5 steps to make my child stop interrupting my conversations

I’m now into educating my youngest one to let me talk to people in peace. She always interrupts me and it’s annoying, as you might understand.

One of my fears of dating somebody new is that when they’ll be around me and my little one, they might be horrified at how I let her boss me around, interrupt me and make me do things at any time. My girl is not that bad, maybe, but I’m afraid of this.

Children are usually jealous of their mother giving attention to other people, especially when they see some flirtation going on, but I’m afraid that single children from single moms suffer more of this. It’s really a LOT of attachment between us, being just us most of the time, so it can be quite intense.

It took me maybe much longer than it should have, but I’m training her to let me talk to people without being interrupted. Just like when I weaned her from breastfeeding,

Read more

How To Tackle Your Kid’s School Supply List

It happens every year. The school supply list is mailed to your home in the summer and this year it seems it will even bigger than the last one, even if your child is only in elementary school. I know it’s pretty early in the year to bring this up, but better a bit too early than too late.

For some families, the back-to-school supply list can take an unwelcome bite out of that month’s income, but there are ways to be a smarter school shopper and lessen the financial impact of that huge school supply list.

Check What Your Kids Still Have

Just because a book bag is right there at the top of your child’s school supply list does not mean that you have to buy them a brand new one every September.

Instead of giving in to your kids’ whims and buying that flimsy Justin Bieber or Transformers book bag that will be in vogue for approximately fifteen minutes, invest in a good quality, sturdy and durable book bag that will last longer than just a single school year.

Lands End and Jansport both make great quality book bags that are designed to last and remain to look good for the length of their useful life. They are stylish but not flashy and they will last through several school years, not just one.

Read more

More job searchers just quit looking. Some head back to school, others just sit paralyzed in ‘living hell’

When Steven Weinberg was laid off in September last year, he decided not to fritter away his savings on a job search he assumed would be fruitless.

Instead, he decided to go to law school — a career move he made in large part because so few employers are hiring.

“I realized there are no jobs out there, and I needed to go back to school,” says Weinberg, 32, of Chicago, who was laid off from a firm that helped Japanese companies do business in the USA. “A big part of the reason for this is how hard the job market is.”

A growing number of white-collar workers and other job seekers are so discouraged that they’re giving up. Instead of looking for work, they’re living off severance or buyout packages, moving back in with Mom and Dad, or relying on a spouse’s income to get by.

They’re gray-haired managers who are going back to school and working mothers who are becoming stay-at-home moms after being laid off.

Some disheartened job seekers are making money on e-Bay, selling their poetry, or doing odd jobs for neighbors instead of sending out more resumes.

Read more

Monetary Donations For Public Schools

One school district where I worked had 12 schools K-12. Between those 12 schools, especially among the 9 elementary schools, there was a sizable socio-economic divide.

A few of the schools were Title I (a federal program that entitled lower-income populations to additional funding), while other schools in the district were incredibly affluent. In fact, a few professional athletes’ kids attended those upper-echelon schools within the district.

I happened to be the principal at one of the “Title I” schools, so our parent club, while incredibly supportive, was not able to provide any monetary support, which we actually needed as they also were asking for smaller class sizes, another important factor to providing quality education.

You might be wondering, “Why would a parent club provide monetary support?” Well, in this day and age, with the budget crises at the state and federal levels of government, funding is cut nearly every year.

As districts tighten their belts and trim any remaining fat in their budgets, district officials have to make very difficult decisions about what to cut. Cuts are never popular, but without funding, there aren’t any alternatives.

Read more

Back to School — How to Get Off to a Successful Start

Summer is coming to a close; the sun is setting earlier; it’s time for back to school!

Here are a few simple tips for getting off to a successful start and on into the school year.

1. Build a strong rapport with your child’s teacher(s) right off the bat. Introduce yourself in person, make sure to attend Back to school night (often called Curriculum Night) and then send a follow-up email letting your child(ren)’s teacher know that you and your family are excited for a great year.

In your email, share the best way for the teacher(s) to get a hold of you and a little bit about your child that may be good and/or helpful for the teacher(s) to know. And for those of you with middle and high school students, this tip is still very much valid.

Be sure to include the specialists (ie. PE teacher, Art teacher, etc…) Taking the time to connect lets teachers know that you’re serious about supporting them and your child having a successful year.

Read more

Should I Hold My Child Back Part 2

This is the time of year when some parents may be wondering: Should I hold my child back a grade? It is a difficult and challenging question for any parent to grapple with.

Back in June, I wrote a post about retention, and it has been by far, the post that generated the most commentary, questions, and dialogue. I thought it would be helpful to write a follow-up that summarizes some of the points I have been conveying to individual parents who have contacted me.

NOTE: I do not unilaterally disagree with retention. While I generally do not support retention as an intervention to help students succeed, I do believe that every child is unique with his/her own circumstances and needs.

Because I do not know the intricate nuances of each child’s situation, I do not, in good conscience, attempt to provide explicit answers so much provide guidance for parents to ask the right questions, look in the right places and seek the best direction for their child.

Read more

Progress Reports

The school year is in full gear, and by now, most schools on a traditional school calendar are hitting the halfway point of the first quarter. That means it’s about time for progress reports.

Progress reports used to be mailed out around mid-quarter (or mid-marking/grading period) to students who were at risk of failing. However, these days progress reports are more and more common for all students, not just those at risk.

With the advent of online grading technologies such as Powerschool (my favorite) giving parents and students daily access to grades, attendance, and various other records, it may seem that there is less need for formal mid-quarter progress reports. On the contrary, I believe there is still a value add for official progress reports.

1. Even though online technologies offer parents and students a daily view of progress, not all parents/students access the records. So a paper progress report is still a useful tool for communication.

Read more

The First Day of Kindergarten

Months in advance of the start of this school year, we decided to send Lil Pig to the full-day kindergarten program at his pre-school. After weighing all the pros and cons given our current family situation (ie. academic needs, class size, our jobs, sister at the same school, cost), this decision made the most sense.

Well, three days ago, Lil Pig started kindergarten. There wasn’t as much hoopla for us since he was staying at the same school with many of the same friends moving into the kinder class.

Admittedly, I did little to prepare him or ourselves for starting “real” school. So, much to my dismay when he came home and said that he didn’t like kindergarten because it was “boring”, missed his former teacher, and wanted to return to pre-school, I was surprised and distraught.

We consoled and reminded him that he’s a big boy, ready for the exciting adventure of kindergarten. We asked him specific questions to see if we could get to the bottom of his boredom.

After about 10 minutes of talking with our 5-year-old, we managed to conclude that he wasn’t bored, but in fact, he didn’t like the academic nature of kindergarten. After all, there was far less playtime in kindergarten than in pre-school. This is a portion of the week one newsletter I received from the teacher:

Read more