Friday, May 17, 2013

Spending More Time with Your Children by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

             Spending More Time with Your Children by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

I am always elated to hear or read of experiences whereas Parents have taken time to engage and spend time with their children. Such are necessary and these experiences if missed cannot be recaptured.

Often when the children are small time seems awfully long and many years before they become young adults exiting the home and on their own.  However, if you ask Parents, many will tell you that it seemed only yesterday that their children were young; the years passed awfully fast and they grew up in “no time” or “too soon.”

In talking with baby boomers, I have been surprised to hear a number of them as they reminisce speak of their greatest regret being not having spent enough time with their kids when the kids were growing up.  In a number of instances it is not that the children (now adults) do not care or care to spend time with their aging Parents; they simply learned to function as children without the Parent’s presence and such became a pattern. The roles of Parent – child has now reversed itself.  Now, that some baby boomers have time on their hands and are more aware of the importance of family and family gatherings, their children are now wage earners and a good number forgo spending time with family in an effort to earn or work at a living. In fact you may have adopted your Parent(s)’ work habit(s).  Distance is also a major factor as to why many families are not able to get together as often as they would prefer.

Parents, it is important to remember that

·         You are your child’s first and on-going teacher

·         You set the example; consciously and unconsciously

·         Your actions in spite of what you say reveal those things that are utmost important

Whether you have noticed or not; there appears within our society to be a shift with Parents; many are electing to 1) forgo jobs that do not allow them to spend enough quality time with their children and 2) Parents are becoming self-employed and entrepreneurs in an effort among others things to provide themselves with a more flexible schedule. Many Parents are determining that which they are good at and marketing their own skills, talents and abilities.

Remember Parents; “no one is going to do for you what you should be doing for your own child” (Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

Finally, we have added a link here to Parents Taking Charge in Education’s Channel on YouTube. The video’s title is “A Checklist for Parents – How did you do? By Mrs. Dorothy Barron; check it out -


Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education

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Friday, April 26, 2013

TIRED, BUSY AND OVERWHELMED - Help! By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

          TIRED, BUSY AND OVERWHELMED; Help! By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

I am a tired, busy and overwhelmed Parent – How can I or we:

Ø  Best involve my or ourselves as a Parent(s) in our child/ren’s Education and make it count?

First, may I commend you for realizing the need and wanting to become an involved Parent(s) in your child/ren’s Education.

·         What is available in terms of your involvement; what are your child school’s needs?

·         What are your strengths and what can you offer in the way of involvement?

·         Do not leave your child’s total education up to Educators. As Parents offer and make suggestions from a Parent’s perspective.

Ø  Stay abreast of that which occurs with your child in Education and his/her school?

·         Organization is the key!

·         Make lists, schedules and go to Parent-Teacher Conferences. School conferences have been designed for Parents to interact with Teachers and Educators.

·         Visit the school at least occasionally; you should check out your child’s environment.

·         There is such a thing as Formal and informal education; know and understand the difference.

Ø  Make a difference in my child’s Education?

·         Determine where you want to make a difference; whether in your child’s informal or formal education, which needs your focus? Insure that your child receives both.

·         Decide how involved you want to be; there are various levels which Parents Taking Charge in Education has discussed previously and which consist of 4 levels.

Ø  Make Parenting easier in order to accomplish the above?

·         What can you live without and/or change with ease? Make a list of those things that are necessary; those important to you and the household and then those which you and/or the family want; then “Prioritize!”

·         List things that you feel are necessary both from you perspective and your child’s; Parents such can be different.

·         Set some limits; give your child/ren some responsibilities and hold them accountable.

·         You set the example, because they will be watching and more than often mimicking you or rather your actions.

De-stress; take some deep breaths; get your favorite soothing beverage and pen and paper – move away from the computer if situated in front of it. You will be tempted to put this down on the computer which may be quicker, but distracting and can lead to your feeling overwhelmed again.  After you have placed your responses to the above in writing on a pad computerize your notes if such is more comfortable and of ease for you.

Finally, relax and enjoy being a Parent. Parenting is not an easy job, but often some make it more difficult than necessary.  The key can be summed up in three words; “keep it simple.” Start in the manner you wish to continue; it also helps to put self in your child’s place and consider the question; if the child, how would I have liked my Parents to have dealt with this situation? Include the important things in life which do not consist solely of the amount of that which you can give your child/ren from a financial or materialistic standpoint.  When all is said and done, will your child/ren remember you and the things you taught them or mostly the material stuff you gave them?

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education


Friday, April 19, 2013

Life is too short – Enjoy it! By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

                       Life is too short – Enjoy it! By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Summer is just around the corner and for many students such entails approximately 2 or so months out of school, but not necessary away from learning experiences. For those schools and students who have gone to a year round school system, may I suggest Parents monitor the process to ensure that such is beneficial and effective for your child as opposed to detrimental?

