Is Academic Redshirting a Good Idea?

By Margaret Carruthers

Kindergarten today is very different from when most of us were in school. It’s no longer optional and no longer treated as a transition year to first grade. Modern kindergarten is real school.

Under Maryland state law, children who are 5 years old by Sept. 1 must be enrolled in a kindergarten or equivalent program. However, many parents consider redshirting, or holding their child back a year, before beginning kindergarten.

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Family Matters - March 2015

The Power of Self-Acceptance

By Molly Brown Koch

This column was inspired by a discussion I had recently with a group of local high school girls. The topic was: “What goes into making a relationship healthy?” When it was over, I could hardly wait to share it with you!

I began by asking the girls to list the qualities people need to establish healthy relationships. They responded with a list of very fine “ingredients”: trust, love, communication, empathy, and so on. Important as these are, I told them, none would work without another I would add soon.

My second question was: What is the starting point of a healthy relationship? And it was here that I added self-acceptance to their list. Self-acceptance: acceptance of ourselves as a gateway to accepting others. Or, as the renowned 18th-century rabbi Israel ben Eliezer wisely observed, “One sees the world as he sees himself.” If we don’t accept ourselves just as we are, flaws and all, we won’t accept the shortcomings in other people. On the other hand, if we do accept, have compassion for, and respect ourselves as we are, we will be more apt to accept the frailties and foibles of others and respect them for who they are, as they are: fellow human beings trying to find their way through the mysteries of the human condition.

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Game On! - March 2015

Let’s All Ride a Bike!

By Patrick Gutierrez

I’m sure many of us had that amazing experience of waking up one Christmas morning to find a shiny new bicycle under the tree with our name on it. For me, it was a chrome and metallic blue Dallas Cowboys special. At 7 years old, it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I couldn’t wait to ride it. I just needed to learn how first.

I was taught the same way many of you were, too, I’m sure. My dad and eldest brother, Max, took the training wheels off and did the old “run alongside the bike, while holding on to the back of it, and then quietly let go, while still running alongside me, telling me they were still holding on” routine until I learned to balance myself—which, a few falls and scrapes later, I did.

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Last But Not Least - March 2015

Way More Than Just ‘Squeaking’ By

By Lisa Robinson

My eldest brother played violin. My middle brother played trumpet. I started out with the clarinet and ended up with the saxophone after my teacher convinced me I was good enough to play it.

I liked the saxophone. My biggest accomplishment as a young saxophonist was playing the Earth, Wind and Fire song “Reasons.” I thought I was cool and the sounds I made were great. But I could tell, somehow, that my dad—really my whole family—was annoyed when I squeaked my way through practice in the house. I could also tell he was doing his best to hold it together at each concert as we squeaked our way through the performance. Eventually, after carrying that sax on the public bus and knocking people in the knees every day, I gave it up.

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Bmore Healthy - March 2015

By Joyce Heid

In 2009, the movie “Avatar” was released in 3-D and became the highest grossing movie of all time, pulling in nearly $2.8 billion in worldwide box office sales. Movie studios moved quickly to capitalize on its wild popularity. According to a report by Business Insider, in 2005 there were 98 digital 3-D movie screens worldwide; by 2012, there were more than 43,000. This year, the major movie studios will release several dozen movies in 3-D.

But not everyone is a fan of the trend—and not just for reasons of taste. Glen Burnie mom Joanna Taylor, who asked that her last name be changed for this article for privacy reasons, and her 11-year-old daughter, Alexis, won’t go to a movie being shown in 3-D because “neither one of us can get a clear focus,” explains Taylor. [... whole story]