Posts Tagged ‘Middle school’

Get Your Free Cyber Security Guide for Parents

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Thanks to the folks at SafetyWeb for providing a wonderful, detailed, new guide for parents, “Cyber Security in the 21st Century.” You can download it as a free PDF here.

One of the most important things to talk about with your kids when it comes to being safe online is sharing personal information and photos over Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thanks to SafetyWeb for allowing me to share these tips for parents, which are also appropriate for kids:

• Don’t post the exact details of your whereabouts before the fact. Announcing the exact dates of a two-week vacation; reporting when and where a child goes to and leaves school; saying anything that tells strangers too much about your location or your kids’ locations should be avoided.

• If you choose to upload photos to a social networking site via a smart phone, turn off geotagging.

• Monitor kids’ networked friends. Be sure they understand that they should not accept invitations from people they don’t know.

• Do not include too many personal details. Birth month and day is adequate, for example, especially for information about children, but the same applies to adults, too.

• Use avatars or pet pictures for kids on social networking sites.

• Understand that Skype and other VoIP software can share too much information, too. Share information judiciously.

• Think before posting anything – pictures, facts or opinions. Privacy is a relative term on a social networking site, and things travel quickly on the Internet.

• Set and maintain your security settings. Do not assume that the site’s default settings are the best for you.

Wordless Wednesday: My Baby’s Heading to High School!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Guest Post: A 16-Year-Old’s Take on “All Sexed Up For 8th Grade Graduation?”

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

I’m so happy to be able to share a terrific guest post today. Keira, who is 16, is the sibling of one of the 8th graders who was promoted at our local middle school on Tuesday night. This is in response to yesterday’s post on that event. (Let’s just say it prompted an interesting discussion!) I think she has a great perspective — and a heck of a lot of maturity. (I also think if every high school student in our town was as articulate as Keira, our English teachers would we thrilled.) Take it away, Keira…

As a 16-year-old girl who was there at promotion, I must agree with you. It’s disgusting. My year was even worse. I don’t understand how the parents of these girls let them walk out of the house looking like that.

I would never let my own daughter display herself in such an inappropriate fashion, nor would I ever feel okay dressing myself that way. Ever. It doesn’t matter if you’re thin and cute and want to show off, or if you’re not-so-thin and still feel like you need to show it all or fit in or whatever. It’s simply not okay.

The women in my life have shown me how to be modest and that one attracts people with how they dress. Obviously, we should not judge people by how they look. I’m not advocating that at all. I’m just saying that the girls who dress like they want a certain kind of attention will get it.

And for a 14-year-old  girl fresh out of junior high, that’s never good.

All Sexed Up For 8th Grade Graduation?

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Last night we attended our son’s promotion from middle school. It was a wonderful evening, and we loved seeing so many kids that we’ve known for years — some since they were in diapers.

With 380+ kids in the 8th grade class, we saw a little bit of everything when it came to fashion. And let me be very clear, given what I’m about to say: The vast majority of kids followed the dress code that was distributed to parents on three different occasions.

But — and I’m not exaggerating here — about 10 percent of the girls looked like Vegas hookers, complete with stripper heels. We’re talking skin-tight dresses (with spandex to make them even more revealing), some strapless, at a length that barely covered their assets.

What are these parents thinking? Have they abdicated all authority over what their children do? Are they afraid to say no? Are some of the moms so hell-bent on having a daughter who’s part of the in crowd that they allow (or even encourage) her to dress like she’s about to slither around a pole at a sleazy bar?

These girls are FOURTEEN.

I don’t get it.

And another thing: As the mom of a 14-year-old boy, I’m working hard to teach my son to respect girls. It would be a whole lot easier to do that if some of these girls had a bit more respect for themselves.

Talk back: What do you think? Am I out of line here? What are you seeing in your community? And if you’re a parent who thinks this kind of dressing for an 8th grader is fine and dandy, would you please tell us why?

#1 on Teachers’ Wish Lists: Hand Sanitizer

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Calhan High School seniors in Colorado, USA.

If you’re like me, you have been wading through back-to-school paperwork
lately. And if your kid is in school, you’ve probably received the teacher’s “wish list”… wipe-off markers, Kleenex, paper towels and (of course) hand sanitizer.