For students who are out of school, Parents consider allowing your child/ren to engage in activities that are relaxing and not as stringent or regimented; those that interest the child and even some new activities (with Parental consent); life is too short - enjoy it! It is possible to have fun while learning; we can learn from that which we hear, see and experience and it does not have to come from a formal academic learning environment. During the summer break from school consider the following four (4) reasons for allowing your child to engage in less stringent; new activities and/or those which interest your child:

Ø  The mind often functions best after a period of change and rest

Ø  Young children are not adults; care should be taken of one’s expectations of a child and the child level(s) of capability.

Ø  The lack of being a child when a child can pose problems later in life; such can lead to immaturity and the adult trying to recapture his/her childhood. Once childhood is missed one cannot relive one’s childhood. Some missed occasions may be experienced, but not one’s entire childhood.

Ø  Engaging in activities one enjoys can relieve stress to the body.

Parents do not allow the varied and various requirements in Education to place you in panic mode and you become overly concerned about your child’s formal academic schooling and/or cause you to overlook other important needs of your child/ren. Monitor your child’s activities; be there for your child and insure that your child’s life is well-balanced in all aspects. Your child may even surprise you with that which he/she knows; can accomplish and/or learn on his/her own. As a child, I enjoyed reading and spent my entire Summers reading books; the difference – out of school during Summer, I chose books I wanted to read and those enjoyed as opposed to regular school session; during which, most books were provided and required reading.

Parents; there is a time and place for all things- a time for a child to buckle down and engage in formal academic and regimented learning and a time for the child to be carefree; enjoying life as a child; exploring and engaging in activities which the child enjoys (with your consent). Life is too short – enjoy it!

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education



Friday, April 12, 2013

A Missed Opportunity in Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

  A Missed Opportunity in Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Recently, there was talk of a large city closing a number of schools from what appeared to have been as a result of low enrollment and financial limitations. Without having heard directly from each side or each side’s position, I will not try and elaborate on this particular situation. As one who experienced a similar situation with another large city and school closings, I want to focus on two issues concerning school closings. The first issue looks at school closings’ direct effect upon those for whom Educators and Education Systems are in business to serve, which are children/students; the second issues consist of a missed opportunity in Education.

Generally, when neighborhood or community schools close students are often bussed or must travel and go to school(s) outside their communities. Children/Students in general and especially those of elementary school level due to age and level of maturity should not have to deal with being bussed outside their neighborhood unless the Parent(s) has made a choice to do so. I know there are pros and cons; understandable, but in this particular context on today, the focus is on the students’ well-being and safety. By no means is it being advocated here that students be forced to remain in schools that are inferior both physically and academically; such will be alluded to in the second issue mentioned.

Regarding the first issue, let us briefly consider some of the disadvantages and effects upon students as a result of neighborhood or community school closings and students bussed outside their neighborhoods:

·         Additional burden(s) upon students – many within society would be surprised at the number of students who must fend for themselves. Parents cannot be in two places at once. Often Parents must leave early for work and many children- young children are responsible for getting up, ready and getting themselves to and from school. Some young children/students have responsibilities equal to those of some adults.

·         Busing students outside their communities often places students in potential situations of danger; such can consist of being out on the street before dawn in order to travel a greater distance; sometimes there is a need to transfer via city bus, also students can become vulnerable prey for predators.

·         Crossing and encountering gangs and their territories - there is not a need to elaborate here, because most adults would not subject themselves to such.  We will note that such can lead to students becoming affiliated with and joining gangs simply as a means of protection.

·         Can increase the potential for student school drop-out rates due to some or all of the above. Perhaps, from the student’s perspective, it is better to be a “live, not formally educated student” versus a “dead, educated student.” From this point of view, such rather changes the perspective.

·         Many communities and/or social hubs have in the past been its churches and schools. When one or both ceases to exist such can and do often lead to a rootless community and for some young people lack of a solid established foundation(s) in which to identify/associate produces a loss of self-identity.

Briefly, and as it relates to the second issue of school closings being viewed as a missed opportunity; a new day has dawned in Education, but too often and far too many are still applying yesterday’s solutions to today’s challenges in Education. The tired, worn-out excuses of lack of; shortage of funds, funding and personnel are not the major problems in Education. In fact, many large city Education Systems are practically sittings on funds and funding; they simply have not tapped into these funding sources.  Consider using the lower enrollment as an opportunity to reduce class sizes and devote more time, personal attention and resources to students that lag behind in Education. From personal experience, students that have fallen behind generally do not benefit academically from being placed in a large classroom setting; they need individualized attention.

