Volunteering: It’s good for way more than your student’s college application.

“I am so glad I am here,” the teenage girl next to me says as she heaves clunky binders and packs of notebook paper into marked boxes. We are in the back of a box truck on a warm summer day in the south. A cool breeze blows my hair …

Ten Tips for Tax Free Weekend Back to School Shopping in Virginia

The Virginia Sales Tax Holiday or Tax Free Weekend is coming up this Friday, August 4th through Sunday, August 6th. During this time period, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star and WaterSense items without paying sales tax. This is a …

Put Down that Workbook, Summer Learning Should Not Be Torture

I see you in Walmart or Borders buying that summer workbook for your kids, and I know that you have the best intentions. I have had the same thoughts myself. Nothing is more infuriating than coming home from a long day of work to see teenagers sitting on the couch …

Five Strategies for Surviving End-of-the-Year Testing

Good Morning. Testing will begin shortly after you complete the identification information on your answer sheet. Please listen carefully to the following instructions. You may not eat or drink in this room. You may not leave the room until you have been dismissed. You will have one hour to complete …

Ten Tips to Prevent the Summer Slide!

School is almost over and the kids are ready for SUMMERl! It’s time to play video games, go to the pool and really just relax. While these are all fun summer activities, it turns out that inactive summers can really result in what’s called the “Summer Slide”. All kids tend …

If Your Kids Can Do It Themselves, Let Them: 4 Ways to Foster Independence

I walked over to the coffee pot to put in the filter and spoon the tiny black granules into the basin. Above the soothing drip drip drip of coffee entering the pot, I suddenly hear my oldest daughter’s voice. It is getting louder and faster with each word, in a …

Do This One Thing to Help Raise a Child Who Is Both Kind and Successful

March is National Reading Month and Thursday March 2nd is Read Across America Day; A great time to reexamine how you are reading with your children!   Do you want to raise a child who is both kind and successful?  I think we all do. Well there is one thing …

Three Tips for Productive Parent-Teacher Conferences

I rush to the car, grabbing items as I pass through the kitchen in a blur:  purse (check), paper and pen (check), toddler has presentable clothes on (check), hair brushed sometime today-mine and hers (check and check), and keys and shoes (check). This goes on for what seems like five …