"Children learn whatever you teach them, whether you've intended for them to learn it or not. "

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

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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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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Recent Questions

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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Little Victories

Posted on 1/16/2020

Not a question; more of a comment of thanks. I started the Ticket Method (at home for both home and school behaviors) a week ago and today my son's teacher (1st grade) sent me an email stating...

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3 year old needs more time to adjust to playing at preschool

Posted on 1/13/2020

Hi! I have spoken with a coach via email, and was happy with the response. I recently spoke with my recently turned 3 year old son’s teachers, and had a chance to sit in on one of his church child...

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Worry or Not?

Posted on 1/12/2020

41/2 year old grandchild’s 4 year old k4 teacher said she does not know her alphabet. She had big vocabulary and seems bright but just will not say them. Is this just her being stubborn? She...

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Is Child's Threat of Suicide a Cry for Help or for Attention?

Posted on 1/9/2020

My oldest is eleven and started middle school this year. Overall it has been a smooth transition. She has a great group of friends and likes school. She does not have a phone and has very limited...

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No Way to Treat a 7 Year Old Boy

Posted on 1/8/2020

My son is 7 years old and in 1st grade. He's had some problems with negative self-talk and is disruptive in class. (I think he’s a perfectionist who’s big on justice and is bored). His grades are...

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College Student Has Lesson to Learn

Posted on 12/31/2019

I am a single mom of ten years to one son. He just completed his first semester of college at a Christian school. His faith is stronger than ever, he met some great people, was selected to be a...

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Challenging "smile stones."

Posted on 12/19/2019

My 6 year old daughter visits the school nurse quite often for the tiniest of things. She seems to love the attention she gets when she is hurt... and it seems to happen a lot. She was coming home...

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Relationship Reboot

Posted on 12/9/2019

This is a Part II to an early question submitted about a very strong-willed and increasingly mouthy 16-year old daughter. Please bear with someone who has subscribed for YEARS without submitting...

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Expat needs help choosing school

Posted on 12/2/2019

My wife and I are expats living abroad and we are starting on the journey of selecting a school for our eldest (5yr old daughter). Being abroad seems to limit the opportunities available for...

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