November 23, 2017

Teen starts ‘Light it Up Blue’ event for Autism Awareness

Matthias Zierhut

By Julie Samrick Matthais Zierhut has prepared for this role his whole life. The 16-year-old high school sophomore is the planner and coordinator of his town’s first Light It Up Blue event in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day on Wednesday, April 2. Autism Speaks created the campaign where more than 1,300 cities spanning all… Read more

Kids react to rotary phones

kids react to rotary phone

If you are a person of a certain age, you remember what it was like to use a rotary phone—the slow process of dialing, the weird clicking sound the wheel made. These kids in the latest video from Benny and Rafi Fine are too young for that. Watch how adorably perplexed they are when this relic is placed… Read more

Play games to help young children succeed in school

play games

By Julie Samrick When my oldest child turned one a friend gave him alphabet magnets for his birthday.  We placed them on the refrigerator and he’d reach for them, so we moved them lower, showing him first how magnets work. Soon they ended up on the kitchen floor and seeing the 26 letters brought the… Read more

Skipping grades is rare, but it might just save the world

skipping grades

By Jay Mathews When Linda Mc­Veigh began second grade at Kit Carson Elementary School in Lawndale, Calif., her teacher saw she was far ahead. She had learned to read at age four from her 12-year-old aunt. The blonde 7-year-old from a rural Oklahoma family was funny and talkative. Her math scores were very high. The… Read more

Truth behind the SAT overhaul

SAT overhaul

Since 2005, when the College Board added an essay to the SAT (raising the total possible score from 1,600 to 2,400) earliest findings showed that length, more than any other factor, correlated with a high score on the essay. More recently, Perelman coached 16 students who were retaking the test after having received mediocre scores… Read more

Spelling Bee runs out of words

spelling bee tie

How do you spell a spelling bee that goes 66 rounds in more than four hours and causes the organizers to run out of words? The answer is T-I-E, for now. Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader at Highland Park Elementary School in the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit, and Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader at Frontier… Read more

14 things I wish I knew before college

before college

By Hannah Flom I’ve been home for the past month, when I’m not binge-watching Netflix and stalking my college friends on Facebook, I’m helping my sister with the college process. The other night, we were doing the College Board search to help you determine compatible colleges, and I realized that there was a lot I… Read more

Common Core: a step in the right direction

Common Core

By Julie Samrick  My sixth grader’s middle school spent at least a month communicating the message the leap to middle school means the children put forth more effort, without the meddling of well-intentioned parents. If they forget their lunch, for instance, let them figure it out and they most likely won’t forget it again. We… Read more

Students may have found slave burial ground

slave burial ground

In a snow-covered park in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, an enclosed cemetery in the park’s center evokes a much different neighborhood from the one now jammed with auto-glass shops and wholesale produce markets. Headstones engraved with “Hunt” and “Leggett” hark back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when prominent New York… Read more

How I made sure all 12 of my kids could pay for college themselves

kids pay for college themselves

By Francis L. Thompson My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22.  I have always had a very prosperous job and enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to. I will share… Read more