Kids Education

Should I be worried about my child's reading level?

Catherine Rodie 11:46am All children develop their reading at a different pace, it isn't helpful to make comparisons but how do you know if they need extra help?

Children of working mothers do better, says Harvard Business School study

Good news for working mothers.

Rachel Browne Working mums have daughters who are better educated and higher earning while their sons do more housework and childcare.

Students with disabilities: One in four refused enrolment, most get inadquate support, survey shows

Almost 40 per cent of respondents said their children were excluded from excursions, school discos and extra-curricular activities.

Rachel Browne One in four students with disabilities have been refused enrolment and many are regularly excluded from excursions and extra-curricular activities a new survey has found.

UK: 'Late gate patrols' fining parents $117 for arriving at school late

Running late to school is a punishable offence in a growing number of schools in the United Kingdom.

Catherine Rodie Punctuality has never been my strong point. So when I read that some schools in the UK are fining parents the equivalent of $117 when their kids are late I was horrified.

Are you smarter than a NAPLAN student?

Say goodbye to paper for NAPLAN from 2017

Eryk Bagshaw More than a million students will put pen to paper Tuesday for the first of the 2015 NAPLAN exams.


Childcare worker fired after saying she hates 'being around a lot of kids'

'Oh, man, I made a big mistake': Kaitlyn Walls.

Peter Holley Kaitlyn Walls, a single mother who has been job-hunting for months, thought she'd finally caught a break when she landed a new position at a childcare centre.

Third of NSW primary school students taught in multi-age classes

New-age learning: St Monica's Primary School students Nazanin Abdolllahihagh, Lachlan Roberts, Jackson Basha, and Salama Kunambi working together in a composite class and open study area.

Alexandra Smith A NSW Department of Education audit reveals it's the teacher, not the type of class, that makes a difference to students.

Broadway star leaves $3K tip in honour of his former science teacher's late son

Pay it forward: 'I want to make the world a kinder place.'

Livia Gamble A US high school teacher was brought to tears when a waitress contacted him to say she had received a large tip in honour of his late son.

The do's and don'ts of dealing with head lice

Head lice: the joy that awaits all parents at some stage.

Rebecca Martin Got kids? Then rest assured; sooner or later everyone's favourite scratchy mate will make an appearance at your house. More than once.

How young is too young to talk about underage drinking?

Underage drinking: Alcohol is still the drug of choice for youth.

Amy Joyce Alcohol is still the drug of choice for youth and parents often forget about that, leaving this conversation far too late.

A safety survival guide to camping with children

Outback survival: Rehearse safety measures with kids before setting out camping.

Livia Gamble Teaching young children bush safety is as simple as putting a whistle around their neck.

Are mixed-grade classes any better or worse for learning?

Mixed-grade classes have similar academic results to “normal” classes based on age, but social and emotional development is improved.

Linley Cornish Often when students are placed in a composite or multi-age class, parents of the younger children worry they won’t be able to keep up. Parents of the older children worry their advanced needs won’t be met.

Religion and belief systems have a place in the school curriculum

Students need to have a knowledge and understanding of others, so learning about religion in schools is important.

Kevin Donnelly The place of religions and belief systems, especially Christianity, in the school curriculum is a sensitive issue provoking much discussion and debate in Australia.

One mother's stand against homework


Danielle Teutsch At the beginning of every school year I organise a meeting with my daughter's primary school teacher to renegotiate the homework. 

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The key ingredient to your kids' success

Grit: The key ingredient for happiness and success.

Judy Holland When parents and educators launched the "self-esteem" movement in the 1980s, lavishly praising kids and handing out trophies to all, they expected everyone would try harder. But the opposite was true.

Knowing your child’s reading stage and how to help them

Reading time: Helping kids develop through the stages.

Ryan Spencer Reading (and writing) is very much a developmental process, which can look very different for different children, regardless of their age.

Public school principals crack down on family holidays in term time

Principals say if parents want the best for their children, they will avoid holidaying during term time.

Alexandra Smith Public school principals will crack down on family holidays during term time and parents now have to submit their itinerary and copies of plane tickets along with a justification of the benefit of their trip before removing their children from class.

Why schools should ban homework

Down with homework: 71 per cent of parents blame homework for lack of quality time spent with children.

Livia Gamble After spending all day in a classroom, the last thing kids want to do when they get home from school is more work.

Snake surprises Sunshine Coast schoolboy going to the toilet

Sunshine Coast snake catcher Richie Gilbert.

