Education Articles

Preparing your Child for a Successful School Career

pre school

Imagine this: Today is the first day of your new job. It’s a 15-minute commute. Although you hadn’t planned it this way, last night you ended up going out with some friends and didn’t get back until the wee hours. Then you didn’t hear the alarm in the morning and woke up 10 minutes before you were supposed to leave. As you rush around to get dressed, you realize that your good suit needs cleaning, so you hurriedly search the closet for another one, along with a shirt to go with it. Realizing there is no time to eat the hearty breakfast you had planned, you grab a nutrition bar on the way out the door and drive off. Too late, you realize you left your lunch in the fridge. Although you race through traffic, you arrive at work 10 minutes late and in a frazzle from the morning’s experience. You think, “What a way to start a new job!”With this beginning, what are the chances that you will feel prepared to do your best work that day, and – and if this becomes a pattern – all the other days on this job? (What are the chances that you will still have this job down the road?)


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Klal Perspectives, High School Boys’ Chinuch


When addressing the subject of challenges and possible improvements to the American chinuch system, the first challenge is to identify who should be the appropriate audience.  Each constituency will readily suggest another to be in need of instruction. Mechanchim tend to find fault in the bochurim, and their poor attitudes, aspirations and performance. Parents readily place the weight of responsibility on themechanchim, citing the need for improved educational skills, greater individualized sensitivity and an increased time commitment. Bochurim, of course, find both their parents and their rebbeim at fault, rarely connecting any personal shortcomings with personal responsibility. Who, then, should be addressed?

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The Maryland Education Credit and You

school building

There is power in the mouse! We have a golden opportunity, with a few clicks, to help the effort to lower our school tuition costs. The current Maryland state legislative session is considering a bill that would help our community immensely by giving schools additional state money to be used for tuition assistance, academic tutoring, books, supplies, technology, and special needs services.

These additional funds could become a reality if the Maryland Education Credit (MEC) bill, formerly know as BOAST, is passed. This legislation (Senate Bill 405/House Bill 487) benefits not only the day schools. As a recent MEC email states, “It would help lower-income families – from both public and nonpublic schools – afford tuition and other educational expenses for their children. It would give kids the opportunity to attend schools which best suit their needs. Low-income children receive first priority for financial assistance.”

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How to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth (and Other Stories)

tooth brushing

As a therapist, working with parents and children is one of my favorite duties. I have developed a comfortable parenting style and philosophy from the training and reading I have done, both Jewish and secular (see below for some of my favorite reads), and I have had the privilege of helping many parents improve their own parenting as a result. So it was with more than a little embarrassment that I caught myself doing something that I knew was ineffective and counterproductive, something that I commonly teach others not to do.

Let me start with this question: How do you get your kids to brush their teeth every night?

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Tuition: Mission Impossible, Part 2


Last month’s article on tuition highlighted the tremendous struggle some typical day school parents have in shouldering tuition costs. This article will discuss ideas and efforts that are being put forth to help alleviate the problem.

As noted last month, our schools meet most of their budget items with tuition money, yet a good portion of operating expenses must be covered by other sources of income, including direct donor contributions, fundraising events, and other sources. In the past, day schools could count on support from Jews who were not necessarily Orthodox but recognized the importance of Jewish education. This source of funds has become minimized, as non-affiliated or more assimilated Jews, who may have a diminished attachment to Judaism, are giving the majority of their charity donations to non-Jewish causes.

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Give, and Get More in Return


Walking down the aisle in the grocery store, a little girl nudges her mother and whispers, “Look, there’s Zaidy Arnold.” Her mother is surprised. She only knows about two zaidies in the family, and neither one is named Arnold.

“Who is that?” she whispers back.

“He reads stories to us,” the little girl replies, “and it is the best part of Funday!”

In “real life,” Zaidy Arnold is Mr. Arnold Shear, who moved to Baltimore five years ago. “I love children,” says Mr. Shear, “and had been reading to them when I lived in Boston. Each week, I choose books at the library to read to the Bais Yaakov nursery and pre-nursery classes. I make it a lot of fun, wearing different hats and fun costumes, which makes every Monday into a fun day! I don’t know who enjoys it more,” says Mr. Shear, “me or the children.”

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