Posts Tagged ‘ Education ’

Should Schools Have Your Kid’s Facebook Password?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

SocialMediaIn an attempt to put an end to cyberbullying both during and after school hours, Illinois legislators recently passed a law that many parents believe is a breach of privacy.

Under the new law, school districts and universities are able to demand the password of a student’s social media account — especially “if school authorities have a reasonable cause to believe that a student’s account contains evidence that a student has violated a school’s disciplinary rule of policy, even if posted after school hours,” reports FOX News.

While this law’s intent is to send a strong, no-tolerance message about cyberbullying, some parents and students believe there are other, less intrusive solutions. For example, school authorities could obtain access to a social media account by having the student or parent sign into it for them.

According to BullyingStatistics.org, more than half of the nation’s teens have been a victim of cyberbullying, and about the same number have bullied someone else online. Because technology usage among children and teens is not slowing down, neither is cyberbullying. There are tips to stop cyberbullying, but the ongoing solution should involve a more collective effort between children, parents, and schools.

We want to know what you think! Do you think this law is an invasion of privacy? Do you think more states will follow Illinois’ lead? Let us know in the comments below.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

How to Identify Bullying
How to Identify Bullying
How to Identify Bullying

Image: Social Media Apps via Shutterstock

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Could Your Kid’s Preschool Program Help Fight Childhood Obesity?

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Childhood obesity is an issue in the U.S — the amount of children who are obese has tripled in recent years, and a quarter of preschool-aged kids are also overweight or obese. Although the White House has gotten involved in the fight against childhood obesity with Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, along with many schools across the nation, a large percentage of children are actually overweight before they start kindergarten or first grade.

Thankfully, a study released in the journal Pediatrics says that the federally-funded Head Start preschool program can help in fighting against obesity, in addition to helping young children prepare for kindergarten. The study involved 43,700 Michigan preschool-age children, which included 19,000 kids enrolled in Head Start, which is free for 3- to 5-year-olds from families living in poverty. Before the study began, nearly one-third of the Head Start kids were considered obese or overweight, but they ended up with a healthier weight than the children who were not in the program.

“Even though children in the Head Start group began the observation period more obese, equally overweight, and more underweight than children in the comparison groups, at the end of the observation period the initially obese and overweight Head Start children were substantially less obese and overweight than the children in the comparison groups,” says the survey’s authors, which includes lead researcher Dr. Julie Lumeng.

A few reasons for the weight loss might be rooted in the holistic lessons that Head Start imparts to young kids at a crucial time, such as educating them on eating healthy foods and being more physically active, which contribute to making a child’s overall mental health better. All this can help decrease stress and TV time and increase sleep time. With Head Start steering children toward healthier habits and fostering structured routines, children are also more likely to make better choices in their lives.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image: Preschool-aged children via Shutterstock

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Want Smarter Kids? Don’t Feed Them Fast Food!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Hungry boy looking at burgerWe all know fast food (even without trans fat) is bad for you, but a new study now offers a significant link between fast food being detrimental to kids’ education, reports ScienceDaily.

“There’s a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don’t end there. Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom,” says Kelly Purtell, lead author of the study.

The study, published online in Clinical Pediatrics, tracked 11,740 students starting in fifth grade and then again in eighth grade. Data was collected between 1998-1999 by the National Center for Educational Statistics and sorted by various researchers at Ohio State University.

Kids were asked about their fast food consumption in fifth grade only, and then tested on reading, math, and science in both grades. Researchers discovered that kids who ate fast food either every day or four to six times a week in fifth grade showed significantly lower improvement in all three subjects by the time they were in eighth grade. There was a 20 percent difference between kids who ate a lot of fast food and kids who didn’t.

And kids who ate fast food one to three times a week also tested lower in math, compared to kids who didn’t eat any fast food.

Although more research will have to be conducted, the study shows the importance of encouraging healthy eating habits in kids from an early age. Parents don’t have to ban fast food from kids’ diets, but whenever possible, they should provide foods high in vitamins and nutrients and low in sugar and fat, to help improve kids’ achievements in school.

How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image: Hungry boy looking at burger via Shutterstock

 

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Time for Grad School? Mom’s Education Level Can Predict Her Child’s School Success

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Mothers' education plays role in kids' academic successFrom eating a balanced breakfast to staying in touch with teachers, there are plenty of ways to help your child succeed in the classroom. But new research shows that your own education may have just as big of an impact on your child’s achievement in reading and math.

According to a study recently published in Journal of Research on Adolescence, a mom’s level of education can actually predict her child’s academic performance years down the line.

Researchers analyzed information from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort that followed a group of more than 14,000 students from 1998, when they entered kindergarten, to 2007. Reading and math scores were gathered and assessed in third, fifth and eighth grade. They found that children who were born when their mother’s were very young (18 years old or younger) and likely had less education, didn’t do as well in school compared to children who had older mothers, and likely more education.

A news release from the University of Michigan reports:

Trends indicate that mothers who give birth during adolescence have much lower rates of high school completion and college enrollment in comparison to their counterparts who delay pregnancy.

“These results provide compelling evidence that having a child during adolescence has enduring negative consequences for the achievement of the next generation,” Sandra Tang, the study’s lead author, said in the news release.

There is a bright side, though: Children of young mothers who were able to further their education, in spite of having children, did perform better in school compared to those kids whose moms did not continue their education.

While married and unmarried mothers tended to reach the same educational levels several decades ago, the study points out that in recent years married mothers are likely to have more education and therefore more resources to share with their children compared to younger, unmarried mothers.

It’s never too early to start raising a reader! Check out 25 best ways to foster a love for books, and the best children’s books of 2014.

Tips for Teaching Math to Pre-K Kids
Tips for Teaching Math to Pre-K Kids
Tips for Teaching Math to Pre-K Kids

Photo of mom and baby reading courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Can You Make Your Kid Smarter? A New Study Says…

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Study Says Genetics Main influencer in Child IQIt’s in the genes, according to a new study published in the journal Intelligence.

Professors from several universities including Florida State University and the University of Nebraska sought out to answer a common nature-versus-nurture question: “Can parents make their kids smarter?”

They found that when it comes to a child’s intelligence in adulthood, genetics—not parental socialization—is key.

Florida State 24/7 reports:

…examined a nationally representative sample of youth alongside a sample of adopted children from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and found evidence to support the argument that IQ is not the result of parental socialization.

The study analyzed parenting behaviors and whether they had an effect on verbal intelligence as measured by the Picture Vocabulary Test (PVT). The IQ tests were administered to middle and high school students, and again when they were between the ages of 18 and 26.

“Previous research that has detected parenting-related behaviors affect intelligence is perhaps incorrect because it hasn’t taken into account genetic transmission,” study author Kevin Beaver told Florida State 24/7. “In previous research, it looks as though parenting is having an effect on child intelligence, but in reality the parents who are more intelligent are doing these things and it is masking the genetic transformation of intelligence to their children.”

But don’t stop the bedtime stories and dinner-table discussions just yet. While this study says IQ may not be affected by these activities, there’s certainly another benefit to them: invaluable parent-child bonding.

For more information on reading with your child, check out our age-by-age guide to reading to babies and 7 ways to encourage a love of reading here.  

What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)
What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)
What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)

Photo of mom reading with kids courtesy of Shutterstock.

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