Kids Education

Why kids need to rote learn times tables

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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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?

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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

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

Child care shortages see teachers being used as babysitters

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25:  Children play at Centre House after school care in Lane Cove on July 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Lane Cove Public School is lucky to have a parent-run after school care service run partly on the school site and partly off. (Photo by Jessica Hromas/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Alexandra Smith, Amy McNeilage Parents who cannot secure after-school care or who want to avoid paying the fees are relying on teachers to be defacto babysitters outside school hours, principals and childcare groups warn.

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6 ways to encourage reluctant readers

Getting children to discover the joys of reading can take time.

Karen Andrews Once her eldest started school, Karen Andrews found that her daughter had lost interest in reading so she set out to help her rediscover the joys of getting lost in a good book.

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Combating boys' boredom in the classroom

Keeping things interesting for boys.

Julia Cahill Was your son reluctant to return to school this term? Does he claim to be bored in the classroom? Here is how some schools are attempting to keep things interesting for their students.

Repeating school can do more harm than good, experts warn

ELTHAM AUSTRALIA- 11 JULY 2014: Photo of young Keelin O'Reilly (8yrs) with mother Sarah O'Reilly and sister Morgan O'Reilly (13yrs) at their home in Eltham on Friday 11 July 2014.. THE AGE / LUIS ENRIQUE ASCUI

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Amy McNeilage Despite warning from experts, thousands of NSW parents are insisting their children repeat a year of school.

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Do you understand your children's school reports?

School reports

Paul Chai Can you decipher what your child's teacher has written in their report card? Paul Chai has had enough of the corporate speak and 'compliment sandwich'.

How to respond to my disabled daughter

Mary Cate

Colleen Mastony "What's wrong with that baby's face?" These were the words that prompted Kerry Lynch to show children her disabled daughter was not that different from them.

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What is democratic schooling?

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Rebecca English Imagine a school where the students have equal say with the teachers, principal and governors in all areas of school life. Welcome to the world of democratic schooling.

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Reducing child sex abuse

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Kylie Orr How can we reduce the incidence of child sexual abuse? Kylie Orr looks at the most powerful weapon we have against it – confident, educated and empowered children.

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School chaplains confident the program will continue

School chaplains are confident their program will continue despite a High Court setback.

Natalie Bochenski Chaplains look to Commonwealth for alternative funding after High Court ruled against federal funding of the program.

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High Court rules against federal funding of school chaplains program

Ron Williams has brought a High Court challenge against the national school chaplaincy program.

Jane Lee, Matthew Knott High Court has ruled in favour of a Queensland father who challenged federal funding for the national school chaplains program but the Abbott government remains committed to the program.

5-year-old Myles saves mum's life with triple-0 call

Myles Wellham knew to call triple-0 after playing with an app offering a range of emergency scenarios.

Sam Rigney When Mel Wellham collapsed in the kitchen of her Newcastle home last year, her five-year-old son Myles knew what to do.

Jane Kennedy shares how she makes storytime count with her kids

Jane Kennedy

Gabe McGrath Actress and producer, Jane Kennedy shares her love of reading with her five kids and why she is excited to be a part of the National Simultaneous Storytime.

Isolated students need three forms of transport to get to school each day

Philip and Ginnene with sons Cody and Aron can’t take things for granted on Rotoroa Island.

Diana Worthy Nothing can dampen the spirits of schoolboys Cody and Aron Salisbury despite their lengthy and unusual daily commute to school by road and sea.

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Is Montessori school the right education for your child?

Is self-directed learning right for your child?

Brooke Lumsden Research has shown that Montessori educated children are, on average, ahead in various areas of development, but how do you know if it’s right for your child?

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Mother who caused fatal accident at school wants charges dropped

Killed: Akshaaye Balakrishnan.

Rachel Olding The Sydney mother responsible for accidentally running over a group of Carlingford Public School children on the last day of school last year is “extremely grieved” by the experience, says lawyer.

More parents waiting until after NAPLAN results to coach students

There has also been a noticeable rise in students from public primary schools who are being tutored.

Alexandra Smith Parents increasingly opting to wait for their child's NAPLAN results before seeking coaching rather than cramming for the tests beforehand.

The seven messages of highly effective reading teachers

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Brian Cambourne Teaching kids to read isn’t just about learning the alphabet or “sounding out”, it’s about making sense of what’s on the page

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Lessons learnt while on school holidays

How do you feel about your kids at the end of the school holidays?

Julia Cahill I can’t say how much I am looking forward to the beginning of term tomorrow. Almost as much, I think, as I was looking forward to the first day of the school holidays.

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Moon to turn red during tonight's total lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipse. Image credit Fred Espenek

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

Art?

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

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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.

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Should we do away with "dyslexia"?

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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.

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Social skills are key to winning the bully battle

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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

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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.

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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?

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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

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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

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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.

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Jackie French: Schools are failing to teach children to read

Beecroft childrens bookshop.kids (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.

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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.

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Students may be disadvantaged by starting school at 5 years old

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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.

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