Tag Archives: children

Should v. Could: setting parent expectations without judgement

Woulda, coulda, shoulda…

“Could you have done your homework” is a vastly different question than “Should you have done your homework?”

Anger is love?

Parents get angry with children because they are scared. Children get angry with parents because they don’t want to disappoint.

The cause of both is love.

When enforcing parent expectations, we need to remind ourselves of that, for we easily get lost in the emotions of the moment and forget that it’s our love that drives our emotions and not the events that are upsetting us. Continue reading

How to Turn a Bad Report Card Into a Learning Experience

arguing-over-homework_titlepageReport cards are a contentious subject in any household,

but a bad report card is something that parents (and kids) need to handle with tact and grace, as hard as that may sometimes be.

Avoid the common missteps like immediately yelling at or punishing your child for a bad report card. Instead, come up with a productive reaction which will have the best long term outcome. The A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC is a comprehensive online tutoring service that takes a holistic approach to test preparation, remedial tutoring, and process oriented educational engagement. Continue reading

Speaking math constantly with Joy Ferrante

measuring-spoonsSpeaking math constantly with Joy Ferrante

Student Success Podcast No. 11, Dec. 18, 2013

Today’s Guest: Joy Ferrante

Joy discusses how parents can be deeply involved in their child’s math learning. We use math and other school subjects all day long — how often do we use those concepts and tasks to help our children learn? Calendars, cooking utensils, house addresses… anything can be turned into a useful, effective math lesson for children, and not just young children. Continue reading

Arguing over grades?

aaaaahYou know the routine:

“Do you have any homework?” : “No.”

“Really? Nothing?” : “Already did it.”

“But you have a math test tomorrow?” : “Oh, yeah. The other kids weren’t ready, so the teacher put it off for next week.”

When the discussions over homework and grades become two-way traffic on a one-way street, the one complaining and badgering, the other deferring and dodging, it’s no longer a functional, working relationship. And all we’ve got left is anger. Continue reading

Do your grades Spring forward or Fall back?

clocks_MH900430829Beware the Daylight Saving! Sleep, rhythms and grades

My wife has long held a theory that life gets more difficult for students when the clock changes every November. The early sunset makes it dark and dreary, and the change itself messes up our daily rhythms and internal clocks. Well, it’s true. Check this out:

End of Daylight Saving Time can mean headaches for some

For some, the end of Daylight Saving Time means an extra hour of sleep. But for others it can mean a headache. Doctors say the time change can cause cluster headaches that can last as long as eight weeks.  The portion of the brain that triggers these headaches also controls your body’s rhythms.  Slight changes can throw off the rhythm, which can also happen when you switch time zones.

Yeah. Researchers have now also affirmed that join pain can predict the weather (How Your Knees Can Predict the Weather: Granny was right: Scientists find link between achy joints and the forecast) and that intuition is rational and often works (Moms know best: Doctors say ‘mother’s intuition’ is real).

Human beings, it seems, weren’t invented along with Edison’s light bulb or Al Gore’s internet. We’ve been experiencing and adapting to time, weather, seasons for, well, for a long time.

With the end of Daylight Saving (here for the Book of Knowledge, I mean, Wikipedia, entry; oh, and it’s “saving” not “savings”), we’re moving the clock back to the “normal” time that is supposedly lined up with the path of the sun. Actually, time itself isn’t made up by humans, but we need some way to measure it, thus sundials and clocks. High noon literally means when the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky, so that means that high noon is different across time zones. High noon here in Washington, DC, isn’t the same as high noon in, say, West Virginia, even though both are in the same time zone, both showing 12:00 noon at the same time.

Time zones were created by the railroad industry in order to coordinate train schedules across places with different actual times. So these, essentially, arbitrary “zones” were created so that passengers and shippers could know that the 5:00 am train from New York that arrives in Chicago at 7:00 pm New York actually took 14 hours, even though it arrived at Chicago at 6:00 Chicago time. Confusing enough? The point is that it’s all made up.

