Archive for the 'Schooling' Category

Edu-Parenting Style

What's Your Edu-Parent Style?

Found this at The DreamBox Blog. Stephen’s been playing DreamBox math games. Highly recommended!

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Giftedness Not Required

from PostSecret

For more interesting reading on giftedness, see A Very Modern Epidemic: Gifted Children at’s The Juggle. And for a peek into what being gifted is like in Singapore, check out Of Kids, Education and Everything Else Under the Sun by Monica Lim. I especially liked Monica’s post, How to tell if your child is intellectually gifted in which she says:

Being gifted and being “smart” is not the same thing.

People have often argued that the GEP (gifted education program) is discriminatory because there are late bloomers who do pretty well later on in life. I think this arises because there is a confusion between being gifted and being smart. It’s probably safe to say that all gifted children are smart, but not all smart children are gifted. Research shows that in general, about 1% of each cohort is intellectually gifted.

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Decentering My Viewpoint

Oh puhleeease.

For more on what kids are “learning” through play, check out Lilian’s post at Wrong Side of Thirty.

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Animal School Video

These two videos feature a school for animals to teach them running, climbing, flying, and swimming. Animal School is a metaphor for the various skills children are taught in school and how they might approach learning. Fascinating!

Animal School video with subtitles.

Animal School narrated by Stephen Covey

HT: The Happiness Project


Never Too Early

mother & son at schoolHey, you slackers. Have you attended a college fair lately? No excuses. You can attend online college fairs just like this mother who’s getting a head start:

Julie Richardson, a Virginia mother of two elementary-school-age boys, attended as a preliminary way to research colleges, she said, since she “didn’t know the difference between a Harvard and a Michigan.” [emphasis added]

I’ll tell you some differences between Harvard and Michigan:

  • Tuition
  • Location
  • Prestige
  • Admission standards
  • Attitude

As Cobweb put it at WSJ’s The Juggle:

Typical Harvard guy. Thinks he’s smarter (more clever) than the rest.

Just kidding! Substitute Stanford for Harvard if you want to take a potshot at me. ;)

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So-Called Math Education

Who knew there were so many different ways to solve 26×31 or 133/6?! Life just keeps getting more complicated. Our poor kids are really in for it and therefore so are we, their poor parents. ARGH.

Meterologist MJ McDermott lists the following problems graduates of the American school system are having with math:

  1. Inability to work alone without checking in with others (too much group work)
  2. Lack of math fluency in the symbolic language of math
  3. Lack of math basic skills, e.g., trig, algebra, arithmetic.
  4. Dependence on calculator (can’t do 4×6 without a calculator)

In the end, McDermott recommends Singapore math for children having trouble with math. There was also a great discussion of these various math education methods–TERC and Everyday Math–at kitchen table math, the sequel.

What do you think of your own or your child’s math education?

HT: Lilian, math teacher extraordinaire


Volunteering at School

postsecret life

Oh, dear. But all the books say we should!

via PostSecret


Applying to College Is Akin to Death

coffinProof that the whole college application process has made people go completely bonkers. Here’s what 17-year-old Jessica Assaf said in the Wall Street Journal about last year’s 13.5% low acceptance rate at Brown University.

A 14% acceptance rate isn’t a good statistic. If someone said you had a 14% chance of living, that’s nowhere near being reassured.

She just compared getting into college to death!


You don’t have to go to Stanford

My alma mater, Stanford, is considering expanding the freshman class. For the past 35 years, the number of undergraduate students enrolled has been between 6,000 and 7,000.

stanford students

University President John Hennessy:

In the end, though, I believe expanding the size of the undergraduate population would be both a practical and a principled response to current realities. It would create more opportunities for gifted students to attend Stanford and it would avail Stanford of some of the best and brightest minds in the country.

There is no doubt that each year, many qualified students are denied admission to Stanford. These students would, of course, enhance any university. The question is, can these same students find a quality university experience at another school besides Stanford? Of course! So do we really need to expand the student body to give more people a chance to attend Stanford? I’m not convinced. Bringing more students in could lead to overcrowding, insufficient resources, and brand dilution.

As much as I loved my time at Stanford, I’m not under the illusion that it’s the only university worth attending. The US has many wonderful colleges and universities, big and small. Gifted students can find a rewarding experience no matter where they go because the real gift is within themselves. No matter where you go to school, it’s up to you to take the initiative to create opportunities for yourself and to discover the path you’re meant to go down.

You don’t have to go to Stanford to achieve great things. What distinguishes successful people from the rest is some parts good luck and many parts drive, ingenuity, and hard work. Going to Stanford was a small achievement. Living a productive life is an even greater one.


School Lunch Tasting

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I’ve mentioned before that Stephen really seems to enjoy his school lunches. Earlier this week, I had a chance to attend a school lunch tasting. Now I can see how truly lucky he is to have such a wide selection of meals each day served by friendly staff. His school has its own kitchen with food prepared fresh on the premises and they also have a salad bar with fresh fruits and vegetables.

I especially appreciated the handout the food service team prepared.

Menus are nutritionally balanced using the latest computer-based technology and must conform to our own tested recipes and quality assurance programme. All of our suppliers are carefully identified and then audited to ensure that they are providing us with products that meet our quality and nutritional standards. We will not knowingly use any ingredient that has been genetically modified.

Our aim is to ensure that school meals are not only great value but that they also provide your child with a safe diet that will assist with their learning development

The school lunch tasting included:

  • Chick pea curry (my favorite!)
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Quiche
  • Fish with white sauce (which didn’t look great but was very tasty)
  • Apple crumble with warm custard
  • Carrot cake

I know for a fact that Stephen is more willing to taste a variety of different foods because of the many flavors he encounters at lunch.

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The lunches put my own simple meals to shame. And with smiling staff like this, lunches must be a highlight of the children’s day.

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Thank you to everyone involved in encouraging Stephen’s culinary adventure!