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Student Motivation: Are You Accidentally Sabotaging It with the Wrong Mindset?

December 11, 2012

Did you know that praising your students and children for good grades is the worst thing you can do for them? It sounds counter-intuitive, but Carol Dweck, Ph.D. has discovered, unequivocally, that it is true. Praising results sabotages effort! In her fascinating book, Mindset, Dr. Dweck explains all motivational challenges, wonderments, and mysteries according to…

How to Motivate Students… With Love

November 19, 2012

As we enter Thanksgiving week, I’ve got several things on my mind… In the last ten days, I attended two different conferences where dozens of parents and teachers talked about how challenging it is to motivate their children and students. Meanwhile, at home, my family is grieving the loss of my husband’s grandmother. We have…

Response to Opting-Out of Homework

October 1, 2012

Last week, I passed along a blog post by Heather Shumaker, a mom who has chosen to opt her children out of homework until age 11. In response, I received a thoughtful letter from a well-respected colleague. Martin Kirkwood is the director of guidance and college counseling for St. Theodore Guerin High School near Indianapolis,…

Shifting Out of Low-Gear Learning

October 1, 2012

“My son doesn’t remember what he reads in a textbook.” “My daughter doesn’t pay attention well in class.” “She doesn’t take good notes.” “He doesn’t know how to study for tests.” All of these situations are problems with learning…learning in a conventional school setting, at least. Most students find each of these tasks boring and…

Can You “Opt Out” of Homework?

September 24, 2012

We get a lot of phone calls from parents of elementary students, complaining about the volume of homework their child gets from school. We specialize in study skills and homework management, so it’s natural that parents would call us. We can help parents of these youngsters facilitate more peaceful homework sessions. We can also help…

A Secret Ingredient to Peaceful, Happy Mornings!

September 18, 2012

Being Convinced of What We “Know” I always knew that exercise was good for my brain, the same way I knew that flossing was good for my teeth. But it wasn’t until I was 33 and saw an x-ray of my teeth that I saw exactly why my dentist kept nagging me about flossing; all…

The Mackinac Bridge: A Back-to-School Adventure

September 5, 2012

Much of the country has been “back to school” for a few weeks now. In Michigan, however, today is the official First Day of School. My family decided to beat the back-to-school blues that creep in over Labor Day weekend and went on a very special Michigan adventure! We walked across the magnificent, five-mile long,…

Motivation: A Simple Lesson from Dumbo

April 23, 2012

We recently took a family trip to Walt Disney World. My seven-year-old son loved Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and having his picture taken with Darth Vader & Storm Troopers from Star Wars! Despite these –and many other- magical attractions, do you know what ONE thing my son loved more than anything else? The one…

Homework Is Sabotaging My Family!

March 13, 2012

For the last few months, my son has been drowning in homework! He’s in second-grade. As you may know, he has dyslexia and ADHD. But, his “disabilities” are not the problem. As a matter of fact, our targeted interventions and his hard work have put him very close to “grade-level.” He hates writing (the process…

My Greatest Productivity Breakthrough in Years!

March 6, 2012

I imagine your life is a lot like mine…too many things to do and not enough time to do them! This seems to be the curse of our technological age. We have great tools for improving efficiency, but we are also expected to be infinitely more productive. As you know, most of the time, I…

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