Do Parents Have A Role In Higher Education?


Pic Link


Your child has graduated from high school and is now on their way to starting college. You might think that at this point, your role in the education of your child is over. After all, college is about independence and letting them finding their own way in the world, ensuring that they make mistakes so they can learn from them. Hopefully, this helps them become well-rounded individuals. However, even when they leave for college, you can still help your kids if they are struggling and you’d be surprised how many parents do this for their kids. It’s quite rare for students to be completely independent even with their studies at a college level.


Help Them Develop Study Methods


A lot of people don’t learn in the conventional way. Schooling is based around the idea of memory and recollection purely by learning the facts and putting them into practice. This continues at a college level, but it’s not the way that all students learn. As such, it might be worth helping your child find the right method for them. For instance, some students are far better at learning subconsciously, listening to information playing through headphones as they sleep. You might want to float this idea with your own college student.


Handling The Summer Drought


At summer and winter breaks, kids often return home from college and leave the study structure behind. It’s quite common for students to completely fail to study over the long summer breaks. As such, if they are coming home, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to push them to remember their studies and fit some time in through the day. If you don’t do this, by the time they return to college, their grades could have dropped substantially.


Give Them The Tools They Need


You need to be aware of the tools that could help your kids through the college years so that you can recommend that they use them. According to, there are plenty of sites offer the answers, information, and notes on different questions that relate to various college courses. You might think that once they start studying a higher degree, they are at a level beyond your understanding. You’re no longer at the age where they can come to you with help with trigonometry. And while this is true, they might still ring you to talk about their troubles with studies. Wouldn’t it be great if you could show them a resource that could help them, even when you can’t?


Show Your Pride


Finally, you should let your kids know that you are proud of them when they reach college level and encourage them to keep moving forward. Believe it or not, often this is all a kid needs to reach their maximum academic potential and get the best grades through the college years. It could be the difference between them finishing with a fantastic grade and one that just about lets them continue along their career path. You learn more about helping students achieve their full potential on


So you see, your job as a parent doesn’t simply grind to a halt after your kids leave for college.



Young Bookworms: the Joys of Teaching Your Child to Read

Young Bookworms: the Joys of Teaching Your Child to Read

Children are full of imagination from a young age. They ask the wildest of questions such as “why do we eat?” and “why is the sun so hot?”. While we sort of know the answers, we probably couldn’t explain all the science behind why we eat or why the sun blazes so hot. That’s because our children are born to explore, they’re born to discover and find out new things.


(Image Source)

Read Your Child Bedtime Stories

Teaching your child to read begins at the infancy stage. Get used to reading them stories at bedtime and make sure to leave each one at a cliffhanger (assuming they haven’t fallen asleep!) to keep their imaginations running. You want to them guess what happens next, and you want to keep their minds active.

But you don’t have to just read them stories at bedtime. If they’re curious and like the stories you read them, then it’s perfectly fine to read to them at any time as a fun activity. If you’re wondering what kind of books are suitable, then check out for some inspiration. You want to have books with plenty of colourful illustrations and large letters so it’s easy for your child to follow along.

Here are some ideas for what to read to your child:

  • 0-12 Months: Song books, lullabies, pop-up books
  • 12 – 36 Months: Rhymes, short stories, song books
  • 36 – 60 Months: Alphabet books, picture books, short stories, fablesscreen-shot-2016-12-01-at-8-45-30-pm(Image Source)
  • Ask Your Child Questions While Reading Have your child engage in the story by asking questions when there are opportunities. You need to make sure that your child has some understanding of what you’re reading them so they’re not just looking at pictures and giggling! If they don’t understand yet, then perhaps it’s a bit too early to start reading to them, or maybe the book is a bit too difficult.Have your child sound out words and attempt to read certain words or letters. Ask them questions such as “what word is this?” or point to something in the pictures and ask “do you know what this is?”. When your child is a little older, then ask questions to spur their imagination such as “where is the cat going?” or “why is the rabbit running?”.



