Struggling student? Maybe he’s sleepy!

September 27, 2010

Researcher: Daniel Willingham, University of Virginia

Question: “If you could magically make parents do ONE thing this coming school year to support their child, what would it be?”

Answer: Sleep!

Why?: The consequences of sleep deprivation can be harsh: depression, anxiety, inattention, conduct problems, drug and alcohol abuse and impaired cognitive functioning. Sleep deprivation also affects emotional regulation; a mother can tell when her child is tired just by how easily she gets irritated.

Read more!


Successful Living Abroad: Global Lecture Series

September 15, 2010

Check out our new favorite site!

‘Successful Living Abroad,’ an 18-part on-line global lecture series based on the expatriate family book series by ExpatExpert. It’s FREE and devotes most segments to Raising Global Nomads.

About the author:

“As the Expat Expert, Robin Pascoe is well known abroad for her inspirational and informative articles, corporate presentations, and best-selling books. She is the author of five widely-used books on global living. Since 1998, her popular website has served as an international meeting place, discussion group, and source of advice and information for hundreds of thousands of expats world-wide.”

Congratulations Robin!


Families on the Move: Challenges and Opportunities

September 9, 2010

Liz Perelstein recently published Families on the Move: Challenges and Opportunities (pg 42), in Mobility Magazine.

The personal tale of the heartache and immense growth due to a relocation is a must-read for any family considering international relocation!

Here’s a snippet ~

“You know what personal trainers say: “no pain, no gain.” Now a member of the “global mobility” world, I am almost embarrassed that my only overseas assignment was 12 years ago in a Western, English-speaking location—London—and for a predictable three years. But for me and for my family, even that relatively sheltered adventure provided an abundance of pain, out of which came infinitely more gain.”


Going Local… in India

July 14, 2010

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This American family sent their daughter to a local school in India… hear more about their experiences, including some very funny stories!

See a previous post on the same family.


Relocating with Children: When Divorce Enters the Equation

July 6, 2010

By Liz Perelstein, President of School Choice International

Excerpt from ExpatExchange.com

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Over the past few years I have been asked to provide expert testimony concerning education and relocation. These cases have been associated with two scenarios:

  • a potential move in a family where parents had divorced or were divorcing, or,
  • where parents have separated while on assignment and the custodial parent wants to move home while the working parent remains abroad.

As society has become more peripatetic, this issue is bound to arise increasingly. The five-year legal battle of David Goldman to gain custody of his son Sean was highly publicized because it was identified as an important precedent in custody battles during the current era of mobility. As the relocation of separated families has become more common, states within the United States have enacted legislation that addresses the issues inevitably raised. These laws vary considerably by state. Parental consent may be required so that when the non-custodial parent does not consent, the issue may be decided by the legal system. Intrastate moves are allowed more frequently than interstate moves which suggests that proximity and ongoing contact is considered crucial.

I have not found articles that deal specifically with legal considerations in international relocation for divided families; however, there have been a few studies (despite small sample sizes) that support the belief that ability to successfully maintain relationships with both parents is significant to a child’s well being (Journal of Family Psychology, 2003). Accordingly, legal requirements for international relocations most likely would be more stringent than those for domestic transfers because of the obvious fact that distance affects the ability to maintain relationships with both parents.

Families need to think about:

  • the child’s age;
  • how important the move is to the parent;
  • whether there are pros as well as cons for the child;
  • can parents keep conflict away from the child and his/her education;
  • how the child can maintain a relationship with both parents;
  • and what is the child’s personality like, in particular, does the child adapt easily to change?

Companies that relocate divorced parents have to consider:

  • the child’s age
  • legal implications,
  • timing in view of these legal issues,
  • cost and emotional impact on the employee as well as child.

Study Tip: Dream!

May 20, 2010

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Dreaming can help you memorize what you’ve learned.

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The researchers, Dr. Robert Stickgold and Dr. Erin Wamsley of Harvard Medical School, asked participants to remember a 3D computer maze, which they would have to navigate later. After, some were asked to nap. Those who napped, AND remembered dreaming, also performed better at the maze navigation task.

According to the authors, dreaming may signal that the brain processes the same task on many levels.

What does this mean for students?

Students might consider studying right before bedtime, or napping after a study session.

Find the whole article here!


Boycotting Standardized Tests

May 13, 2010

Recently about 1,900 schools in England

boycotted the Sats.

What are the Sats?

They are NOT the American college admission exams called SATS.

The Sats are national assessments taken by 7, 11 and 14 year olds. Basically they test reading, writing and math in 4 exams that last less than an hour each.

The exams are sent to external markers who grade the papers. The results also form School League Tables, which allow schools to be compared.

What is the controversy?

The Pros

Parents like the Sats because it allows them to compare schools and as well as keep tabs on their child’s performance.

The government likes the “factual statistics,” which allows some transparency on schools’ effectiveness.

The Cons

Teachers and staff feel they have to “teach to the test,” rather than creating the best curriculum for their child.

Pupils face immense pressure to perform well on test day.

There are also concerns about the fairness of the marking.

How does School Choice International weigh in?

It is hard to ignore the multitude of studies on the (extreme!) inefficacy of standardized tests in predicting future academic performance. Standardized tests have also long been criticized for gender, culture and class bias.

“Longstanding gaps in scores between males and females of all races show that females on average score 35-40 points lower than males on the SAT I, but receive better high school and college grades.” www.fairtest.org

Regardless, at School Choice International, we believe strongly in best fit when we place a child in a school. Some students might thrive in a highly competitive environment, while others may find it stifling and have high levels of intrinsic motivation. Tests like the Sats tend to create excitement around schools that score well, but not excellent schools that cultivate well-rounded students.

How do YOU weigh in?

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Read the full BBC article.