Entries by Dona Matthews

Overscheduled? Too busy to play? Six ways to push back and create a healthy balance for your kids

Balance is one of the most important secrets for raising happily productive kids. It’s important to provide lots of stimulation, challenge, and learning for your kids, but it’s just as important to ensure ample time for free play, nature, reflection, imagination, and even boredom. Here are six ideas you can implement starting today that will […]

Read to Your Child, Starting at Birth: It’s Good for Learning, Thinking, Imagining, and Relating

A child whose parents read to her, starting from birth, is more likely to do well in every area of life. She’ll start school with better language skills, find it easier to make and keep friends, feel better about herself, stay in school longer, and do better, both personally and professionally. That’s why the American […]

Controversies and Misconceptions: Intelligence, IQ, and Gifted Education

Intelligence is a much more interesting, democratic, and dynamic process than a lot of people realize. There’s a dangerous but all too prevalent misconception that some people are born intellectually gifted (and the rest of us aren’t). From this perspective, traditional models of gifted education make good sense. All one has to do is figure […]

Play Outside! Twelve Ways to Health, Happiness, Intelligence, and Creativity, and to Environmental Sustainability

Spending more time outdoors, preferably in natural settings, may be the simplest, healthiest, and most economical remedy for the terrible increase in numbers of children diagnosed with social, emotional, and learning problems over the past two decades. It may also be the answer to many problems suffered by adults in our increasingly rushed, technology-focused lives. […]

From Apathy to Possibility: Scott Barry Kaufman’s Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

What’s it like to be on the receiving end of well-meaning sympathy for your learning disabilities, accompanied by low academic and career expectations? How does it feel to want to engage in the challenging learning activities that your friends in the gifted class are experiencing, and to be told you never will? Cognitive psychologist Scott […]

The Wonder of the Ordinary: A Crucible for Creativity, Talent, and Genius

Parents can help their kids find their own particular kind of genius by encouraging their sense of wonder in the ordinary. You may or may not want your child to be a genius—an exceedingly rare and extraordinarily high achiever in a particular field—but you can help him develop his intelligence, creativity, and talents, by ensuring […]

Protect Your Child’s Playtime: It’s More Important than Homework, Lessons, and Organized Sports

If you want your child to grow up to be confident, co-operative, intelligent, creative, and successful, protect his playtime from all the encroachments of life in a fast-paced, ambitious, technologically wired world. Playtime is one of the most cost-effective investments a parent can make in a child’s education. It requires nothing more than time, space, […]

Every Child Can Do Math: One Step at a Time, with Patience and an Open Mind

We all know people who can’t do math. They’re better to take the easy math courses and drop out of math as early as possible. That’s what most North American teachers and parents think should happen, and that’s what usually does happen. The kids become adults who ‘can’t do math,’ avoiding careers they might otherwise […]

Slowing Life Down to a Child’s Pace

Time is much more valuable than money. It is the stuff of life, the basic currency. And how we spend it makes all the difference not only to our own health and well-being, but also to our children’s experience and development. By slowing life down to a child’s pace, parents support their children in finding […]

Parenting Teenagers: Build community; Go online; Play video games; Chat online; Learn to manage emotions

When kids reach adolescence, parents are most likely to feel vulnerable and insecure about their parenting, and divorce rates are at their highest. It’s important to listen to teenagers, and respect their opinions and ideas about their lives. One of the challenges for parents is incorporating teens’ opinions about what they need into their own […]