(Image Source)

Set an Example

There’s no use trying to convince your child to read if you don’t read either! We’re role models to our children, so we need to set an example and do the things we want our child to do. Invest in a book (or a Kindle!) and read as a pastime. If your child is curious, then invite them to sit on your lap and read a bit out to them. Of course, they most likely won’t understand most of the words, but their curiosity is a good sign of things to come!

But it doesn’t always have to be a novel. It could be a non-fiction book, a magazine, or even the newspaper. Show your children that there’s more to reading than just fantasy stories. Daily news articles are a great way to interact with your child. Ask them questions, tell them about news happening around the world, and spark their interest.


This is a collaberative post with


U.S. Students from Educated Families Fall Short in Math Proficiency on Global Stage

U.S. Students from Educated Families Fall Short in Math Proficiency on Global Stage

U.S. ranks 27th out of 34 OECD countries overall; 28th among students with at least one college-educated parent

Is it true that the only problem with America’s schools is too many poor kids raised in less educated families? According to a new study, the answer is a clear no.

Parental education has long been shown to be the best family background indicator of a student’s readiness to learn at school, and the United States’ comparatively low proficiency rates are often attributed to the large numbers of students who come from disadvantaged families, such as those where parents do not have a high school diploma. However, a new study appearing in Education Next finds that U.S. schools do as badly at teaching those from better-educated families as they do at teaching those from less well-educated families.
Among U.S. students who come from high-education families, 43% are proficient in math, 42% are proficient in reading and 40% are proficient in science. The country ranks 27th among 34 industrialized nations for math proficiency overall, and when compared to students from well-educated families in other OECD countries, the U.S. drops to 28th, far behind countries including Korea, Poland, Japan, Germany, Canada and France.

Researchers Eric Hanushek (Stanford University), Paul Peterson (Harvard University), and Ludger Woessmann (University of Munich) examine the recently released 2012 PISA (Program on International Student Assessment) data, gathered from tests administered to 15-year olds in the 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). They make an apples-to-apples comparison of the data to determine if students of similar family backgrounds do better in the United States than in other countries.

To equate proficiency and performance rates across states and countries, the researchers execute a statistical crosswalk between standards identified by the NAEP (National Assessment for Educational Progress) and the PISA tests. They look at reading and science as well as math, and find that results are nearly the same. They also examine how each U.S. state ranks relative to the 33 other OECD countries.

As parental education has been shown to be a reliable indicator of a student’s readiness to learn at school, the researchers categorized students into 1) those with a parent who had a college degree, 2) those with a parent who had only a high school diploma, and 3) those whose parent(s) did not have a high school diploma. While only 17% of students from low-education families tested proficient in math as compared to 43% of high-education families, when compared to students of well-educated families in other countries, the U.S. fails miserably. Proficiency among better-educated families that vastly outrank the U.S. include Korea (73%), Poland (71%), Japan (68%), Germany (64%), Canada (57%), France (55%), and Australia (55%) The U.S. out-performs only Italy, Turkey, Sweden, Greece, Chile and Mexico.

In a recent speech, education secretary Arne Duncan recently challenged those who cling to the belief that American schools are exceptional. The “educational challenge in America is not just about poor kids in poor neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s about many kids in many neighborhoods.”

“Our new analysis of international data presented in the study shows that the Secretary’s comments are accurate,” says Paul Peterson. “The United States has two achievement gaps to be bridged-the one between the advantaged and the disadvantaged and the one between itself and its peers abroad. Neither goal need be sacrificed to attain the other,” Peterson concludes.

“U.S. Students from Educated Families Lag in International Tests: It’s not just about kids in poor neighborhoods” will be available at as of 12:01AM on Tuesday May 13, and will appear in the Fall 2014 issue of Education Next. Interactive maps showing the distribution of scores for states as well as for countries will also be available in the online version of the article.

An unabridged version of this study will be released at the same time at

About the Authors

Eric A. Hanushek is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

Paul E. Peterson is a professor of government and director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University.

Ludger Woessmann is a professor of economics and director of the Ifo Center for the Economics of Education and Innovation at the University of Munich. Authors are available for interviews.

