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Homeschool High School

Many parents homeschool elementary and middle school but become nervous when the time comes to homeschool high school.

There are many reasons that homeschool parents look for another choice besides traditional homeschooling when it comes to high school. Let’s look at some of those reasons, and explore how homeschool parents can continue to homeschool high school.

Course Subject Matter

One of the main reasons parents worry about homeschooling their high school students is that parents are uncomfortable with teaching courses they might not be familiar with. Examples of this are advanced math and science courses. While a parent who is a high school graduate should be able to teach elementary and middle school classes, it may be that a parent without exposure to courses like calculus, trigonometry, and physics simply doesn’t have the subject matter knowledge to teach the courses.

Lack of subject matter knowledge does not necessarily mean that the parents must put the student back in a more traditional school setting to complete high school. One choice is to look into alternatives to the parent being the teacher for some courses. Homeschool Co-ops are a possibility. Co-ops consist of other homeschooling families who get together to teach classes to small groups of children. Some co-ops teach those more difficult classes such as the advanced math and science courses, including labs. Parents who have the expertise in one subject teach a class such as chemistry, and other parents who can offer math knowledge, writing instruction, or enrichment classes like art or music. By the families cooperating, all students benefit from the availability of course subject matter experts.

Another alternative, especially for older homeschooled high school students is to take dual credit courses through either the local community college, or sometimes even major universities. Dual credit courses allow the student to receive not only high school credit for the course, but also college level credit. It allows homeschooled students to experience being taught by others, meeting course requirements for someone who is not their parent, and allows them to get a taste of college course work. A bonus here is that dual credit courses are sometimes less expensive than the same college course would be because high school students are allowed a discount.

Record Keeping Issues

Homeschooling parents may also be concerned about the record keeping involved with homeschooling high school. There are several aspects to the record keeping end of things. First, there is a concern over how to rate class credits. For courses taught from traditional high school text books, completion of approximately 75% of a high school text book would constitute one high school credit.

For courses that are not taught from traditional high school text books it is possible to count hours. A core curriculum high school credit should take between 150 and 180 hours of course instruction to complete. This would apply to the traditional academic courses. One high school credit is the same as a full year of course work. Enrichment courses such as music or art could be counted in the 120 to 150 hour range. Other elective courses fall into the 120 to 150 hour range as well.

Another aspect of record keeping that is important for homeschooled high school students is compiling a transcript. This is not nearly as difficult as it might seem. Keeping in mind the previously listed guidelines for completing a high school credit, students will need somewhere between twenty-four and twenty-eight high school credits, depending on the state in which they live. Another consideration for the number of course hours needed to graduate high school will be whether the student is college-bound. For students headed to college it is important that they plan on four credits of English, four credits of Math, four of Science, four credits of social studies, as well as at least eight elective credits.

What about a Diploma?

Parents of homeschooled children often worry about whether their child will receive a diploma as some sort of official recognition of their completion of their high school studies. In addition to this, parents worry about whether their student’s accomplishments through high school will be recognized by higher learning establishments. Parents are also concerned about whether their student’s high school record will be acceptable to the military, should that be their student’s goal.

It is not really a concern that should worry homeschooling parents. Many states have enacted laws that make a homeschool high school diploma carry the same weight as a diploma from a traditional school. In some states homeschooled students are actually private schooled-at-home because the state requires a cover school, or umbrella school. In that case, the cover school issues a recognized diploma. Universities and the military recognize homeschooler’s high school credentials as well.

Homeschooled high school students can and do receive similar consideration and treatment as their traditionally educated counterparts. There are many different ways to ensure that the homeschooled high school student gets credit for the courses needed to allow them to graduate from high school as well as enter any post-high school situation such as college or the military. If you think that homeschooling through high school might be for your student know that it is becoming easier to educate at home than it has ever been.

Spring Your DYSLEXIC Child from the Reading Trap the EASY Way!

Having been involved with the Home Schooling Movement since 1985, I recall that the initial reason parents rescued their children from public schools was because their children weren’t learning to read. They scoffed at the term “dyslexia” and attributed reading failure to ineffective reading methods – specifically, the lack of teaching reading with Intensive Phonics. Now, 30 years later, there is an ever-increasing number of parents who accept the diagnosis of “dyslexia” and seek help for their children who are having great difficulty learning to read.
What has caused this shift?
As a Reading Specialist for over 40 years, I have found that this shift is caused by the fact that some Phonics methods actually create the reading traps that Dyslexics get caught in.

What sets the trap?

Over the years, it became very clear that Phonics methods that teach endless Phonics rules and exceptions and numerous sounds for many of the letters and letter-combinations, along with the constant influx of “sight” words (words that can’t be sounded out), just lead to hesitation and confusion. (Ex. “a” as in cat, want, father, away; “ea” as in neat, head, great, earn, heart; “ou” as in out, soul, soup, could. young, thought; “ch” as in chin, school, machine; etc., etc., etc.). Children were confronted with the dilemma, “What SOUND does this have this time – or – is it a SIGHT word?” Consequently, they couldn’t read. Phonics is essential – but, as can be seen, you can overplay that card.

How to Unlock the Trap?

First, I found that it is essential that you teach only ONE sound for each letter or letter-combination – and NO exceptions. This RELIABLE Phonics information, which years “on the firing line” have weeded out, covers about 90% of the Phonics information needed to read. Dyslexic students are very capable of mastering this 90% of RELIABLE information – and it will give them “mastery at their fingertips.” But when an attempt is made to teach that small 10% of exceptions, it just confuses the TOTAL 100% of words.

Before introducing a single word to them, gradually supply them with the following Phonics AMMUNITION:

Consonants: (b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z)

Digraphs: ch, sh, th, wh

Vowels: a, e, i, o, u (long and short) – NO rules yet.

Put these sounds on Flashcards as they are introduced and review them daily. They will easily master these sounds because, like learning to speak, the message will be consistent and repetitious.

Secondly, it is essential that you use “real English” Literature-based text such as, “This dog can run fast,” rather than “Decodable” text, such as “Sid hid a big lid,” because Literature-based text provides a meaningful “context” which assists decoding of words, as will be shown.

Now, here’s the game changer!

Never require Dyslexic students to “sound out” a word independently at this point. It has been demonstrated time and again that this only leads to struggling, hesitation, and cacophonous agony. Rather, TELL them the word. Ex. dog: This word is “dog.” Then, using their RELIABLE Phonics Ammunition, ask “What’s the Clue?” and have them simultaneously SOUND and UNDERLINE the Phonics clues from left-to-right – d o g. Ex. that: – This word is “that.” – What’s the Clue? th a t. Introduce phonetically irregular words the same way. Ex. have: This word is “have” – What’s the Clue? h a v e. Ex. friend: This word is “friend” – What’s the Clue? f r i e n d. (Just ignore irrelevant letters.). With a little prodding at first, you will find that they will soon become very adept at SOUNDING and UNDERLINING the left-to-right relevant sounds in each word. Note that in this way, we also remove the necessity for introducing “sight” words.

Introduce only words that contain the Phonics information that has been introduced. Repeat these words often enough to assist retention. And remember – if you ask them to sound out unknown words independently at this point – it’s game over.

After you have introduced about 50 high-frequency words and arranged them into intelligible sentences, begin to gradually filter in additional Phonics information. Teach just ONE sound for each of the following Phonetic components, as in each key word below. As you introduce each sound, put it on a Flashcard and review it daily:

ow (now). ou (out), ound (round), ay (day), oo (zoo), ew (new), ar (car), oy (boy, oi (oil),
ight (night), igh (high), alk (walk), er (her), ir (sir), ur (fur), all (ball), eight (weight), eigh (weigh),
aw (saw), au (auto), aught (caught), ought (thought), ange (range), tion (station), sion (mission).

Introduce words containing one of these Phonetic components as follows:

Ex. now: What’s the family? (ow) – What’s the word? (now). Ex. night: What’s the family” (ight) – What’s the word? (night).

After you have introduced about 75 high-frequency words, Dyslexic students begin to understand how Phonics decoding works. So it’s time to introduce words with Short and Long Vowel Phonograms – one rule at a time. You will note that these Phonograms can be easily sounded out by Dyslexics because vowel sounds (unlike most consonant sounds) can be prolonged. Ex. and – aaaa-n-d. It’s also important to
note that although they have great difficulty decoding unknown words letter-by-letter, they have little difficulty decoding words by these phonetic “units.” Guide decoding of these words as shown below:

Rule 1: If there’s one vowel, it’s Short.
Ex. hand: What’s the family? (and) – What’s the word? (hand).

Rule 2: “e” on the end” makes the vowel Long.
Ex. ride: What’s the family? (ide) – What’s the word? (ride).

Rule 3: When two vowels are together, the first vowel is Long and the second vowel is Silent.
Ex. team: What’s the family? (eam) – What’s the word? (team).

Continue to introduce all exceptions to these rules with “What’s the Clue?”
Ex. gone: This word is “gone” – What’s the clue? g o n e. Ex. head: This word is “head” – What’s the Clue? h e a d.

This concludes all of the 90% of RELIABLE phonics information. Now it’s time for game on – time to ignite a solution for independent reading.

Show these students how to decode EVERY word exactly the same way: Begin with the vowel each time and ask:

What’s the family?
What’s the word?”

For multisyllabic words, just go to the next vowel and proceed the same way. Ex. contain: What’s the family? (on) – Add “c” (con). What’s the next family? (ain) – Add “t” (tain). GO BACK – What’s the word? (contain). Ex ignite: What’s the family?” (ig). What’s the next family? (ite) – Add “n” (nite). GO BACK – What’s the word? (ignite).

Now how do they handle exceptions independently?

When they hit an exception, they will know it immediately because it is a “nonsense” word. Ex. said: What’s the family?
(aid) – What’s the word? (sãd)

So what do they do?

They simply fit this mispronunciation of the word into the meaningful context of the sentence. Ex. I heard every word you sãd. Fitting words into the meaningful context of a sentence is no problem for Dyslexic students at first because their verbal
vocabulary is thousands of words above their reading vocabulary. When their reading vocabulary begins to pull up their verbal vocabulary, at which time they may not be able to fit an unknown word into the meaningful context of a sentence, it’s time to teach them how to use the Pronunciation Key in the Dictionary. Then, when they can’t fit an unknown word into the meaningful context of a sentence, they can simply look up the respelling next to the word in the dictionary: Ex. bouquet (bō kã’). Ex. vignette (vin yet’). Ex. xenon (zē’ non). So there’s no unchartered waters.

This is what drives the outcome. They have a UNIFORM APPROACH, a compass, to decode every word. When they hit an exception – they know it – and they
know exactly what to do about it. And that’s the tipping point. There’s no hesitation or confusion – so SUCCESS is assured!

