Archives for category: Education

165486351Children who have ADHD often can’t follow behavior rules in the manner in which they are set out for other children. By understanding what ADHD children struggle with and how they are best motivated, you can create a method that will better work for them in the classroom.

  1. Have immediate repercussions and rewards.

    Ideally, you want to have an established method in place for what these repercussions and rewards should be. They should be given right after the action is completed, because delayed praise and discipline often doesn’t work for children with ADHD.

  1. Use secret reminders.

    So as not to frequently call out your student in class for misbehaving, you can have reminders in place that only you and the student understand. This can include tapping the desk or taping initials on the desk that stand for an action, such as “N.I.” for “no interrupting.”

  1. Reward appropriate behavior.

    Students with ADHD often get reprimanded frequently, which can hurt their self-esteem and sometimes prompt them to act out more often. It’s important to reward your student for good behavior, even if this behavior may seem like common sense.

  1. Write the schedule on the board.

    Write the daily schedule on the board, and then erase each item as it’s completed. This helps give the student a sense of tangible progress and lets him or her know what to expect next.

  1. Give your student special tasks.

    Since students with ADHD have a lot of extra energy, it can be helpful to give them tasks that will make them feel important and allow them to move around the classroom. For example, you can make your student responsible for collecting other students’ papers and handing them to the teacher.

  1. Give warnings before the time is up.

    When an activity is ending, give the class warnings ahead of time. For example, you can alert the class when there is five minutes left, two minutes left, and then one minute left. This helps your student prepare for the transition.

  1. Focus more on what the student should do than on what he shouldn’t do.

    Try to keep guidelines positive. For instance, instead of saying, “Don’t speak without raising your hand,” you can say, “Speak after raising your hand.” Keep these expectations in a visible location for all students. This will help your student feel part of the community instead of singled out.

  1. Show, don’t tell.

    Students with ADHD often need to be shown what is expected of them, instead of just being told. If a student is supposed to read a story and then answer the questions at the bottom, hold out the story, and point out the questions. Alternatively, you may want to first tell your students to read the story, and then ask them to fill out the questions, as this will help your ADHD student remember each task.

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77005460Those who have homeschooled their children for a number of years often take bits and pieces from several programs in order to create one that works well for their particular family. Below are some of the most common homeschooling programs.

Relaxed / Eclectic Homeschooling

The “relaxed” or “eclectic” approach to homeschooling combines formal learning and independent study. The children generally use workbooks and programs in order to learn math, reading and spelling, generally in the morning hours. The afternoons are spent pursuing more specialized learning objectives, like hobbies and interactive science projects.

The School-at-Home Approach

For this approach, children perform schoolwork by following a preset structure through boxed curriculum. The children have regular school hours at home, and they often deliver completed materials back to a curriculum provider for grading. This type of approach has a relatively high burnout rate, however.

Unschooling

This type of schooling is also known as natural, child-led and interest-led learning. Children under this approach are free to explore their own interests. Instead of having a separation between “school” and “life,” parents who use this approach see the two as intertwined. Unschooled children don’t take state-mandated tests, and they often meet with other homeschool children in order to learn through private lessons.

Classical

This approach follows the “five tools of learning,” which are reason, record, research, relate and rhetoric. The classical approach has been around since the Middle Ages and has a strict daily routine. The focus of this approach is on reading, history, recitation and critical thinking.

Charlotte Mason

The Charlotte Mason approach follows the belief that children should be respected as people instead of treated as empty vessels waiting to be filled. Children who are homeschooled using this method have a focus on creation and collaboration instead of on reciting facts. There is a strong emphasis on nature and taking field trips to explore art history and geography, among other disciplines.

Waldorf

The Waldorf method focuses on educating the child through body, mind and spirit. The Waldorf method emphasizes nature, arts and crafts, and movement and music. No formal textbooks are used, and the children instead create their own books. Electronics are discouraged, and free play is emphasized.

Montessori

This approach emphasizes the need for children to learn at their own pace. Wood is preferred over plastic, and electronics are discouraged. Homes are set up with different learning areas, such as a math area and a language area. Children are encouraged to manage their own time and learn things thoroughly before moving onto something new.

