year2By Sarah Vander Schaaff

The Educated Mom blog launched a year ago this month. And because we have some new readers and because I love year-end lists, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back on some of the themes we’ve covered. Perhaps the blog topics reveal a bit about what’s it like to be a parent and student at this particular moment in education. As much as fundamentals stay the same, I am fairly certain no one used the word MOOC when I was in elementary school.

It was report card time when I started the blog, much like it is as I write this now. In the post, The Grade, I took a look at how to instill an intrinsic love of learning and interviewed a member of the Mindprint Team, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Katherine White, as well as a seasoned teacher at an independent school.

Math, however, became the topic du jour. If you are the parent of a seven or eight year old, it’s hard not to hear someone (perhaps yourself) say on a daily basis, “This is not how we learned it when I was in school. ”

I interviewed a math teacher to get the skinny on the range of popular math curricula, and later did a post on the book Old Dogs, New Math, interviewing the authors to get their perspective on why and how math instruction has changed. Just last week, I featured Vanessa Vakhari, the Math Guru, a tutor who tells kids to “not freak out” about math, and starts each tutoring session with a tea latte and some relaxing candles.

This wouldn’t be the official blog of Mindprint Learning if I didn’t take a look at cognitive tests. Mindprint Team member Dr. Carol Blum provided a great primer for parents in my post, “What is Psycho-Educational Testing?” And we were fortunate enough to be able to share one mother’s story of how a cognitive test helped identify her third grader’s dyslexia. I have to admit I have a soft spot for the post on the cognitive style of dogs, although it may not be as useful, academically speaking, with the exception of puppy kindergarten.

Over the summer we had wonderful guest posts on The Race To Nowhere, nutrition, and just before school started, a heartfelt note of advice for children entering middle school.

We’ve done 41 posts in all this year, and if you’re stuck waiting for a train, plane, or in a checkout line, I encourage you to educate yourself by seeking out one you might have missed, including the interview I did with the woman behind Mindprint, Nancy Weinstein, on some of the most interesting board game to play with your family.

Meanwhile, I’m busy thinking of what 2014 will bring. Thanks for reading! I’ll be back writing in the New Year.

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