Kids Education

Moon to turn red during tonight's total lunar eclipse

Deborah Gough, Ed Bodkin Sky-watchers will be watching the horizon to the east as they venture out for a glimpse of the totally eclipsed moon rising at sunset on Tuesday night.

Loom bands banned in classrooms and playgrounds


Julie Power, Amy McNeilage, staff writers The popularity of loom bands and bracelets has drawn the ire of some NSW school principals, who are banning the woven accessories from the playground.


Do boys dislike school or just what they're learning?

Is it school or the way they learn?

Garth Stahl and Pete Dale What is the real reason for boys underachieving in formal schooling?


How to get kids involved in Pay It Forward Day

Simple acts of kindness are more meaningful than you realise.

JO HARTLEY 'Pay It Forward Day' is teaching children one of life's most valuable lessons.


Art that offers families womb and re-birthing experience too much for some


Cassy Small Families were confronted with images of female genitalia and a large statue of a naked woman complete with a crawling tunnel for kids at a recent art festival in Geelong but did it cross the line?

Are we destroying our kids with kindness?

Drawing by the window

SARAH MACDONALD Schools are banning red pen in the name of positivity, but are we going too far?

Unrealistic cartoons are misleading kids' into thinking animals can really talk


LIVIA GAMBLE Despite the hours of entertainment Mickey and Friends provide for kids a new study suggests the unrealistic nature of these cartoons hinders the way children learn about animals and the natural world.


Should we do away with "dyslexia"?


Anne Castles, Kevin Wheldall, Mandy Nayton A controversial call for the term "dyslexia" to be abandoned. Authors of a new book, The Dyslexia Debate, argue it is an imprecise label that does nothing to assist the children to whom it is applied.


Social skills are key to winning the bully battle


COSIMA MARRINER Victims of schoolyard bullying who have strong social skills and little difficulty with school work are likely to emerge unscathed by the experience in the longer term.

Cute New Zealand kids tell us their future


Nyree McFarlane This unscripted video of NZ children talking about the world melted our hearts.

Using comics to develop literacy skills in children

The 'superpowers' of using comics in the classroom.

With literacy being redefined by educators to include among other essential skills, the ability to read, view and create visual and digital texts; comics are increasingly being used as a learning tool in classrooms.


Girl, 9, critically hurt as tree branch falls at Pitt Town school

School accident

Megan Levy with Saffron Howden At least three students and a teacher were injured when a large branch fell off a gum tree at a primary school in Sydney's north-west on Friday.

Do you do your child's homework?

Are you robbing your kids of their homework?

JO HARTLEY A recent study undertaken in the UK revealed that nearly two thirds of adults stepped in to help with their children’s homework. But are you helping or hindering them in the long term?


Eight ways to store and display children's art and craft

How to display your child's art ...

Josefa Pete A refrigerator door can only display so much and soon piles on kitchen bench tops can become mountains of arts and crafts. Here are eight ways you can store and display your child's artwork before it overtakes your home.

Children's book 'Hello Ruby' teaches 4- to 7-tear-olds how to code

coding ruby

Rebecca Hiscott 'Hello Ruby' is a Kickstarter-funded book for kids that aims to teach programming principles to children by showing them that coding can be just as fun as pen and paper when used to tell stories.

My child starting school brought out my own issues


SAMAN SHAD On her daughter's first day of school Saman Shad discovered just how difficult it can be to not project your own issues on to your children.


Jackie French: Schools are failing to teach children to read

Beecroft childrens (clockwise from front left) Remy Savell-McKean, Tara Savell-McKean, Thomas Jones, Emma Jones and Mary Palethorpe.

RACHEL BROWNE Teaching children how to read is increasingly being outsourced to well-meaning volunteers rather than qualified professionals, according to leading author Jackie French.

A grown up guide to making new friends

Making friends isn't as easy as it used to be ...

Cassy Small When her son started school Cassy Small was a ball of nerves but not for the reasons you'd expect.


Alternative extracurricular activities

There is a whole world of unique experiences for kids to enjoy.

LAKSHMI SINGH The extracurricular activities you never knew existed and why they might be just what your child is looking for.


Students may be disadvantaged by starting school at 5 years old


AMY MCNEILAGE Children in Australia start school younger than almost anywhere else in the developed world, up to two years ahead of students in top-performing countries such as Finland and Korea.


