1. Student-Teacher Conflict: What’s a Parent to Do?

    With a new school year comes new teachers. Getting to know a new teacher is usually fun and exciting for kids, but every now and then teacher and student clash, and the results can be troubling. What do you do if your child doesn’t get along with their teacher? When and how do you, as a parent, step in to mediate?

    First off, take time to determine how serious the conflict is. Kids tend to report on teachers in vague terms, something like “My math teacher hates me,” or “Mr. Smith is mean to me.” Ask your child to name more specific mistreatment. Determine if the problem is related to schoolwork, or has more to do with the way your child and their teacher interact personally.

    Once you have an idea of what your child’s take on the situation is, talk to the teacher. Schedule a one-on-one meeting and bring your best non-confrontational language. Open the discussion with something like: “I know my child is having a hard time in your class. What do you think we could all do to change that?” There’s a good chance the teacher has considered the problem and can offer some specific and thoughtful advice.

    If the problem is serious, parent, teacher, and student should come together to discuss the issue and make a plan to move forward. It can be worthwhile for your child to be present, just to let the teacher know that they want to make an effort to get along. And for the most part, kids walk away from these kinds of meetings with a much clearer idea about what they need to do to move ahead.

    Avoid taking sides in a student-teacher conflict. Taking the teacher’s side alienates your child and doesn’t validate their potentially serious claims of bias or mistreatment. Siding with your child may boost their confidence, but it won’t help them solve their own problems or learn to work with people they don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with. With older kids, it may be wise to let your child settle their student-teacher disagreement on their own. Here, try to offer advice from your own experience. Ever have a disagreement in the workplace? How did you get over that?

    Student-teacher conflicts present teachable moments and promote inter-personal skills. It may be the first time your child comes into contact with an authority figure, but it won’t be the last. Only your guidance can help them find a solution to their conflict – and make sure they develop the conflict-resolution skills for a harmonious life.

     

  2. Let’s Make Back-to-School Better

    Making the transition from summer to back-to-school season can be stressful for your entire family. The change in scheduling, navigating a new academic environment, and other stressors often add up to a tense situation that puts everyone on edge. But back-to-school doesn’t have to be stressful. They key to success is giving your kids the right kind of support at the right time. Here are some helpful tips for easing them into a new school year.

    With younger kids, especially those starting in a new school or building, help familiarize them with their routine and surroundings before the first day. Drive or walk by the new school and point it out them. If possible, go inside. Show them where their classroom, lunchroom, and closest bathroom are located. They’ll be more confident on the first day if they’re already familiar with their environment.

    As a parent, you also need to project confidence. Being nervous on behalf of your kids is only going to make things worse. Tell stories about how much fun you had starting a new grade. Emphasize the perks of being older, having more responsibility, and going on to bigger and better things academically.

    Though we’re biased, we recommend getting back-to-school shopping done 2 weeks or more before the first day of school. This not only gives you ample time to find exactly what you need, it also give your kids time to mentally prepare for the new school year. The moment you take them shopping, back-to-school ceases to be a far off specter and becomes a tangible event. Plus, if you go early, the hottest new trends aren’t sold out yet.

    Make sure to schedule any dental or medical appointments for at least 2 weeks before school starts, and ensure your child is up to date on their vaccines. Discovering medical issues before the start of school allows you to deal with them before your family starts juggling back-to-school responsibility. It can also help your child avoid getting sent to the school nurse’s office on the first day.    

    A successful back-to-school season is all about making kids feel excited or at least comfortable about the transition. Make the most of what remains of summer with your kids, and let them know that you’re there for them no matter what may come during the school year. 

     

  3. Plug Up the Summer Brain Drain

     

  4. Beating the Back-to-School Blues

    Where did summer go? Are your kids panicking about going back to school? How do we ease the transition for our kids?

    Some back-to-school anxiety has to do with losing summer’s freedom, which can be disappointing, but most of it comes from the challenges a new school year brings. Making new friends, taking on new academic challenges, and getting into a new routine can be a lot to handle.

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    But if you can get your child to focus on the positive side of back-to-school, it will transform anxiety into excitement. Remind your kids that starting school isn’t just about having homework and waking up early again. Their favorite extra-curricular, whether it’s a sport or an afterschool club, will also be starting anew. Remind your kids of the friends they will be seeing every day and the new ones they’ll make. If you know for a fact that kids in your neighborhood or social circle will be starting in the same class/school/grade as your little one, set up some play dates so your child has a few friends on day one.

    You can also use the back-to-school season to illustrate to your kids that with new responsibilities and challenges come new rewards. The start of an academic year is a great time to up your child’s allowance, allow a later bedtime, or finally give them that pet they’ve been bugging you for (or something like it). Let them know that if they prove that they can balance the busy schedule of school and extra-curriculars, rewards will follow.

    Starting a new school year is stressful, but starting at an entirely new school can be downright terrifying. It may take a while for them to adjust, and though they may not show it, they’ll be crying out for your support. Let your kids know that what they are experiencing is normal. Share stories with them about your former school anxieties and stresses. Let them know that in the end it all worked out, you made some lifelong friends and had some great times.