. . . and you’ve sprung your Dyslexic child from the reading trap the EASY way!

P.S. If this works with Dyslexics, imagine what it can do with average achievement

Author Biography

Mary F. Pecci is the author of At Last! A Reading Method for EVERY Child! (which was the Main Selection of three of Macmillan Book Clubs), correlated Pecci Reading Series (which integrates the above solution), and numerous other publications and articles. She is listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Who’s Who of American Women. For more information, check out:

Five Frequently Asked Homeschooling Questions

Families who are considering homeschooling often have many questions.  Below you will find frequently asked questions posed by new homeschooling families.

1.  Is homeschooling legal? 

In the United States, absolutely yes!  All fifty states recognize some method of educating children at home.  Some states offer free public school online, others recognize church or umbrella schools.  Some states do not require parents to even notify the state if they intend to homeschool.  The first suggestion if you are considering homeschooling is to check with your state Department of Education and see what the regulations are for pulling a child from their existing traditional education situation and placing them in a homeschool situation.  If the child has not attended traditional school it may require a different set of notifications.  Homeschooling is legal, but it is extremely important that each family be in complete compliance with their state’s homeschooling laws since those laws differ from state to state.

2.  Where do I find curriculum?

There are several options for finding a homeschool curriculum.  One of the best ways to find out about what curricula are available is to ask other homeschooling families.  Each will have their own favorite curriculum or combination of different curricula. Some families go to homeschool conventions where curriculum vendors present the best of their wares.  Other families search the internet for all or parts of their instructional material.  In states where a free, online public education is offered, the department of education might even provide books, materials, even use of a computer.  Libraries are a great source of educational material, especially where literature and history are concerned.  For early elementary students there are many sources for basic math, spelling, and penmanship worksheets that can be printed from the internet.  Don’t forget to include educational games as part of the curriculum for everything from multiplication tables to spelling and keyboarding games.

3. Is homeschooling expensive?

Homeschooling does not have to be expensive.  Sources of educational material are wide-spread.  For families unwilling or unable to spend a lot of money there are free and low cost curricula to be found online.  The other end of the spectrum are the all-in-one box curricula which may be quite costly, however they do offer many services including lesson planning and grading as well as record-keeping and an interface with the department of education.  Essentially, homeschooling can be as cost effective or as expensive as a family chooses.  There are many options between the two extremes that will accommodate families in all economic circumstances.

4. What if I can’t teach a subject?

Not every parent will feel comfortable teaching every subject.  While most parents will feel comfortable teaching the basics to younger students, when it comes to advanced composition, calculus, or chemistry many parents feel like they are not qualified to teach their students. Other courses such as foreign languages or music instruction often require more teaching than a parent might feel comfortable with.  The answer to this dilemma is to out-source.  Check with local homeschool support groups to see if a co-op offers group classes.  Check with the library to see if they offer courses.  Many times college students earn money through tutoring so check with your closest college or university to see if tutors are available.  Often checking with fellow homeschoolers will show a need and you might join with other families to fund a course.  There are always people who are willing to pass on their knowledge, some for free, some for a fee.  Ask around!


5. Do colleges accept homeschooled students?

In the past colleges might have been hesitant to accept homeschoolers because they were unsure of the amount of preparation homeschoolers might receive.  However, that has changed for the most part.  Colleges find that homeschoolers are generally well prepared for college courses, performing better on standardized tests and required less remedial work than some traditionally educated students.  Colleges also find that homeschool high school students often take dual credit courses which provide both high school and college credit.  Homeschool students tend to be self-starters and are accustomed to studying and preparing projects.  In fact, many institutions of higher learning seek out homeschool students because they find that homeschooled students measure up very competitively with other students.


There are, of course, many questions regarding homeschooling and how to begin the process of homeschooling.  Families looking to homeschool need to be legal with their state and local department of education.  Families should look for instructional materials that teach to the student in the way that the student learns.

Support is very important, online searches will provide information on local or regional support groups.  Support groups are a great source both for finding curricula, and for making sure you are legal with the state. Many online curricula provide online forums or help to assist homeschooling families.

The internet and local libraries are great places to begin researching the questions new homeschooling families may have.   Homeschooling is a growing trend and as more families choose this educational option there will be more people with experience to answer those questions

Whats A Homeschool Cruise All About?

This time last week, I was standing on a small wooden bridge over a creek and taking pictures of the multiple iguanas who were perched in the pine trees above my head. My family continued our walk through the woods and discovered a “poisonwood tree” that will make your skin bleed just by touching it, and for which there are no known medicines to treat the wound. Then we spent hours splashing in the crystal-clear water on the beautiful beach and marveled at nature’s beauty all around us, before heading off to a fancy dinner where my husband ordered escargot and the kids drank chocolate milk in wine glasses with their meal of gourmet lasagna.

Where was I last week? In the Bahamas, on the 8th Annual Homeschool Cruise, of course! And for this first-time cruiser, what an adventure it was! I was hoping to find something different from the stereotypical party-cruise experience, and I discovered that a cruise is what you make it, and a homeschool cruise even more so.

Travel and Sightseeing
Adventure was definitely on the agenda, as we drove to Florida to board the ship at Port Canaveral. Our ports of call were Freeport and Nassau, and the cruise line’s private island, called Little Stirrup Cay. We weren’t terribly impressed with Freeport, which is mainly an industrial port anyway, but we loved Nassau. The city was bustling with activity, and down near the port there were hundreds of tourists shopping for Bahamas trinkets in the straw markets, although the city has an impressive array of upscale shopping that was crowded as well. We decided to walk a bit and see some of the city, and we stopped to tour the Pirate Museum, which was well-worth the admission since we all learned a ton about the pirate history of the area.

Kids and Water
Just what is it about kids and water? The whole family had a wonderful time on the beach at Little Stirrup Cay, but our kids also took advantage of the pool onboard the ship. They swam every single day! On one of the upper decks, the ship also had an assortment of water slides, something for every age group, and the kids never seemed to tire of it. One of the slides went out over the side of the ship before curving back to land safely on deck!

Learning Opportunities
A case could be made that simply going on a cruise for the first time is a learning experience, but there were opportunities for education along the way. The Pirate Museum we toured is a great example, and so was the Nature Tour of Little Strirrup Cay, where we learned about the iguanas and several herbal remedies growing in the wooded areas of the island. There were plenty of other shore excursions to choose from, and kids can learn a ton just from snorkeling! Our group leader gave each homeschooler a packet of information printed especially for students by the tourism council in the Bahamas, so the kids could learn about the different islands, local customs, etc.

Overall, I was impressed with the homeschool cruise and my family definitely had a good time. My only suggestion is that there ought to be more chances for the homeschoolers to get together, beyond just seeing one another in the dining room each evening. But there was definitely not a lack of things to do, and sometimes it was hard to choose! If we wanted to strictly enjoy a relaxing vacation, we could do that. If we wanted to toss in some educational experiences, that was possible too.

I would surely recommend this program to others! Next year’s homeschool cruise is already accepting bookings, and you can learn all about it at Maybe I’ll see you on board next year!

Common Core And Homeschooling

Many schools are experiencing the implementation of Common Core. Parents are finding out that the regulations that determine how the child will be educated might be more involved than they might have thought.

Homeschooling parents have considered themselves immune to the effects and regulations of Common Core because, after all, they are educating their children at home. But is it realistic to believe that homeschoolers can avoid the broad umbrella of Common Core?

There are a number of ways that Common Core may affect homeschoolers, both directly and indirectly. The following information is by no means exhaustive.

Data Collection

Currently homeschool students seem to be off the radar in many states. By right and by choice homeschooling families tend to want to keep their students out of the system. However, one of the components of Common Core is that it allows for a database of student information which begins in kindergarten and continues through the student’s entry into the workforce.

In states where students are not required to register in any way to homeschool the amount of data collected on that student will be minimal. However, for states that seek more control over their homeschoolers, those homeschoolers will be providing information for that database. While it may not seem like much, this database is accessible by outside sources which might not need to access student’s names and other personal information.

Standardized Testing

Homeschooling students in many states are not required to submit to standardized testing. In a number of states homeschool students who are not associated with church schools are required to participate in state testing. Homeschool students who are required to participate in state testing will have a fundamental freedom removed from them. Because they will be tested according to state standards, which are aligned with Common Core Standards, homeschool students will have to study homeschooling curriculum that will prepare them for those tests.

This removes the freedom to choose certain curricula. Homeschoolers pride themselves on their ability to choose the curriculum that is best suited for their student’s learning style and also their philosophical reasons for homechooling. By having to study curricula that are aligned with Common Core the homeschoolers are being forced to participate in a system that many of them oppose.

And College Entrance Exams

At a point in the foreseeable future college entrance exams will be rewritten and adapted to fit the curriculum that is being taught in public schools. The curriculum in public schools across the country will be aligned to Common Core Standards. Part of the reason Common Core is being enacted is to make the curriculum all across the country standard. Because of this, it makes perfect sense for the college entrance exams to reflect this.

Just as with standardized testing in elementary school, middle school, and high school, college entrance exam requirements will, by default, require that homeschoolers conform to learning the body of knowledge that will allow them to do best on these exams. If they choose to study homeschool curricula that do not currently conform to the Common Core Standards, or do not adapt to align with those standards they will be penalized for this lack of conformity by potentially lower test scores.

Finally, from the standpoint of someone who does not mind data being collected on their children, and consequently their families, and who does not mind that curriculum choices are being made for their children without their input or their control, it might seem odd that anyone would object to the implementation of Common Core standards and requirements across the country. However, there is a whole group of people, generally homeschoolers, who do not believe that the state or the federal government have the right to control how their children are educated. Neither the state nor the federal government should have the right or ability to collect, store, and disseminate information on the student or family. Common Core might seem like a step toward Big Brother and away from the freedoms that they enjoy as homeschoolers.

Fighting Educational Doldrums

There are times during the year when students are very excited about learning.  One of those times is when school starts in the fall.  Even parents seem to feel the excitement of a new school year and the bright, shiny, new school supplies.  By this time in the school year it is possible that students are less excited about school and this happens not just for public or private school but for homeschooling as well.

While there are many ways to overcome the educational doldrums of this time of year for homeschoolers, there are three worth particular mention.  While these may work in traditional education, it is important to note that homeschool has flexibility in some areas where traditional school might not.

Special Projects

After school has been in progress for a couple of months students often feel like it is just an endless series of studying, and chapter tests.  One way to break that cycle is to allow the student the opportunity to complete a special project.  Many subjects lend themselves to independent study and research.  And don’t think that it only has to encompass one subject.  These special projects can also be adapted to the age, abilities, and interests of your student. It is an opportunity to go beyond the standard homeschool curriculum. Here is an example for a high school student.

