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Bright Ideas From Our Readers: Spelling Struggles
Thanks to the readers who shared games and strategies to help kids with spelling. Their ideas may help your child.

How Older Kids Can Improve Their Writing Skills
Helping older students improve their writing skills requires both excellent instruction and age-appropriate practice - and lots of it. An expert explains this in parent-friendly terms.

How Can I Help My Teen With Algebra?
How you can help at home: Here's an activity that will get your child ready to learn science by engaging her curiosity and building her observation skills.

Stop the math madness for your tween
Even if you don't crunch numbers with your breakfast cereal, you can teach your middle-schooler how math fits into everyday life skills and ways to get homework done.

Summer Activities

Bright Ideas from our Readers: Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer
Thanks to our readers who shared their thoughts on whether it's a parent's job to keep kids occupied during the summer. Here are a few of their comments and suggestions:

Choosing a Teen Travel Program
Looking for a summer travel program for your teenager? Asking the right questions will help your teen learn and grow - and you'll sleep soundly at night.

How camp teaches kids to think green!
From composting to forestry, camps are promoting environmental awareness.

Bright Ideas From our Readers: Low-Cost Summer Learning Fun
GreatSchools' readers share their ideas for inexpensive summer activities that keep children busy and learning all year long.

Academic Skills

What to expect in preschool: Art
Hands-on craft projects in preschool build a surprising set of skills.

Preparing Your Kindergartner for the First Day of School
With a little planning, you can make your kindergartner's first day of school as easy as A, B, C.

Preparing for Second Grade
Learn about what to expect for your child in second grade.

The instant guide to time management for kids
Teaching children organizational skills is key to helping them succeed in school and life.

Book Reviews

One mom's top picks for kids' book clubs
An experienced book club mom recommends books for children from first through sixth grade.

Science and nature books for third-graders
From great whites to garbage, let these books spark your child's interest in science by presenting a range of natural (and not so natural) phenomena. Learn how predators use camouflage to hunt more effectively, for example, or how to keep trash out of landfills. Your third-grader might even start asking questions about the relationship between humans and nature.

Parent picks: What third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders are reading this summer
GreatSchools members share their favorite children's books, from classics to trendy tales.

Young adult lit grows up fast
Young adult fiction is going through a growth spurt. Find out how it is changing.

Local Facts & Resources

Arizona Schools: Key Facts and Resources
Learning key facts and knowing who's who will help you get savvy about education in your state.

Testing in Colorado: An Overview
A GreatSchools guide to standardized tests

The API: 10 things parents should know
The Academic Performance Index (API) is California's system for measuring school performance and improvement.

Testing in Alaska: An Overview
A GreatSchools guide to standardized tests

Learning Activities

Cool kitchen science: Handmade ice cream
Give your first- or second-grader a beginner's lesson in chemistry with a favorite, frozen childhood treat.

Go bananas with smoothies
Whip up a smoothie to give your child a nutritional boost for breakfast, lunch or any time. These recipes all start with a banana or two.

Making and Playing With Goop
Have fun with your child making goop out of cornstarch and water.

Write a Menu
Try this fun exercise next time you go out to eat to help build language skills with your fourth- or fifth-grader.

Media Matters

In defense of video games
Chances are your child is already engaged with games like Mario Cart or Tomb Raider -- if not in your living room then at a friend's house. Learn how to make video games work for you.

Stay Connected! Family Web Sites to the Rescue
Social networking on the Web enables families near and far to keep in touch.

Violence and Aggression: Media Mayhem Affects Kids
By the time kids enter middle school, they will have seen 8,000 murders and 100,000 more acts of violence on broadcast TV alone. And studies show it affects their behavior.

Social and Emotional Health: Media Role Models
Your child is bombarded with media messages about ethics and values that often run counter to yours. Here is what you can do to counter them.

Travel

What to Pack for Family Travel
Planning a family trip? Check out these helpful packing tips.

Flying With Kids
Flying is never boring with kids.

Travel Health and Safety Tips
Follow these tips to keep your family prepared and healthy on your next trip.

Bus and Train Travel With Kids
Following these tips can make a long bus or train ride a fun experience with kids.

Extracurricular Activities

Henry Winkler's Dyslexic Hero Gives Kids With Learning Difficulties the Last Laugh
Learn how actor Henry Winkler transformed his own unhappy experiences with dyslexia into stories of resilience and hope.

Seven questions to ask a summer camp
Mataucha, Chinqueka, Cedar, Caribou: Despite their kitschy names, or perhaps because of them, summer camps are a venerable tradition. They offer a taste of independence and plenty of opportunities to dive into experiences that help kids build social skills and self-esteem. But not all summer camps are created equal. Avoid a summer horror story with these questions for screening prospective camps.

Bright ideas: Evaluating after-school programs
Our readers share their experiences with after-school programs.

LD and the Arts
Participating in the arts can help kids with learning disabilities discover dynamic new ways of learning.







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