We could leave the clocks alone, but in order to interact with different places, we kinda need to know what time it is there. I think we should all just be on the same time, but that would mean that, if morning in New York is 5am, then morning in London would be a midnight, which would mean we’d have to change midnight in London to Noon. People would still get up when it’s light, or go partying when it’s dark, whether that’s 4:00, 16:00 or whatever. Instead, every local time follows the sun, with morning being morning by and midnight at midnight on the clock.

The reason for it is that humans need sleep. And when we mess with sleep, well, bad things happen.


Sleep is a fundamental part of those “cycles” of life that we experience on this planet. We go around the sun every time the earth spins 365 and a quarter times. And during every one of those spins of the earth we experience a certain amount of sunlight. Since the beginning, human beings have followed these natural, physical patterns of the earth and sun. A fundamental interaction to it is sleep.

Then along comes Thomas Edison and his light bulb. Now we can get more than a flickering flame to light our streets and homes, and we can remake the natural clock of the earth. A cost of this defiance of time, is sleep, and it can really mess with people. Please check out this site from the NIH: Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep, which explains the importance of sleep, its rhythms and cycles and some of the harm in messing with it.

Sleep and Grades

I write all this to remind our students that sleep matters, and sleep can make or break your grades. Adults are always telling kids to “get some sleep,” and kids are always rebelling against that advice and staying up late. So many of the students in our program tells us about sleep issues: have too much home work to do, can’t get off the computer, and then falling asleep over homework or in class.

Sorry, kids, the science is working against you on this one. Electronics mess up your sleep cycles, the “need to text” or Tweet misplaces your priorities and cuts into your productivity. There are a thousand websites with advice on this, but please know you are impacted by your choices. Just this week, here’s another warning about how electronics can destroy a child’s sleep

Pediatricians Set Limits on Screen Time: The American Academy of Pediatrics’ New Guidelines on Children’s Use of Internet, TV, Cellphones, Videogames

Parents should ban electronic media during mealtimes and after bedtime as part of a comprehensive “family media use plan,” according to new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The influential new guidelines are being spurred by a growing recognition of kids’ nearly round-the-clock media consumption, which includes everything from television to texting and social media. “Excessive media use is associated with obesity, poor school performance, aggression and lack of sleep,” said Marjorie Hogan, co-author of the new policy and a pediatrician.

It may seem like parental nannying, but are you sure it’s not hurting your grades?  Yes, sleep does matter. Please be aware of your habits and needs, and please do what you can to make them match.

– Michael

The A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC, based in Arlington, VA, is dedicated to helping students across the U.S.A. meet their goals and find the academic success the want and deserve. Contact us here or call now  to (703) 271-5334 to see how we can help.

Parenting for Student Success with Dr. Kimberly Bradley

parenting_MH900442199Parenting for Student Success with Dr. Kimberly Bradley

Show Notes
Student Success Podcast No. 6, Oct 30, 2013

Today’s Guest: Dr. Kimberly Bradley

Dr. Bradley discusses strategies for successful parenting of successful students. Dr. Bradley shares her personal experiences as a parent of three students, as an involved parent in her children’s schools, and her professional advice as an educator.

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Guest Biography:

Dr. Kimberly Bradley proves the old adage that the busier you are the more you get done. With a doctorate in Christian Education, a consulting firm focusing on technical training for industry and government, a pastor husband and three kids, Dr. Bradley served as President of the Parents’ Association of Archbishop Carroll High School.