Suppose the student picked the Renaissance Period.  While it is easy to see that this might be a history project, consider that that period was rich not only in history, but art, literature, and music.  It was an important time for textiles, important time for science, and a challenging time for religion.  By choosing a time period that is so rich it is possible for the student to touch on many subjects as they relate to the main subject of the Renaissance.  If the student’s interest lies particularly in music or art, allow them to direct their research to those subjects.  The final project can include reports, art work, and perhaps a presentation as the student teaches and presents what he or she learned.

Allowing the student to direct his/her own education for a short period of time allows them to feel control, and lets them branch out from the week in and week out occurrences of worksheets, questions, and chapter tests.

Varying Schedules

While many student, especially young ones, benefit from a regular schedule, homeschooled students have the opportunity to have a schedule that fits their individual needs.  As students enter high school they often find that their biological clocks seem to shift.  It is more difficult for them to concentrate early in the morning, and harder for them to go to bed at night.  As parents we tend to want them up early and to school pretty quickly thereafter.  Fortunately, the schedule that homeschooled students need can be accommodated fairly easily.

One of the benefits of a flexible schedule for homeschoolers becomes very apparent for students who have a particular interest.  Consider a student who is very interested in science.  That student is not necessarily going to be ready to move on to another subject after an hour or so.   One student had a great interest in science and did all of her other subjects the first two days of the week to get them out of the way.  She then concentrated her studies in science to the last three days of the week.  By doing that she was not interrupted in the middle of a project or experiment, and it allowed her to get deeper into the subject than if she had only an hour at a time.

Another student had an interest in becoming a veterinarian.  Each morning she spent doing her coursework, and each afternoon she went and “shadowed” the local veterinarian.  Not only was it great experience for her, but it gave her a depth of understanding that could never come from just book learning.  Having the ability to vary the schedule students to specialize and work past the boredom that might come with a more regimented schedule.

Year-Round Homeschooling

Another way to avoid the educational doldrums of late fall is to homeschool year-round.  You might think that homeschooling year-round might make your child be bored more often.  The reality is that by homeschooling year-round you student is not required to take breaks when everyone else does.  Fall semesters usually have a Thanksgiving break of approximately a week, and then about three weeks later there is the Winter/Christmas break which lasts about two weeks.  The problem with this is that students sometimes need a break earlier than Thanksgiving week.

By going all year long homeschooled students have enough days in a “school year” to take short breaks when they need to instead of when other people think they need to.  Sometimes that means taking a three or four day weekend.  Sometimes that means taking a whole week.  At our home we call these short breaks “mental health” days.  They allow us to unwind after particularly difficult chapters, or if we just need an opportunity to collect and regroup.

Amazingly, one of the best ways to fight the educational doldrums is to allow the schoolwork to be geared to the student’s needs instead of trying to mold every student to the same schedule.  Whether that is by allowing the students to control some of the subject matter, or allowing them to choose to do coursework in their own schedule, or by allowing a longer school year so that you are not working from break to break, but making breaks where your student needs them.

Who will speak for the children?

When children are not learning, where can parents look for answers? Who will tell the truth?

The experts, you say? The same people, you mean, who shaped and controlled the schools where these kids aren’t learning? These experts do not inspire confidence. There are too many signs of failure and dysfunction. It’s as if we glanced into the kitchen of a restaurant and saw insects scurrying on counters. No matter how fancy the decor, we would be suspicious.

Clearly the experts have a conflict of interest. If they can’t do a good job, are they going to tell us why? Aren’t they more likely to make excuses and try to cover-up?

What we know for certain is that the USA spends more per capita than almost any other country But we still don’t place well internationally. Mediocrity is our norm. We are paying for gold but getting bronze.

There are many theories to explain our poor performance. The machinations of unions. The greed of publishers. The poor training of teachers. The indifference of parents. The schemes of ideologues. The lazy bad habits a monopoly or a cult might fall into. And simple dimwitted incompetence.

Even the possible explanations are scary. Probably it is better not to be distracted by the question of which factor is the most destructive. Probably all are working together. But none is the vital point.

So let’s stay focused on the stats, that is, the hard evidence showing that millions of children don’t learn to read properly, don’t learn to master arithmetic, and don’t learn the most basic facts about this country or the world.

Once upon a time, an eighth-grade education meant that one had a substantial amount of learning. Now a high school diploma could mean that one has hardly any education at all. Students reach college with huge gaps in their knowledge.

Evidently, the Education Establishment has embraced theories and methods that are not the best choices. Some critics speak of schools deliberately dumbing down students. The tendency in general seems to be toward talking a good game, throwing around pretentious jargon, and doing the minimum that each community will tolerate.

The question that must haunt us is this: suppose our experts engaged in rigorous comparative testing and identified the best theories and methods. If we did things at a higher level, couldn’t we easily lift every student 30, 40 or 50%? Add that up across the society, and we’re talking about a Renaissance.

We have millions of children who are quickly classified as failing readers. If they were taught properly, they would be good readers. That’s not a 30% improvement; that’s a 300% improvement, from someone who is sub-literate to someone who can read a book for pleasure.

Who is destroying our schools from within? Are there ruthless social engineers trying to build a new world order. We have to ask them: where is it written that dumb societies do better?

In this complex, competitive world, the opposite would seem to be the case. We want our society to be as smart as possible. That can happen only if each student is as smart as possible.

There is a simple answer here. Americans need to demand a reversal. Away from dumb, toward smart. Every American must speak for the children.

It will be so easy to tell. In the second grade kids are reading little books. In the third grade they are doing arithmetic. In the fourth grade, they know where their state is on a map of the country. In the fifth grade, they know who George Washington is.

Just the basic stuff. Nothing unreasonable. The problem now is that American children do not know basic stuff. They are in classrooms for years and years and years but by a perverse sort of alchemy, they learn virtually nothing. Aren’t you sick of it?

If our Education Establishment insists on doing a bad job, let’s all do what we can to counter that.

Educational Summer Activities

Just about any teacher or tutor will tell you that children who have sophisticated vocabularies for their age and who have background information about the world are at an advantage when compared to students with more limited vocabularies and background knowledge. This shows up in the classroom, especially in English and history, and it shows up on standardized tests. No amount of test prep for the SHSAT, ISEE, English Language Regents, or SAT can level the playing field for a student who hasn’t been exposed to a wide variety of experiences, ideas, and words throughout life. Summertime presents many fabulous opportunities for fun, informal learning. Especially in a city like New York, the opportunities are nearly endless (and don’t have to be expensive).


Reading books is often touted as the best way to learn new vocabulary- and it probably is. But, it certainly isn’t the only way. Any activity that exposes a person to a rich selection of words in context is sure to be beneficial. In New York City, we’re fortunate to have a surfeit of great theater available to us, but it can be very expensive, especially if you’re taking a whole family. That’s one reason that the outdoor, free theater we get in the summer is so exciting.

A large percentage of free summertime theater consists of Shakespearian productions, which can be intimidating. In general, seeking out comedies and tragedies (as opposed to histories) and reading a plot synopsis before you go are ways to make the shows more accessible.

Walking Tours

Walking tours aren’t just for tourists. If you look, you can find a tour catering to just about any interest. The beauty of walking tours is that you can learn about history, culture, art, and architecture while standing in the places where great events happened.

In New York City, tour guides must be licensed, but the test isn’t very hard and some guides are far more knowledgeable and interesting than others. To improve your chances of getting a guide who tells stories that are true as well as entertaining, look for companies or individuals that are established and tout the educational qualifications of the guides.

Art Museums

Art museums aren’t seasonal, but they do make great outings on a blisteringly hot summer days. Going to a museum and just looking at art is great, but it’s also good to remember than many museums provide tours (often, these are included in the price of admission). Or, if you prefer, you can download an unofficial podcast tour for almost any exhibit. By reading signs and going on tours, you can learn a surprising amount about history as well as enjoying great art.

History and Science Museums

These are obviously educational and have the potential to be great fun. However, it helps to know your audience when choosing where to go. As of July 2012, Wikipedia listed 65 museums within the 5 boroughs of New York City that specialize in either science or history; virtually anyone can find something of interest. As with art museums, keep an eye out for docent-led tours or podcast tours to add context to your visits.


Sadly, the golden age of hobbies is over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build a crystal radio, launch model rockets, or watch birds with your children. Developing real interest and expertise in a topic is one of the best possible ways to promote learning. Becoming an expert in a hobby is an especially good way for children to learn how to learn independently, which is a valuable life skill.

It would be a crime to value fun, summertime activities purely for their ability to help students get good grades and solid test scores. But, it’s undeniable that as a tutor I see a strong correlation between students who lead culturally enriched lives and students who do well on the SHSAT, ISEE, and SSAT. The correlation is even stronger for the most difficult tests designed to identify gifted students such as the Hunter College High School admissions test and the SCAT. There isn’t any downside to enjoying fun, enriching, educational activities as a family; increased academic success just happens to be a great extra benefit.

