Unless you or your partner plan to be a stay-at-home-parent, one of the most significant decisions you will make as a parent is who will be taking care of your child when you are at work. That's often 40-plus hours a week of a stranger raising your child. For most parents, that means picking the best daycare option you can. From my experience, as we looked for daycare for two children, several factors should be considered. Start looking for best daycare option NOW! The reality is, depending on where you live, there could a waiting list longer than 10 months to get into a daycare … [Read more...]
I’m sitting at my kitchen table, cleaning up breakfast dishes when I see it -- my daughter’s math notebook. There’s a sinking feeling in my stomach. You see, she’s at school right now. She left her homework at home. She can be disorganized at times, and she also gets very afraid and nervous if she doesn’t have her homework turned in on time. I could solve this problem for her and take her the homework she left behind. I’m going to be driving right by her school in a few minutes anyway. It wouldn’t be that much of an inconvenience for me. It would calm her down and make her feel way less … [Read more...]
With Passover beginning tomorrow night, I've been reflecting of late on my hard relationship with Judaism. On one hand, my identity is very much as a Jew, at least culturally. I had a bar mitzvah. I've been to Israel. I can read Hebrew (although my understanding is limited). I went to a Hebrew high school, and even taught there for two years. I know the blessings by heart, or mostly. I have Passover Seders in my house, we occasionally have Shabbat, and I can "Oy vey" and "Nu, so ..." with the best of them. I married a Jewish woman, and we stepped on the glass. And guilt? Do I know about … [Read more...]
The greatest tool you can use to help your children grow is something they can't cram for to pass a standardized test. It’s creativity.
Creativity affects the way we learn and grow. It can be applied to any subject and teaches us that, even within rigid structures, you can find freedom of movement to make something new. And creativity is heavily employed and deepened in others by exposure to art, music and literature -- the fine arts.
Show children a painting and ask them to tell you what it is … [Read more...]
Around the time children reach middle school (or certainly by high school), they often encounter an academic subject they do not like. Whether it’s English, history, science or math, they will find the class boring, meaningless or irrelevant to their lives — no matter how much they love learning in general. Then parents have to confront the inevitable question: “Why do we need to learn this?” In my experience, there are several layers to answering this question. The surface, knee-jerk, I’m-very-busy response involves a stream of words like “because the school requires it / that’s the way it … [Read more...]