Parent engagement

July 23, 2008

Molly, Anna, and I went shopping for school supplies yesterday. It's always a bit of a giddy shopping trip; choosing which color for the composition book, 16 or 24 box of crayons, Elmer's or Rose's glue…getting to buy colored pencils…oh my! We were there for at least an hour.

Total cost: $47.00 for two kids.

The trip reminded me of my own teaching days when I'd make my late...

April 2, 2008

I blogged about reading logs back in August, when Molly was just getting started with a daily homework assignment to read and respond every day after school. The title of that post, Reading Logs, Reading Blahs pretty much sums up the way I feel about reading logs. Your comments on that...

March 18, 2008

We're approaching the fourth grading period at our school, which leads some teachers and parents to think about whether a struggling child should be retained. It's never an easy conversation to have.

March 4, 2008

One of my blog posts that got people talking was the one about our decision to enroll Anna in kindergarten as a 5 year old (rather than waiting until she turned 6). Both our girls have summer birthdays; we waited to send our older daughter, but wrestled with the same decision for our younger daughter.

A related (but...

February 5, 2008

I heard that expression for the first time when my mom was teaching me to drive. She has a bit of a lead foot, and had gotten a spate of speeding tickets when I was a teenager. The new driver that I was, I stepped on the gas to reach the speed limit as quickly as possible. She turned to me and said, "Do as I say, not as I do, especially when it comes to driving!"

I find myself using...

November 29, 2007

I've started thinking about holiday gifts for the girls' teachers. Here are a few of my ideas so far...I'm trying to keep it practical and useful.

A gift certificate to Barnes & Noble: For kids' books, or for the teachers' own enjoyment! What could be better than a latte and a good book? I just finished this,and it was great (long...but very interesting!)...

September 26, 2007

We get lots of questions through our Ask the Expert service. Occasionally I'll post a question here in hopes of reaching a wider audience. Feel free to chime in with your own additions to my answer! If you're like me, you'll find yourself wanting to write a dissertation for each one.

Question: My 6 year old daughter...

September 5, 2007

No, this isn't a lecture aimed at teenagers. It's a plea to teachers: Talk to your parents!

You're back to school by now, and we parents are at home, hungry for details about what's going on with our child. Try as they might, our kids just don't say enough about their day at school.

When is library day? Should I send a snack every day? Can I come in...

August 29, 2007

Many of us are back to school by now. And for most of us, that means daily reading logs, where a parent signs a log each night confirming that her child has read at home that day. For us, we're on day five, and we're already a little bored.

In the spirit of starting the year off on the right foot, here are a few ideas (hopes? hints?) for teachers and parents that may make reading logs...

August 22, 2007

Anna, our "five-year-old-summer-birthday-girl-and-second-born" daughter started kindergarten today. I first wroteabout the subject of kindergarten with summer birthdays last January during preschool re-enrollment. I questioned sending her; Miss K., our preschool teacher, never had a doubt in her mind. Anna would go. Another year of...

August 15, 2007

We got our letters yesterday that let us know which teachers our kids will have this year. Anna, our rising kindergartener, got the same teacher Molly had, and we're thrilled. She's a fabulous teacher — she's nurturing, smart, and runs her classroom so smoothly that it's tough to believe there are actually 14–16 five- and six-year-olds in it.

I don't recognize the name of Molly's...

April 10, 2007

Molly brought home her kindergarten report card yesterday. I completely skipped over the grades section, and went right to the teacher comments, written by Molly's teacher.

As a teacher, I remember when we shifted from hand-written report cards to computer generated ones. We bubbled grades for achievement and effort in each area, and chose narrative comments from a list provided by the...

January 18, 2007

I knew it was coming — re-enrollment time at preschool. Top of the form, first question: Will your child be going to kindergarten next year? Our answer: UGH!! We can't decide!

Anna (our younger daughter) turns five in early July. In Virginia, the kindergarten cut off date is September 30, so she clearly could...

Pages

"Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them." —

Arnold Lobel