Importance of Sleep

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Every individual needs sleep. The amount of sleep varies from infancy to adult hood. The amount of sleep for school-aged children (ages six to 13) is critical as they are developing and learning.

Children aged six to 13 need 9-11 hours of sleep. After a full day at school, there are additional demands on their time with after school activities, sports, and play time to mention a few. Also, there are additional draws for their attention such as television, computers, internet – all of which can be deterrents to a good night sleep (resisting bedtime, difficulty falling asleep, and sleeping fewer hours).

Sleep problems and disorders are common at this age. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as ADHD and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school.

Signs of not getting enough sleep in school-aged children include:

  1. Mood: Sleep deprivation may cause your school-aged child to be moody, irritable, and cranky. In addition, he may have a difficult time regulating his mood, such as by getting frustrated or upset more easily.

  2. Behavior: School-aged children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have behavior problems, such as noncompliance and hyperactivity.

  3. Cognitive ability: Inadequate sleep may result in problems with attention, memory.

  4. Decision Making: Reaction time, and creativity, all which are important in school.” (2018 Nationwide Sleep Foundation)

There are several things that can be done to help your school-aged child have a better night’s sleep:

  1. Develop a regular sleep schedule: Your child should go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day.

  2. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine: School-aged children continue to benefit from a bedtime routine that is the same every night and includes calm and enjoyable activities.

  3. One-on-one time: Including one-on-one time with a parent is helpful in maintaining communication with your child and having a clear connection every day.

  4. Set up a soothing sleep environment: Make sure your child’s bedroom is comfortable, dark, cool, and quiet. A nightlight is fine; a television is not.

  5. Set limits: If your school-aged child stalls at bedtime, be sure to set clear limits, such as what time lights must be turned off and how many bedtime stories you will read.

  6. Turn off electronics: Television viewing, computer-game playing, internet use, and other stimulating activities at bedtime will cause sleep problems.

  7. Avoid sugar and caffeine: Caffeine can be found in sodas, coffee-based products, iced tea, and many other substances.” (2019 Nationwide Children’s Hospital)

References: Children and Sleep, 2018 National Sleep Foundation; Sleep in School-aged Children,  2019 Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Eye Level CTC Registration is now OPEN!

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WHAT IS THE CRITICAL THINKING CHALLENGE?
The Critical Thinking Challenge is a team competition, open to all individual students, from grades 3 – 6, that promotes the practical application of mathematics, encourages teamwork, builds confidence, and increases learning skills, all while having FUN! 

80% of adults "strongly agree" that K-12 schools should teach critical thinking to students, according to a Gallup poll on American attitudes toward public education. While achievement in the classroom may depend on mastery of content in core subject areas such as math and reading, Gallup says it also "depends on more than knowledge of core content. Critical thinking , creativity, communication, and other soft skills, as well as student physical and social well-being, are also necessary for future success in higher education and in the workplace." (ProCon.org)

HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE CRITICAL THINKING CHALLENGE
- Online Registration at www.criticalthinkingchallenge.com
- Registration period: Feb 1st ~ Mar 17th
- 3rd to 6th Graders in the 2019 Spring Semester
- Registration Fee: None. Online Registration Only

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REGIONAL FINAL ROUND PRIZES:

GRAND PRIZE (1 TEAM PER REGION)
$1,000 USD

2nd PLACE PRIZE (1 TEAM PER REGION)
10" Tablet - one per team member

3rd PLACE PRIZE (1 TEAM PER REGION)
Bluetooth Speaker - one per team member

LUCKY 5'S PRIZE (RAFFLE)
5 x USD $50 Gift cards
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Importantance Of Growth Mindset

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Education provides students with the opportunity to learn new things not only academically, but about themselves. One of the aspects that developed overtime was the concept of the growth mindset. Originally develop by psychologist Carol Dweck, the growth mindset enables people to “believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work-brains and talent are just the starting point” (Partnership, 2013). Additionally, “this view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment” (Partnership, 2013). This mindset doesn’t just happen inside the classroom but in the surrounding outside environment.