Jorge Branco A Queensland schoolboy was just trying to relieve himself when he stumbled across a poisonous snake in the school toilet block.

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Schools to close as Queensland braces for Cyclone Marica

Cyclone Marcia as it approaches the Queensland coast.

A number of primary schools and childcare centres have been closed as Tropical Cyclone Marcia, which is off the central Queensland coast, intensifies to a category five storm.

My child deserves better than to be taught by you


Anonymous To have such an important and large role in a child's life should be an honour not a cross you have to bear.

Fathers can make a difference in getting sons to read

Untapped resource: Dads who share quality reading time with their sons are role-modelling effective reading behaviours.

Ryan Spencer Engaging boys in reading can be tough. Many parents find that their boys either aren’t interested in sitting still long enough, or they often perceive reading as a “girl thing”.

All children should receive weekly 'happiness' lessons from the age of five


Laura Donnelly A new study is calling for a change in education so that “life skills” are given the same attention as reading and writing.

The way schools cope with learning difficulties is doing more harm than good

Struggling students: a better approach to teaching those with learning difficulties.

Linda J. Graham Why these children are slipping through the cracks and what needs to be done to address it.

Growing up in generation mindfulness

Mindfulness: helping children live in the moment.

Jo Hartley 'Mindfulness' is the buzzword on everyone's lips but how can it help kids?

Does brain training work?

Brain-training programs: effective or useless?

Jared Cooney Horvath An ever-growing number of brain-training programs have been developed and marketed for use in the classroom but do they actually work? That depends on your purpose.

Why our current education system is failing students and teachers

Michele Freeman dinkus

Michele Freeman Have we become so obsessed with testing that we have forgotten to allow children to learn properly by engaging with what they are doing?


Three-year-olds need preschool time as well

Lisa Bryant dinkus

Lisa Bryant The benefits of preschool education are well known, so why is NSW funding its preschools so poorly compared to other states?


Should we 'dum' down language to make it easier to learn?

Modernising English: Should we make it easier to learn?

Catherine Rodie Silent letters and double consonants would be removed from the English language in proposed changes by the UK spelling society.

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Parents play a crucial role in stamping out bullying


Simone Ziaziaris Parents have a huge influence on how their children socialise in the schoolyard whether they like it or not.

Queensland kids able to skip kindergarten

Children born in July 2010 can skip their pre-school year altogether and move straight into prep in 2015.

Kim Stephens Up to 5000 four-year-olds could go straight to prep this year.

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Preventing your kids' summer reading slide

Kids usually find more interesting things to do on summer break than read books…but this can interrupt their progress in reading.

Ryan Spencer Here is why you should encourage your kids to keep reading over the summer break and how to do it.

In defence of accelerating gifted children


Linda McIver Only you can decide whether your child needs to be accelerated, writes teacher, Linda McIver.


NSW schools to make their results public


NSW public schools will soon have to report on their academic performance and teaching methods as part of a plan to lift student results.

Kindergarten teachers in a class of their own


Letitia Rowlands Nobody is perfect, so the saying goes. However, as my son ends his first year at school, I think the words "except kindergarten teachers" need to be added to the end of the popular adage.


Ten ways your children can make Christmas a time of giving

Enlarge your child's world this Christmas through giving to those less fortunate.

Lisa Schofield Christmas is the perfect time to help children develop understanding and empathy for those in need. Here are 10 ways they can do something meaningful to helps others.

Nativity meltdowns and 'Why-Isn’t-My-Child-Mary Syndrome'

The coveted role of Mary ...

Justine Roberts The nativity play has an unfailing capacity to provoke tantrums, foot-stamping and rivalry - and the children can also be unpredictable, reports Justine Roberts of Mumsnet.

Teaching soft skills as vital as academics

Success at school should be about more than high test scores.

Elana Benjamin Why do schools – and school reports – continue to prioritise academic achievement at the expense of social-emotional learning, despite research linking the two?


Why kids need to rote learn times tables

Plugging the holes ... Parents are having to teach or outsource their children basic arithmetic.

Elana Benjamin Rote learning is out of vogue. That was the message I took home from a recent maths information night at my children’s primary school. And it cemented my concerns about the current approach to teaching some basic arithmetic.

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Why you shouldn't accelerate your child

Acceleration isn't the quick fix you're hoping for.

Kerri Sackville As someone who has experienced it firsthand, Kerri Sackville shares why she cautions all parents against acceleration.

Three easy ways to get your kids to read better and enjoy it

How to teach kids to love to read.