Watering The Seeds: The Blossoming of Creativity in the Classroom

We tend to think of creativity as an intriguing personality trait, but one that is only useful in practice to the artist or the aimless dreamer. But what if I told you that creativity, not in spite of the due emphasis on the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), is an increasingly essential skill to our children’s success, both in school and on the job?
Frankly, a non-creative person is an unadaptable person. Moreover, a person who cannot adapt cannot survive the turbulence of our ever-changing world. So why do we continue to push models of education that limit creativity in favor of rote memorization?
Of course, the transfer of traditional knowledge and information is needed for students to grow. However, that information would be little more than arbitrary if not for the creative ingenuity that transforms it into something meaningful in our minds. At a certain point, intellectual growth and evolution, skills like real-time problem solving, and the very seeds of entrepreneurial thought cannot take place without this ingenuity, so the fact that our educational system is based largely on spreading and storing data while neglecting creativity warrants concern.
In the following, we will examine our country’s current educational system and determine the ways in which it inadvertently stifles creativity and critical thinking. Hopefully, through a reassessment of our current practices, we can cultivate a more innovative society of tomorrow.
Let us begin by joining the typical elementary student in their classroom. Take your seat and remain silent. Do not fret, your input will not be necessary. There will be a man or woman at the front of the room that will handle all the thinking for you. Just memorize what they tell you. Once your ability to recite this information has been gauged to be on the level of your peers, you and your classmates will find a place on the assembly line. From there, you all will be packaged and shipped to the next level of institutionalized education, where you will undergo the process again. And so on and so on.
The aforementioned scenario illustrates (albeit crudely) our educational model. Sounds outdated, doesn’t it? That’s because our system of education is actually a remnant of 19th-century philosophy and a product of the Industrial Revolution’s economic circumstances. The model was created with the idea that intelligence was to be measured by one’s knowledge of the classics and their ability to carry out deductive reasoning. As a consequence of this model, the usefulness of the arts (its ability to provide both emotional stimulation and intellectual stimulation while inspiring new patterns of thought) was also forgotten.
Essentially a system of standardization, our public education model was constructed to mimic factory assembly lines because that was what worked best for production, and what worked to make machines must also produce efficient workers. Prior to the Industrial Era, a system of universal education simply did not exist. When the system was first proposed, it was based on the premise that the skills that are needed for work are the only skills that should be emphasized by educators.
The purpose was to get a group of students to consume the same information and all apply it in a similar fashion. For what it’s worth, the system was great for industrial productivity.
So, you may be wondering, where is the harm in the above process?
Well, as philosopher and politician Roberto Mangabeira Unger argues, it only serves to create more worker bees. The workers who were trained in this fashion were unadaptable because they were made (prepared) purely for a static function (job). By teaching students merely to take in information without first analyzing it, we imply that the world is static and constant. We teach them that it is only their task to internalize the prescribed laws of the world. There is no need to question anything or investigate the world because that has already been done for them. Educator and philosopher Paulo Freire argues that this practice robs them of their ability to become active participants in the world. So how can they improve and add value to their community when they only know how to follow directions and not how to maximize their full potential?
In fact, students’ ability to think critically may actually be reduced because of this process. In their book, Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today,researchers George Land and Beth Jarman present a study which corroborates this theory. Land and Jarman tested 1,600 students between ages three and five on their divergent (creative) thinking skills. They asked questions requiring abstract thought such as “How many ways can a paperclip be used?” More than 98% of the students scored at the level of creative genius. The authors waited five years before assessing the children again. When evaluated for the second time, only 32% scored at this same level; by the age of 15, less than 12% scored at this level. The test later made its way to some 280,000 adults (average age 31) and only 2% scored at the level of creative genius. Land concluded his study by asserting that “non-creativity” must be a learned behavior. Given the results of the study, it is not unreasonable to believe that our educational practices are largely to blame for the declining levels of creativity over time.
You see, the brain is responsible for two kinds of thinking: There is the divergent thinking referenced above and there is convergent thinking, which refers to the brain’s ability to make judgements about, critique, and evaluate a situation. Land refers to divergent thinking as the “accelerator” while convergent thinking is likened to the “brake.” Children are initially asked to use both, but it becomes difficult to think creatively while listening to the inner critic. Students will likely develop a fear of being wrong (having the wrong answer) as a result. Because of this disconnect (neurons on both sides of the brain are “fighting each other,” as asserted by Land), the brain is less able to capitalize on the divergent thinking. When a person succumbs to fear, then even less of the brain is active.
It is this stigmatization of mistakes (a fear cultivated by our deep-seated reliance on ranking students through standardized testing) that will hinder our children’s development because all evolution is the product of trial and error. One cognitive scientist, Guy Claxton, has caused an uproar in the educational community by referring to erasers as the “instrument of the devil.” While his statement does employ a bit of hyperbole, he bases it on the idea that the classroom often perpetuates the shaming of mistakes and errors.
Claxton argues that children should not be encouraged to hide their mistakes because mistakes give students an opportunity to reflect on the process that brought them to the right answer rather than just focusing on the answer itself. Further, in the real world there is no magic button that allows one to omit past decisions.
Instead, we must think wisely about the effects of any subsequent actions, while using past mistakes to help us adapt to new situations. In a consenting opinion, Chairman of the National Association for Primary Education (NAPE) John Coe stated that it is the job of teachers to be aware of the mistakes made by their students so that they “can target their instruction.”
In nature, certain characteristics arise within a species but are later removed or augmented when their applicability in the world is assessed. We are stifling our students’ growth because we insist on assessing the fitness of our educational practices against an antiquated model of the world. Our educators are trying to prepare our students to participate in the economy while ignoring the fact that it is constantly changing. How backwards is that? Teaching our students how to adapt is the only way that we can adequately prepare them for future problems.
So what can we do to promote more divergent thinking?  Well, we must first remember that cultures are malleable. We always have the opportunity to try new things to facilitate growth. So let’s shed the cocoon-like dogma that certain patterns of thought afford us. Let’s get rid of the notion that all students, all people are the same and learn the same way. Through the practice of differential education, we can assess students’ talents on an individualized basis. We can understand their strengths and find ways to help them discover and develop their special talents. We can also make use of the Socratic method, instead of only assessing a student’s ability to spit out a preprogrammed response without them understanding its applicability to the question. Focusing on inspiring inquiry and evaluating the level of abstract reasoning inherent to a student’s answer can foster creativity. Providing informative reviews of the students’ work rather than simply giving a letter grade will put the focus back on learning.
A move away from extrinsic motivation (motivation by external incentives, like an abstract grade) in elementary and middle school can be especially helpful for student development. Researchers Ruth Butler and Mordecai Nisan have shownthat the ability of a student to think critically is reduced when too much emphasis is placed on a grade rather than the actual learning process. Grading can also be damaging when the rational student realizes that the potential consequence of an intellectual challenge (a failing grade) isn’t worth the risk. They may ultimately choose the easier alternative because they are afraid of lowering their grade average.
Author and lecturer Alfie Kohn argues that believing competition, rankings, reward and punishment are just the “the way life works” obscures the fact that these are all simply societal practices which people can choose to respond or not respond to. Kohn reminds us that collaborative skills (employing someone else’s strengths) are essential to societal development, as well.
Furthermore, while in an interview with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), educationalist Sir Ken Robinson argued that “most original thinking comes through collaboration and through the stimulation of other people’s ideas.” On the other hand, pure competition may beget an overdependence on self that may hinder the development of the whole. Let’s remind our students that learning isn’t just about attaining an “A” or being better than the next person.
Earlier I alluded to how the arts can stimulate students both emotionally and intellectually, and even inspire new patterns of thought. To elaborate on this idea, empirical studies have also shown that the benefits of education in the arts transcends its immediate aesthetic and sensory appeal.
A 2002 report facilitated by James Catterall, an affiliate faculty member at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development, drew from the findings of 62 studies conducted by 100 researchers and revealed positive correlations between arts education and academic performance. For example, students who engaged in music education showed improvements in their mathematical skills, reading skills and cognitive development. Dance students tended to show improvements in their critical thinking skills and originality. Furthermore, students who were educated in a multitude of arts showed improvements in higher-order thinking skills.
I don’t mean to imply that math, science, and our other traditional school subjects aren’t useful areas of study, or that they should be tossed aside. Nor should we presume that higher-order thinking skills are limited to the college classroom. I’m only suggesting that students, even our youngest students, often miss out on a more applicable understanding of these subjects when they aren’t encouraged to approach them in novel and creative ways. It has less to do with the information presented, and more to do with how that information is presented. Do we want a generation of spectators and trend-followers, or do we want a future world filled with leaders and critical thinkers? The choice begins with how we educate our students.
As we recognize and respect our ability to change, we will see that certain situations will require new modes of thought: Innovation. George Land suggests that we tap into our “inner five-year-old.” So let’s think outside the box. Remember when we weren’t so afraid to think differently? It may sound odd, but we can only move the collective when we begin to think for ourselves.
If we can implement a few of the above practices (and perhaps others that are beyond the scope of this article) we can get our students to start thinking again!

Education and Cloud-Based Technology Going Hand In Hand

There were times when academic institutes used to go with traditional methods of school administration but that has started to change. Cloud-based technology has entered the world of education making school management fast, convenient and effective for all academic institutes thriving to flourish in the education industry.

It’s a huge responsibility for any school admin to maintain the school’s overall productivity. Everything in an academic institute is inter-linked. If schools and colleges have a well-organized administration system, the teaching staff won’t have to be bogged down with hectic work schedules. This will automatically improve the student’s productivity to a greater extent.

All schools and colleges no matter what size or academic curriculum have to manage and control multiple areas such as student attendance, enrolment, examination, accounts and so on. In order to organize all such departments, the admin feels the need to bring cloud-based technology into the system. It not just improves the entire administration system, but also saves the admin a fortune.

Students and teachers are the most important asset of any academic institute. Good teaching staff helps maintain a better learning environment which improves the student productivity in the long run. That is why schools have started to take extreme measures regarding administration. Admins have realized that the administration network of any school works as a foundation and if the foundation is weak, the entire academic institute may end up collapsing.

How Is Cloud-Based Technology And Education Gelling Together Effectively?

As mentioned above, student productivity depends on the quality of teaching and the quality of teaching can only improve if the teaching staff is being provided with stress-free working environment. Online school management software has not just given schools and colleges a tech-savvy look, but has also simplified most of the procedures with complete effectiveness.

Student archiving has become very fast and easy. Procedures that used to take hours or days can now be completed in just a few minutes. School admins don’t have to rely on excel sheets or piles of paper in order to locate important academic information. All academic and financial records are just a few clicks away. Besides from viewing records, academic institutes can also have the ease to immediately print all kinds of reports and summaries.

Maintaining a well-organized communication network used to be a huge problem for many schools and colleges across the education industry. Cloud-based technology has made it easier for school admins to connect with teachers, parents and students on a daily basis. Academic institutes don’t have to rely on emails, telephone calls or costly postal services because the internet portal and fee SMS service is there to circulate all kinds of school notices, exam schedules, news alerts and so on.

Technology can be seen everywhere these days. If it is helping people at homes, offices or departments stores, then why not school? Keeping this statement in mind, many academic institutes have transformed the way they run their system. Cloud-based technology has not just organized the entire school network, but has also improved the overall student productivity.

School Automation Software to Improve Productivity

School Automation Software to Improve Productivity The education industry in many countries has been experiencing a change in the past few years. No one wants to go with slower and inconvenient methods of administration. This is where the need for cloud-based technology becomes necessary. The school automation software is there to improve productivity providing all types of schools with smart and effective methods of administration.

All admins have understood that school administration is a stepwise process and data automation is providing academic institutes with an easy way to manage and control their system. A lot of paperwork is involved in the entire school management process and keeping in mind the increasing demand of science and technology, schools and colleges can and have started working on newer and faster methods of administration.

Any school or college consists of a number of departments including, student affairs, finance, examination, attendance and so on. No matter how small the school is, it is no more feasible for a principle to rely on paper-based methods of administration such as register archiving. These types of procedures are not just time consuming, but also very costly and unreliable. Any school’s productivity depends on its pupils and students are directly linked to their teachers. If teachers are satisfied and happy, they will automatically put their mind and soul on multiple ways for maintaining a certain level of energy and interest in the classroom.