“Students who embrace growth mindsets—the belief that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere—may learn more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills” (Partnership, 2013). When reinforced in the classroom and at home, students can continuously grow academically and personally. There are many ways in which parents can emphasize and help build a growth mindset within their children. Some of these ways include:

1.     Embracing Mistakes – Even when students fail at something or may not get to a certain expectation, it is essential to learn the importance of failure. Students learn from the way they complete tasks and determine ways in which they can be altered to get to a different ending. Ideally, students learn from their mistakes when they make it themselves. Students can’t learn when, as parents, we try to teach them what not to do from our own mistakes.

2.     Accepting Challenges – Many students, who may not have a growth mindset, will always tend to accept tasks that are easier, and they know they can complete quickly. Accepting challenges enables them to think outside the box, be creative and even embraces failure. This is their way to learn new things and essentially “grow”.

3.     Asking for Assistance – Sometimes when students are reluctant to ask for help it is because it may show a lack of competency. Many people think that asking for help shows a sign of weakness. On the contrary, asking for help is another sign of learning to grow. Students should neve be afraid to ask questions and ask for help as it shows a sign of curiosity. It also shows a sign of persistence, that they are willing to continuously work hard for what they are trying to accomplish,

4.     Last, but not least, Praise. Praising a child for something they have done well and something that they may have failed in is an important part to the growth mindset. Students see certain things that they do well with but also understand that it is okay to fail. They can learn from those failures and see them as a positive as not a negative. It is important to be specific about what they have done well and provide insight on how or what they may learn from certain experiences. Ultimately, supporting your child will enable them to see that you are always there for them no matter what.

 

 

Partnership, G. S. (2013, May 15). Growth Mindset Definition. Retrieved January 28, 2019, from https://www.edglossary.org/growth-mindset/

2019 Eye Level Oratacular

WHAT IS THE ORATACULAR?

The Eye Level Oratacular is a competition in which members and non-members will learn the process of speech writing and delivery in a fun and motivating environment.

The Oratacular will be held at participating local Eye Level centers. One winner from each center will have the chance to submit a recording of their speech for national judging

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WHO CAN PARTICIPATE

This event is open to all Eye Level members and non-members from 1st through 8th grade. Participants will join the event at a local learning center. Find a center by entering your State HERE.

REGISTRATION

Online Registration: December 3, 2019 – January 20, 2019
Event Date: February 2019 (Date & Time set by each center)
Website: www.oratacular.com
After registering, contact the center to pick up the speech materials and to find out about an in-center workshop.


EVENT PROCESS

AWARDS

One student from each participating Eye Level Learning Center's Oratacular will be selected to submit a video of their speech for national judging. 4 Gold and 8 Silver winners will be awarded for North America. Local prizes will be awarded by the participating center.

  • *All expenses paid for gold winners to attend the camp. No cash value or substitute prizes. 

  • Must be between 3rd & 6th grade to attend Model UN Camp.

  • Gold winners not eligible for camp due to age (not between 3rd & 6th grade) receive $500 USD Award + Trophy

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THANKS TO YOUR PARTICIPATION

For every child that participates in the Oratacular, Eye Level will donate $1 to the National Center for Families Learning.

The National Center for Families Learning works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families. Partnering with educators, literacy advocates, and policymakers, NCFL develops and provides programming, professional development, and resources that empower and raise families to achieve their potential.

STUDENT VIDEOS:





Happy New Year!

Eye Level is much more than a supplemental education company. We are a community of educators who care deeply about the individual growth of our students and their unique successes. We feel honored to have been part of so many children’s success stories, and we look forward to helping many more students reach their goals in the new year.

From all of us at Eye Level, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and a year filled with exciting learning experiences.

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Eye Level Holiday Event

On December 21st, Eye Level Hub celebrated the holiday season with students and local community members.

Children enjoyed live entertainment from face painting elves, a balloon maker, and a magician with a team of magical pets. There were multiple Eye Level math games on hand which allowed kids the opportunity to challenge themselves and win prizes. Carolers entertained the crowd with classic holiday songs and Ol’ Saint Nick made an appearance to take a photos and hand out gifts to every child!

Many members of the community also donated a toy to Toys for Tots and were entered into a Raffle to win a Nintendo Switch! Congratulations to the raffle winners and a big thank you to all those that donated toys!

We wish each of you happy holidays from our family to yours!

Don't Leave Learning Out in the Cold!

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Winter break is a time when families travel, celebrate the holidays and students take time away from their crazy, everyday schedules. Just like with summer break, it is important to continue to involve students in some form of academia to keep their wandering minds engaged. There are many ways to allow students to take a step back from the classroom but still keep their minds active and learning.