Watch 7-year-old, Elias Phoenix's, impressive piano performance on Ellen


LIVIA GAMBLE From the moment he walked on stage, the smooth-talking prodigy was all complements and hugs for his favourite talk show host.


Politics have no place in curriculum review: Christopher Pyne


Christopher Pyne All those interested in Australia having a quality education system whereby our international performance in literacy and mathematics is going up - not down, as is presently the case - should welcome the review of the national curriculum.


How to fall in love according to a second-grader


KATIE CARLIN If you’re still trying to master the art of falling in love these two adorable eight-year-olds have the answer for you in a 24-step guide handwritten on a napkin and bound together with trusty staples.

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Encouraging children to ask questions

The importance of being able to ask questions ...

Thuy Yau Children love to ask questions and parents can often tire of answering them but encouraging their curiosity has long-lasting benefits.


When your child doesn't share your passion

Kylie Orr's son thinks books and hats are interchangeable ...

KYLIE ORR We all want our children to forge their own path but secretly we'd also like them to at least feign interest in our own passions - Kylie Orr discovered that is definitely not the case in her home.

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Tribute site set up for victims of Carlingford school crash


Amanda Hoh "Dear little boy in heaven, my family feels very sorry for what happened yesterday at my school. I hope you are now in heaven without the pain you had yesterday. Rest in peace. Teresa."

Driver who killed child outside school was doing three-point turn: police

Zoe Stephen

Rachel Olding A Carlingford mother who fatally struck a child outside a primary school was performing a three-point turn, police have revealed.

Different approach to learning yields compassionate results

Hands-on approach to learning yields heartwarming results

Nova Weetman Inquiry-based learning allowed students at this inner north primary school to step inside the life of a child refugee living in detention. What happened next moved parents to tears.


Second-grader stamps out loneliness in the playground with a 'buddy bench'

Christian Bucks with his 'buddy bench'.

KATIE CARLIN Christian Bucks, a second-grader from York in America, came up with a heart-warming idea to ensure children in his schoolyard need never feel lonely again.


Bathurst Public School has angered parents after banning girls from wearing shorts


Amy McNeilage A NSW primary school has banned girls from wearing shorts and made the wearing of dresses mandatory against the wishes of a number of students and their parents.


Former panellists unite in support of Gonski reforms

Our schools need funds to move forward.

Gareth Hutchens Former members of the Gonski review panel have joined a formal coalition of school principals, charities and church groups calling on the federal government to use the ''Gonski'' model to fund Australia's schools.


States furious over double backflip on Gonski funding

Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

Mark Kenny, Anna Patty The debate over the Gonski school reforms has caused a serious rift between governments after Premier Barry O'Farrell blasted his federal colleagues for abandoning the funding agreement he struck with the former Labor government.


Why some kids can't spell and why spelling tests won't help

Why spelling tests aren't helping kids learn to spell.

Misty Adoniou Spelling remains the most relentlessly tested of all the literacy skills, but it is the least taught - how we are approaching spelling lessons all wrong and what we need to do about it.


Family trades television for 100 adventures

100 family adventures

KATIE CARLIN A self-proclaimed ordinary family gives their daughters 100 extraordinary challenges to entice them away from the television and into the great outdoors.


When your child is average


VICTORIA BIRCH With parents now more educated than any generation before them, there is a sense that acceptable isn’t good enough.

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Starting school when you have autism


Maria Kyriacou As kindergarten students of 2013 complete their first school year, a new crop of children are getting ready for their turn at this pivotal milestone.

Why the best literacy approaches are not reaching the classroom

What needs to be done to lift our national literacy levels ...

Misty Adoniou Australia's literacy scores are dropping because children are not comprehending what they are reading, argues Misty Adoniou, and this is what she proposes we need to do.

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How charities are building literacy skills for disadvantaged kids

Kelly Hobson

RACHEL BROWNE Two new books arrive in the Hobson family's mailbox every month, one for four-year-old Emma and one for baby Samuel.


5 Fun Science Experiments for Kids

Science experiements

Mashable Help the kids discover the fascinating world of science with these five fun experiments you can set up with materials easily found around the home.