About Education Next
Education Next is a scholarly journal published by the Hoover Institution that is committed to careful examination of evidence relating to school reform. Other sponsoring institutions are the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, part of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. For more information about Education Next, please visit:

Apps to Help Students with Dysgraphia and Writing Difficulties

Apps to Help Students with Dysgraphia and Writing Difficulties

Technology can be a great tool for students (and adults!) who have learning disabilities like dysgraphia or dyslexia that affect their written expression. We’ve personally reviewed these mobile apps and we know they’re LD-friendly. They can make the writing process a bit easier and even fun! Not every app will be a “perfect fit” for everyone who has LD, but with a little testing, you can figure out which one works best for your child or teen’s individual needs.






Dragon Dictation

This speech-to-text app has been praised for its top-notch, accurate voice recognition that makes everything from texting a friend to transcriptions easier.


Dragon Go!

From the same makers of Dragon Dictation, Dragon Go! simplifies the process of communicating with a device through voice recognition.



An award-winning app, Evernote helps you stay organized through, among other features, voice-recorded notes.



Pages is a word processor for Apple mobile devices. It syncs with iCloud, comes with a choice of 16 templates, and allows for color, font, and texture customization.



This high-quality recording app is helpful for teens, college students, and adults when taking notes at meetings, lectures, or interviews. It allows for simultaneous recording and typing or handwritten notes.



Create customized abbreviation shortcuts with TextExpander to help write faster without worrying about spelling errors.


Typ-O HD

Typ-O HD does more than just predict words. This intuitive technology understands how you misspell words and can work through even the most challenging typos.



Brevity remembers the frequency of the words you use, so that you can abbreviate them and compose text in record time.



WritePad allows you to compose a document with your own handwriting – using shorthand that works best for you. Side beneift: It may help students improve their handwriting out of the sheer desire to have the computer recognize the letters.


Pencast Player

Is the backpack getting too heavy? Students can upload digital notes they’ve taken in class directly to their iPhone or iPad with the Pencast Player. Livescribe technology and notebook is required for this app to work.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Get details on how to make the most of this respected dictionary’s mobile app here: How to Make the Most of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary App.



Dexteria offers therapeutic hand exercises (not games) that improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in children.


Grammar Dragon

Save friends from the castle of the “grammar dragon” by correctly answering grammar questions in this kinesthetic learning game.



Young children can play with language in the colorful world of the handwriting app iWriteWords.



This app introduces prepositions to elementary school-aged children. It helps students learn the correct usage of prepositions and how they can change the meaning of a sentence.


Sentence Builder

Sentence Builder helps elementary school-aged children learn how to build sentences with proper grammar.



StoryBuilder helps to accomplish three key educational goals, including improving higher level abstractions. Audio clips are used extensively throughout the app.


Simplex Spelling Phonics 1

This award-winning app provides an entire year of spelling curriculum, including phonics lessons and lists divided by spelling patterns.


Spell Check

Conveniently, this basic spell-check app doesn’t require WiFi to function for you or your child.



If typing on a mobile device is difficult for you or your child, TapTyping can help through, among other features, its unique heat map that shows where the majority of errors are occuring.


Book Creator

You and/or your child can create eye-popping, professional iBooks with the help of Book Creator.



You don’t need reading skills to create talking photo albums and books with Pictello’s easy-to-use, visual story-building features.



StoryKit offers a number of interactive tools to create a personalized, electronic storybook.



This app is great for self-expression. Use photos and videos to create your own story, and then import it into iPhoto.



Does it get more fun than creating your own cartoons? Simply press “record,” move the characters onscreen, and tell the story. It helps students learn to write by breaking the writing process into manageable pieces.

Note: All of these mobile apps were researched and/or tested by our mother-daughter team in December 2012 on Apple products like the iPhone and iPad. New editions may change the nature of an app, making it less LD-friendly. “New” may not mean “better” for you. Also, our recommendations don’t include complimentary apps that require you to buy a full version of a program.

Darla Hatton and Kaila, her teenage daughter (who has dyslexia) have been active members of the larger LD community for years, including giving presentations at the Family Cafe’s Annual Conference in Florida. They’re committed to sharing information and supporting the success of individuals with learning disabilities.

Recommended Resources:
Visit their website for much more information on helping a child with learning disabilities