    Of course, facing the first day back is a lot easier if you’re wearing a favorite outfit. If you want to get your kid outfitted for style and success this back-to-school season, check out our selection of school clothes, backpacks – even school supplies. Shopping for a first-day outfit together is a great way to show your child you wish them all the best with their new beginning.   

    The great thing about back-to-school anxiety is how quickly is dissipates. By the end of September it’s usually a long forgotten memory. Luckily, their school clothes will last a lot longer! 

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  5. School Uniforms with Style

    For many children, the phrase “school uniform” conjures up images of monochrome outfits that reveal little about the budding personalities wearing them. There are lots of reasons why school districts implement uniform policies, from boosting student achievement to fostering school spirit, but many kids still see it as one less way for them to express themselves. Cookie’s Kids understands how important it is for children to be individuals, which is why we’ve worked hard to make our school uniforms anything but basic.

    Like snowflakes, no two Cookie’s Kids uniforms are alike. Cookie’s Kids provides schools and parents with three customizable uniform options: embroidery, screen-printing, and plaid. Custom colored logo embroidery is available for dress wear such as polos, button-downs, and blazers, while screen-printing is offered on casual pieces such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, and spirit wear; an on-site facility in ourBrooklynwarehouse ensures quick turnaround and speedy delivery.

    And for schools that require plaid uniforms, Cookie’s Kids works with a New York City-based factory to develop custom plaid fabrics that can be manufactured into skirts, jumpers, pants – even ties! Our program makes it easy for schools to create a unique look, while giving parents the ability to mix and match with as many or as few pieces as they need. 

    In addition to all our personalized options, Cookie’s Kids carries a wide variety of accessories to help kids upgrade their school uniform from standard to stylish. For girls, tights and knee socks are an inexpensive way to liven up even the most basic dress or skirt. Changing jewelry or hair accessories from day to day is another easy way to refresh a well-worn outfit. And for boys, swapping out ties and belts can liven up a daily routine of polos and slacks.

    From our individually-tailored selections to our wide variety of accessories, Cookie’s Kids’ winning combination of great clothing at affordable prices makes shopping for – and wearing – school uniforms easier and more fun than ever!

    Sources:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/02/business/school-dress-codes-letting-a-little-style-slip-in.html?pagewanted=all

    http://www.seventeen.com/fashion/tips/school-uniform-ideas

     

  6. How School Uniforms Help Yeshivahs

    From Image USA Magazine, August 2011 issue - pages 48-50:

    In today’s economic climate, everyone is trying to save money. This is a sentiment that hits especially close to home for parents sending children to private schools, which account for nearly a quarter of all schools in the United States and admit over five million students annually. As tuition rates are on the rise at many community yeshivahs, parents and school administrators are looking for ways to ease the financial strain of educational costs.

    Joe Levy, Director of School Sales at CookiesKids.com, has the inside scoop on which and why yeshivahs are making the switch to school uniforms. He first noticed an increase in school uniform policy enforcement when one of Brooklyn’s largest schools, Magen David Yeshivah, decided to institute such a policy for the upcoming school year. Soon after, other schools in the community began inquiring about uniforms, considering the prospect of adopting a similar policy in the fall.

    "With tuition rates rising in the community, shopping for fashion clothing as school wear just adds to the cost of education," Levy said. "When schools switch to uniforms, it ensures parents will save money."

    Levy heads up the uniform sales department at CookiesKids.com which caters to over 2,000 schools, a number that shows no signs of shrinking. Because the company has a nearly endless inventory of tailor-made school uniform styles, price points and sizes available, Levy has been able to provide for a variety of school uniform policies, no matter how specific.

    Without question, the social impact of school uniforms can have a profoundly positive effect on children. “They have so many pressures right now, and one less thing they have to worry about with school uniform policies is what to wear,” said Levy. “It keeps kids on a more even playing field.”

    Jack Shammah, the Director of Marketing and Operations at CookiesKids.com, agrees. He’s received similar feedback from parents and children about the benefits of uniforms. “It provides a sense of confidence in children when they see their peers in the same clothes. They can excel at other things without being conscious of their clothing,” Jack said.

    In addition to easing peer pressure and self-confidence issues in children and saving parents money on trendy, designer clothing purchases, advocates of school uniforms cite a number of other reasons why they are a positive influence on the educational process. Uniforms make it easier for students to get dressed for schools in the morning, reduce discipline problems in the academic environment, and help set an atmosphere of modesty and professionalism.

    They also help instill and promote school spirit and pride, facilitate a sense of unity among students, and, perhaps, most importantly, increase students’ self respect. Students’ behavior and attitudes toward academics improve because their own expectations of themselves become higher. There’s a certain level of reverence that must be observed and maintained when wearing your school’s uniform.

    According to Levy, shirts and sweaters with embroidered school logos and gym clothes with screen printed mascots - all in the school’s colors - go a long way toward building that sense of belonging. When kids have a uniform on, they’re recognized as a proud student of their school.