School principal hailed as a hero as bushfires devastate Springwood

sergio rosato

Kim Arlington The bushfires were closing in around their school. The flames had razed homes and were threatening others. But the teachers and staff of St Thomas Aquinas Primary in Springwood remained calm as they led their pupils 2.5kilometres to safety.

Importance of letting children fail

Disappointments and failures are part of life.

Jodie Benveniste What lessons do you need to teach your kids, and what lessons do they need to learn for themselves?

Starting a new school

Preparing children for a new school

CAROLYN TATE Being the new kid at school can be tough but Carolyn Tate is determined to help smooth her daughter's transition into her new school with these helpful tips.

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Protesters 'horrify' children outside Lennon Bros Circus

Protesters outside Lennon Bros Circus in Caloundra, Queensland.

Kate Clifford A protest outside the Lennon Bros Circus turned ugly yesterday when activists' "forced" pamphlets into the hands of children and locked teenagers in cages.


Inner city population boom means school out of bounds for siblings

School boundaries

KIRSTY NEEDHAM Siblings are being prevented from enrolling in the same school as their older brothers or sisters as the number of children in Sydney's inner city swells, squeezing classroom space and forcing public school boundaries to tighten.

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World's cutest astronomer


Melody McCabe Super cute and super smart go super well together - just watch this interview on Ellen with 5-year-old Marshall.

Drawing a line under creativity

Snailovation is an invasion by 24 pink three-metre-long snails.

Wendy Preston Be inspired by what artists have produced – then it’s your turn to have a go, writes Wendy Preston.

When your child's school isn't right for them

Struggling at school ...

BROOKE LUMSDEN Is it better to leave your child where they are or switch schools knowing they might have to face the same problems? How to know when to stay and when to go.


Sydney icon stumps students

Opera House

Linda Morris In the Pitjantjatjara language Miss Lorraine teaches there are no words to describe what lies before her: the Sydney Opera House, a deep harbour puddling its feet and clusters of office towers.

Parents' growing preference for private schools

Perceived advantages of private schools has led to exodus of pupils from state education.

Sally Young Perceived advantages of private schools have led to a gradual exodus of students from state education, a trend out of step with the world.


Keep reading together after kids start school

Don't miss out on the joys of reading with your kids

Deborah Gough Parents who stop reading to their children once they reach primary school are missing out on an emotionally rich time and could also miss out on the benefits of reading aloud in old age, a literacy expert has said.

Fundraising isn't for every parent

Missing the 'fun' in fundraising ...

Julia Cahill Julia Cahill faced some hard truths about herself after signing up for her children's school fundraising committee.


Encouraging children to dream big

Helping them soar ...

Thuy Yau Is your child a high achieving dreamer? Here is how to encourage their dreams while also building resilience.

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Book Week costume inspiration

Book Week Ideas

Staff writers Have you already sorted your child's Book Week costume? If you are planning on a last minute creation this weekend take a look through some of our galleries with your kids to help them make a decision.

Raising inclusive kids

Teaching children to accept disabilities and differences

VICTORIA BIRCH How to teach children to value people with disabilities and differences, not pity or exclude them.

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Playgroup in the rain

Bush Kinders

LINDY ALEXANDER Getting children outside has never been more popular with a wave of 'bush kinders’ teaching preschoolers the benefits of nature.

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Learning to read is only the first step

Your child can read ... Now what?

Stephanie Brown Why parents shouldn’t leave their kids completely alone with their books once they can read.

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Catholic sector signs up to school funding reforms

A crucifix.

Jewel Topsfield and Daniel Hurst The federal government has struck a national deal with the Catholic sector on school funding reforms, placing further pressure on the hold-out states to sign up to the deal.


Trial to improve after-school care

After school care

AMY MCNEILAGE After-school care that is open until 7pm and places reserved for children in an emergency situation are just two of the ideas that could be trialled as the federal government looks at creative ways to increase access to out of school hours care.

Helping forgetful kids


BROOKE LUMSDEN It's a scenario many parents know all too well, and as it turns out, there may not only be a legitimate reason, but also a way to end the frustration.

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Search for at-risk children starts in kindergarten


Jewel Topsfield, Josephine Tovey Hundreds of thousands of children will be assessed when they start kindergarten to find out if they are at risk of falling behind and need extra help under the federal government's education reforms.

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