Dr. Kimberly Bradley
Dr. Kimberly Bradley

It all started with one question: “How can I help?” Looking around, she concluded that Archbishop Carroll was much more than “just a school on a hill” — colleges and universities needed to learn more about students graduating from ACHS, and the students, in turn, needed to find out more about the world of higher education. So in 2007, Dr. Bradley was a founding member of a group that established a college fair at Carroll, inviting representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and opening it to all local schools. Two hundred seniors attended. Three years later, the college fair has expanded to include a diversity of national universities, including Harvard, MIT, Dickinson, West VA University, Hood, Mount St. Mary’s and North Carolina A&T. Over 500 students from grades 9-12 attend from throughout the Metro area. Dr. Bradley is not surprised. She says, “Basically, we need to give our kids opportunity and we need to get our students to think about their future now.”

Dr. Bradley believes fervently in what Archbishop Carroll offers students. First is the academic experience. “Dr. Stofa and the educators here believe that the kids they teach can learn and they must be held to a high standard,” she explains. “The academic community at Carroll believes our children can do it, so they do.” Dr. Bradley also believes in the nurturing aspects of the school. “They love our kids, they support our families. They will assist in any way they can. Carroll has created an environment where all kinds of kids can thrive and grow.”

Dr. Bradley and her husband have three students in the Carroll family. Their son Daniel graduated in 2010. Second son Jeremiah graduated in 2011, and daughter Abigail is a member of the Class of 2014.

Topics Discussed

  • Congratulations to Abigail for making “Principles list,” the highest honor roll status
    • why?
    • Stays on top of h/w deliberate attention to her studies
  • At recent College Fair: students walking around hearing from colleges that demand a certain gpa
    • the limits of the gpa
    • parents always say it, but this is real!
    • Connecting long term goals to short term choices
    • long term rewards parents assisting:
    • taking kids to college fairs
    • Bromley insists that what parents say to kids matters Kids to listen
  • Have to prove what you know
    • can’t just get by being smart
    • have to do homework
    • Parents need support
    • Community raises children
  • Helecopter parents flying in to save life
  • Kim doesn’t do the over attentive mom:
    • the hard lesson child independence
    • don’t’ want 45 year old stay at homes! empower and equip our children to deal with their sistuations
    • Holding one’s own child accountable face your issues even a teacher that doesn’t likey mom won’t always be able to fly in to save you
    • trust but verify
  • Holding back letting children learn coping skills on their own
    • Imagining your child in 10-20 years: are you reinforcing that vision?
    • keeping that standard we hold for young children as they grow older
  • Relationships with schools and teachers
    • parents seeing themselves as consumers in relationship with schools
    • parents are picky when selecting daycare for young children why not the same concern for K-12 schools?
    • holding schools accountable as consumers partnership in child’s education demand rubrics
  • Holding your child accountable
  • See Dr. Carson’s book on his mother’s accountability for him growing up
  • We have a tendency to protect little kids more than older kids
  • “Preparing a child to learn”
    • parent job to prepare a child to learn
    • not to be confused with the child’s job to do the learning
  • Teacher responsibility
    • clarify expectations
    • students need to ask questions
    • good teachers want students to succeed
  • Parent communication
    • must be positive productive of what children need to be doing, and not excusing
    • parent involvement in communication but leave child to fulfill expectations
  • Teachers should not be on trial
    • has seen teachers crying after parent conference: not okay
    • making good on what teachers have to deliver
  • Students owning failure: if it is failing to meet expectations
    • some teachers can’t communicate expectations, but students and parents still need to figure that out
    • schools need to hold teachers accountable
    • failure not always the teacher’s or the kid’s fault: can be both, or one or the other
    • parents can advocate on both sides Parents can clarify expectations

Additional Resources and Links


Host: Michael L. Bromley
Original Music by Christopher Bromley (copyright 2011, 2013)
Background snoring: by Stella
Best Dogs Ever: by Puck & Stella

Happy Halloween from Puck and Stella!






Here for Puck & Stella slideshow

The A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC, based in Arlington, VA, is dedicated to helping students across the U.S.A. meet their goals and find the academic success the want and deserve. Contact us here or call now  to (703) 271-5334 to see how we can help.