Most Parents want and strive for better conditions for them and their children in various, if not all aspects of their lives; instead of closing schools which in many cases eventually lead to the dissolution of communities and neighborhoods use this opportunity to transition some of these communities through revitalization and renovation.

I reiterate, “A New Day has Dawned in Education;” however, most are not prepared and many are not even aware that such has occurred. Applying the same solutions will not get our children or nation to the top or ready for challenges which we already and will continue to face on both national and global scales.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education


Friday, April 5, 2013

BUSINESSES and Year Round Schooling for Students by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

BUSINESSES and Year Round Schooling for Students by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Business Owners and Leaders; what were your thoughts if any on last week when Parents Taking Charge in Education’s blog Article and video, Year Round Schooling for Students – As a Parent should I be concerned  was posted? Did the blimp on your mental radar screen signal that you should have taken note or did you think or say, this doesn’t affect me? If you are a Business Owner or Leader and did not think last week’s article affected you; I beg to differ.

Perhaps, you are asking, what is the connection between Businesses and Year Round Schooling for Students? According to those who have/are implementing year round schooling, shorter breaks are to occur for one or two weeks at a time periodically throughout the year as opposed to the one traditional School Summer break of approximately 2 months. A number of Parents select their jobs; work availability, vacation time, etc. around their children’s school schedules, especially summer break which occurs at the same time and during the same period for most school systems across the nation.

How will year round schooling for students affect your business should your employees - some of whom are Parents incur problems with the care of their children during mini- school breaks? We are not stating that such will, but there is a possibility that such can and if so, how will such affect and effect your workforce and business; to what extent and what is your plan of action? Will you lose some of your work force and/or best employees? How will such affect your business if your company operates in various geographical regions?

                Students being in school year round can affect a number of businesses in one way or another; that which may be obvious is that supply and demand most likely will increase with year round schooling.  On the other hand businesses may have to deal with the aforementioned questions, which may necessitate reviewing, studying, obtaining feedback (uttermost from those directly affected) and formulating a plan of action. It might not be a wise idea to wait until problems begin and begin to adversely affect both your employees and business. From where I sit, I continue to see a shift in the traditional workforce inside companies in which a number of Parents (not totally limited to Parents) are leaving in an effort to begin spending more time with children, family and/or other pursuits. Will or is this shift beginning to adversely affect your business; if so, have you considered the implementation of at least two very important actions that may be necessary and in which you and your business should be engaged?

Business Owners and Leaders stay abreast of that which occurs in Education; it affects you and your business. You can impact it and those within!

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education


Friday, March 29, 2013

Checklist of 12 Questions for Your Consideration about Year Round Schooling

Checklist of 12 Questions for Your Consideration about Year Round Schooling by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Often he or she who fulfills the need (s) of a person wins the heart, respect and often loyalty of that person (Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

My child will be going to school year round; as a Parent should I be concerned? As more and more schools move to year round schooling many Parents have expressed concerns? As a parent do you know what such entails for your child/ren and those involved?

As Parents, you have the job and responsibility of being vigilant and discerning; do not allow your role as a Parent to be usurped. Following is a checklist of 12 questions that have been compiled for your consideration about year round schooling.

Checklist of 12 Questions to Consider Asking about Year Round Schooling:

1.       What does year round schooling entail; how is my child’s present academic performance and disposition (from a psychological, physical and emotional standpoint)?

2.       Does my child like school; how does my child’s feel about such; what are his/her thoughts, concerns, etc.?

3.       What are the pros and cons; are they valid and foremost, in the best interest of my child?

4.       How do Educators feel about year round schooling for students? Will schools lose more of their best teachers as a result of year round schooling?

5.       Will students and teachers suffer emotional exhaustion and burn-out?

6.       Will such result with others having more control over my child and thus weakening and undermining my authority as a Parent and eventually reducing it until I have none at all?

7.       Most schools are struggling now (financially and otherwise); what are the expectations from a positive standpoint of students going year round to school?

8.       When one now views the state of Education and schools, what positive changes are expected with year round schooling?

9.       Will I as a Parent have control over who will be instructing my child and/or the instructions?

10.   Will my child and I even have a choice(s) should such prove to be too much, not effective for my child and his/her wellbeing?

11.   What about Educators; will such create more burdens for them? With more talk of teacher training, evaluations, etc., where and how are Educators going to find time to accomplish such and teach school year round?