Multiple Intelligences

In this learning approach, parents become aware of their children’s strengths and adapt the teaching accordingly. For example, children’s learning can be tailored toward visual, auditory or kinetic. Each discipline is taught in a way that best suits the child’s preferred learning method. In this way, nothing is treated as better or worse, but only as how it benefits the individual child.

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153538625If you’re thinking about homeschooling your child, you may be nervous about getting in enough homeschool hours. This fear comes from the reality that each state has particular guidelines about how many hours a child should spend in school, whether that’s in the classroom or at home. Luckily, what constitutes school is more than just hours spent at a desk. This is true even for those who attend traditional school.

Keep Some Sort of Record, But Don’t Overthink It

You will want to keep some record of how many hours your child spends doing school per day. However, you don’t need to clock every single minute. A rough estimate paired with work done is sufficient for your purposes. While it is possible to not take thorough enough records, most parents who homeschool are naturally quite organized and detailed.

Get a Home School Legal Defense Association Membership

An HSDLA membership provides a lot of free information about how to keep accurate records. This information will come in handy if you ever find yourself before a judge and need to show the proper paperwork regarding your child’s homeschooling. The membership can also provide you with valuable tips and strategies for successful homeschooling.

What Counts as School Hours

In traditional school, students take many different types of classes, including Home Economics, P.E., and Music. The same is true for homeschool children. Working out a recipe, getting adequate exercise and pursuing personal artistic pleasures are all part of a good homeschool education. When you’re involved in day-to-day activities with your child, actively teach him or her life skills along the way, and this will count toward their education as well. All of these types of activities should be logged as school hours.

School Hours by Age

Just as with traditional school, the hours your child spends learning is partially dependent upon his or her age. For example, a kindergartener will spend less than an hour on school, while a high schooler will spend over four hours. When you do count up how many hours your child spends doing school, you will probably find that your child actually spends more time than is required by law.

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123079612Deciding to homeschool your child is a major decision, a decision that you want to make with confidence and as much information as you can find. The requirements for homeschooling vary greatly depending on which state you live in. If you are considering homeschooling, you will need to become familiar with your specific state’s requirements. We’ve compiled a broad overview of state requirements for you.

Teaching Certification

Most states do not require that the parent or guardian possess a teaching certification—Arkansas is the only exception in this case. However, most states do require that the parent possess a certain level of education. Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico and Pennsylvania require a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. Other states require that the parent or guardian be declared competent to provide a level of education that is comparable to that provided by the local public school.

Notice of Intent

In many states, parents are required to notify the state of their intent to homeschool their children. This includes Hawaii, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Some of these states only require initial notification while others require annual notification.

Reporting and Evaluation

Many states require that parents report their child’s progress annually, although how that progress is reported varies by state. Some states also require that an annual evaluation of the student’s progress be performed by a certified teacher. Reporting and evaluation are required in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Standardized Testing

Many homeschool students are required to undergo regular standardized testing. The states that require testing are as follows: Colorado, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Some of these states require that the students achieve a specific percentile of performance.

Subject Requirements

Many states require that specific subjects be taught, often designating specific subjects to specific grades. Subject requirements are enforced in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Attendance

Attendance record requirements vary by state, with some states requiring annual submission of a record and others providing homeschool students with exemption from compulsory attendance. Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Delaware and Rhode Island require regular attendance records, while Alaska, Idaho and Massachusetts provide homeschool students with exemption.

While some states do not have any specific homeschool statutes, other states have very specific laws. There are many states that provide a variety of options for how a homeschool environment can be established in relation to public and private schools and even religious organizations. Before you decide which schooling option is right for your child, make sure you become an expert in your state’s laws as they will essentially determine the operation of your child’s education.

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While many parents of special needs children opt for placing their children in public schools for various reasons, some parents feel that homeschooling is the best option for special needs students. While there are many options for special needs education besides public school, there has been a large spike in the number of parents that are bringing homeschooling to their special needs children.

The key to homeschooling your kids is understanding the fact that each child is unique and has special needs. So you need to individualize your resources and teaching for that specific child. In order to prepare your child for kindergarten, you will need the appropriate resources and curriculum. Children at this age need to learn basic math and counting, pre-writing skills as well as alphabet recognition and sound. The curriculum should also contain other resources to fine tune children’s motor skills. Although these programs are intended for use by children who are going to begin kindergarten, it may also be used by older children with special needs.