Here are some tips to keep your students from facing the brain drain—or brain freeze—of winter break. 

Supplemental Education
Continued work with an enrichment program will allow students to take a break from school but still continue learning and studying. Whether it's taking booklets away on travel or coming to class once or twice a week, students are continuing their education with the simple flexibility of the program. 

Museums and Planetariums
Places like Liberty Science Center in New Jersey or the Field Museum in Chicago, IL are great ways for students to have fun and keep the learning growing. These places not only teach students about science and history but make learning a fun, active process. Attractions such as IMAX movies on planets or nature and displays on the evolution of ancient history bring lessons from their school textbooks to life.

Culinary Work
The learning process is not limited to areas of math, science or reading. Over the winter, students can also focus on learning about things that are all around them. Independence at an early age can be very important. Cooking is a great way for kids to have fun and learn at the same time. Learning about culinary dishes from other countries and locations is an exciting method for students to be exposed to cultures from around the world. They are able to understand and cook different cuisines from countries that they may have an interest in visiting one day or have learned about in the classroom. 

Game Nights
Having game nights with the family can be a lot of fun but also involve learning. Games like Scrabble allow students to continue both spelling and vocabulary practice while involving a bit of friendly competition. Have a little something for the winner so kids have something motivating them as they play. Making a homemade Scrabble board with math pieces can also be a great way to keep students learning as they make their own equations. 

Homemade Experiments
It can be hard for many students to do a lot of experimenting in science class depending on the grades and resources within their schools. Students can make their own volcanos, constellations, or even homemade playdoh. They can even make editable crafts such as ice cream. These are great ways to make learning hands on and fun over the holidays. 

Eye Level Share the Warmth Event

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On December 1st, Eye Level students from around NJ came together to assemble winter care packages for the homeless. Each care package contained a hat, gloves, scarf, socks, hard warmers, water, granola bar, and a sandwich.

We are so proud of each and every child that attended and gave their time and effort for a great cause! This is a prime example of how the Eye Level program builds values and prepares students for the classroom and beyond.

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Eye Level Thanksgiving Food Drive

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In an effort to give back to the community, this year Eye Level partnered with Smile, a local food pantry in NJ to provide essentials to struggling families in time for Thanksgiving. Both Eye level headquarters and local Eye Level centers participated in the collection. Thanks to the efforts of the collective Eye Level family, nearly 100 lbs of food was donated to the Smile pantry along with diapers for families with babies. We are very proud of each student that donated and commend them for willingness to give back to the community!

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Importance of Learning During the Holiday Breaks

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During the winter holiday break, many students and parents take the opportunity to step back from their crazy schedules and focus on their families and being able to enjoy each other’s company. Just like with summer break, it is essential to continue to involve students with different aspects of academia to keep their wondering minds ahead of the game. It is important to stick to routines such a student’s bedtime and daily responsibilities. Being able to stick to the daily routines helps alleviate any difficulties when students return to school in the new year.

There are many ways where students can take a step back from the classroom but still do a tremendous amount of learning within the household. Taking a bit of time each day to read aloud to your child or have them read independently provides students with ways to increase learning, specifically in the comprehension and vocabulary area. This time also enables parents and children to spend quality time together. These learning moments enable parents to connect the home environment to the classroom. Reading and analyzing texts that are grade level or above provide students with deeper understanding of text.

There are other resources outside of the household where students can learn and challenge themselves over the break. Some of these resources include supplemental education, museums or planetariums, and workshops geared towards students. Enrichment programs provide students with challenging yet simplified subjects areas and museums or planetariums making learning fun and hands-on. Museums not only teach students about science and history but make learning a fun, hands on process. Students are involved with aspects such as IMAX movies on planets and nature and look at the evolution of ancient history, bringing those history textbooks to life.

For students to want to learn, you want to make learning fun. Students should take initiative rather then feeling like they must do something because they are being told to do so. Get involved in the learning process with your children. Just as brain drain could happen over the long summer months, it can also happen throughout the winter break. Focus in on what students enjoy doing and make it a fun experience with the ability to learn new things. Sign your children up for culinary classes, technology workshops or different crafting opportunities. Take them to the zoo or aquarium and allow them to experience learning all about the animals and nature all around us. Remember, for learning to be effective, it must be fun.

