It’s not just little brothers who like to get a peek into someone’s diary. The diary can make compelling reading for anyone. And because September 22 is National Dear Diary Day, it’s a great time to give one a try. From the 17th century historical insights brought to us by the diary of Samuel Pepys to the true-to-life thoughts of young Anne Frank in the midst of the Holocaust, we see directly through another person’s eyes in a diary. Read More »
It’s September and your middle school or high school student is back in classes. Another year means another great opportunity for them — and for you – to get better.
In my years as an educator, my students helped me compile a list of their wishes, those things they most wish their parents would say and do to support them in school. I used to share them with parents at back-to-school night and parent-teacher conferences, and they are things I’ve tried to keep in mind with my own teenager. While some of them aren’t practical (“I wish my parents wouldn’t make me do my homework” comes up a lot), here are five you might find interesting and helpful as you negotiate a new school year with your teens. Read More »
Many parents are familiar with this scenario – they ask their children how their day was at school, and the only response they get is “good.” While it’s so important for parents to talk to their children about school, many parents struggle to establish positive communication.
As the Family Access and Engagement Coordinator at the Lawrence Full Service Community School in Holyoke, I spend a lot of time working with parents and their children. My goal is to engage all parents in their children’s education, which in turn helps students do better in school.
One of our most successful programs are Parent Cafés. During Parent Cafés, we teach participants how to communicate positively with their young children and share personal experiences about school. Read More »
September 8 is National Ampersand Day. The humble ampersand is an often overlooked fragment of the English language, even though its appearance actually derives from the Latin word “Et” meaning “and.” It’s clear if you think of the shape as a big, flowing capital “E” merged with a little “t.”
In fact, the name for this handy curlicue – which was originally called the “per se and,” meaning “and itself” – is a testimony to the importance it once held in English literacy. We think of it as informal today, but it was once a formal part of the alphabet. (Thomas Jefferson used it in the Declaration of Independence, after all.) Back in Noah Webster’s day, school children reciting the ABCs would finish with “W,X,Y,Z, and per se and.” Shortening and slurring through rote performance made “and per se and” into “ampersand,” a name that has stuck with us ever since. Read More »
Deciphering and then using financial information to make decisions often feels intimidating. Not only are the technical terms that banks and the government use on forms confusing, but making smart financial decisions also involves using numbers to calculate what the best option is. Financial literacy encompasses budgeting, understanding what different kinds of bank accounts are, and understanding what credit scores mean and how to get them. It is so important, but also so difficult, that the federal government set up the financial literacy website mymoney.gov and tasked the Financial Literacy and Education Commission with developing a national strategy on financial education. Read More »