Children who are ready to begin kindergarten can then proceed to programs that offer further activities such as addition and subtraction, place value and reading and logical thinking activities. There are various websites that provide help when it comes to Homeschooling For Special Needs Students. There are an endless supply of resources, information and programs that are intended to increase brain activity. Some websites specialize in teaching children certain things. This is why some websites may offer resources on the entire curriculum, while others will offer activities on math and some on reading. However, these websites don’t just offer information, but are great for networking with other parents who are home schooling their kids. This way you can ask their advice about what works best for them and exchange thoughts and ideas in the subject. This ensures that you always have fellow parents to go back to for advice.

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There is no doubt that homeschooling comes with several benefits not only to the student but also the entire family. It costs a lot less than sending a child to school. There is much more child-parent interaction which is something that is becoming a rarity nowadays. Parents are given an incredible amount of control as to their children’s education including the topics and values they are exposed to. On the other hand, homeschooling demands an incredible amount of effort as well. This goes on day after day for years and it isn’t surprising that a lot of parents succumb to burnout.

It’s a Normal Part of the Process

Homeschooling burnout is a feeling of overwhelming fatigue brought about by the pressures of educating a child. There are times when parents will simply dread waking up as they have to do things all over again. In this setup, they are responsible for keeping the child on course for various subjects. It often feels as if twenty four hours is not enough to complete all the tasks. Children may not always be cooperative or easy to teach either. There can be numerous roadblocks along the way. It is important to keep in mind that these difficulties are experienced by nearly all families. There is no room for self-blame.

Evaluate the Situation

Take a positive attitude and implement concrete steps to turn things around. After a brief period of rest, put some thought as to the root causes of the burnout. Is it because of the overwhelming workload? Perhaps help may be sought from the spouse or an older child who has already taken some of the subjects. Maybe the curriculum is not a good match and a shift is in order. Is the child having a difficult time following the lessons or behaving in a less than ideal manner? Try to have an open dialogue to understand why these are happening so that both parties can work towards a solution. Is there an external factor like pregnancy, moving house, or extra office hours? Find a workaround and maximize the flexibility afforded by homeschooling.

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Children usually fear making major life changes just like anyone else. This may bring about difficulties in adapting to the new circumstances. If your child is about to join preschool, they may have preschool fears that need to be addressed. As a parent, your fear may be greater and this may make the preschool fears worse. So how should you deal with these fears?

Dialogue is a major step in understanding the fears your child is facing. In some situations, getting your child to talk about their fears presents an avenue where viable solutions can be identified. For example, if your child fears making new friends, you should encourage him or her and let them understand that it may not be easy but it can be achieved. In other cases, the child may not even be aware of the cause of their fears. You should not scold them for this but help them in overcoming these fears.

Help your child in overcoming these preschool fears by helping him in coming with the solutions to his fears. For example, instead of offering the solution, give him clues and let him come up with the solution. Solutions that are dictated to them may not be implemented but when the child comes up with the decision himself, he will have the drive to put it into practice. You can help him by playing games that give clues to possible solutions.

Great care should be taken by both teachers and parents when children are joining preschool. You should speak to the teachers to ensure that they understand your child well. This will minimize conflict that may make their fears worse off. In addition, you may also speak to other parents in the school so that the children may enjoy an environment free of unnecessary negative energy. If your child for example is afraid of using the playground in the school, help them understand that it is safe, that their teachers will keep them safe and that it is fine to play with the other children.

Do not build up on the fears by scolding then unnecessarily, threatening them or making them feel inferior to other children. You may also start preparing him or her for preschool an year before they join. Help him in understanding the importance of school and help them to learn how to cope with change effectively. For example, you may take him or her on several tours of the preschool long before he or she joins to familiarize with the area.

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Deciding to home-school your kids may be a daunting decision. Aside from being the parent and provider, you now have to assume the role of a teacher as well. The thought of where to begin with home-schooling often sends many parents into panic mode and puts them off this idea completely. However, if you would like to home-school your kids, it is achievable. Although, there are challenges as with all things in life, there are also many great homeschooling tips to help you get there.

