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My daughter is so caught up in the “tests are bad” movement that she and her peers are stressed with each exam. I think tests are essential, and I want to change her attitude. Got any ammo to back me up?

Yes, and it comes from one of education’s most innovative thinkers, Annie Murphy Paul (anniemurphypaul.com). She’s the author of The Brilliant Report, a weekly newsletter that looks at research on learning.

Murphy Paul is a proponent of “affirmative testing,” a process teachers use “to ensure that testing supports learning and growth.” It asks students to think in new ways about how they approach tests and to reflect on their performance afterward.

“Conventional testing drags down everyone’s spirits,” says Murphy Paul. “With affirmative testing, we can help students face tests with confidence and ease, rather than dread and self-doubt. It offers a way to bring a love of learning back into students’ lives.”

Most students see exams as the end of learning. But “affirmative testing shows students that learning is a cycle that goes from reflect to compare to adjust,” says Murphy Paul. “The cycle brings improvement and clarified understanding.”

How does it work? In some classrooms, teachers create “exam wrappers,” a simple and effective written exercise that “prompts students to reflect on how they prepared for the test, how well their strategies worked out, and what they might do differently next time,” says Murphy Paul.

Parents can use the same prompts as discussion starters to help students think about their grades and reflect on how they might improve.

Here’s how the conversation might play out. Before your daughter gets her exam score, discuss:

– Can you predict your score?

– On a scale of 1 to 10, how much effort did you put into preparing for this exam?

– How long did you study for it, and what specific strategies did you use?

– What was easiest for you on the exam? Why?

– What was most difficult? Why?

After your daughter gets her exam back, discuss:

– How do you feel about your performance? Was your prediction correct?

– Did you experience the “illusion of knowing”? In other words, students may “feel confident that they performed well on an academic task, only to find out that there was a gap in their understanding,” says Murphy Paul.

– What was the source of each test question? Did it come from the reading or the teacher’s presentation?

– Did you get more right answers from your reading or from listening to the teacher?

– On your next exam, would you change any of the strategies you used, or the amount of time you spent studying?

– What could you ask your teacher to do to help you prepare for the next exam?

While it may take time to get the hang of this discussion, it’s worth the effort.

“We need to help students develop the habit of reviewing their performance and notice moments when it’s important to reflect on their learning,” says Murphy Paul. “Getting back a graded test is one such moment, but there are many others that occur throughout the day: when a student is embarking on a new unit, or feels confused or frustrated, or feels that they know the material cold, but might actually be experiencing overconfidence.”

Our PTO is so focused on fundraising that it’s turning parents off. As incoming president, my goal is simply to get parents involved in our school community, period. Any ideas?

While many schools depend on funds raised by PTOs to pay for supplies or learning experiences such as field trips, there comes a time — usually late fall — when parents decide they can’t ask their co-workers to buy one more batch of wrapping paper or cookie dough. When fundraising fatigue sets in, PTO involvement can take a nosedive.

What draws parents to a PTO and makes it effective? It’s not about the money raised or the hours volunteered, says Tim Sullivan, founder and publisher of PTO Today, an online resource for parents.

“It’s establishing a culture where parents ask, ‘How can we help make this school a great place for our kids to thrive?’” he explains.

Sullivan shares his list of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Parents’ Groups.” The first will not surprise you.

1) Focus on building parental involvement, not fundraising. This means friendly, open communication among parents, faculty, students and the school board, which sends a message — your group’s goal is to support the success of the entire school, not just one program or class.

2) Create family events and long-term traditions that people look forward to.

“Some schools schedule an annual Family Day, Spring Fling or Movie Night and see high attendance because people can plan well in advance,” says Sullivan.

3) Be truly welcoming to new parents. Avoid “mom cliques” that scare away newcomers. Make sure to reach out to parents who speak languages other than English.

“Brayton Elementary in Summit, New Jersey, has a Cafe Con Leche Committee. It holds meetings in Spanish that the principal and teachers attend,” says Sullivan. “English translation is offered for non-Spanish speaking parents.”

4) Let people get involved gradually — at their own pace. Sullivan loves the Blue Moon Club, created by the PTA at the Thirteenth Avenue School in Newark, New Jersey.

