Your student is maturing and is ready for a smartphone! Your child is so responsible there won’t be a problem with texting during family meals, downloading apps without permission, using inappropriate language in messages, streaming videos under the covers when they are supposed to be sleeping or connecting with peers in the middle of the night. Right? All of us have a tendency to become preoccupied with something new.


Parents and students always feel a bit nervous about the start of a new school year. Our children look forward to reconnecting with friends, getting some new clothes and being with new teachers. At the same time they may be concerned about riding the bus for the first time, entering a new classroom or transitioning to a new school.


Remember MacGyver? That secret government agent who used everyday objects, and the ever-present Swiss Army knife, to solve complicated problems?


Frequently, Springer alumni return to help with the Adventures in Summer Learning program, and this year is no exception.


Springer’s summer program, Adventures in Summer Learning, is well underway. Students in Debbie Elbert and Amanda Forbes’ writing class are thinking about themselves, their difficulties in school, and what it’s like to have a learning disability or ADHD. Debbie and Amanda gave the students a chance to write about their thoughts and feelings. These are some of the things they wrote.


Everyone agrees that learning depends on memory. You likely have heard of long-term memory and short-term memory, but what is working memory? This term first appeared in 1974, when two English psychologists/researchers, Baddeley and Hitch, wrote a chapter titled “Working Memory” in Recent Advances in Learning and Motivation edited by G. A. Bower.


You have heard the complaints – “I’m bored.” “No one wants to play with me.” Your suggestions for activities or different companions are met with rejection. Sometimes it just seems like the youngster is complaining to get a sympathetic reaction from an adult. He doesn’t want a solution. As parents, we are aware of the variety of experiences that are open to our children.


Many parents are struggling to set realistic limits on the use of media at home. Back in the day, it was about watching TV, playing video games, talking on the phone or listening to the radio. Unlimited usage of technology in those days interfered with participating in family meals, doing homework or chores, playtime, socializing with friends and getting to bed on time.


Everyone agrees that a certain amount of stress or pressure can provide a sense of urgency to meet a deadline. When the deadline is met, the stress is relieved. In other instances, people avoid a stress by choosing not to travel by plane, for example. In medicine, it is well known that chronic stress has an impact on health. Chronic back pain, headaches, sleep disturbance, heart disease and depression can be linked to long-term exposure to ongoing stress.


We all make resolutions for the New Year. Sometimes our goals are vague with no end point, so we are set up for failure. Another goal to lose weight this year? We purchase a gym membership, go for a few sessions, and then something comes up in our family. What do we cut? Sometimes the goal is so vague and so huge that there is little chance you will succeed!