Schools and colleges with limited resources are in greater need for such types of up-gradations. The reason for that is because academic institutes that experience scarcity of resources on a daily basis cannot afford to bear the expense of extra manual labor and stacks of paper. This is where the need for automation transforms from a luxury to necessity.

Any admin has to follow a few steps in order to organize the entire school management system. As mentioned above, teachers and students need to be provided with special care or else they won’t be able to work as a team. That can only become possible if the teaching staff is not asked to sit for extra hours after school to complete tasks that they are not responsible for. The online school management system is there to simplify and organize all those school-based procedures that used to require a lot of man hours for their completion.

There was a time when teachers had to sit for hours counting and calculating papers and preparing bundles of appraisal reports and result cards. That is not just it. Keeping track of student attendance and enrollment records was also a huge problem for many academic institutes across the world. Lately, the digital system has taken care of all that providing academic institutes with an easy way to manage and control their system with complete ease and effectiveness.

Improving productivity should always be the main concern of any academic institute and the online school management system is helping schools achieve that. All kinds of financial transactions have become automated without having to rely on manual labor or registers. Similar is the case with student archiving and exam management. Therefore, school automation software is by far the only convenient and cost-effective method of administration.

Digital School Management and Administration System for Academic Institutes

Cloud-based technology has been digitizing schools and colleges for the past many years. Paper related procedures are being replaced with computerized data recording systems. This has automatically reduced the need for extra manual labor and paper therefore, increasing the overall profit ratio for majority of academic institutes. Online school management and administration is the new way of running schools more effectively.

Just like everyone likes to go with trendy fashion, school admins have also started to prefer the online school management system than the traditional methods of administration. It’s the 21st century and most of the academic institutes especially in Pakistan, don’t have the resources to spend that much on improving various administrative procedures.

Almost 50% people of Pakistan still don’t know how to read and write therefore, it is essential to open more and more schools and colleges especially for those parents who can’t afford sending their children to schools. Keeping that in mind, another problem arises that is how to survive in the highly competitive education industry. More than 65% of academic institutes present in the country are deprived of even the basic amenities. In order to tackle that issue, schools with scarce resources have started to go digital.

Now, what does going digital mean? To digitize your academic institute means to automate all your administrative procedures such as exam management, student attendance, enrollment and accounts management. The online school management system records all important information and keeps track of it throughout the academic years. By using cloud-based data entering facility, school admins don’t have to rely on extra manual labor or stacks of paper. All paper related procedures can be taken care of with the help of the software solution.

If we go into further detail, we could see that the digital system has automated all core departments of any school or college opting for it. No wonder it is referred to as the next-gen solution to school administration. Admins have the responsibility to manage and control multiple departments on a daily basis therefore, it is essential for them to make sure everything is going on smoothly.

Any school has to go through various procedures such as accounts, exam management, attendance, enrollment and so on. Small scale schools don’t have the resources to carry all such procedures on a daily basis therefore; the web-based management system helps them organize all departments with ease and convenience.

Before cloud-based technology entered into the education industry, schools used to rely on manual book keeping and archiving which was not just a time consuming process, but also turned out to be very costly. Today, all similar procedures have been taken care of with the help of the software solution. Admins and teachers can easily have access to all important information by just a few clicks. All accounting transactions on the other hand, have also been made theft-proof and error-free. Executives don’t have to hire extra staff members to maintain loads of paper work on a daily basis. The digital school management and administration system is the new way of running schools and colleges.

Now, all school related information have become safe, communication procedures have picked up pace and admins have immediate access all important files, records and reports 24/7 without having to rely on various staff members. The web-based system has helped new entrants and small scale institutes in Pakistan to thrive in the education industry with ease.

Making Way for a Better Education

One of the very basic things that you need in order to secure a well paying job and a bright future is good education.  Indeed it all begins at home and then school and then college.  But it is at the college stage where you need to make some really important decisions.  From what you are going to study to where you are going to study, these are crucial questions that need answers.  These are in fact the answers that will shape your future.  Therefore you must give some serious thought to what kind of courses you wish to pursue and which college or university you wish to secure your degree from.

What and where?

One of the most important decisions you need to make as soon as you finish high school is the subject you wish to study further.  It could be literature, art, finance, science, engineering, medicine or associates degree detroit.  These are just a few of the popular options out of the hundreds of subjects out there, and you could choose to pursue your degree in any one of these.  What you choose should not depend upon what you like or where your talent lies.  Do not force yourself to study something that you don’t really like just because it seemed to promise a better paycheck in the future.  If your heart is in it, you can become successful studying any subject.

Next comes one of the questions that is topmost on the mind of every student graduating high school: Which college do I go to? There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a bachelors degree detroit. Some of these are the reputation of the university, programs available, fees, faculty, infrastructure and placement records etc.

Degrees in Engineering

For those interested in engineering and hoping to get a bachelor’s degree in Detroit, there are a number of great colleges available. Engineering is one of the most coveted degrees and has a wide variety of options from electronics to software and mechanical engineering. A typical bachelor’s degree in engineering would take you at least 4 years to complete. For those interested, this could be followed by 2-3 years of specialization in a particular area.

There are plenty of great career opportunities in America and across the world, available to those who have completed their bachelor’s degree in engineering. However, for those who wish to further acquire a stronghold on the subject and do a specialization in engineering, a mba Detroit is the perfect option. It is needless to say that the career opportunities after a master’s degree in engineering are huge and really high on the paycheck.

Once again, just make sure you do your research and seek admission in a truly reputed engineering college in Detroit that has world class faculty and an excellent track record. Getting admission in a reputable college almost always guarantees a good job at the end of the course duration.

For those looking for something other than an engineering degree or an enhancement to their degree, a good management college in Detroit could award an associate, bachelors or masters degree in business management. In the end, it’s all about where your interest lies.

Some Tips On How to Teach English

Teaching anyone a foreign language can be pretty hard. It is really hard for many people to understand how to teach English.

Teaching anyone a foreign language can be pretty hard. It is really hard for many people to understand how to teach English. If this is your job, there are many ways to make your learners to gain the right skills once their course is complete. As their teacher, you have to also dedicate your time to learn about the things that you can do to make it easier to teach this subject. If you are teaching English as a second language, your learners will be looking up to you to acquire their first language skills. This is why you have to give the English language learners the right information at the very beginning.

First of all, you need to understand that teaching this language does not involve showing your students how to memorize some common English words and phrases and teaching them a little bit of grammar. Some of the core elements of English teaching are listening and pronunciation. For your students to gain some listening skills in English, you can ask them to speak English and then record their speeches. Ask the English language learners to compare the way they speak English with the native speakers’ speech. Practicing this activity will help them to improve on their listening and pronunciation.

Your students also need to learn how to speak the language. This can be done through face to face teaching whereby the English teacher selects a suitable topic for the students. In such a case, one of the mistakes that should be avoided completely is interrupting students when they are speaking. You shouldn’t try and correct the students’ errors as they speak. This will lower your students’ morale and prevent them from engaging in any public speaking.

You also need to teach your students how to read English. Your students need to recognize the right vocabularies. You can help them to be confident when reading English by using a number of teaching activities like scanning and skimming. You should also think of investing in a number of text books which are available to help ESL teachers boost their student’s reading skills. Other than the text books, there is also the option of online software that can be a helpful resource for those who want to get intensive reading courses for English language learners. When teaching your students how to write English, you need to consider their age and their main purpose of learning the language. Other areas like punctuation and grammar can also be improved.

As an English teacher, you might also need a course outline and lesson plan when teaching this language. The course outline is usually given by the school because it helps the student to get an overview of what the ESL course will cover. Most teachers who need a lesson plan have a number of other lessons to teach in a day. They need the lesson plan to help organize well. This plan should be properly written in a concise manner. If you are an English teacher, there are a number of online resources where you can get critical information on how to teach this language. Get online to find out more.

Seek After School Care for Your Child Online

In today’s hectic, fast paced life, many parents are working due to which they do not get as much time to spend with their children or pay the required attention towards them. This is why most of the parents enroll their child into a kindergarten. After school care is an institute that provides proper education to your child during his early developmental years. They help your child grow, learn and play. Every parent wants their child to flourish with success and grow up to be a beautiful human being in all aspects of life. It is every child’s right to gain knowledge and to pursue education. Every child is beautiful and different in his own way. One cannot expect their child to be what they want since it is the child who has to do it at the end of the day. Children should be given freedom to make their own decisions under the guidance of their parents.

Toddler education is the best option in order to make your child’s life prosperous. Right education, if given at the right time, may prove to be beneficial in the later stages of life. Kids should be provided with appropriate academic training in order to let them perform to the best of their abilities. A few decades ago, there were no after school care available for kids and this is the main reason why many people have criticized such schools while some also suggest that it is not necessary. These individuals should realize that times have changed and to sustain in this competitive market, it is necessary for one to learn the rights and wrongs from a very young age. After school program helps your kid in learning every aspect of their life and also ensures holistic development to make him an achiever.

Knowledge and intelligence are the two main aspects of life which can never go to waste. It is very important that your kid gets his basics right from a very young age. Early childhood education system or programs help your child to grow up better and able enough to compete in a competitive market. After school care serves your child with the best art of teaching and learning. Learning is a technique and kids are not machines that can be programmed with different tools. Preschool trainers understand this and help your child understand the art of learning instead of programming or scheduling their lives.

In order to find the best after school program for your child you can browse online. Online you will come across many institutes that cater to child care. These institutes deal with kid with a lot of care and affection and they understand that education cannot be completed unless provided with proper attention and pampering. Before enrolling your child in any of the after school care institute, you need to make sure that they are licensed and government recognized institute. For any queries you can call the school on the number mentioned on the website and dispel all your doubts.

Montessori Schools – Cultivate Good Learning Habits among Children

Education equips children with skills to lead a successful life. Hence, as a formidable measure, it is pertinent for parents to admit their children to a good school in the neighborhood.

Education equips children with skills to lead a successful life. Hence, as a formidable measure, it is pertinent for parents to admit their children to a good school in the neighborhood. In today’s academic scenario, it is of no surprise why most parents prefer admitting their children to Montessori schools. These types of educational facilities differ from the traditional types. While the traditional schooling believes in a desk-based and homework oriented methodology of learning, the Montessori educational system is more informative in its approach. The learning methodology in these schools is perfectly programmed to cater to every child’s individual interests. With such unique training rendered, the child can develop an independent learning style. The setting of every classroom inspires proactive learning habits from every student.

Many elementary schools have now started imbibing the Montessori philosophy to impart education to their students. Government funding has further enhanced the scope of the educational programs and made it easier to set up these facilities. This is the reason why more than a hundred school districts in the United States implement the methodology in their students’ educational program.

