Category Archive for 'Parent Tips'

If you really want to do something… 

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Originally posted 2016-07-16 08:18:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Some facts about our math practice

Monday, December 4th, 2017

I get a weekly update from Khan Academy showing how many minutes each student in class works, and I noticed there is quite a range. It led me to look at if the number of minutes of math practice makes a difference with a student’s math level. Here are some facts to consider, using data from September through November:

  • The average number of minutes our class has worked for the entire year is 800 minutes. The lowest value was 400 minutes, and the highest was 1750 minutes. So the hardest workers are working 400% more than the lax workers.
  • The top 25% of our class is working an average of 1300 minutes with an average math level of 5.1.
  • The bottom 25% of our class is working an average of 471 minutes with an average math level of 3.5.
  • The middle 50% of our class is right where you would expect them to be, in the middle of minutes worked and math level.

Here’s the data in a table, sorted by the number of minutes worked:

By Minutes WorkedAverageMinutes
Bottom 25%3.5471
Middle 50%4.4700
Top 25%5.11314
Class Average4.3796

It’s clear from above that the students that are spending the most time working are improving their math levels. The students practicing the least are below grade level.

Here’s the table sorted by math level:

By Math LevelAverageMinutes
Bottom 25%3.0543
Middle 50%4.5811
Top 25%5.51021
Class Average4.3796

What this table clearly shows is that the students that need the most practice, the lowest level math students, are working the least in the class. However, the average minutes in this table are higher for the bottom and middle percentiles than in the table that was sorted by minutes worked. That shows that some of the lower level students are spending more time trying to improve their math levels. Over time, that practice will pay off.

Two takeaways:

  1. Practice time makes a difference. While not a guarantee, the more time your student spends practicing math (or reading or any other subject) the better their level will be. This is why a daily homework time is essential.
  2. Grades will follow minutes. If your student has a lower math level than you would like, nothing is likely to change until you find ways for them to practice more at home. It would be great if your student would take initiative and practice on their own. But if they are struggling, it is likely that they are not practicing. You’ll need to step in and help them organize your time if you want to see a change. Over time, more practice will make a difference.

How to avoid power struggles with stubborn kids

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

When kids get stubborn, adults are tempted to turn up the heat by making demands, raising voices, making threats, and showing we mean business. To stubborn kids, that’s a challenge they would love to take you up on.

To reduce the chance of a power struggle, here’s a Love and Logic tip:

1. Approach slowly as if you haven’t a care in the world.
2. Ask nicely, “Will you ______________, just for me? Thanks!”
3. Act cool, turn tail, and slowly walk away.

Research has demonstrated that the odds of getting into a nasty power struggle with a kid dramatically decrease when we’re no longer around them. The true science has to do with expectations and the fact that people will live up to…or down to…the ones we communicate. What expectation do we send when we ask someone to do something and then stare at them? The message is clear: “You’re not going to do this for me.”

In contrast, what expectation is sent when we make the very same request yet move away? The message is far more positive: “This is a win-win situation. I know you’ll help me out.”

Read the rest here.

Originally posted 2016-01-27 17:06:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Originally posted 2016-11-19 07:10:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

React vs. Respond

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

The American College of Pediatricians has a good article about the difference between reacting versus responsding to kids.

Reacting means that you meet your child’s emotionally-charged behavior with your own emotionally-charged reply. Responding, on the other hand, gives your child permission to express their big emotions, ideas and feelings without criticism, shame or guilt.”

Read the rest here.


Originally posted 2016-04-11 19:47:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter