POSTS WITH TAG: elementary school

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    Kindergarten! That magical time in a mom's life when the kid's are being watched over without having to pay a zillion dollars in child care. (If it's public school, of course.) And there is learning, too! It's not just you who can help them to write the letter "e" the right way instead of backwards and upside down. We have raised them the age where it is socially acceptable to allow them to spread those wings and fly away from the nest. We rejoice when they return to us in one piece though with curious smudge marks in parts unmentionable because that means we've done a good job of getting them to this point in their lives.

    Ah, yes. School time is here. The kids are smiling in their new clothes and cute little backpacks. But our heads are spinning. Here are 10 thoughts moms have on the first day of kindergarten.

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    "Dear parent, due to increasing budget gaps, we seek additional funding to support your child's educational enrichment programs. This year, instead of asking your children -- and thus, yourself -- to hawk overpriced wrapping paper, high-calorie snack foods, and unwanted knickknacks, we're simply asking you to donate what you're able. Attached is a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing this year's budget, our funding goals, and how we'll use the money."

    This is the sort of letter I'd love to see from my kids' school ... but I doubt I ever will. Instead, my kids will come home with catalogues of garbage that no one needs, which we're supposed to foist upon our friends, family, and neighbors. Not only that, they'll be teased with "prize incentives" they can win if only they sell enough of this crap.

    I. Hate. School. Fundraising.

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    My mother used to have a cartoon on the refrigerator that read something like this, “September is when millions of bright, shining, happy, laughing faces turn toward school. They belong to mothers.”

    My mother loved me and my three sisters, but what a relief it must have been for her when summer was over and she had six free hours to clean the house, prepare dinner, and run all of her errands.

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    Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve considered back to school as the REAL New Year. After all, nothing changes on January 1, but when school starts, everything changes. There are new teachers, new classmates, new lessons to learn. To me, it just seems like a much more natural time to clean the slate, make new resolutions, and start all over.

    I was always obsessed with school supplies. I loved getting those brand new notebooks and perfectly pointed pencils and even the plastic protractors that I never used for anything more than making fancy doodles in math class. I’ll never forget that feeling of heading off to my first day of school each year with all my new supplies and feeling like I could change the world and everything in it.

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    A school principal is in hot water with parents after sharing a not-so-hot, but borderline crass, photo of herself doing something obscene to the -- get ready for it -- Washington Monument, of all things. Five years ago, Penny Mueller did something pretty foolish. While she and other teachers from the Crestomere School in Calgary, Canada were attending a conference in Washington, D.C., the principal and two colleagues posed for a lewd photo in front of the moument that makes it look as if Mueller is performing fellatio on it.

    A spur of the moment, dumb mistake? Perhaps. But it's also one that speaks volumes about her professional attitude. For that reason, it makes perfect sense that parents are pulling their children out of her school.

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    Bullying happens to about half of all children at some point in their lives. And at least 10 percent of kids experience it on a regular basis. It happens on playgrounds, in the hallways, and on countless social media sites daily.

    Sure parents worry, but often we think our kids will get over it once that day, or week, or school year passes. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Bullying extends far beyond adolescence and can have lasting effects on your child's future relationships, health, and well-being. "Bullying is something that can change someone's life trajectory for years and years to come," says William Copeland, MD, an Associate Professor at the Duke University School of Medicine.

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    I can’t believe how fast this day came. Where did the last five years go? How did my baby boy get to be so big? It happens to all of us. We blink and they are kindergarteners. The next thing you know, they are taking their SATs and picking out colleges. (Okay, seriously, I don’t need that to come too quickly.)

    So as I got up this morning, I took note of the morning as it unfolded before me. Little snapshots in my mind captured tiny memories I never wanted to forget, as well as lessons and reminders I needed to tell myself.

    Here are a few things I either learned, or reminded myself of, on my son's first day of kindergarten:

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    The school year is winding down, and soon enough, the kids will be home bugging you that they have nothing to do. Oh no, is it August yet?!

    Not to worry, we've got the answer to their question: Read!

    We've put together a  book list of new releases -- and old classics -- that your kids (and you) will love.

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    Tomorrow my daughter will sit down with thousands of other children in New York State to take yet another standardized test. I know. I know, I could have thrown my hands up at the Common Core. I could have opted my child out of the math tests that will have no real immediate effect on her future. She will pass the third grade with them or without them.

    But I didn't opt my daughter out of the standardized math tests. I didn't opt her out of the reading or, as it's called these days, English language arts tests earlier in the month, even as a flurry of Facebook requests were sent in my direction to join in on National Opt Out Day.

    I did something else entirely. I told my daughter the tests don't matter. I don't care if she passes them or not.

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    With some parents these days feeling torn between paying through the nose to send their kids to private school or dealing with the challenges of budget cuts and other government red tape related to public school, homeschool may begin to sound like an appealing alternative. Of course, it can be daunting to think about where to begin, so many parents reach out to others who've taken their child's education into their own hands.

    For some solid advice on how to do it right, look no further than Michelle Duggar. Yep, the reality star mom of 19 Kids and Counting is also a veteran advocate of homeschooling. Here, seven things you can learn from Michelle about teaching your kiddo under your own roof ...

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