BACK TO SCHOOL OVERLOAD. The barrage of articles and press releases coming our way with the words "back to school" in them has been somewhat overwhelming, but among the product pitches and self-serving announcements we found one from physicians at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago) emphasizing five sensible and simple tips:
- Go to bed early and get up early. Make a transition to the school schedule.
- Eat properly, including a healthy breakfast.
- Get active with at least one hour of moderate-intensity exercise each day.
- (For parents) Recognize signs of stress such as irritability, impulsive behavior, frequent nightmares, recurring headaches or stomachaches, or a consistent lack of desire to go to school.
- Be up to date with health exams and vaccines (okay, maybe the release is a tiny bit self-serving).
ARIZONA 2e RESOURCE. Two Arizona parents have established a website called "Arizona Twice Exceptional," a collection of resources for Arizona families. The parents, Kelly and Gary Rostan, state on their site that in 2009 they hope to open a local alternative school for twice-exceptional children. Their comprehensive list of resources should actually be very useful for 2e families worldwide. Resource topics with links include:
- Twice exceptional
- Books on neurologic learning differences
- Sensory processing disorder
- 2e homeschooling
- Talent development
- Experts available for consultation
RESOURCE. Edutopia distributed its electronic August/September issue this week. The magazine focuses not so much on giftedness or LDs so much on what it is we need to do to improve the overall educational process now and in the future. The current issue features articles on ten predictions for the future of public education; on how "smart and targeted use of technology can provide customized and affordable education that allows students to learn in their preferred style and at their own pace"; one titled "Greenbacks for Grades"; and more.
HOME-AND-SCHOOL COMMUNICATION. No families need good communication with school more than families with underachieving kids, underachievement that often stems from dual exceptionalities. Pearson, a vendor of IT applications and services for schools, released this week the results of a survey the company commissioned on school-to-home communication. Some of the responses may help parents and educators benchmark their own communication habits. From the survey report:
- About 70 percent of the K-12 parents surveyed wanted to receive academic or progress information weekly or monthly rather than at report card time.
- When asked how often they'd like updates on their children's performance, 12 percent of parents wanted it daily and 57 percent wanted it weekly.
- Parents responded that their school's primary methods for communication are mail (16 percent), email (25 percent), newsletter (20 percent), parent-teacher conferences (26 percent) and phone (13 percent).
- Of the parents surveyed, 42 percent of their children (not the parents) currently have online access to grades, attendance, and teacher comments.
- Of the parents, 38 percent currently have online access to their child's performance information.
PARENTING FOR HIGH POTENTIAL. The June issue (okay, so we're getting to it a little late) of this publication from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) contains an article titled "The Perils of Parenting -- Top 10 Things Not to Say to Your Gifted Child." Read what the author, a teacher and a parent of gifted children, says about these thoughts that have slipped out of all of our mouths at one time or another.