Category: Achieve Written by Oretha Winston, elev8.com
Carlsson-Paige is professor emerita at Lesley University, where she taught for 30 years. Her newest book is Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids.
In 2010, Carlsson-Paige was one of over 500 early childhood experts who signed a petition warning that Common Core would be harmful to young children.
The Common Core standards do not reflect the “development characteristics and needs of young children. They are imposing expectations on young children that are inappropriate in a variety of ways,” she said.
Make sure to read our report from last year, "Is Your Child’s Education Improving Under New 'Common Core'?"
One of the main problems, Carlsson-Paige believes, is the Common Core requires K-3 children to “learn specific content, facts and skills at certain ages.” But children, especially young children, develop at different rates. To get children to learn the same things at the same time, teachers must “drill them,” which has resulted in “an enormous increase in direct teaching and direct instruction.”
In states that have embraced the Common Core, the direct instruction is replacing proven techniques that early childhood education experts advocate.
“The direct instruction has replaced hands on, active learning and play, which really are the bedrock, or cornerstone activities of early childhood that really solidify learning,” Carlsson-Paige explained. “Children learn through active engagement and play in the early years. Skilled teachers know how to connect skills appropriately to play as they see what children are doing and where they are on the developmental spectrum.”
The direct instruction is damaging to children, she said, because it encourages children to believe that “the information is outside of themselves, rather than they have a capacity construct it from within.
“All of these messages are very damaging. Many children are feeling a sense of failure in early classrooms because they are being asked to learn things they can’t understand easily and they can’t make sense of.”
The Common Core State Standards were not developed by the federal government. They were written by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.States adopted the Common Core as part of the “Race to the Top” initiative from the Department of Education. States competed for education dollars by showing how they would change their education system. To compete for the Race to the Top funds.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 March 2013 15:38
Category: Achieve Written by Elev8.com
With an ever growing problem of debt in this country, it is vital for us as parents to break this vicious cycle. We need to take the time to teach our children just how important money is and how they need to use it. If you want your children to be financially independent as adults, then there are vital lessons they should learn growing up. Here are some tips in how to teach kids the importance of money.
Introduce money at a young age- As soon as a child can count, then they should be introduced to money. It may be as easy as just telling them what money is and what we do with it. Answer any questions they may have about money. Children definitely learn by observation and repetition. These are great ways for your children to grasp anything you are teaching them.
Talk about money- Every time money is involved, you have a great opportunity to teach your children the values of money and how to use it. Don’t overwhelm them by always talking about money, but make sure that you portray the importance of it and teach them the wisdom that you have learned throughout the years so they will less likely make your mistakes. Every time you purchase something at the store, invest, or donate, this can be an opportune time to teach your children something about your values.
Communicate-Communicate with children about your values concerning money. Help them learn the differences between needs, wants, and wishes. If you can teach these crucial lessons, then this will prepare them for making good spending decisions in the future.
Set goals-Setting goals is essential to learning the value of money and saving. Most people rarely reach goals they haven’t set. For every toy or other item that your child may ask for can become a perfect time for a goal-setting session. Goal-setting helps children learn to become responsible for themselves.
Open a bank account-Around ten years old or sooner, you should teach your kids the importance of a bank account. At this age, kids are old enough to have a real bank account. Make sure to explain how banks work so your child doesn’t get worried that his money is disappearing and they will never see it again. Taking your child to the bank to open an account is a simple way to introduce them to saving money. Your child will learn how savings accounts work, and they will enjoy taking their money to the bank to make deposits. You can even open an online account with them.
Teach investing- Teach your child how saving and investing works. Have your child save at home and calculate the interest and see how fast money accumulates through the power of compound interest. Later, they will realize that the quickest way to a good credit rating is a history of regular, successful savings. Some parents even offer to match what children save on their own.
Pay for optional chores- Everyone in the family should have chores to do to help complete the work that needs to be done around the house. It is good to pay your children so they can have money to work with to learn these valuable lessons. If you want to pay your children, only pay them for optional work that you assign them if they want.
Keeping good records-Show your children how to keep good records of money saved, invested, or spent. This is another important skill that young people must learn. If they don’t ever keep track of the money they are spending then they will eventually get into major financial trouble. Show your children how to keep receipts from all purchases in a safe place and keep notes on what they do with their money.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 12:56
Category: Achieve Written by Nick Chiles
I admit that I got a little thrill when I read about the lengths the Obama’s went to make sure there were no pictures sent out into the world showing their daughters in bathing suits.
As the father of two daughters roughly the same age as Malia and Sasha, I can attest to that numbing feeling of shock I got when I woke up one day and realized that my 13-year-old daughter, who in most ways still very much has the mindset of a young adolescent, is now viewed by the rest of the world—and the males in that world—as a woman.
Every day, as I see her walking out my front door with the earrings and the cute little outfits and the bounce in her dreads, this realization slams me all over again, making me want to go invest in a store full of overalls to shelter her from prying male eyes.
