ParentMap, November 2009 Issue

Published on: November 01, 2009

November cover

Unschool cool 

Homescooling too structured for you? Traditional schools not meeting your needs? Check out child-led learning, a growing trend in education that puts kids in charge of their own education. How can this possibly work? Read our fascinating feature: Unschool me!

Manners matter this month, too, as we head out to family Thanksgiving tables. Don't let rude attitudes shock Grandma; Dr. Laura Kastner tackles this common tween/teen problem.

And, scary behavior way past Halloween: What to do when your child cheats in school.

OK, so it's November in the Northwest. You need a plan for rainy-day play. We've got the 4-1-1.

Subscribe Now! Read the entire issue online, or scroll down for links and cool "online only" content.

Ages & Stages: Mind your manners!

Getting School Ready: When your child cheats

Out & About:

Check out our annual Educational gift guide

    Feature: Unschool me!

    Media: This month's featured media


    Online only:

    From our Readers: Letters to the Editor

      About this issue

      Be nice, or else!

      “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole law; all the rest is commentary, and now go study.” —Hillel (30 B.C.−A.D. 10 )

      Wouldn’t you agree that if every one of us lived by the above ancient text that lead to the Golden Rule, it would take care of 90 percent of life’s necessary etiquette? (“Do unto others” first appeared in English around 1567.) True kindness and manners (Ages & Stages) would rule the day, instead of Disney sarcasm and rudeness that’s just too acceptable these days, both among children and their supposed role models: us!

      My own childhood, with its too-often free-flowing verbal combativeness, often lacked this type of gentle politeness — especially in the confines of our home. Looking back, it’s easy for my twin sis and me to spot just when we seem to have mastered the eye roll that we are now forever trying to tame in our own daughters.

      I continually try to examine my own manners and kindness. I cringe at how often I catch myself talking on my cell in the check-out line, and driving in aggressive Chicago style around our gracious Northwest. Making manners matter — from our Thanksgiving tables, to school and business boardroom tables — will raise the bar on civility for us all.

      Playing nice with other parents” kicks off this necessary section with insights about how we treat each other. You are always in the position as parent to be that first and most important teacher to your little ones. Following the “rules of engagement” will elevate all of our relationships — both with friends, and with other parents we encounter on the playground.

      I circled a few great items to track down in our educational gift guide, starting with the Twilight Turtle, with its super-cool night sky illumination on your — I mean, your kid’s — ceiling. And what family can pass up The Encyclopedia of Immaturity? (Just be sure to keep that wacky humor on the civil side!)

      As the product of two inner-city Chicago school teachers — and having had a very traditional classroom education myself — I was intrigued by our feature, “Unschool Me.” This trend of child-led learning offers the world as classroom that expands our concepts of education in new and fascinating ways.

      Wishing you and yours a most delightful and well-mannered Thanksgiving.

      — Alayne Sulkin, Publisher/Editor

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