Archive for: June 2015

Getting The Most Out Of Practice: Part II

By Jeff Comas



I commonly ask music students what they think they need to do to improve their performance of a certain piece of music. The common response is “practice more.” While more practice may be part of the solution, it is definitely not the whole.

We have all heard “practice makes perfect.” I do not agree with that statement. For one thing, true perfection may not really be obtainable, but that’s not really the point. What is more important is that just practice alone is insufficient. In fact practicing without clarity or in an inconsistent manner can be detrimental. Read more →

Car Seat Safety Tips

By TIS Insurance Services, Inc and The Hanover


TIS-June-WebNine out of ten parents leave the hospital with a newborn in an improperly installed car seat according to a 2014 study. To help protect your bundle of joy, TIS Insurance Services, Inc. of Knoxville and its insurance carrier partner, The Hanover, are offering tips for parents on the proper use of child restraint systems.

“When used incorrectly, child restraint systems can actually increase the risk of injury in a crash,” said Lisa Churchwell, director of public relations and communications at TIS. Churchwell stresses the importance of proper car seat use including following the recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Read more →

Learning The Basics: Life 101 For Young People

By Tracey Matthews Wynter, Supervisor of the Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Department
Contributing writer: Roseline Pierre, Intern, University of Tennessee

While this article will cover skills for all ages, it is the parents of our recent high school graduates who will find this information a must! School has always been the “job” of students, thus, parents often take on more of the basic life skill tasks that leaves young people less able to function as independently as we would like as they leave for college.  However, it’s never too late—or too early—to teach children these important tasks. Read more →

Dear Knox County Schools’ Families

By Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of Knox County Schools

As I reflect upon the 2014-15 school year, I am extremely proud of the great work that has occurred in the classrooms throughout the Knox County Schools.  Our recent teacher survey reflects a lot of positive momentum among our educators and staff, and I am thrilled our students continue to make strong academic progress.  We are extremely fortunate to have talented educators, supportive families, and a community that cares deeply about ensuring a bright and successful future for our children. Read more →

9 Key Phases During Your Baby’s First Hour

by Julie Hamilton

Julie-Hamilton-June-WebEvery healthy baby moves through the same 9 phases (if allowed) immediately following delivery. This is a wonderful time of learning and orienting and is an important beginning to life and thriving outside the womb. Interview your birthing facility and hospital options prior to delivery to make sure they accommodate this time, and ask what procedures need to be rearranged so it is protected. If baby is removed from mom’s chest prior to the first feed, expect the 9 phases to start over. Below is a list of the 9 phases with brief descriptions of what you’ll see and general indications of time after delivery. Read more →

You’ve Got The Power

By Mike O’Hern, Center Director of Mathnasium of West Knoxville



If you’ve been reading my articles for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m not big on memorizing things, but would much rather understand them.  I don’t deny that to have “number facts” close at hand is a good thing for example.  Yet, rather than simply memorizing them, a student should understand how to arrive at them.  When the inevitable lapse of memory rears it’s head, we’re not stuck and can quickly arrive at the answer. Read more →

The Dos And Don’ts Of Sports Parenting

By Kathryn Rea Smith, PH.D.


How should parents with children in youth sports behave? A great article—“What makes a nightmare sports parent—and what makes a great one” written by Steve Henson in February 2012 (, provides some insightful answers. In the article, Mr. Henson refers to findings from an informal survey of college athletes by longtime coaches Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller. In the survey, athletes were asked about their worst and best memories of playing youth sports. The athletes said their worst memories were of riding home with their parents after a game. Their best memories were of hearing their parents say, simply, “I love to watch you play.” Furthermore, the article lists “five signs of an ideal sports parent” and “five signs of a nightmare sports parent.” Read more →

How Educational Are Educational Apps?

By Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.



Over 80,000 apps have been classified as educational, according to recent reports, and the number increases dramatically each year. How can parents and teachers decide which apps provide the “best” educational experience for their children or students? A new report from the Association for Psychological Science, “Putting Education in Educational Apps: Lessons From the Science of Learning”, provides guidelines drawn from decades of research into learning on how to choose apps that maximize the educational experience. This report argues that four principles from learning science can provide the criteria on which current apps can be judged. Read more →