With everyone’s concern about H1N1
flu in mind, hand sanitizer is even more popular these days.

Personally? I wish we could all just wash our hands more often. But
realistically, that’s not always going to happen at school. So I’m glad these little bottles of gel kill germs so effectively.

Only one problem. They dry out your skin something fierce.

So I was jazzed to try a sample of Infectigard Hand Sanitizer. This stuff kills the germs, but it also contains a moisturizer that left my hands soft, but not sticky at all. After it dried, I noticed a faint scent that smelled a bit like baby powder. Nice.

So I thought I’d share the news with you. I’m going to share the bottle of Infectiguard with
my son’s science class. Along with a few boxes of Kleenex, of course.

Momagers, Momtourages and Mommy Mobs, Oh My!

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Bake sale cupcakes“We really want the kids to feel special at the magazine drive contest
next week, and do not want anyone to feel like a ‘loser’ because they
are all winners.  So, we will all be responsible for bringing in
presents and trophies for someone else’s child so everyone is included!”

“You did a fabulous job at the Need-Organic-Glue-in-the-Classrooms Fundraiser. Thanks so much!”

“In honor of Shalom-Winroads School’s 12.5-year anniversary, we are having a benefit. Have you bought your table yet?”

If you're a mom with a kid in preschool through middle school, you may be laughing, because you know these quotes from a post over at On Youth and Teens Today With Vanessa Van Petten aren't all that much of an exaggeration

Be sure to read the entire post. Vanessa is one of my favorite parenting bloggers. She throws in a lot of humor with her great insights. Head over there right now and subscribe… before you read another e-mail from the PTA president.

I (Don’t) Like “Flat Buns”

Monday, September 17th, 2007


I don’t know whether to praise Carl’s Jr. for coming out with a teacher-free version of its "Flat Buns" commercial or to jump on the bandwagon and give them grief for producing the original ad in the first place.

As for grief, they’re getting plenty of it from teachers, who were rightfully appalled at the ad, which showed a gyrating teacher dancing, stripper-style, to the rap song in front of her class, complete with pelvic thrusts. (Besides, it’s such a rip off of Van Halen’s "Hot for Teacher" video, they should be ashamed of their lack of originality. But that’s another rant.)

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Pass the Kleenex — and a Little Ketchup

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007


It’s hard for me to believe that my son, Matt, starts middle school tomorrow. Because, honestly, didn’t I just walk down that same path — yesterday?

I remember going on a weekend youth-group retreat in seventh grade and having such a major crush (are there any other kind?) on a kid named Dan that that weekend became a scrapbook page in my brain. (Dan was right up there with The Monkees in my book, if that tells you anything.)

I remember the girls giggling at lunch in the big camp dining hall while the boys turned their squares of Jello salad upside down and wiggled them — and the Jello never left the plate.

I remember deciding I simply must try ketchup on my scrambled eggs at breakfast because that’s the way "Dan the Man" liked his eggs. And I remember dancing to Blood Sweat and Tears’ “Spinning Wheel” at the big Saturday-night dance — and then actually slow dancing with Dan (shriek!) while he sang The Temptations’ "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" in my ear. Yes, Dan, you were quite the Romeo.

A few months later, of course, Romeo decided he was nuts for another girl (an eighth grader…) and, as he was standing outside the youth-group building, hemming and hawing about how to share this bit of news, he suddenly discovered he had other pressing business and ran off, yelling "I have to pee!"

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How to Survive Middle-School Math

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Back when she played middle-schooler Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years,” actress Danica McKellar was “terrified of math” she says. But by 8th grade, something clicked, big-time, and from then on, McKellar had a blast making up tricks to help her remember math principles.

She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UCLA, to lecture on mathematics at Rutgers University and to speak to a Congressional subcommittee on the importance of women in math and science. Talk about overcoming a phobia!

Now 32 and the star of the Lifetime Movie Network’s series “Inspector Mom,” McKellar plays a young mom whose ability to put two and two together helps her solve local murders. And her passion for math continues. Check out this 20/20 interview.

McKellar’s new book for girls, Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail
(to be released today on Amazon.com) not only empathizes with girls who
may be wary of tackling math once they leave elementary school — it
takes them, step-by-step and with humor, through the world of
middle-school math, pointing out tips and tricks along the way.

Where was this book when I was in 8th grade?