Homeschooling Tips

Parents that attempt homeschooling often try to duplicate what happens in traditional classrooms as they think this is the best way to teach their child, however, it is not always the case. You should forget about schedule, textbooks and sitting at desks all the time. Despite popular belief, home-schooled kids can be taught valuable social skills, even if they are not sitting in a classroom with 20 other kids. Connect with other families that are doing the same thing. This will open up a world of resources and support that will make the entire process manageable for you and your kids. Technology is meant to be used to help you in your task to educate your children, but it should not be depended upon as the only resource that you use. Ease your children into the process, especially at the beginning of the year. You should gradually introduce subjects each week as school begins, until your kids are settled into the routine and can handle the workload.

You should also remember that this is your school and you decide what activities are done each day. So if you feel like playing math games for half the day and then taking a nature walk for the second half, you should do exactly that as spontaneity is what separates homeschooling from traditional schooling. You should also attend homeschooling conferences as this gives you the opportunity to network and listen to inspirational stories from other parents on the same mission. The world is your classroom and you should make use of all available resources to help your child learn.

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ESAs have become a national trend. Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and Mississippi states are now offering ESA programs. More than 10 states are also about to join the bandwagon and have considered ESA legislation in their recent legislative sessions. Here is an overview of the reasons why policymakers, parents, and other educational stakeholders should support ESA accounts:

A Great Saving

ESA provides parents with 85-95 percent state-based funding per student, which they can use to purchase approved education expenses like books and tuition. Administrative costs are also covered by designating 3 to 8 percent of the remaining funding. It can therefore be a vehicle for helping children attend private schools that are less expensive, hence a real saving for local and state school districts.

ESAs Fill a Need

Since their inception, ESAs have been focused in special needs population. This is because many schools lack staff and the necessary resources to address educational needs of children. ESAs empower parents to choose schools that best fit the educational needs of their children.

Value and Efficiency

Educational policy makers agree that schools need to be run efficiently. However, this is not always possible as the current education systems in various states are riddled with obstinate incentive. ESAs provide parents with a chance to spend their resources on the educational needs of their children. Accordingly, parents have the incentives to maximize the value of education that their children receive. The choice of school provides parents with a good opportunity to make educational choices.

It spurs Educational Innovation

By empowering parents to customize their educational markets, ESAs help propel educational innovation. Market forces will catch up with both private and public schools. If the school suppliers are responsive to the market forces, they will adapt and eventually survive. However, if they don’t, they will fail. These forces and market pressures will propel valuable changes in the educational marketplace in the same way that higher education has been revolutionalized globally by educational options such as open online courses—providing education to many students without the need to be in campus.

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College is important. By completing a degree, you are planning your future career and ensuring that you have a job that will help you support yourself and your family. However, financing a college education is not easy. Most students have to take on extensive college loans to help them through college and they find it extremely difficult to make ends meet. As a parent, what can you do to ensure that your children can afford college? How can you save enough money to ensure that your child is not left holding a ton of student loans?

Saving For College IS Easy and Affordable

You can save for your child’s education by setting up college 529 Plans. A college 529 Plan is designed to help students and families plan for their education through a special tax-deductible program. These programs are applicable on almost any college and university and you can apply to any university with this kind of saving plan. At present, there are two types of plans available: savings and prepaid.

1. Savings plans are like 401K plans. Other features of a savings 529 plan are as follows-
a. There is no lock on college costs
b. All expenses included tuition, room and board, books, computer, mandatory fees, etc. are covered in this savings plan
c. Some plans have contribution limits but the limits are usually more than $200,000.
d. With this kind of plan, you choose the investment option and the value of your savings increases or decreases based on the option. Your investment is also subject to market risk. You can evaluate the value of your investment by checking the 529-plan quarterly performance.
e. There is no age limit, no residency requirement, and enrollment is possible all through the year.

2. Prepaid plans are also available and this plan allows you to pre-pay or pay all the costs of an in-state college education.
a. These plans have a limited enrollment period.
b. You can lock the tuition rates at selected public and private colleges and universities.
c. Only a few limited options are covered under this plan but some plans cover almost everything.
d. State plans are offered and they are guaranteed by the state at a set value. You may have to be a state resident to be eligible for this plan.

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