“The name lets volunteers know that they can participate at their convenience, and their contributions are valued regardless of how often they are able to help.”

5) Have fun! It’s an important element in building involvement.

“Rather than muffins with mom and donuts with dad, the PTO at St. Margaret Mary School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, switched it up — Zumba for mothers and an obstacle course for fathers,” says Sullivan. “The group that plays together stays together!”

6) Put less emphasis on meetings and more on volunteerism. A defined mission and objectives make it easier for busy parents to help achieve them on their own schedule and within their own means. Many PTOs function effectively with a core group supported by members who pitch in when they can.

7) Trumpet your accomplishments; people are attracted to success.

Did your school-wide garage sale raise a record amount? Promote it on Twitter. Maybe your holiday toy drive exceeded projections? Invite the local TV station to tout it on the evening news.

“Make sure to acknowledge publicly all those whose efforts contributed to your success,” says Sullivan. “A little thanks goes a long way in keeping people involved.”

For more ideas, go to PTOToday.com.

My daughter, a freshman, wants to join her high school robotics club. She struggles with math, so I don’t know if she’ll find it too hard. What are the benefits of a club like that?

Listing all the benefits would exceed this column’s word limit! Encourage her to go for it. Her math skills will improve just by being part of the team.

It’s likely that your daughter’s high school participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition, an international program that organizers call “sport for the mind” and “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Each year, student teams raise funds, design a “brand,” hone teamwork skills and — following precise rules and using limited time and resources — build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks in a series of competitions.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by prolific inventor Dean Kamen.

“The nation’s employers and policymakers were worried about the decline in the number of students taking rigorous science, technology, engineering and math courses,” notes Laura London, who worked on the launch of FIRST’s competition. “Dean Kamen decided to act. He created a fun, challenging and rewarding program that really draws students in. It’s a spectacular success.”

FIRST has also created programs for middle and elementary schools.

Most FIRST teams have about 25 students who work collaboratively to solve a design challenge that changes each year. Teams compete regionally, nationally and internationally.

“The competitions are a rollicking good time,” says London. “Teams who have worked day and night on their robots are as psyched for the ‘game.’ Parents, teachers and coaches cheer themselves hoarse on the sidelines.”

While building a winning robot is the goal, collaboration and teamwork are key parts of the experience.

“You compete like crazy, but help each other out,” says physics teacher Patrick Freivald, the popular leader of Naples, New York, high school squad the Grapes of Wrath. “Once, a team we were about to play destroyed a transmission. They put out a request on the loudspeaker for a replacement. Within the next several minutes, we and at least four other teams showed up with spare transmissions.”

Mentors with a range of skills advise the team, but don’t take over the project, says Freivald.

“There’s a lot of work and it’s not all technical,” he explains. “Teams not only build robots. They have to raise funds, write proposals, do publicity to engage the community and promote the events, and plan travel to the competitions. Your daughter will find plenty of opportunities to shine.”

Are the educational benefits worth the tremendous effort? “Absolutely,” insists Freivald. “Dollar for dollar, minute for minute, FIRST is a terrific educational experience.

“Not only do team members learn technical skills such as welding, CAD (computer-aided design) and assembly, they also stretch their minds to tackle a tough problem with not enough time, people or resources, and they do it magnificently. Along the way, they learn marketing, public relations, fundraising and entrepreneurship.”

(The 2015-16 competition is now underway. For more information, go to usfirst.org.)

At Parent Night, our principal told parents to encourage our kids’ curiosity and to welcome their questions. My 6-year-old son asks questions incessantly (and often annoyingly), but my 11-year-old couldn’t be less curious. She’s like, “whatever.” Why the emphasis on curiosity?

Sorry to hear about your daughter. A sense of curiosity is not only a key to deeper learning; it also adds excitement and wonder to life. It’s not too late to cure her of “whatever.”

“Curiosity has a powerful emotional component. It works on our pleasure center,” says Hank Pellissier, director of the Brighter Brains Institute. Yet, he notes, children start to lose curiosity between the ages of 5 and 12 because of the lack of listening support from adults. Common curiosity-killing responses are “look it up” or “you don’t need to know.”

Curious students often do well in school. “I’d argue that the best learners — a term not necessarily synonymous with ‘best students’ — have curiosity in abundance,” writes Burlington, Vermont, educator Erik Shonstrom.

