Kids and school

“Race to Nowhere” Revisited: Two Innovative Approaches to Homework

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So glad that the film, “Race to Nowhere”, is still in wide circulation and that it came to our town three times in the last week, twice at our
high school and once at a local church. The documentary, which I’ve written about before, touches
on all kinds of things that are very relevant to today’s parents– over-stressed kids; restrictive teach-to-the-test teaching methods that don’t teach kids to be problem-solvers; an unrealistic
approach in America toward “college readiness”; in-school cheating; and teen suicide, among other topics. Love the film or hate it, it definitely gets discussion going about things that
definitely need to be discussed. When I saw the film again last week, many parents stayed for a panel discussion that followed and probably wished that part of the program could have lasted
longer. …

Movies

Two Family Movies Worth Watching (Again)

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I cried a bunch yesterday. When the doctor finally came in to see us after two hours of waiting
at Primacare (a walk-in clinic) and saw the tears rolling down my cheeks, he probably thought I was worried about Emmie (she has bronchitis)… or that I was fed up with having to wait so long
with a bunch of sick people ON THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS. But Primacare was showing The Rookie on their in-clinic movie system– why wouldn’t everyone cry at that?

It was the second time I’ve seen it. But I think I cried not only because it’s a great, true story about second chances, it’s also a really well-made movie, and well-made movies are hard to come
by– great soundtrack (tunes by Steve Earle, Willlie Nelson, John Hiatt, and Ryan Adams, among others); great acting (Dennis Quaid in the lead role of Jimmy Morris); …

Kids and Media

Parents Who Shrouded 9/11: Is It Time to Lift the Veil?

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On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was standing in our hallway bathroom, staring at a wall, when the phone rang.   It
probably took me a few rings to snap out of my trance—after all, bathroom remodeling is serious business.   But after I answered the phone, deciding on paint color and tile
didn’t seem so important anymore.   It was Andy calling from work, telling me to turn on the TV and see the events unfolding over 1,500 miles away.   I put
down my tape measure and watched in horror.   It was so unbelievable, at times I felt as if I was watching a twisted episode of Batman where the villains were winning,
 in an over-the-top, diabolical way, using only a few people and a few box cutters.   The atrocities kept happening, and somewhere, you just knew

Great Books to Read

Pottermania: What a Fun Ticket to Ride It’s Been

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We all have “I remember when” things we can say, that vary depending on our age, when it comes to historical
events that we’ve experienced. The day Kennedy was shot, the first moon walk, personal computers become a household item, 9/11…history-making events and milestones are happening all the time.
But not every generation can say they grew up amidst the worldwide excitement and hysteria over something creatively great, as it’s being created. For example, lots of people will
continue to love the music of The Beatles, but only some can say they grew up looking forward to every Beatles record release or being one of the first in line at the record store to buy
those releases, or saw the Beatles in person, “live in concert”.  And many people will continue to love J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books and watch the movies on DVD, but only some will be
able to say …

Movies

Witches, Sharks, and The Generation Gap of Fear

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Just in time for Halloween: A study by Finnish researchers says kids get more scared when watching scary movies with their parents than when they’re by
themselves. According to a new study published in the journal Child: Care, Health and Development
children were four times more afraid of the events on the screen when their parents were watching, too. The researchers suggest that in spite of the soothing that
parents may offer, …