12.   Who made the decision to implement year round schooling and who will be responsible for monitoring its effect?

From my experience of 16 years in our schools and the Education Arena in general, I think parents should be very concerned about schools going to year round schooling.  My position is that children need the 2 or so months of school summer break to relax the mind; dream; think, wonder, experiment, create and at times simply spend time alone. At times, simply knowing the school summer break was forthcoming allowed many students to get through the remaining school year. Educators need this time to relax the mind; refresh, regroup and plan for the next year.
Parents Taking Charge in Education Channel Video here:

An Activity for Parents:

Parents get pen and paper and make a list of pros and cons on this issue and then you, decide.

Parents, Educators; what are your thoughts or position on the subject of year round schooling?

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education



Friday, March 8, 2013

School Education Administrators Leading the Way in Education - Digital Technology in the Classroom- Are the Strings Attached too Cumbersome by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

School Education Administrators Leading the Way in Education - Digital Technology in the Classroom- are the Strings Attached too Cumbersome By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Many are aware of the great benefits of technology, but that which is occurring in Education with digital technology appears to be shaping up much like it did some years ago with the advent of computers in some schools’ classrooms. The strings attached were simply too cumbersome and not worth the effort in the long run for some schools.

The following short narrative recounts one school’s dilemma, which will follow with three considerations, which I feel School Education Administrators should give serious thought to before hopping on the Digital Technology bandwagon, especially if they do not have wealthy patrons, funders or excessive funding to contribute to their schools and academic and educational program.

Getting Computers

One particular school seemed to have waited an extremely long time before having gotten computers; eventually, grant applications, one after another written by school personnel finally paid off. The Computers were coming and they came. Wait! Crucial components did not accompany them; no training in use of the computers occurred and teachers did not have the knowledge or expertise; nor were they interested in learning with their already busy curriculum schedules. So we went to the classroom set aside as the Computer Lab and sat and sat and looked at the computers. In an effort not to inadvertently break them, they were not touched. After one teacher was relieved of her position because she adamantly refused to learn to operate the computer, other teachers made half-hearted attempts; some at least allowed students to turn on computers and we watched computer screens.

Quite naturally, such did not sit well with the students and having complained did not accomplish much for either students or teachers. I guess no one wanted to admit that the school had been the recipient of computers that did not include necessary components or training in the use of them.

As students will be students and fascinated as to how the computers worked, a few tinkled with them and created horror when they opened one and took it apart having assured us that they could put it back together. Mind you; these were Sixth Graders and they not only put the computer back together, but explained certain aspect in the building of the computer, the students had had no previous exposure to computers. The purpose for which the computers were intended did not take place that year and after a short time students lost interest in the computers. Quietly, computers were deemed a failure at this school without their ever having been given a fair trial or students a chance to succeed with them; they instead became a cumbersome burden on the school and to teachers. However and on a positive note, the computers did serve at least two purposes; some students were introduced to computer hardware and demonstrated to other students and teachers their capability in the area of Technology; here was Technology in S.T.E.M., at work, initiated by Sixth Grade Students.

School Education Administrators before you hop on the Digital Technology bandwagon:

Even though there are a number of things School Education Administrators should consider before hopping on the Digital Technology bandwagon in an effort to obtain and bring  digital technology into your schools’ classrooms, at this point I will place three considerations in the form of questions; they are as following:

1.       Will digital technology meet your teachers and students’ needs and enable them to accomplish the goals and objectives set forth in Education? In other words, does the digital technology for classrooms and your school come with all necessary components (both hard and software) and training in the use of, resources and maintenance?

2.       What is your back-up strategy when students lose interest in the newest digital technology? Should you place all your funding, resources and base your entire curriculum on digital learning and its technologies and will you be able to keep apace and on target academically when students become bored and lose interest in the newest digital classroom technology?

3.        Few even discuss the aspect of Digital technology in the classroom in terms of health and safety, but questions should be raised as to, what mode of transmission will power the technology entering your schools and classrooms and whether you as the school’s leader will/should place limitations on students’ exposure to this transmission, as well as how much time students will spend in front of the computer screen or monitor? With the use of digital technology; you, your staff and students are exposed to some form of transmission daily; it would be best to invest some time in inquiring and learning which form is safest for you, your staff and students.

School Education Administrators, you are expected to lead the Way in Education; digital technology in the classroom is becoming a major and driving force in Education and with the possibility of it entering and increasing in your schools and classrooms, you must determine as to whether it will benefit and be beneficial in accomplishing the goal in Education or will it come with strings attached which will become too cumbersome for you and your school? Digital technology is not the solution in Education; at least not in and of itself or if it does not accommodate your individual schools’ needs; meet the needs of staff and students and include all components necessary to enable those using it in accomplishing your individual school’s education goal(s). Will digital technology assist by helping you accomplish your school, staff and students’ goals in education or come with strings attached which will instead be too cumbersome for you and your school?
Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education