Halloween Math Coloring Activity

Parents, here is a fun yet educational Halloween activity that keeps kids entertained while still practicing their math skills! Print the below coloring sheets and have your kids solve the math problems at the bottom of the coloring page to determine what colors should be used to complete each coloring sheet.

Download the coloring sheets HERE!

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Middle States Accreditation Announcement

Eye Level Learning has recently received the honor of receiving Middle States Accreditation.

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We are pleased to have earned accreditation by the Middle States Association and to share in our success with the greater Eye Level Learning community, specifically the teachers, parents and students who worked so hard to make this possible.

Accreditation is an evaluation process that schools and educational institutions undergo to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of performance standards.

The accreditation process examines schools in a holistic way, supplementing student testing data and providing a more complete measure of a school’s performance,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. “School leaders, teachers and parents are to be commended for working together to create a concrete plan focused on providing high quality education for all students.

Managing the Back to School Schedule

September can be an exciting, yet tiring month for both students and parents. Not only are children entering the new school year, but the days of soccer practice, ballet recitals and piano lessons are beginning to pick up again. Creating a balance between children’s and parents’ schedules can be a daunting process; however, if done correctly, it can also be extremely efficient. Below are simple tips that will help alleviate the stress of busy day-to-day schedules.

Combine activities when possible.
After a full day of school, there is often a short break in the day before extracurricular activities begin. With siblings who may be doing two different sports or activities, try to manage the drop off and pick up without any overlapping of the schedule. Also, talk with the individuals in charge, providing an understanding of your situation if there is an overlap that may cause your child to be late at times. 

Ask for help and provide assistance

Children tend to make friends both in school and during activities. This gives parents a chance to work together with other parents to simplify after-school activities. Communicate with them to set up schedules for alternating drop-offs and pick-ups. This will give both parents a break regularly.

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Try to work ahead.
For students that may have school projects or even for something as simple as making lunches, utilize any extra time you have to plan ahead. Have students complete work in a timely manner so they do not end up rushing at the end. For student lunches, prep snacks for the week so it takes less time to prepare daily. Baggies of fruit, pretzels, vegetables, etc. can be stored in the refrigerator; this also allows students to essentially pack their own lunches in the morning. 

No more late nights. 
During the summer, bedtime gets more flexible, especially with vacations. Now that school has started, have students complete all homework with a small snack right when they arrive home. Then, they will have the rest of the night for dinner and family time. Set a specific time for students to get ready for bed. Have them pick out clothes for the next day and have everything ready for school the night before. This also helps with the crazy rush of the morning routine. 

Weekends are for family.
Friday is the start of the weekend but shouldn’t be different from any other day of the week. All homework should be completed after school so the weekend is left specifically for family time. Weekends are a time to go to the park, see a movie, take a day trip and take the mind off the stress of the weekdays. Sunday night should be utilized for a quick prep and refresh for the week of any schoolwork and a nice movie to end the weekend. 

Mathematics Tip- Back to School

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Although the school year is already underway, some children may still be finding it hard to transition from summer mode to back to school. According to a Scholastic’s teacher survey data, 98 percent of teachers cited family involvement and support as being key to student success. Although it might be hard to be physically present at school events at times, there are other great ways to be involved in your child’s education.

Though you may not able to be physically present in school, there are many other ways that you can get involved in your child’s education. One way is by practicing basic facts Immediate recall requires practice and time for practice in the school day is often limited. Orally presenting facts promotes mastery more effectively than worksheets. There are a lot of great times to practice math facts including driving or waiting. Secondly, you can play games. Games are a great way for children practice mathematics skills and develop strategic thinking, while also promoting positive parent-child relationships. Thirdly, you can help your child see that math is all around them. If you point out how mathematics problems are a part of everyday life, children will be able to understand the value of mathematics.

You also need to know that being prepared for the future nowadays requires being able to do more than simply computing facts or carrying out procedures. You may be thinking that math is different now than when you were in school, and that is true! The available careers are very different now than they were 20 years ago. Of course, children need conceptual understanding and procedural fluency, but they also need to know how to apply this knowledge to solve problems. Try to include problem solving techniques as often as possible in daily conversations.