How does curiosity help? It makes your mind active instead of passive, and makes you open to and observant of new ideas, says Donald Latumahina of lifehack.org. “When you are curious about something, your mind expects and anticipates new ideas related to it. Without curiosity, you miss them, because your mind is not prepared to recognize them.”

There are always new things to attract a curious person’s attention, says Latumahina, and “always new ‘toys’ to play with.

“Curious people have an adventurous life,” he added.

Latumahina suggests six easy strategies to help develop curiosity.

– Keep an open mind. Be open to learning, unlearning and relearning.

– Don’t accept things at face value. Dig deep beneath the surface.

– Don’t label something as “boring.” When you do, “you close a door of possibilities,” says Latumahina. Curious people always see a subject “as a door to an exciting new world. Even if they don’t yet have time to explore it, they will leave the door open to be visited another time.”

– See learning as fun, not a burden.

– Read widely. Doing so “will introduce you to the possibilities and excitement of other worlds, which may spark your interest to explore them further,” Latumahina suggests.

– Ask questions. “What, why, when, who, where and how are the best friends of curious people,” says Latumahina.

Sometimes kids need to get comfortable with the give-and-take of questions. Biophysicist Gregory Stock wrote “The Kids’ Book of Questions” (Workman, 2015) to encourage thought-provoking, curiosity-inducing conversation within families.

Inquisitiveness is highly predictive of intelligence, says Pellissier. One 2002 study he cites followed highly curious 3-year-olds and found that at age 11, they had higher academic grades, superior reading ability, and IQ scores 12 points higher than their less-inquisitive peers.

Take it from Albert Einstein. He believed that “the important thing is not to stop questioning. Never lose a holy curiosity.”

The counselor at our daughter’s middle-school orientation surprised us by talking about college. She assumed kids would attend, even though plenty of college grads can’t get work. Isn’t middle school tough enough without the pressure of having teens think about college?

What’s tough is getting to your senior year, ready to apply to college, and finding that you’re unprepared — that your grades won’t get you the financial support you might have enjoyed, or that you’re simply not ready for college work.

Granted, during the Great Recession some newly minted grads couldn’t find work. That caused some to question the value of a college education. But that was a blip.

“There’s a well-established ‘wage premium’ associated with college graduation,” says Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. “Over the long haul, there’s no doubt about the value of a four-year degree.”

The last several years of school-improvement efforts — from No Child Left Behind to the Common Core State Standards — have been about getting our nation’s students “college- and career-ready,” says Pondiscio.

“Most jobs today require high-level skills, and that almost always means education beyond high school,” says Pondiscio. “Upward mobility correlates strongly with some manner of post-K-12 education, whether it’s college, career and technical education (CTE) or some other credential. Raising standards is an attempt to position more kids — not just those who go to college — to take advantage of these increasingly essential opportunities.”

Pondiscio says it’s particularly important to help poor children see college as a goal. “For most low-income kids — assuming they are adequately prepared in K-12 — earning a college degree is an on-ramp to upward mobility.”

Middle school isn’t too early to chart a path to college, says Matt Frahm, the superintendent of the Naples (New York) Central School District.

“Educators in our district help students make the connection between doing well in school and being successful in life,” he explains. “Preparing for a 40-plus-year career that is financially and psychologically rewarding is part of that success.”

Some educators set college expectations in kindergarten. Jose Ruben Olivares, the principal of Think College Now (TCN), a public elementary school in Oakland, California, says it’s never too early to open kids’ eyes to the potential of college. TCN’s walls have banners from nearly every college in the nation — colorful daily reminders that encourage students to aspire to college. The curriculum emphasizes “college knowledge” — setting goals, thinking about careers and developing study skills to get the grades required for acceptance.

Educators can help students set their sights on college, but parents play the most important role in getting a child beyond K-12.

A recent study by Keith Robinson, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, and Angel L. Harris, a professor of sociology at Duke University, looked at what kinds of “parental involvement” were most effective in boosting students’ achievement. They found that the factor that made the most difference — across all groups’ studies — was whether parents expected a child to attend college.

“If parents assume their children will pursue post-secondary education — and talk about it with excitement and without pressure throughout their K-12 years — then kids will begin to see college as part of their life’s goals,” says Frahm, the Naples superintendent.