The Montessori way of grooming students in middle schools is even more encouraging. This method of teaching employs a buddy system for cultivating interest in its students. Without making the students conform to set standards, as done by most conventional educational facilities, the method stresses on giving scope to the talent and special attributes of each of its students. This method of learning not only arouses a sense of individuality in the students, but also helps them to make use of their potential. This freedom to learn method, as practiced by the Montessori educational facilities, is what makes education even more interesting.

There are several Montessori facilities established across the globe. However, one ought to indulge in an in-depth research before enrolling his child in any such institutions. Although all institutions employ unique teaching practices, they differ from one another in terms of the accreditation awarded to them. Most private schools are recognized by the respective state. However, not all of them enjoy the same popularity. Therefore, it is necessary for every individual to undertake research before choosing a facility. One has to understand the core values as well as the vision of the Board of Directors of the institution. Further, going through the educational curriculum of such facilities would help in taking an informed decision. The tuition fees charged by them could be a useful parameter for comparing the educational institutions. Likewise, relying on authentic sites for reviews of each of the educational facility on the short list could act as a good measure in making a selection.

The Montessori educational system is undoubtedly an effective mode of cultivating good learning habits in one’s child. However, it is pertinent to choose the right facility for boosting the child’s productivity.

Preparing for the Lower Level ISEE

As a rule, test preparation is only as good as the materials used. True, a good teacher can make lessons interesting and can explain new or difficult concepts well. However, if the test preparation materials used do not accurately reflect a test, then there is no way for test preparation to be targeted and make efficient use of time.

The big, commercially important tests have a lot of prep materials available for them. Competition works to keep the overall quality high. With smaller tests taken by fewer students, the situation can be dramatically different. A good example is the lower level ISEE. This is hardly an obscure test, but it is taken by many, many fewer students than the SAT or even the upper level ISEE. It is easy to purchase lower level practice tests, but there aren’t very many of them and the quality is not nearly as good as the quality of materials written for tests with a larger market.

The lower level ISEE is taken by children currently in fourth and fifth grade (who are applying to fifth and sixth grade). A good example of the difference between the official practice test and most published tests can be illustrated by examining fractions. It is common, and appropriate, for children just starting fourth grade to know very little about fractions. Much of fourth grade math is spent teaching this topic. (Students finishing fourth grade should generally have a solid grounding in fractions, though they will usually not have learned how to multiply and divide fractions at that point.)

The official lower level ISEE exam reflects this reality. Fractions are an important part of the test, but most of the questions are about introductory topics such as naming fractions, ordering fractions, and estimating with fractions. Few questions involve fraction operations (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and those that do are relatively simple. This is in contrast to most commercially available practice tests. For instance, the lower level ISEE practice test published by Kaplan includes converting percents to fractions and places a significantly greater emphasis on fraction operations.

The difference in academic level between the Kaplan test and the official practice test is important, but not enormous. Unfortunately, the problem is exacerbated because the difference in tone is even greater than the difference in level. The Kaplan test has many fewer word problems and more plain calculation problems. Unfortunately, simply using a different brand of preparation materials is not an easy solution. The practice test published by Princeton Review, for example, has different problems than the Kaplan test, but the problems are of a similar caliber.

As with pretty much any standardized test, the most important preparation for the lower level ISEE occurs in the classroom, during lessons that are not actually aimed at test preparation. However more specialized test prep is often useful. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to waste time and effort on test prep if the materials used don’t mirror the real test accurately. For this reason parents seeking test preparation for the ISEE should be cautious when hiring tutors and avoid companies that rely on materials that are widely published. Hopefully, more accurate lower level ISEE preparation materials will be published soon.

Bad vs Good Chemistry Education

When I enrolled in college, I was pretty sure I wanted to major in biology and absolutely sure that I didn’t want to go into a medical profession. In fact, I selected my college partly based on the number of biology classes offered that were not pre-medical in nature. Thus, I found it particularly ironic (and painful) when I was required to jump through a variety of hoops designed to eliminate individuals on the pre-med track who were not serious enough to actually be accepted to medical school. The most significant of these hurdles was chemistry. While I didn’t learn much chemistry as an undergraduate I did learn a lot about education (and how it shouldn’t work). The flaws in my undergraduate chemistry education became all the more apparent when I took many truly fabulous and truly educational chemistry classes in graduate school (courtesy of Professor Pam Mills, at Hunter College).

As an undergraduate biology major, I was required to take 18 credits of chemistry(8 credits of inorganic chemistry and 10 credits of organic chemistry). This is a good and reasonable requirement for a biology major since a solid understanding of chemistry is undoubtedly helpful for understanding the biological world. Sadly, the chemistry classes weren’t designed to be educational. In fact, on the first day of class, the chemistry professor stood up in front of the lecture hall and told all 600 students that the primary goal of the class was to weed out people who couldn’t get into medical school. Thus, the university would consider the class a success if it caused everyone who couldn’t hack the medical schooladmissions process to change majors, transfer to a different school, or even drop out of college altogether. The professorseemed like a nice guy; I suspect that he wasn’t comfortable being involved with a chemistry class that was designed to be an ordeal in the medieval sense of the word and the one thing he felt he could do about it was to describe the situation openly.

By the standards that the university set for the class, it was a success. When I began my second year of chemistry, there were only 200 students left. By any other measure, I’m afraid that the class was a failure. One semester my average was 55%, but, thanks to the curve, I received a B+. Obviously, most people were learning even less than I was. (This is something I try very hard not to dwell on when I need to see a doctor.)

But what made these classes so bad? As an educator, this is a question that I have spent a lot of time considering.

On the surface, the chemistry classes appeared to be run in a professional and reasonable manner. If the designer of the chemistry sequence was asked to explain the pedagogy, undoubtedly there would have been three or four learning tools mentioned. Information was supposed to enter the students’ brains during the lecture periods and from reading the textbook. That information was supposed to be consolidated by completing problem sets for homework. Finally, there were the chemistry exams, which were intended to measure learning. Unfortunately, at no point was there any opportunity discuss ideas, ask questions, or get real-time feedback. This lack of opportunity to talk things through and have questions answered was, I believe, the single biggest problem.

There have been many, many research studies that demonstrate that learning must be active in order to be effective. It is absolutely essential for students to be able to take in information, manipulate it in their minds, put it out in a new format, and receive feedback to ensure that their understanding is accurate. Exams are not particularly useful feedback; by the time a test is given and graded, it is rather late to be telling a student for the first time that his or her ideas aren’t quite right. Instead, the real function of exams in chemistry, or any other subject, are to motivate students to study and to provide a relatively objective method of certifying that learning has taken place.

Fortunately, chemistry tutoring is almost the exact opposite of the classes I endured as an undergraduate. In a tutoring session there is nearly constant discussion, questioning, and feedback. This allows students to explore ideas and create understanding. It is a very effective way of developing a real understanding of challenging content and learning how to solve problems.

It’s true that private tutoring is generally one-on-one and is therefore very difficult to compare to large college classes. However, there is evidence that a properly structured large class can be quite effective. Indeed, there is a great deal of exciting research being done to discover more effective ways of teaching chemistry. Of course, that research is utterly useless if chemistry classes are mis-used as filtering devices. I do hope that my experience in undergraduate chemistry was the exception to the rule.

Demand for Online Education Continues to Rise

Online Education is boosting astonishingly since last few years. The universal courses still exceed the number by practical courses but the count of distance education course offerings is rising regularly. The largest number of enlistment in online schools is at the college and university levels which is mostly because working adults and home learners have shown an massive interest in learning and development, so as to enhance their careers. This is because of the tremendous flexibility and simplicity in the study through online channels.

Research by National Center for Education Statistics

The study of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) says that the number of students enlisted in at least one online learning course raised convincingly between 2002 and 2006, from 1.1 million to 12.2 million and the growth explosion does not seem to be coming down. The research company “Ambient Institute” strongly believe that the number to heighten to 22 million within the upcoming five years. By the end of 2014, this research company predicts that the number of students completing all of their courses online will increase to 3.55 million, whereas the number of students completing all of their courses in on-campus classrooms will decrease to 5.14 million.

Research by Sloan Consortium

One more institute of online distance education “Sloan Consortium” did research and come across that online college recruitments have endured to grow faster than the total population of college students. This concludes that many students are generating benefit of e-learning alternatives at their organizations, mainly at 2 year open universities and other schools offering associate’s degree courses.

The “Sloan Consortium” also researched that 66% of postsecondary schools and colleges observed an increased requirement for online education courses and 73% observed an increased requirements in their existing online education coursework. And on the other side, the demand for on-campus classes significantly decreased to 54 percent.

The Future of Online Education

The Sloan Consortium researched and concluded that 69% of academic leaders believe that the demand of students for online learning is still increasing whereas the fast level of rise that has occurred over the period of last 10 years has started to decreasing. The details show that the Compound annual rise of 20% is not arguable. Most organizations that plan to offer distance education are already doing well and the changeover is near to its end.

That is not to conclude that the future is not bright for online education. The postsecondary schools and colleges that offer online courses expected their enrollment numbers to increase 83% by the next year which mainly may be seen in psychology, social sciences and liberal arts.

So future predicts “Online education will be the future of Education“.

Earning a Special Education Credential Online

Special education was originally a classroom full of kids who for one reason or another, couldn’t learn at the pace of their original classmates, or who had behavioral problems.  Today there are several categories of special education and in most states, licenses to match those categories.  That means special education teachers face an additional educational component for licensure and when they obtain it, will most likely be paid at a higher scale than regular classroom teachers.

The options for obtaining special education licensure are usually the traditional educational institutions because of the requirement for supervised classroom work that is a feature of any teacher education program.  However there are a few schools with online programs that are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) or by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Categories for Special Education Students

The education community and the organization of school psychologists have assembled a list of impairments that require special education.  Those include impaired hearing, impaired vision, emotional disability, developmental delay, autism, mental retardation, orthopedic impairment, speech impairment, traumatic brain injury, and a category for “other” health impairments.  Then there are the specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia that are not the result of any physical condition or injury.

Online Programs at Traditional Universities

The University of North Carolina offers several online programs for licensed teachers.  The East Carolina campus has a master’s program for licensed teachers that leads to a MAEd with emphasis on one of the following: mental retardation, emotional/behavioral disabilities, learning disabilities, or low-incidence disabilities.  The Chapel Hill campus has a MAT program with general training in special education for students with mild disabilities. The Western Carolina campus offers an online MAEd with three tracks: mild disabilities, severe disabilities, and gifted children.