Ryan Spencer Picking up a book and reading and encouraging your child to do the same is one of the easiest ways to re-engage children with reading. The tips below encourage just that – reading as fun and as an act of love.


Teacher to parents: About THAT kid

What I want you to know about THAT kid.

Amy Murray Are you worried about the impact of a particular child in your child's class? The one who hits, disrupts, and negatively influences your own? Here a teacher tells you all the things you really need to know.

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8-year-old Grace Du wins Premier's spelling bee

Jessica Edward, Amanda Hoh "Abdicate", "neurology", "stringent", ''rhetorical''. These are the words that made eight-year-old Grace Du the NSW junior spelling champion.

What is school like for a child with learning difficulties?

Students with additional learning needs face myriad difficulties.

Claire Spicer As other students settle down to read, to learn, and to memorise, students with learning difficulties are often struggling with internal questions and doubts.


Early intervention key for NSW's poorest schools

Samira Ahmed is one of the kindergarten students at Tregear Public School benefiting from the literacy program.

Amy McNeilage and Alexandra Smith Principal Richard Ford said almost all the school's students have had a tough start to life and some children arrived at the school with the development of a three-year-old.


National curriculum review: experts respond

How helpful were the recommendations?

The much awaited review of the National Curriculum has finally been released with the reviewers calling for more of a focus on Western literature, and recognition of Australia’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage.

School pick-ups every parent's hell but can it be fixed?

Tempers run high during school pick-ups but is there a better way?

Danielle Colley Every weekday afternoon at 3pm, ordinary folk prepare for battle. With narrowed eyes, and teeth bared, parents are inching along in their cars outside school pick-up zones just waiting for tempers to erupt.


Making maths fun for kids when you think it's boring

One of many creative ways you can make maths fun.

Megan Blandford If you have long since forgotten your school math days here is what kids need to learn and how you can help.


Children pay the price when teachers are away

Grade-splitting is bad for children's learning, say teachers.

Jewel Topsfield Primary school students are increasingly being farmed out to other classes when their teacher is away in a cost-saving move that teachers say is harming children's learning.


Becoming a tolerant Australia starts in the classroom

Teaching tolerance ...

Christine Cunningham If we are to grow to be a tolerant, cohesive and culturally diverse nation we need to start with our children.

It's a principal's role to protect children

Briony Scott dinkus

Briony Scott There is no asterisk in child protection law that allows some children to be exempt, and yet children in detention seem unreachable.


25 ways to ask your kids about their school day and actually get an answer


Liz Evans If you struggle to get more than one or two words out of your kids about their day at school here are 25 questions you can ask to get a whole lot more information.

Are we about to ban childhood altogether?


Maggie Dent Is fear-based thinking about to steal childhood altogether? The cartwheel ban at a Sunshine Coast school is making Maggie Dent wonder what society will ban next.

Principal calls students with mental health issues 'morons' and 'village idiots'

Calare Public School in Orange.

Tracey Prisk, Michael Koziol Students with mental health issues have been called “morons” and “village idiots” by their school principal in a bizarre letter circulated to staff of an Orange primary school.

5000 trees chopped down at NSW schools after student's death

Bridget Wright, who was killed by a falling tree branch at her school in Pitt Town. Supplied

Tim Barlass More than 5000 trees have been chopped down at schools across NSW following the playground death of eight-year-old Bridget Wright who was killed by a falling limb from a gum tree in February.

Unknown how many NSW children are not attending school

The Department of Education has conceded it can't keep track of children being home schooled.

Alexandra Smith The number of children missing out on compulsory education is unknown to the NSW Department of Education, even though it is illegal for parents to keep their children away from school if they are not registered for home schooling.

Private school education doesn't help kids later in life

Evidence suggests that private school students fare no better later in life.

Crispin Hull Mounting evidence suggests that investing in a private school education for your child is a waste of money.

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Book Week costume ideas


Book Week will be held 16th – 22nd August 2014 in Australia with the theme of Connect To Reading. Does this cause stress and panic for parents in their quest to help their kids with a Book Week parade costume? Don’t worry, we are here to help.


Youths accused of racist attack on Jewish school children 'too drunk' to be interviewed


Megan Levy A group of youths accused of launching a stream of anti-Semitic abuse at Jewish primary school children on board a bus in Sydney's east, were dressed in school uniforms and produced bus passes to board the vehicle, say police.

Is changing schools the answer to bullying?


Tania Connolly Melissa* was only seven when she asked her mother if she could be homeschooled. For most of Year Two her hair was pulled, she was pinched and verbally abused.

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