My son is a kindergartner. The school nurse called saying he had been tardy three days and absent four so far this year and asked if she could help make his attendance more regular. I’m a single working mom. The bus comes early and mornings are stressful. What’s the big deal if a kindergartner misses a little school?

It’s potentially a very big deal. The school nurse’s outreach is the result of some sobering data. Kids who are frequently absent miss essential instruction and can quickly fall behind their peers.

Missing a lot of class time — even in kindergarten — can increase the risk of dropping out from high school. The school nurse is trying to help you nip a problem in the bud.

A longitudinal study of Rhode Island students shows that chronically absent kindergartners were twice as likely to be held back a year in elementary school. They lagged their peers on reading tests by 20 points and on math tests by 25 points in later elementary grades.

Another collaborative study by education nonprofits Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign estimates that 1 in 10 kindergartners misses at least 18 days of classes, or nearly a month of schooling, per year.

“Too many parents still think kindergarten is just play, but we teach early reading and math concepts,” explains Marcie Johnson, a southern California kindergarten teacher. “Instruction is sequential. One day’s learning builds on the previous day’s. A child who misses one day can catch up. One who misses a week or more has a much harder time, and needs considerable support.”

During September, Attendance Awareness Month, many schools reach out to parents to help them establish consistent patterns of attendance and to suggest logistical support and health services that can cut down on absences. (Some schools even enlist celebrities to do “wake up” calls to students.)

Attendance Works, which is a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around school attendance, offers practical advice to parents:

– Establish and stick to basic routines that will help children develop the habit of on-time attendance (going to bed early, waking up on time, being organized to get out the door).

– Talk to your children about why going to school every day is critically important, unless they are sick. If your son seems reluctant to go to school, find out why and work with the teacher, administrator or after-school provider to get him excited about going.

– Create back-up plans: Can you turn to another family member, a neighbor or a fellow parent to help you get your son to school if an emergency comes up?

– Reach out to the school for help if you are experiencing tough times such as a transportation problem, loss of a job, unstable housing or health problems that make it difficult to get your son to school. Other parents as well as your son’s teacher, principal, social worker, school nurse, after-school providers or community agencies can help you and connect you to needed resources.

– If your son is absent, work with his teacher to make sure he has an opportunity to learn and make up for the academics he missed. For more ideas, go to attendanceworks.org and healthyschoolscampaign.org.

Our district is adopting a new “social and emotional” skills program to improve classroom behavior. I agree that disruptive students are a problem, but with all the new stuff schools are loading on (e.g., STEM, Common Core), do kids really need one more thing?

Social and emotional leaning (SEL) is coming to many districts this fall. While the phrase may sound buzzy, SEL programs can not only help kids hone interpersonal skills and impulse control, they can boost students’ academic success and improve their health.

Even teachers wary of adding more to the school day say SEL is a worthwhile addition because, if well taught, SEL cuts discipline problems and distractions. In a recent survey, more than 90 percent of teachers said they want schools to help kids develop their social skills and build good character.

Roger P. Weissberg, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor of psychology and education, is chief knowledge officer at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (casel.org), a Chicago-based organization that works to bring SEL into schools. Weissberg and his colleagues have worked with many districts to integrate SEL into the school day.

“Each district has their model of integrating the program with other priorities, so it’s not an add-on,” he explains, “but a way to strengthen things they’re already doing.”

Weissberg and his colleagues reviewed the effectiveness of 213 school-based SEL learning programs reaching 270,000 students. Their research shows that the programs produce notable gains in kids’ social skills, behavior and academics.

An effective SEL program teaches five core competencies that students learn to apply in daily interactions, says Weissberg.

– Self-awareness: How to accurately assess one’s feelings, interests, values and strengths.

– Self-management: How to handle stress and express emotions effectively; control impulses; set and monitor progress toward goals.

– Social awareness: How to see things from another’s perspective; appreciate individual and group similarities and differences; recognize and use family, school and community resources.

– Relationship skills: How to establish and maintain healthy relationships; resist inappropriate social pressure; prevent and resolve interpersonal conflict; seek help when needed.

– Responsible decision-making: How to make rational decisions based on standards, safety concerns, social norms and respect for self and others; contribute to one’s school and community.