Having your child in Eye Level is a great start to giving your child a head start. Through Basic Thinking math, your child is gaining the necessary computation skills to succeed. Since Eye Level also provides Critical Thinking math, your child will apply those skills in problem solving situations. Continue being involved in your child’s education and he will succeed

https://www.nctm.org/News-and-Calendar/Messages-from-the-President/Archive/Diane-Briars/Back-to-School_-The-Time-to-Engage-Parents-and-Families/

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/meghan-everette/10-tips-family-engagement-school-year/

How to Prevent Learning Loss Over the Summer in Math

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Almost everyone remembers to read over the summer with their children to keep up with literacy skills, but what are you doing for your child to keep up their mathematics skills? According to researchers at Duke University, math skills decline the most compared to other academic skills with some students losing up to three months’ worth of learning (Mukisa, Math Insider). Here are 8 great tips to help prevent the “Summer Slide” and might help to increase your child’s mathematical thinking. 

1. Read a Math Story. As mentioned, most children are continuing to read over the summer, so why not read a math story together? My favorites include the Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan. This book series is appropriate for students in grades 1-8. For younger children (Pre-K-2), consider reading “How Much is a Million?” by David M Schwartz or “The Math Curse” by Jon Scieszka. 

2. Play a Game. Anything with dice or cards are great games to play with kids. Playing with dice with help children automatically recognize numbers up to six and addition facts up to twelve. To work on subtraction facts, have your child roll only one die at a time. For example, if your child is seven spaces away from winning and he rolls a 4, he will begin to intuitively know that he needs a three to get to the desired location. With cards, students will recognize numbers up to 10. Even younger children can work on their skills such a similarities and differences. For older children, you can introduce them to other classic games such as chess or checkers. 

3. Math Websites. There are so many great resources available to you online. You can find a game about anything and everything! Prodigy is a great game for students in grades 1-8. If you are looking for something more academic, check out Khan Academy. Khan Academy has material for all ages from three to ninety-three. I go on myself sometimes to brush up on my calculus skills or to increase my computer programming knowledge. 

4. Let Children Use Real Money. Money is such an important part of everyday life, and it is crucial that children get exposed to the value of money. If your give your daughter a five-dollar bill to buy her $1.75 drink, let her figure out how much money she should get back. She can even determine the different ways to make $3.25. Even young children understand the power of money and they will feel important if they are permitted to help. 

5. Bake. Baking involves a lot of math, from measuring the ingredients to telling time. Although it might take longer or be a bit messier to bake with your child, it is worth the memories that are created. Then at the end, you have something delicious to eat that your child will be proud of! You can try having your child help you cook vegetables, too. Maybe she will be more likely to eat them. 

6. Set a Lemonade Stand. If your child has practice dealing with money and baking, now is a great time to put these skills to use and set up his own lemonade stand. He can go to the store and buy the supplies, determine how much he needs to sell to make a profit, measure the lemonade to put into pitchers and cups, multiply if someone buys more than one cup, and then provide exact change to his customers. Maybe you will even inspire the next Alex, who gave the profits from her lemonade to childhood cancer research. She raised $2,000 at the age of 4 and over a million dollars by the age of 8. 

7. Visit a Museum. You are looking for something to keep your son entertained and a museum is the perfect place to go. Of course, you can go movies and the playground again, but there are more educational places that you can visit. Take advantage of this time so that he will associate learning with something fun. 

8. Help Plan a Trip. Since you already planning a trip to visit grandma and family vacation to the Grand Canyon, why not let your child help? You and your daughter can pick out the flight and then she can determine the total cost by multiplying by the number of people in your family. She can let you know what time you need to arrive at the airport so that you are two hours early and help determine what time that means you should leave your house. Your son can help you map the miles between all the great National Parks near the Grand Canyon and can make a gasoline budget based on the fuel efficiency of your car and the price of gas. He can even determine when and where are the best spots to take breaks based on how much gasoline fits in the car’s fuel tank. 

Whatever you decide to do, try to be conscious of your child’s education throughout the summer and incorporate fun activities to instill the value of learning! 

Practical Actions to Unleash Originality

Adam Grant offers 5 practical actions to unleash originality that you can take. The following extract is taken from his bestseller.

1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or schools. Then Have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation? 

2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people-it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child so something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you _________.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people-they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?” 

3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong-and to avoid the action in the future. 

4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important. 

5. Create novel niched for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on their role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice-children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original idea instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a difference frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?