The Obama’s were vacationing in Hawaii and happened to be on the beach at the same time as Jessica Simpson, who is a paparazzi obsession. According to Celebuzz.com, as one of the creepy photogs aimed his camera lens in Jessica’s direction, he realized that he was viewing the Obama girls, in bikinis, without their parents. So he snapped away—until he found himself confronted with Secret Service agents. But they didn’t snatch his camera away and smash it up like Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather.” No, the next steps were really classy, just like the Obama’s. The agents simply checked the photographer’s identification and went on their way. But when the photographer sent out pictures of the Obama girls through his agency’s wire, he got a letter on White House letterhead requesting that the images not be released—and pointing out that other media had been respecting these requests.
Oh, what I could do with an entire government agency of armed federal officers tasked with the job of keeping prying eyes—and curious dudes—away from my girls! And a press office intent on making sure no one will ever run pictures of them or write anything remotely negative about them.
Obama acknowledged as much on one of the late night talk shows last year. When asked whether he was worried about his girls becoming young ladies, the president said he has a whole force of guys with guns to make sure boys stay away from them. I think he was only half joking. But I felt him.
The fact is that parents need every bit of help we can get to keep our girls from growing up too early. And we certainly don’t get any assistance from pop culture, which seems dedicated to inappropriately sexualizing girls too fast.
Everywhere you turn, you’re bombarded with these uncomfortable images, from “Toddlers and Tiaras,” which covers the tiny faces of the toddlers with excessive makeup and their bodies in ridiculously racy clothes—this is the show that gave the world Honey Boo Boo—to the scary momager moves of Kris Jenner, the genius behind the creation of America’s sex kitten, Kim Kardashian. Mrs. Jenner now has directed her attention to turning her two youngest daughters, Kendall, 17, and Kylie, 15, into the next generation of Kardashian sex goddesses—and in the process sending out the clear message to every young girl in America that sexualizing herself is the quickest path to riches.
As the perfect counterpoint, we offer this lovely anecdote told by Muhammad Ali’s beautiful daughter Hana, who co-authored the 2004 book, “More Than a Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Presented Through His Daughter’s Eyes”:
“When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day. My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget.
He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold?
Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.” He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered, too.”
This is a sentiment all of us—parents and daughters—should all hold close to our hearts at all times: Our girls are more precious than diamonds and pearls.
Editor’s Note: Author Nick Chiles is a regular contributor to mybrownbaby.com and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestselling tome The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms, co-written with gospel legend Kirk Franklin.
Chiles recent efforts to call attention to the plight of the poor and its impact on children raised attention and awareness of many, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We’re proud of your efforts man!
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 14:50
Category: Achieve Written by Nick Chiles
Would you buy your kid a bulletproof backpack?
Apparently a whole lot of parents are answering that question with a hearty “Yes!” Since the ugly Newtown massacre in December, companies that manufacture bulletproof backpacks are seeing a huge jump in sales.
The vice president of one of the companies, Bullet Blocker, told the Washington Post that after Newtown, they went from selling 15 to 20 backpacks a week to selling 50 to 100 a day.
An Arizona-based company, Amendment II, says sales of its bulletproof backpacks— Avengers for boys, Disney princesses for girls — have risen more than 500 percent since Newtown.
What’s going on here is a ramping up of the tyranny of fear that retailers have been using for years to sell their wares to parents. From car tires to alarm systems, car seats to organic baby food, manufacturers understand the extreme paranoia of the parent brain: protect our child at all costs. And almost always, the parent brain is ruled by emotion rather than rationality. With our (sometimes) irrational fears invading every recess of the parent brain, we will plop down every last dime in our pockets to make sure our children are protected.
Cause let’s be clear: the bulletproof backpack is about as irrational as a fearful parent can get.
A few years back, the U.S. Dept. of Education actually calculated the odds of your child being killed at school. It was one in a million. For comparison sake, the odds of your child being hit by a car while walking is 1 in 23,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency.
So if you were really reacting to the odds, the more rational decision would be to never let your child walk outside. But there’s no retailer trying to sell a product that will protect your child in the street, so no one has yet to use the tyranny of fear to make parents afraid of letting their children walk outside. Maybe that product is on its way to market, but it hasn’t gotten here yet.
President Franklin Roosevelt once told America that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I think this thinking also applies to parenting. We can’t let this tyranny paralyze us, make us keep our kids locked in the basement, push us into buying something as crazy as bulletproof backpacks. Can you imagine the fear you would instill in your child’s heart with the instructions that go along with such a backpack?
“Okay Suzy, if a crazy man starts shooting at you, hold the backpack in front of you like this…”
My 10-year-old freaks out when she hears thunder. Instruction on using her backpack to stop a bullet would render her apoplectic every time she stepped into the school building.
Black Dragon, another bulletproof backpack manufacturer, advertised its product this way:
“Arm the teachers, in the meantime, bulletproof the kids,” Black Dragon said on its Facebook page.
It’s tempting to believe we can bulletproof our kids, but we can’t.
But we can’t let our parental fears do more harm to them than the crazed gunman we think is lurking around every corner.
Editor’s Note: Author Nick Chiles, a regular contributor to LivingWELL magazine, blogs on mybrownbaby.com. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the New York Times bestselling tome The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms, co-written with gospel legend Kirk Franklin. His book on Fatherhood, co-authored with Atlanta Hawks is on our must read list.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 14:43
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