How Not To Be Your Child’s ATM

how not to be your child's atm

The choices we make with our money can help change the world. ~Nathan Dungan, President and Founder of Share, Save, Spend Guess what the number one stressor is in our families today? It doesn’t take a wild guess. Financial decisions create the most pressure in our homes right now. The economic changes in the past […]


Know Your Children By Their Likes and Dislikes

know your children by their likes

What’s your child’s favorite food? Color? Outfit? What does your child dislike? Preferences give important insights into our personalities. For the child who is agreeable in most situations, we have smooth sailing. The child who expresses strong preferences, though, can push us to the limits of our patience. How long can we listen to…I don’t […]


The Happy Song

happy song

”I don’t feeeel good,” was the daily lament from one of my four-year-old students. Whatever ways we tried to distract Zoe and get her mind off her problems and into some fun learning, Zoe chose to sit and complain about vague physical ailments. Verifying with her parents that Zoe didn’t have any pathological reasons for […]


In a Twitter

in a twitter

The most important help to life we can offer to our children is to provide opportunities to develop concentration and independence. With the development of concentration and independence, our children can take these strengths and apply them to any activity they wish to pursue. With concentration and independence a subset of other skills comes along, […]


Kids Love Monkey Bread

kids love monkey bread

As the Christmas holidays and our winter season begin, a nice warm yummy treat to share creates fun and memories. One of my favorite activities for those cold dark afternoons of winter is to whip up a batch of Monkey Bread with my favorite group of monkeys, who affectionately call me Momma Monkey or Ms. […]


The Power of Open-Ended Questions

In my column, What’s Scary About School, I wrote about various situations to be aware of when dealing with your child’s first days of school. A perceptive reader, Aleta Ledendecker, wrote: ”I so enjoy your weekly newsletters, but there was one line in this week’s that concerned me. At the end, you mentioned asking if […]


Experiencing the Moment

My friend, Anita, recently wrote me about her adventures of accompanying her five-year-old granddaughter and daughter-in-law to private school enrollment interviews and classroom visits. Eliana came out of one school interview jumping and twirling around and exclaimed, ”That was so much fun!” A week later at another interview session Eliana was the last to leave […]


Is My Child Working at Grade Level?

is my child working at grade level

Recent news articles report on the discrepancies in test scores that are appearing in the comparison of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests and state test scores. An example of the most extreme difference is Mississippi’s scores. The state test shows that 87% of students are working at a proficient level compared to […]


Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

five why problem solving tool

”For whatever reasons my eight-year-old, Eric, is critical of everything his younger siblings do. Eric tells his sister that her coloring stinks. He tells his brother that his handwriting is messy. Last night Eric burst into tears because the peas touched his mashed potatoes. Nothing seems to make him happy right now,” Michael told me. […]


Children Seek to Create a Flow of Activity

children seek to create a flow of activity

Up. Down. Up. Down. Eight-month-old Dana stood holding onto the coffee table doing deep knee bends. Day after day, over two hundred at a time, perhaps thousands a day. In amazement, I watched as Dana tirelessly exercised. There was no way I could do a thousand deep knee bends in a day, or at least […]