The University of Massachusetts Online (UMassOnline) has several special education options.  There is a Master of Education in special education for children with impaired vision, and a MEd in vision rehabilitation.  A MEd in Curriculum & Instruction is available with emphasis on children with autism.  There is also a certificate program for Behavioral Intervention with Autistic Students.

A Mixture of Specialized Degrees and Certificates

The University of North Texas and the University of Minnesota/Mankato both have graduate certificate programs in special education.  Florida State University offers the Master of Science in Special Education with specialization in severe disabilities (autism and severe cognitive disability), early childhood special education (birth through age 5 years), and high incidence disabilities.  The University of Kentucky and Gonzaga University both have online graduate degrees in special education.  The University of Missouri/Columbia offers a MEd in Mental Health Practices in Schools, designed for both teachers and administrators.

Most of these programs are designed to meet teacher licensing requirements in the state where the campus is located; however there is a license reciprocity agreement for teachers with at least 33 states as participants.  There are a few exclusively online schools with accredited special education programs; the first to achieve NCATE recognition is Western Governors University, which also offers several K-12 teaching degrees that meet licensure standards.

If you are a licensed teacher wishing to break into special education there are several viable online programs available to you.  There are also MAT programs in special education for individuals who are not licensed teachers but are interested in making a career change into education.  Special education has become a respected and well paid educational niche that requires extra education, which is increasingly available to teachers who would like to go back to school and continue working.

Entertaining Kids With Fairy Books

You can impart extra knowledge to your children through books. Extra books may help in better understanding of different subjects. You can impart specialized information and knowledge to your children in an exciting manner by using fairy books. Children fairy books are available in schools and market.

If you do not want to buy books, you can also search children books from the internet. Fairy books are available on the internet for free and you can download them and read for your children. It is a new method of entertaining children. It has double benefits as it not only helps your children to learn about new things but also help them to view different pictures and new places.

Fairy books may take your children into a fascinating world where they may learn about different characters. They learn about new values of life. Fairy books are not only entertaining but also informational for your children. In some books colorful pictures and scenes are given that look attractive to children. Pictures and images in the books increase the interest of children and they feel happy when they see different birds and animals. In fairy books children find speaking birds and animals which look fascinating to them.

Fairy books inculcate the habit of reading among children as they read such books with great interest. It is entertaining to them as well because they feel happy when they read about unknown places and various characters in the fairy tales. On the internet you may find links to different story books and at some sites you may find that they offer different games and prizes for children by keeping a quiz on the basis of reading of any particular fairy book. In this way children read the books with great interest and learn new and interesting things.

In the market you may also find Cds and DVDs on different children books. You may buy CDs and DVDs of interesting books and play them for their children. These are important sources of providing information and creating interest among children. These new methods may help to your children remain engaged in useful activities. This will help them to remain away from doing useless things.

This is the best way of teaching your children practical aspects of life. Fairy books depict some important issues that may help your children to move forward in their life and understand the difficulties of life. They also get to learn about different solutions for their problems.

Fairy books are thus a great source of entertainment and information for your children and parents should take steps to encourage their children reading story books. You may find some interesting fairy books on the internet and get such boos for your children so that they may remain engaged in useful activity. Books may become best friends for your child as these are source of great knowledge and entertainment.

You can see your children laugh and enjoy while reading fairy books as these books are store house of humor and valuable knowledge. With fairy books they may learn good manners from different characters in the story. They get to learn about both the good and bad deeds of life and if they are able to learn some good things from fairy books it is worth to spend some money for your child so that he/she may learn experiences of life.

8 Tricks to Find Out the Right Open University

The internet has made higher education accessible for millions of people whose personal problems prevent them to attend conventional colleges or universities. Online academic centres offer education to all without the constraint of geography and time. But it is not necessary that all online universities offer quality education experience. Some provide great academic experience and some exist to make money only. Therefore, it is must to know how to choose a reliable or legitimate open university to make your online studies worthy.

1.    The initial step is to search for online universities that offer your desired specialization. Shortlist some universities to finalize the one where you tend to get admission.

2.    Carefully go through the proper state or regional accreditation of the shortlisted colleges. Ensure to shortlist again those colleges or universities affiliated or well-recognized by the education authority of the state. Such universities are not fraud. If you have shortlisted a fully private online institute for higher studies, you can be in trouble. These private institutions set their own terms and conditions. They are free to change their rules without any notice and for their own benefits. So, it is must that you choose a well-recognized and accredited university.

3.    Find out the logistics of the program. Some colleges offer complete online studies while others conduct some classroom sessions in addition to online. Analyse that your program needs classroom sessions. Do your shortlisted universities offer the facility?

4.    Keep yourself familiar with each college’s tuition policies, fees and registration. Compare fees and tuition policies to stay away from paying higher for a course. Ensure that the registration process is easy and the fee for the registration is moderate.

5.    Determine the college’s technical requirements. Such online schools require a laptop or desktop with internet access, printer and special software to conduct video chatting or conferences. It is important that you have all technical facilities to attend online classes without any interruption.

6.    Confirm about the selected university’s professors or teaching faculties. You have to know about their credentials and they are easily reachable via chatting, phone or email. Sometimes you may need personal guidance of your professor. In this situation, the college should offer the facility to connect with your mentor easily and rapidly. Before admission it is must to confirm the facility.

7.    Study materials and exam schedules for your post graduate program are necessary to know. Colleges have their own study materials and examination procedures. You have to ensure that the study materials for your program are valuable. Examinations are organized at the end of each semester.

8.    The last but not last thing to follow is to research about your finalized institute’s reputation. Check online to know any negative remark about the institute. You can ask friends and colleagues who recently completed a program from an online university. They may share their experiences which can be valuable for you. Avoid choosing the institute that has many negative reviews. You may find yourself in trouble. A reputed university can give assurance of safe study experience.

Author Bio:-

July Robert works as a content writer for karnataka open university free online certificate courses . She writes informative and educational write-ups and her main target audience are the students. Her articles cover changing career trends, career advice, various career options and similar topics. Like here she discusses the reasons to opt for post graduate & online education in India.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence Skills with Hile Rutledge Engaging and Experiential Training Designs and Interactive Materials

A growing body of research shows that increasing your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) skills—the behaviors with which you interface with the world and what you look and sound like in comparison to those around you—impacts every relationship, every group engagement, every encounter you have. This is why the topic of Emotional Intelligence (and the EQ-i assessment in particular) have become so popular in the world—the model and assessment produce tangible and measureable behavioral benefits from the broad sweep of major, multi-million dollar corporations to the day-to-day small incidents that influence your life.

People have realized the benefits of Emotional Intelligence skills in a very short interval of time, the field only having been in existence since the 1990s. Emotional intelligence can be used in a wide variety of areas—personal and professional. By applying simple, proven techniques consistently, most EQ-i users report measurable changes and improvements in decision-making, relationship management, conflict mitigation and even improved physical health. Emotional Intelligence (and the EQ-i) have long been tied to the physical manifestation of stress.

Everyone knows that real behavioral development is not easy, but with focused steps and a solid training design, anyone can be successful. There are even reliable and reputable resources and approaches that can be engaged or accessed online through webinars, blogs, downloadable resources, and e-learning modules. The world’s leading EQ-i firm, offering you EQ-i Certification and a host of other resources both in traditional and online/internet-based formats is OKA. Effective online research can not only help you in finding the such training and consulting firm with proficient trainers, but will also allow you have idea about the services provided by them.

One such EQ-i training and consulting firm is OKA (Otto Kroeger Associates), whose focus is on the growth and development of organizations, teams, leaders and individuals. OKA President, Hile Rutledge, is one of America’s most respected trainers in both the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment and the EQ-i® (Emotional Intelligence) as well as many other psychological tools and instruments.

Hile Rutledge is the author of Reversing Forward, the MBTI® Introduction Workbook, the EQ Workbook, the Four Temperaments Workbook and co-author of the Portrait of Jung Type Behavior (tool) and the best-seller Type Talk At Work. Hile is also an internationally known trainer, whose designs and trainer support materials are among the most respected and used in the worlds of both Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the EQ-i (Emotional Intelligence). Also involved in designing and supporting blended learning, Hile has designed and delivered videos, webinars, e-learning modules, online tutorials and a host of other internet-based/online training and trainer support materials.

To promote the understanding and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) and the EQ-i (as well as the many other tools in which OKA is expert), Hile Rutledge maintains an active blog at OKA’s website (, in which he frequently shares insights, trainer tips, exercises, action plans and other materials, free of charge, in the hopes of keeping people interested and motivated to do this important self-development work.

Online High School for Your Kids

You may agree with the fact that school years are one of the best phases of an individual’s life. It is a stage where children learn, develop their skills, thinking ability and gain knowledge. They get exposure and chance to mingle with other people apart from their family members.

You may agree with the fact that school years are one of the best phases of an individual’s life. It is a stage where children learn, develop their skills, thinking ability and gain knowledge. They get exposure and chance to mingle with other people apart from their family members. However, with time the concept of schooling and studying has turned out to be a burden for kids. The thick pile of books that students have to mug up proved a big deterrent. Moreover, kids do not find time to explore their skills and enjoy extra-curricular activities. Parents soon realized this and started looking for an alternative which could help them educate their child and at the same time enhance their skills and thinking ability. Thus was born the need for Online High School. These schools are no different from regular schooling but it provides the convenience and opportunities to kids to explore within the boundaries of their home.

People are concerned about right schooling for their kids. They do not mind spending a hefty sum on admission to give their child a bright future. Every parent on this earth desires to provide their little ones the best possible education. Sending kids to school for hours could give parents mental satisfaction but at the other end it is not necessary that your child will receive the education you want them to. The concept of Virtual High School is gaining popularity worldwide for endless advantages. Online schools present content in the most creative manner with graphics and 3D animations that attracts kids and makes studies fun. Many parents gave thumbs up to this the concept of edutainment. Kids can enhance their knowledge by playing games and solving quizzes related to studies. The growing minds of kids do not need hampering of studies. They want guidance to explore their skills themselves in which Online High School plays a pivotal role.

Online schooling enriches the homeschooling experience by providing you with knowledge in a crisp and precise manner. With Online Middle School you get access to the curriculum at all times. Whenever you need help in studies, you can directly turn to the Internet for assignments and lessons. No other technique could explain and understand kids more clearly than graphical representations. The flashy colors and artistically designed graphics grab the attention of kids and secure a place in their minds. Kids are vulnerable and at this tender age they cannot take the huge chunk of texts; instead you can explain the same point in a different and more creative manner. Considerable number of people today prefer opting for Online High School than conventional schools.