All “emotional intelligence” begins at home, says Bill Jackson, the president and founder of GreatSchools, an education resource for parents. “Parents have a key role in teaching and reinforcing these skills.”

Working with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, GreatSchools created a set of tools called Emotional Smarts to “help parents help their children build character and shape valuable life skills,” says Jackson.

The online tools include videos to help parents see issues like homework and sibling rivalry from their child’s perspective; a game to help children understand and recognize emotions; and ways to explore “feeling words” in a fun way. For more information, go to ei.yale.edu or greatschools.org.

Our school sent home the usual memo saying “keep screen time to a minimum” and “read with your kids.” I get that reading is important, but our two kids, ages 10 and 11, love video games. There must be some educational value, no?

Games — video or otherwise — can excite and challenge learners. For decades, teachers have successfully used games to teach and reinforce concepts.

“Play is the way the human brain is wired to learn,” agrees Mitch Weisburgh, co-founder of Games4Ed (games4ed.org). “Virtually all kids today play video games, so we need to find appropriate games for learners and teach them to avoid the pitfalls of gaming.”

Weisburgh describes five ways well-designed games can motivate kids and support learning:

– Games are an optimal learning environment. They promote concentration and control, provide a fun way to practice skills and elicit effort that a student might not otherwise put forth.

– Games focus on the sweet spot for learning. They push players beyond what they can do.

– Games get kids to persist. “They engage players through a quick cycle of challenge-act-learn-accomplish,” Weisburgh says, “so that the hard work of learning is intrinsically rewarded, and the learner wants to continue playing and learning.”

– Games encourage trial and failure. Players fail more than they succeed, “but,” Weisburgh says, “failure only means that a particular approach failed.”

– Games offer great real-world simulations. NASA games put kids on missions to Mars. “Zoo U” improves students’ social literacy without risky behaviors. In “Mission US,” students play roles at key turning points in U.S. history. In “iCivics,” students become senators.

In “sandbox games, like ‘Minecraft,’ players build surroundings and then interact with others within their surroundings,” says Weisburgh. “There are history games, like Sid Meier’s ‘Civilization,’ that involve strategy and planning. There are games where kids build games, like ‘Globaloria,’ ‘Scratch’ and ‘GameSalad.’”

Parents play a critically important role in gaming, stresses Weisburgh.

“They need to make sure that their kids get enough physical exercise, are socializing, stay safe (parents should monitor for sex and violence in games, as well as who their kids interact with online) and aren’t wasting hours,” he says. “You can only do this by spending time with your kids when they are on their games.”

Ask your kids questions such as, “What is the purpose of this game?” “What are you trying to do?” “Why do you like this game?” “What are you learning?”

If their answers suggest that your kids’ time might be better used, have them show you another game that they like, advises Weisburgh.

“Kids, especially those of your kids’ age, are very forthcoming,” he explains. “They will learn to choose games wisely from your guidance — and will be thrilled that you are taking an interest.”

Find appropriate games at GameUp, BrainPOP’s site for free educational games, and Graphite, a website that reviews and rates education games. Most libraries subscribe to Children’s Technology Review, a monthly evaluation of new educational software (childrenstech.com).

And about your kids’ reading? I’m glad that you “get it” — don’t let your kids go a day without it.

My son Gavin is now in middle school and totally disorganized. He loses papers, forgets assignments and their due dates. While he’s never been organized, it was never this bad. Any tips?

Disorganized elementary students often have trouble when they hit middle school. The transition from a self-contained classroom, where one teacher issued assignments and frequent due-date reminders, to switching from classroom to classroom, with different teachers, takes a more organized brain.

When it comes to teaching these essential skills, “readiness is everything,” says psychologist Richard Selznick, director of the New Jersey-based Cooper Learning Center, a part of Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

Gavin’s middle-school muddle may signal that he’s ready to learn some basics. Don’t expect, however, that he’ll master these skills overnight, advises Selznick, the author of “School Struggles” (Sentient Publications, 2012).

He suggests a “study skill of the month” approach. Make September’s skill “learning to use a planner.” Talk about a planner’s function to record assignments and reminders, and why it’s important to update it with every class. Each night, without nagging, review how it went. Offer pointers for improvement and reinforcement for a job well done.

