intelligence, but his emotional iq is lacking and a...

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Talking to Kids About Dyslexia

Posted on 6/11/2020

My son has a moderate case of dyslexia, and he is 10. Our daughter, who is 7, has a mild case of dyslexia. Our son, of course, knows he is dyslexic, however, we have not told our daughter she is...

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Playing with Toy Guns- Keep It Simple

Posted on 5/2/2020

My son has taken an interest in gun play. He likes making guns with blocks of lego and sticks and playing with his nerf gun. I want him to enjoy this play but in a way that is fun and healthy,...

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Lower the Boom on School Misbehavior

Posted on 1/22/2020

Our seven year old got sent to the principles office today for telling another student "I'm going to kill you". He was already one night into a three night bout of being banished to his room due...

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