Home schooling curriculum online are compiled by highly experienced professionals who possess years of expertise in coaching. They understand the challenges faced by kids while learning and try to cope with them in the most effective manner. Edutainment will help you in accomplishing your goal and making your kids smarter and sharper. So create the best learning environment for your kids at home.

The implications of various disabilities on the learning process.


Developing a solid understanding about disabilities will play a major part in creating a curriculum to aid in the learning process. Inclusion of these students into the classroom is wonderful idea only if it works from the teachers perspective. This is why we need constantly educate ourselves on the specific needs of the child. After spending a large amount of time bouncing around the these sites, and reviewing the endless amount of information, I can not understand how all of this information was presented without the use of the internet.

The Family Village Site is an amazing site for parents to be able to communicate with other parents and track down information and groups to help with the cause. Even find out about organizations such as Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (AMFPA) who would have ever thought that these kinds of groups existed. The well of information is amazing and so it should be, remember they are “People First”.

Mental Retardation:

The topic of mental retardation is always a touchy subject matter, everyone especially teachers should have solid understanding what the definition really means.

The American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) definition of mental retardation:

“is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social and adaptive practical skills”

In order for a child to be diagnosed under this description they must fall into these five categories.

– Limitations in present functioning must be considered within the community and of the individuals age peers and culture

– Assessment considers cultural, communication, sensory, and
behavioral factors

– Individual, limitations often coexist with strengths

– Purpose of describing limitations is to develop a profile of needed supports

– Supports the life functioning of a person with mental retardation generally will improve

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a different definition of mental retardation that “is characterized by a significantly lower score on intelligence tests and by limitations in the ability in the areas of daily life”. CDC feels there are different degrees of mental retardation, this is based on the IQ of the person.

Both definitions have their solid points, but in my opinion the AAMR definition has the stronger arguments. I think it tough to just label someone mentally retarded because they are low in IQ, I feel that there definitely needs to be more to the equation. There are to many success stories that are around students with lower IQ’s. I think when the brain and motor skills are not in sync this would tend to fit more of the classic description. (I wonder if my thought process is wrong in the public eye?)

Myths of Mental Retardation:

I found this section to be the most interesting, just for the fact that so many times myth becomes the only fact we know. This list proves my point…

Myth 1: Mental retardation is the same as mental “illness.”

Myth 2: Mental retardation is a contagious disease.

Myth 3: Persons who are severely and profoundly mentally retarded must be locked away in institutions for their own and society’s safety.

Myth 4: Educational and vocational training will not help people who

are mentally retarded.

Myth 5: We do not know what causes mental retardation and it cannot be prevented.

The world is very uneducated when it comes to these topics, I even think that heard of few of these over the years. The fact is that this an illness that begins during the birth process. There is no prevention plan but a solid understanding of the effects of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy and considering good safety habits during the early child years. These types of myths can lower the chances of success, but there are few proven plans that can have dramatic results.

There are a 1000’s of success stories about teaching students with mental retardation and these basic steps can help with improving the education of the student:

– Those who have adaptive skills limitations a teacher might use various strategies that will help with development.

– Build skills by teaching easier tasks first

– Don’t push the student, to fast into complex problems

– Use a variety of hands on materials

– Help to develop rules and provide opportunities to apply them

– Shorter learning sessions

– Teach life skills

Learning Disabilities:

A learning disability is a neurological disorder. The information provided on the site gives a good simple description to remember…”it’s a difference in the way your brain is wired.” I like the way that is stated because it doesn’t mean that the child has any less brain power then the other students in the class, and in many cases there are those students that will have a higher IQ and still have a learning disability.

I did find it interesting that a LD can not be fixed or cured, but I guess in my case you just learn to understand the problems and figure out ways to stay on top of the problem.

After reading the information I should call my parents and say thanks for doing all of the right steps, understanding the education system, working with professionals and encouraging my strengths.

Parents can help children with learning disabilities achieve such success by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working with professionals and learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties. For the most part the steps are the same they are just planned out a lot better with the IEP process. An IEP team should examine a list of accommodations such as:

– Presentation

– Response

– Timing

– Setting

– Test scheduling

– Other special provisions that may be needed

Teachers should add a variety of ideas to work with the LD student in areas of the classroom. As with any other disability in the inclusive classroom educators have a long list of resources to assist them. If the school system works, and the student gets the right teacher somewhere along the way, the student will find the tools to become successful.

As much as this information is helpful this set of things to look for in High School Students and Adults is a lot clearer:

– Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing

– Avoids reading and writing tasks

– Trouble summarizing

– Trouble with open-ended questions on tests

– Weak memory skills

– Difficulty adjusting to new settings

– Works slowly

– Poor grasp of abstract concepts

– Either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much

– Misreads information

This list of identifiers leads me to believe that most of my student in my class are having some form of Learning Disability.


Autism is a disability that usually appears in the first three years of a child’s life. It is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and social/communication skills. The effects on people with Autism may be different in multiple cases. There are no medical tests for autism and the diagnosis is sometimes confused with other disabilities.

Catching Autism early can result in better outcomes for the child. By providing specialized programs and techniques the child can learn to control this disability. As with other disabilities once the diagnosis has been made an IEP team should meet to determine the student’s needs and accommodations. Teaching a child with autism is tough for both parents and teachers. Each child has strengths and weaknesses that require educators to address to wide range of developmental, academic, social behaviors.

Most staff members that are involved with teaching individuals with autism agree that a highly structured, specialized educational program works best. There are a few specific areas to look at when creating an IEP for a child with autism. Social skill development, Sensory integration, Behavior and Communication are the top four areas to focus on.

IEP’s should include multiple systems to meet the individual needs of the student with autism. Both parents and educators should work together as there is no one program designed to meet the students needs. Academic goals need to be better tailored to the IEP and cooperation of the parents and professionals can lead to the success of the child with autism.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD is a disorder that is characterized by unwanted thoughts or repetitive behaviors. People with OCD may have to deal with unwelcome thoughts and images and engage specific patterns of movement.

As with other disabilities an early diagnosis and treatment of OCD are the first steps in avoiding further problems. Effective treatments for OCD may include medications and therapy. Because OCD has been associated with eating and other anxiety disorders, educators and parents should look for any other problems.

As with other disabilities the efforts on the part of teachers, parents and professionals are a key part in planning strategies for teaching the student with.

Understanding the child’s needs

Structured learning

Visual, auditory, and physical modifications

Appropriate style of educational materials

Time management

Organizing the learning to avoid distractions

Test modifications

Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) is a rare, childhood neurological disorder characterized by the sudden or gradual development of aphasia. It affects parts of the brain that control comprehension and speech. It usually occurs in children between the ages of 5 and 7 years old. In most case the child will develop along just fine until the lose their language skills for no reason. The disorder is difficult to diagnose and may be misdiagnosed as autism, pervasive developmental disorder, hearing impairment, learning disability, auditory/verbal processing disorder, attention deficit disorder, mental retardation, childhood schizophrenia, or emotional/behavioral problems.

There are a few treatments that consist of medication and speech therapy. There is also a controversial treatment option that involves surgery to the brain. Some of the long term effects are permanent severe language disorder, while others may regain much of their language abilities. Some of the children will have seizures but will usually go away after adulthood.

When teaching a child with LKS these learning styles should be put into place:

– Language and Communication Skills

– Language Therapy and Educational Setting

– Speech and Language Therapy

– Visual Cues and Alternative Communication

– Auditory Training

– Social Interaction and Communication

Parkinson’s Disease (not child related but we do have adult classes)

Parkinson’s disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. After these symptoms become more advanced the person will have trouble completing simple tasks and daily activities become harder. Other symptoms could be emotional changes difficulty in swallowing, chewing and speaking. The disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately. Doctors may sometimes request brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases.


As a teacher it is most understand the nature of the various disabilities found in the classroom. This knowledge allows us to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities. The teachers, parents and support staff should have a solid idea to support the education of the child. Only through early detection and planning can the student benefit from the IEP planning. The result of an good plan for support and accommodations is the best course of action to take when working with a child with disabilities. One of the more comprehensive online resources for the identification and information about specific disabilities can be found at The Family Village website. The information is endless and cover so many types of disabilities. This information should provided in school districts more frequently.

7 Tricks to Write an A+ Discussion Posting in the Online Learning

Online learning is an exceptional experience for candidates who wish to maintain balance between studies and work. Flexible learning environment is provided here. The learning pattern is innovative and encouraging. Discussion is a required part of E education because it helps to get a good grade. Every discussion takes place on a particular topic. It is online discussion that connects you with your e-learning classmates. One topic and several points of views in form of answers seem thought provoking. Candidates are required to give an answer showing their understanding and critical thinking.

Here are some important tips to make your discussion posting worthy of an A+.

Identify the Purpose of Discussion

The virtual classroom discussion is far different than the regular classroom discussion. Here you use keyword to share your thought instead of your voice. Each discussion has a purpose which is important to understand. So, read the discussion posting carefully or more than twice to provide an accurate answer.

Read the Direction of Discussion Posting Carefully

Whether you a seasoned e-learner or a new candidate, it is must for you to know the direction of posting. Sometimes, it is required to give personal response and sometimes a formal response with full of ideas is required to provide.  It is better to read other related discussion questions before you provide answer.

Point to Point Discussion

Make your answer well focused. Don’t move from the topic. Relevant and point to point solution to a question is essential. If you are off-topic, it is hard to score well.

Collect References

Online discussion doesn’t require candidates to give answer instantly. A time is set to provide an answer to a question. You can get enough time to gather references to provide the best answer. Collect relevant and accurate references. Make sure that your answer is a mixture of your thoughts and references so that uniqueness can be seen. Otherwise your answer could be count as plagiarism or copied. Try to provide the answer in your own words.

Follow the Posting Rules

It is necessary to follow the posting rules that your e-learning centre has instructed for discussion forum. Usually, the rules carry on time posting, unique posting, on topic respond, structure of respond and word limits. Read the instruction before posting. If your answer is right but it is not according to rules, you will not get grading for this. Your effort can go vain.

Provide Satisfactory Answer

According to online distance education rules, your discussion posting should satisfy the professor and classmates. Don’t leave your answer in mid way. Try to include every major point that gives worth to your answer and makes it meaningful.

Writing Your Post

Type your post initially in a word processing program to avoid mistakes. Online discussions are usually informal, but candidates should give the best answer with no spelling and grammatical mistakes. Write your answer in MS Word first to avoid such mistakes and copy it to the forum.

Regularly participate in discussion to get good grades.

Author Bio:-

July Robert works as a content writer for karnataka open university diploma in elementary education courses. She writes informative and educational write-ups and her main target audience are the students. Her articles cover changing career trends, career advice, various career options and similar topics. Like here she discusses the reasons to opt for post graduate & online education in India.