Social Studies

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Going back to school is about a lot more than backpacks, lunch boxes, and new outfits. It’s also more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. Just as core to an education is the social emotional learning that gets kids ready to face the world outside of the classroom. All the rich, nuanced, tough, essential human stuff that doesn’t appear on any curriculum — and that falls squarely on parents to teach. So where to start? With gear that supports kids and puts parents at ease, with a fool-proof time management plan, with a healthy sense of teacher communication, and an appreciation of play. Here’s Social Studies: an unconventional, holistic, and, we hope, helpful guide for parents getting ready to tackle a new school year.

Social Studies

25 Helpful Items To Ease You & The Kids Into The School Year

ByBilly Brown and Jon Gugala

The end of summer vacation is a stressful time for everyone. Here’s some gear that’ll take the sting out of the transition.


Photos: What Recess Looks Like Around The World

ByMike Diago

Children may play in fundamentally similar ways everywhere — but recess unfolds very differently around the globe.

Social Studies

Time Management Tips For Parents To Get Kids On A New Schedule

ByAdam Bulger

Whether your kids are getting ready to begin school or simply starting a new routine, these tips can help them — and you — develop good lifelong habits.

Social Studies

Common Mistakes Parents Make When Talking About Their Child’s Education

ByVirginia Pelley

According to educators and counselors, this is what parents should keep in mind when talking about their child’s schooling.


The Play Gap: Why Low-Income Fathers Aren’t Encouraged to Play

ByDr. Natasha J. Cabrera

Play with dad could help bridge cognitive, social, and emotional learning gaps among low-income children.


How Do Kids Learn To Make Friends? They Look To Dad

ByRoss D. Parke

By teaching them how to play and offering a particular kind of emotional and social support, dads are crucial to pave the way for kids’ friendships. 

Child Development

Science Explains Why Kids That Play Well Thrive

ByVirginia Pelley

For kids, play is a state of being. For parents, it’s an investment in time and money. Science explains how all that time on the playground brings lifelong dividends.


6 Harsh Truths About Playdates All Parents Should Know

ByPatrick A. Coleman

Playing with other kids is crucial for a child to be socialized and learn how to interact with others appropriately, but playdates aren’t always playful or easy.


How To Raise A Resilient Kid — But Not A Stubborn Loner

ByLizzy Francis

It's about standing back and letting them fail. But there's far more to it than that.


The Science Of Dad And The ‘Father Effect’

ByJoshua A. Krisch

There are data-driven reasons why kids do better with a father figure in their lives.