The Story of Two Boys

On a beautiful late summer morning, two young boys started their first day of primary school.

They were very much alike, these two boys.

Both came from caring and nurturing families, both were bright and engaging and both—as young children tend to be—were eager and excited to start school.

Recently, these two boys, now young adults, finished year 12.

They were still very much alike. Both enjoyed basketball. Both played the same video games.

And both, as it turned out, had gone to the same well-regarded secondary school.

But there was a difference.

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7 Take-Home Lessons from The World’s Best Schools

In Part 1 of this post, we looked at the ways that schools in Finland operate that make them some of the best in the world.

Some of these reasons include shorter contact hours, less homework, less tests, more independence and a stronger emphasis on non-academic skills.

Incorporating many of these factors into Australian schools would require Government intervention…

And/ or massive changes in the core functions of each school.

But there ARE lessons that can be learnt from Finland’s school success…

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What We Can Learn From The World’s Best Schools

Finland: a small Nordic country with a population of just over 5.5 million.

And home to the world’s leading schooling system.

Around the world, Finland is acknowledged as an ‘educational superpower’.

Their schools are top ranked among developed nations on the PISA scale…

An international, standardised assessment that measures 15-year-olds in language, maths and science.

Yet the lack of focus on standardised tests is one of the reasons that the Finnish school system is so successful.

In this post, we’ll look at what Finland schools do so successfully…

And how it differs from what we’re used to in Australian schools.

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How and Why Kids Need to Learn Resilience

Put simply, resilience is the ability to respond positively to adversity.

But how is this ability developed?

Are some people simply born with it or can we teach it to children? (And if so, how?)

We’ll address all of these questions in a moment.

But first let’s quickly recap what’s been discovered about resilience so far…

The first person to extensively research resilience was the developmental psychologist, Norman Garmezy.

In his research Garmezy noticed particular children who succeeded in the face of adversity.

These children experienced severe disadvantage or even neglect yet somehow still managed to flourish at school and in later life.

You see, prior to this research, psychologists tended to only look at the negative impact of stressful or traumatic experiences.

And while it is clearly important to help children deal with stressful events after they occur…

If resilience is able to “insulate” children against the negative effects of stress before they experience such challenges?

Helping children become more resilient at an early age may very well be the best long term strategy.

So why do kids need to learn resilience? 

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7 Behaviour Management Tips for Every Parent

Kids will be kids!

And the notion of a perfectly behaved child — for most parents — is unrealistic.

But if your child’s behaviour is making things difficult for you or your family…

You may want to consider implementing some changes.

And the best place to start is at home.

There are many reasons a child may misbehave (which we’ll get to further on in this post), but for a start — start small.

Below are some easy ways you can try to regain some ‘law and order’ in your household, and improve the behaviour of your kids. 

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What Have Smart Phones Done to a Generation?

New research on teens and the effect of smartphones has been circulating around the internet…

And the findings are both surprising and somewhat disturbing.

They come from psychologist Jean M. Twenge, who has been researching generational differences for 25 years.

For the majority of her career, Twinge noted that these differences changed relatively naturally and modestly.

But in 2012, something changed.

‘I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviours and emotional states’, she explains. 

‘In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.’

So what happened in 2012, to instigate such a sharp change?

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RCH National Health Poll: What Parents Need to Know About Childhood Mental Health

The Royal Children’s Hospital national health poll findings have just been released.

They shed a lot of light on how families with young children understand and deal with mental health issues…

And emphasise the importance of identifying the warning signs…

Of understanding the issues…

And of seeking out early intervention. 

Of the 2000 parents surveyed in the poll…

A third believed that mental health problems in kids will ‘work themselves out’ over time. 

About a quarter did not know that physical symptoms can be signs of mental health problems. 

And fewer than half felt confident about where they could get professional help. 

These numbers may seem surprising, as the proportion of children exhibiting mental health challenges is at an all-time high.

But the warning signs and symptoms of mental illness or emotional problems can be hard to identify.

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NEPSY: Assessments for improving your child’s learning potential — Part 3

In part 1 and 2 of our blogs on our learning assessments, we taught you about the WIAT-III and WISC-V  assessments.

We have invested in the most update-to-date versions of these assessments so that they can best identify your child’s learning potential and their educational needs.

And now we’d like you to learn about another invaluable assessment tool that we recently acquired — the NEPSY.

It’s a unique and effective test, offered by only a few psychology clinics in Melbourne, and designed to assess the neuropsychological development of children aged 3 to 16.

But before we get into the nitty gritty of the assessment, you’re probably wondering…

What is neuropsychological development?

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WIAT-III: Assessments for improving your child’s learning potential — Part 2

Learning assessments help to ease the frustrations or concerns parents may have about their child’s academic performance.

And importantly, learning assessments can help your child to achieve their full potential during their school years.

By assessing the major areas that impact learning, our psychologists get a comprehensive insight into your child’s ability, potential, and any barriers stopping them from achieving it.

From there, the best approaches and solutions can be put in place to help a child thrive school.

In our first post of this series, we delved into one of the key tools for assessing learning potential — the WISC-V assessment.

In this post, we’ll give you a run down of one of our other core assessment tools — the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test — and how it can help your child.

Read more…

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