“On a calendar, keep track of times the skill was practiced with reasonable success,” says Selnick, “using a plus sign for doing the task and a minus sign when it wasn’t done. Offer an incentive for a week of pluses.”

Organized students have mastered two kinds of skills — cerebral and physical, says Donna Goldberg, a learning coach and author of “The Organized Student” (Touchstone, 2005).

Cerebral skills help organize information mentally, Goldberg explains, “filing it in our brain so we can access it, act on it and sequence events over time. Physical skills refer to the way we manage our space and work tools.”

Look at the physical aspects with Gavin. Ask yourself: Is there one place for his backpack when he comes home? Is there a distraction-free place for homework that is well-stocked so he doesn’t waste time looking for a pencil? Does he have a folder system to hold papers he needs for future review? Does he have a three-ring binder or accordion file, labeled by subject, to carry worksheets, quizzes, spelling lists, assignments and so on?

One important cerebral skill is visualizing time. Many kids raised on digital devices “see ‘time’ as a number — not hands going around a dial — and may not know what practicing the trumpet for 20 minutes feels like,” says Goldberg.

For some students, an analog clock can help estimate time.

In addition, “a daily planner can help him visualize his workload so he can gauge how much time he needs to complete it,” says Goldberg.

Sequencing, another important cerebral skill, helps establish routines and habits to stay on task, says Goldberg. Help Gavin establish a predictable sequence each day — come home from school, hang up backpack, grab a snack, do homework, 30 minutes of video games, prepare backpack for the next day, and so on.

Work with Gavin a little each day. “Praise progress and reinforce systems you’ve set up together until he owns them,” says Goldberg. “Expect trial and error. Change what doesn’t work, and don’t worry when it falls apart. Learning to be organized is a process that’s perfected over time.”

My son, Ezra, just entered kindergarten and is one of the youngest in his class. He’s really unhappy, so I want to hold him back a year. My husband says he’ll get used to it and his teacher isn’t concerned, but two friends who held their sons back agree with me. Is there research about this?

The research on holding back a “young 5″ is mixed. You can find studies to support it. Researchers Kelly Bedard and Elizabeth Dhuey found that the youngest members of kindergarten classes scored 4 to 12 percentiles lower than the oldest members in grade four, and 2 to 9 percentiles lower in grade eight. Other research shows that any academic benefits of starting a child later often disappear after middle school.

Recent research by professors Kevin Kniffin and Andrew Hanks looked at persons who received doctorates and found that holding kids back has little influence on those who earn a Ph.D. and may have negative influence on post-graduate salary.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that depending on the region, approximately 6 percent of 5-year-olds eligible for kindergarten are held back each year. (The practice is often called “redshirting,” a reference to college coaches who bench a freshman for a season, hoping that an extra year of practice yields a better athlete.)

Alia Wong covers education for The Atlantic. She reviewed several studies and concludes, “It’s far from clear whether relative age has much to bear on a child’s future success. And absent a consensus, it may be best to hold off on redshirting, if only in the interest of playing it safe.” (Find her report at theatlantic.com.)

Every teacher can tell you of a 5-year-old who didn’t demonstrate kindergarten readiness and benefited from “the gift of time.” And that’s really the question: Is Ezra unhappy because kindergarten is a new experience and he hasn’t yet made the transition? Or is he unhappy because he’s developmentally unprepared and struggling?

“Parents will do whatever they believe will help their children compete in school and life. But they need to remember that not all children progress in the same way and at the same rate or benefit similarly from the same opportunity,” says literacy researcher Michael Milone.

“My advice,” he continues, “is to be patient, observant and supportive. Don’t hover, but try to find out why he is unhappy and address these concerns with his teacher and others at school and listen to what they say.”

Meg Meeker, pediatrician and author of “Strong Mothers, Strong Sons” (Ballantine Books, 2014), advises against holding back a 5-year-old who doesn’t need it. She says it “can grow into a devastating parenting philosophy,” sending a message that high achievement is the only thing that matters.

The transition to kindergarten, says Milone, “is often stressful simply because it is a child’s first experience with a perceived major life change.

“Helping Ezra make a successful transition can strengthen his ability to adapt to new situations — an ability that will be incredibly important to his future.”

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