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April 1, 2015

Editor's Blog

Does Time Parents Spend with Kids Really Matter?

03/31/15

Does Time Parents Spend with Kids Really Matter?

Moms and dads spend more time with their children and adolescents than they ever have in the past, but is more time spent with children paying off in terms of better outcomes for children? According to a study published in the April Journal of Marriage and Family, not really. Wait a minute! You mean I’ve been feeling guilty all these years for no reason? I always thought my kids turned out pretty great in spite of the fact that I worked during their elementary and adolescent years, not because of it. (Well, maybe less exposure to me can be a good thing.) Before we go too far, the study did NOT include infants. Research shows that forming a strong bond with a mother or consistent caregiver is critically important in the early years. However, the study shows no...

Posted at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

PMA Announces Winners of 2014 Editorial and Design Awards for Parenting Publications

03/26/15

PMA Announces Winners of 2014 Editorial and Design Awards for Parenting Publications

TulsaKids had a strong showing at the Parenting Media Association (PMA) convention in Baltimore in February. Rather than blogging today, I want to recognize the talented writers, photographers and designers that I have the pleasure of working with each month. You may know Abby Rodgers, our web and social media editor – at least you may converse with her electronically via TulsaKids’ Facebook page, or you may enjoy the calendar, either in-print or online; you may receive her e-newsletter or interact with her on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Abby received several awards this year. Chuck Foshee is our publisher and graphic designer, but the rest of the winners are freelancers who work hard to bring our readers the best information, images and entertainment they can....

Posted at 07:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

Education Rally to Save OK Schools

03/20/15

Education Rally to Save OK Schools

Last week I was listening to some Tulsa teachers. The setting was informal. I had known one of the teachers for many years; the other, I had just met. As I listened to the conversation, I was struck by their dedication to education and concern for their students. Both had been teaching for many years, and, sadly, both were looking for ways to leave the profession. They were grateful for Supt. Hofmeister’s proposal to raise teacher pay in the state. Mississippi and South Dakota are the only states with lower average teacher pay than Oklahoma. It’s no wonder that Oklahoma is short 1,000 teachers. Hofmeister’s plan would give teachers an extra $2,000 in 2015-16, and then increase it incrementally to reach a $5,000 increase over several years. The teachers I was...

Posted at 09:03 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Soccer for Your Brain or How American Coaches Get it Wrong

03/13/15

Soccer for Your Brain or How American Coaches Get it Wrong

I don’t think I’ve ever used this space to write about a program for kids that you have to pay for. I don’t plan to start. But there’s a soccer camp next week during spring break that I feel parents (and coaches) may want to know about. Maybe it’s the desire to be a gracious host to people who have come to our city from other countries to work with kids that compels me to let you about this particular program. Maybe it’s because I’ve observed youth sports, and I’ve seen kids get yelled at (by parents and coaches), left out of play and treated like military hostages that makes me want to share what is different about the philosophy of coaching children will be exposed to if they attend these workshops. Next week at Turning Point Soccer...

Posted at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

OU SAE Frat Boys – Who Raised You?

03/09/15

OU SAE Frat Boys – Who Raised You?

By now, I’m sure most of you have heard or seen the disturbing racist video that was recorded on a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity party bus at the University of Oklahoma. If you haven’t seen the video, the group of fraternity brothers is singing (be prepared to be shocked), the following lyrics: “There will never be a n***** in SAE. There will never be a n***** in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me There will never be a ni**** in SAE. This is so disturbing, I don’t know where to begin. I can’t stop thinking about it. First, that a group of young people – college students(!) – would in any way think this way, and then act on it is beyond comprehension. And why did no one stand up and say,...