    While some may argue that school uniforms suppress individuality, the prevailing thought is that pupils are still very much capable of self-expression when dressed in uniform. Students can make their uniforms fashionable thanks to unique choices in hairstyles, shoes, socks, ties, and accessories. It’s in minor details such as these that students possess the freedom to differentiate and distinguish themselves. Rather than seeing uniforms as an attempt at mass conformity, students recognize the potential to be even more creative and expressive. The thing that must always be remembered is that attitude is very important; if students feel good about themselves, they will act accordingly.

    Lower financial burden, the lack of distraction and competition, the development of one’s self-respect, and the fostering of community spirit are just some of the many positive reasons why the idea of uniforms is attractive to schools like Magen David Yeshivah. Their decision to mandate school uniforms for the upcoming school year indicates a strong dedication to getting their students back to the business of learning. Perhaps it is a decision that more schools will adopt in the near future.

    For more information on school uniform options, visit www.CookiesKids.com or call (877) 94-Cookies.

     

  7. 11 Rules Your Kids Did Not and Will Not Learn In School

    From a speech by Bill Gates:

    Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it! 

    Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. 

    Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both. 

    Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. 

    Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity. 

    Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them. 

    Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room. 

    Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. 

    Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time. 

    Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. 

    Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

    ———————-

    Do you have any rules you’d like to share with us? We want to hear from you!

    The first valid 25 comments will receive a $5 gift card from CookiesKids.com! (One per person. Must have a valid email address attached.)

    [Photo via Flickr]

    (Source: facebook.com)

     

  8. One Hello World

    From onehelloworld:

    My Son’s First Day of School

    I know there’s nothing I can do to stop him from growing up. No matter how old he is, how tall he gets, he will always be my little boy.

    —————————

    One Hello World is a beautiful project that writes music set to a collection of voicemails left at a straight-to-voicemail number. Some are funny, some are contemplative, and some are potent enough to go straight to your heart.

    The most recent One Hello World"My Son’s First Day of School", is such one that brings tears to your eyes from the knowledge of how much love and awe this father has for his son on his first day of kindergarten.

    You can be part of the project as well: Leave a voicemail at (316) 247-0421.

     

  9. What feature do you look for most in a school uniform?

     

  10. Did you enter yet? CookiesKids.com’s Back To School Cool Photo Contest

    Are you a proud parent who is just bursting with pictures of your child on his or her first day of school? Share their Back To School Cool with us for a chance to win a $50 gift card to CookiesKids.com!

    Three winners will be chosen - one from Facebook, one from Twitter, and one from Tumblr!


    How to enter:

    On Tumblr:

      OR

    • Reblog this post with your picture added as a comment underneath. Mention that you are entering the CookiesKids.com Back To School Cool contest

      OR

    • Upload your photo as a photo reply. [If you are on your dashboard, the photo reply “camera” icon is located in the top right corner of this post]
    That’s it - your picture is now entered!

    Increase your chances to win by entering on Twitter & Facebook too! Click here for more details.

    Contest ends September 30, 2010 at 11:59:59 PM. Open to anyone over the age of 13. Entrant must follow our Tumblr account for submission to be valid. Winners will be randomly chosen from all valid entries. You may enter as many times as you please.

    Winner will be contacted via Tumblr ask,submit, or by email with instructions for prize redemption. Three winners will be chosen, one for each site [Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr]. Cookieskids.com reserves the right to end this contest at any time and to choose another winner if the original chosen winner does not respond. 

    WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE COOKIE’S THE KID’S DEPARTMENT STORE PHOTO CONTEST?
    Entrant represents and warrants to Cookie’s the Kid’s Department Store, CookiesKids.com, its affiliates and its advertising sponsors that: (a) he/she is over 18 years of age and a legal resident of the U.S. or the District of Columbia; (b) he/she is the parent or legal guardian of the child in the photograph submitted; (c) he/she has all of the rights and authority necessary to submit the photograph for entry in the contest in compliance with these rules, including the right to publish the photograph, and the right to grant the Promotion Release set forth below; (d) the publication of the photograph will not infringe on the rights of any third party; (e) the photograph submitted has not been digitally, or otherwise, altered; and (h) he/she has read the Cookie’s the Kid’s Department Store Privacy Policy and agrees to its terms.

    PROMOTION RELEASE:
    By submitting an entry and participating in the Contest, entrant, for him/herself and on behalf of the child, irrevocably transfers, grants and assigns to Cookie’s the Kid’s Department Store, CookiesKids.com, its affiliates and its respective successors, assigns, and licensees, the right worldwide and in perpetuity, to use the name, likeness, image and photographs, including any reproductions of same, in any and all media including, without limitation, use on the Cookie’s the Kid’s Department Store Website, our Facebook Fan Page, our Twitter page, our Myspace page, our Flickr page, our blog, in-store advertising, and promotional emails in connection with the Contest or other promotions, for any advertising or promotional purposes without additional compensation, and releases Cookie’s the Kid’s Department Store and any entity acting on behalf of Cookie’s the Kid’s Department Store from any liability with respect thereto. In addition, the photo and caption may be used in promotional emails, site promotions etc.