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A teacher in America has set up a student blogging program to encourage literacy skills of his students.

"I started off with just one student blogging in my class. Once the other kids saw how much fun it was, they started asking their parents to come in and talk with me. The number of student bloggers grew rapidly and their parents were very eager to have their children learn the technology and enhance their reading and writing skills. This was encouraging to see, and yet I noticed that there was a group of students who were not getting involved: English Language Learners," writes Mr Jon Schwartz.

This student blogging program was founded to address several issues:
  • Kids want to share their work with a real, authentic audience.
  • Kids need to learn how to write and present their work in an organized fashion.
  • Kids need to learn how to use the internet and become digital citizens.
  • Kids benefit from creating organized work portfolios that they can easily access from a variety of locations.
  • Writing is a higher order thinking skill, as it requires the author to synthesize information and thoughts and present it in a coherent fashion.
  • Teachers need to give students timely and meaningful input on their work, but that's hard to do when the work is all handed in at the same time.
  • Busy parents can read their children's work at their convenience, offer praise, and share it with relatives and friends.
  • Kids can share their work with their peers and comment on their peer's work.

Read more about the program here:

Have your children tried blogging? What were their experiences?

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3 August 2016

How important do you think having fun is?

A blog post on Nature Play Canberra argues that fun isn’t the byproduct of a distracted mind - in fact it is the opposite. Fun is the purest motivator of attention, imagination, fascination, effort, and memory (and laughter, which is no small thing).

Griffin Longley writes: "That is why our kids do best when life and learning are fun. Why we need to take care not to make allow our adult need for rules, timetables and caution squash it. And why we need to welcome mess, sensible risk, noise and a little disorder into our children’s lives."

View the video below, and make sure to tell us your thoughts about the importance of play in children's lives.

What did you think of the video above? Do your children get enough real play time?

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21 July 2016

Teenagers who think they don’t matter much to their fathers or stepfathers face significant risks to their mental health, according to our study of 392 13- to 16-year-olds from communities in Arizona and California in the United States.

Mattering to fathers predicted future mental health over and above mattering to mothers.

The risk to adolescent mental health was also independent of similar, already well-known, levels of risk associated with intimate partner violence between parents as well as frequent and intense but non-violent parental conflict (nagging, arguing, getting angry, and yelling).


As a parent, how do you ensure you communicate effectively with your children?

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19 July 2016