Posted at 09:31 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

The Hypocrisy of School Choice

03/06/15

The Hypocrisy of School Choice

Senate Bill 609, the voucher bill, is working its way to a floor vote by the full senate. The Education Empowerment Scholarship Act ostensibly is about choice, but when the choice is only available to a few, it’s a false choice. Vouchers, or Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), will take tax dollars (yours and mine) away from public schools. Rather than helping those who need it the most, ESAs will create more inequity. And, I would argue, vouchers go against one of the most basic values of our democracy, which is to provide a free and fair public education to all children, not just a privileged few. They don’t solve the problem of uplifting children who live in poverty; rather, they exacerbate it. Choice in education is a false choice when only a few have the ability...

Posted at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments

Superintendent Hofmeister and High-Stakes Testing

02/25/15

Superintendent Hofmeister and High-Stakes Testing

Many Oklahoma citizens felt that their voices weren’t being heard by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi, so voters showed her the door. It appears that Supt. Hofmeister has listened to parents and educators who have seen what a focus on high-stakes testing is doing to children in the classroom – taking away valuable instruction time, diverting dollars to testing companies and pushing educators to teach to a test that may not be an accurate or appropriate assessment. According to information provided by the State Department of Education today, two bills, Senate Bill 707, by state Sen. John Ford, and House Bill 1272, Rep. Dennis Casey, “direct the State Board of Education to develop recommendations for high school graduation requirements,...

Posted at 09:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

Oklahoma Legislators Need a Lesson Plan

02/19/15

Oklahoma Legislators Need a Lesson Plan

Here are a few quick essay questions for Oklahoma legislators.   Define the term American Exceptionalism and discuss its connection to AP US History. Write an argumentation essay using the following prompt: Vouchers are bad for public education. (note: the term “voucher” may be used interchangeably with the terms “school choice,” “parental choice,” and “Education Savings Accounts” or ESAs) Examine the rhetorical power of using words such as “choice,” “opportunity,” “scholarship,” “prosperity,” and “school options” when naming and/or discussing legislation dealing with the destruction and defunding of public education. With the radical ideas coming out...

Posted at 06:34 PM | Permalink | Comments

Cookies for Breakfast

01/27/15

Cookies for Breakfast

I love breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. But sometimes I’m in a big hurry to get to work, so I don’t have time to sit down and eat, much less prepare anything. Because donuts and drive-throughs are really not my favorite thing, I like to have something healthy to grab and go on those busy days. This breakfast cookie recipe has become a go-to item for me. It meets all of my criteria for a fast bite on the way out the door. First, it’s full of healthy stuff. It’s good, and it pairs well with coffee. And, if your kids aren’t drinking coffee yet, the cookies are very nice with a glass of milk. And what kid wouldn’t want to eat cookies for breakfast? They also make a great after-school snack. I don’t know yet if they freeze...

Posted at 07:46 AM | Permalink | Comments

AAP Urges Parents to Vaccinate Children to Protect Against Measles

01/23/15

AAP Urges Parents to Vaccinate Children to Protect Against Measles

In a press release today, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) responded to the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland in California, “urging parents, schools and communities to commit to protecting our nation’s infants, children, adolescents and adults with the most effective tool we have – vaccination.” "A family vacation to an amusement park – or a trip to the grocery store, a football game or school – should not result in children becoming sickened by an almost 100 percent preventable disease," Dr. Errol Alden, the group's executive director, said in the written statement. "We are fortunate to have an incredibly effective tool that can prevent our children from suffering. That is so rare in medicine," Alden said....

Posted at 09:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

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About This Blog

Our editor-in-chief, Betty started working for TulsaKids when her youngest child was 3 years old. That daughter will be starting graduate school in the fall. Her son is now 27 and her middle daughter is 24. TulsaKids and her children literally grew up together (and she lived to tell about it)! Betty is an avid runner, cook (loves to eat) and coffee snob. She is an award-winning writer and most recently was honored with a Great Plains Journalism Award as Best Blogger of 2013. Last year, she wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, “May Finds Her Way” (2013 The RoadRunner Press). Watch for her every Tuesday on KTUL Channel 8’s Good Morning Oklahoma and Thursdays on KTUL’s Good Day Tulsa.

She enjoys getting reader feedback on articles, blogs or with suggestions for the magazine. Email her at editor@tulsakids.com

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