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True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad
This is a blog about my life. My wife and I have three kids, ages six, three and one. Last year I gave up my gig as a middle school teacher to stay home with my kids full-time. This past year has been the most challenging, easy, relaxing, stressful, fun, tiring and rewarding year of my life.

My wife Amanda and I have been married for seven years. She spends her days (and nights and weekends) as an overworked Medical Resident.

Our oldest daughter, Eloise, is a bright, sweet, emotional first grader that loves to talk (she gets it from her mom). When not at school she is most likely playing dress up, turning some part of our house into a playroom, or creating a craft projects that involve: glue, magazines, markers, staples, stickers, scissors, crayons, pens, and a dozen sheets of paper.

Henry, the three year old middle child, is hell on wheels. There is not a house or store Henry cannot destroy in five to seven minutes max. He loves playing with his trucks, digging in his sandbox and occasionally putting on his sisterís pink plastic high heels.

Maggie, the one year old, is as sweet as they come. At a very early age she learned that her crying could barely be heard over the volume of her siblings. She has developed a blood curdling scream in order to get our attention that would make any horror movie producer proud.

Well there you have it, thatís pretty much my family in a nutshell.

DISCLAIMER: If you are looking for parenting advice you have come to the wrong place. Enjoy!

Third Grade Reading Guarantee

July 13, 2013 | 07:54 AM

Recently I read an article about a Cincinnati school district's policy of holding third graders back if they can't read by the end of the school year. Current topics about education have dual interest for me, my kids are in public school and I used to teach seventh graders. When I taught, one frustration I shared with many teachers was how kids make it all the way to seventh grade without mastering certain basic skills they should have learned in primary grades, examples including basic math skills, and reading.

There are a few reasons why I think the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a good idea:

1. Kids MUST learn to read. The further they are sent along to the next grade without being able to do so isn't fair to them or the teachers trying to teach them. Every subject in school involves reading. If a student can't read, they will not do well in ANY subject in school, not language arts, not math, not music.

2. Teachers would focus more on reading. I think it's great if students are learning about their community and being a good citizen, but let's also make sure the basics aren't being overlooked.

3. This (hopefully) would put a little bit of pressure on parents to work with their kids at home.

Many people disagree with this policy for a few reasons as well:

1. It puts too much pressure on just a few teachers.

2. It puts too much pressure on kids. Does a third grader need the stress of mastering a certain skill in order to advance to the next grade?

3. The social damage of holding a child back may cause as much damage as just sending them along.

What if your child made it to the seventh grade and didn't know how to read. Would you feel let down by your kids school system?

I know how I would feel.


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