Investing in Your Child’s Education – It’s Cheaper Than You Think

Investing in your child’s education doesn’t always mean starting a college tuition fund or opening a CD in the name of your 10- year-old in hopes it will multiply before they get their college acceptance letter. There are ways other than financial help that may be more beneficial for your child’s education and they will not break your bank account. The following five suggestions may very well give a higher return on your child’s educational investment, especially if they are established early in his education career:

First: Homework. There are varying opinions among teachers regarding how much and what type of homework to provide. However, most teachers do agree that when a parent is involved in some way in the completion of a student’s homework, that student has a greater chance of success. Whether or not a child has someone help with their homework each night is a huge indication of whether they will understand the material. The fact is simple: even the best teachers must teach an entire group of students at a time while a parent can work one-on-one with the child. This is a very important factor. Teachers will jump through hoops just to arrange a few minutes a day to teach a smaller group of students. Student learning increases dramatically when teachers have a smaller number of students, therefore, the more one on one time that you have with your child at home, the more your child will learn. Every minute you can take to read or practice or review with them one-on-one will do wonders for their education.

Second: Respecting and Supporting your child’s teacher.. When I was growing up parents and teachers were on the same page. Somehow this has changed where the student and the parents are often opposing the teacher. This has horrible repercussions for the child’s ability to learn. Working together always works better than working individually. If a parent slips a word of disrespect or disapproval at the dinner table the night before, a student is far more likely to discredit much of what the teacher says the following day. By openly showing that you don’t support the teacher’s decisions you are teaching your child that it is fine for them to do the same thing in the classroom. If a student does not respect his or her teacher learning becomes far more difficult.

Third: Use technology wisely. Technology plays an increasingly important role in education today. However, it can also be a huge distraction. Set priorities and rules for technology in your home. This may seem like common sense but common sense is not always so commonly realized, and technology is having a negative effect on the education of many students. For example, spending hours and hours on a gaming system before starting homework late at night makes homework much less effective. Children are less engaged in homework and the completion of it becomes a battle with parents as opposed to a learning routine that is established early in the evening. On the positive side, teach your child how to use technology to enrich and improve their learning by using online resources and materials.

Fourth: Get involved in the classroom. This tip is mostly directed towards parents of elementary-aged children. Many teachers appreciate parent volunteers. Time spent in your child’s classroom is invaluable! It will help you better understand events and situations that occur in your child’s classroom and life. It will help you understand different procedures and systems in the environment where they spend most of their day so that you can better help them with any problems that arise socially or academically. It also helps show your child that you value their learning and take time when you can to support them and their teacher.

Fifth: Communicate with the teacher. This is an under-utilized tool in education. Parents and teachers are both working for the same goal to help the same child learn. Communication is essential! Teachers could use your advice about how to help your child when they are struggling with something going on at home. Similarly, parents could use a teachers help when students are struggling academically. When parents and teachers work as a team the child can feel the network of support around him or her and both adults’ workloads are lightened. When you communicate a teacher knows you are involved and appreciate and respect the work they do for your child. They will include you on more information when they know you are interested. Communication is essential for parents and teachers to work as a team to help the child succeed.

If you can establish these five basic principles in your child’s experience early, then their chances of a higher education will increase significantly before they even start thinking of college. No matter how large a child’s college fund may be, if they do not have a foundation of respect and value for education, it will be much harder for them to succeed.

What Should Be Taught to Forth Graders – A Book Review

It is amazing the on-going debate on how to make sure our kids learn to read, and have the education they need. If they hit junior high without a good working knowledge, it can spell disaster to their integration into teen-hood and their academic years in high school. Luckily, there are resources to insure our students are on the right track prior to this.

So, let’s start in the fourth grade. In fact, let me recommend a very good book to you on this very topic, one which I actually own in my own library. The book is;

“What Your 4 TH Grader Needs to Know – Fundamentals of a Good Fourth-Grade Education” (part of The Core Knowledge Series), Edited by E.D. Hirsh Jr., published by Delta Trade Paperbacks a division of Double Day Dell and Bantam Books, (1992), pp. 395, ISBN: 0-385-31260-1.

The editor is well-known in education circles and previously wrote “Cultural Literacy” which has been widely used. This book is so very easy to use and starts out with a section; “How to Use This Book – for Parents and Teachers. This completely helps for anyone who is a Homeschooling Parent, or any new teacher at the fourth grade level. I read through the entire book and felt right at home and even learned some interesting things myself, probably re-learned it from back in the fourth grade.

Okay so, what sorts of topics are in this book anyway, well, I am certainly glad you asked me. This book has chapters on Poetry, Short Stories, Language, and Speech in the first section. In the second section are Geography, Civilizations, History.

The third section is about Fine Arts, Visual Arts, Sketching, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, and Digital Arts. The Fourth section is about Mathematics – addition, subtraction, division, linear charts, shapes, Roman numerals, decimals, multiplication, fractions, and points on a grid.

The fifth section is all about natural sciences, life sciences, earth sciences, continental drift, volcanoes, earthquakes, forests, and the ocean. If you have this book and are teaching a fourth grade level student you will never be lost. But perhaps more importantly your student won’t be either, and you will be giving them the knowledge they need to move forward. It’s truly amazing how we’ve fallen down in the USA with our education.

It is truly books like this which guarantee our next generation’s progress and education – and we are only as good as our educational system and work in teaching 20-years the prior. Please consider all this.

Every Child Is Special: A Movie Review

Every Child Is Special is probably my first Bollywood movie. (I do not count Slumdog Millionaire because I have watched it only in parts and have not even gotten to the ending, haha.) Anyway, Every Child Is Special is a Hindi drama film released in 2007 (Taare Zameen Par, translation: Stars On Earth) produced and directed by Aamir Khan. It tells about a boy, Ishaan Awasthi, who was always getting in trouble at school for being so misbehaving and out of focus from his lessons. Too often, he would be caught by his teacher daydreaming and getting low grades. Because of this, his father sent him to boarding school, all alone and homesick with the hope of disciplining him. But the academic status of Ishaan did still not improve. Instead, he became withdrawn and lonely, far from the Ishaan who was active and fun-loving. Then came a new art teacher who would just change the way Ishaan would act towards school and learn to appreciate himself even more.

How can I not love this movie? Darsheel Safary is perfect for the role of Ishaan Awasthi. Safary, with his innocent eyes and face, made me laugh with his funny antics and at the same time rend my heart as he goes through the agony of enduring boarding school alone and away from his parents. From start to finish, the movie gripped my attention, and the musical portions added to my fascination. I cannot speak about the technical aspects of film-making as I am not knowledgeable of such, but for an easy to please movie fan like me, Every Child Is Special is one heart-touching movie.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Every Child Is Special is an eye opener as to the worth and significance of every child. The story deals with an issue that is as real as it is unrecognized – dyslexia. I first knew about dyslexia in the book, Pearl Harbor by Randall Wallace, but the movie has increased my education on this kind of ailment.

Every Child Is Special is a movie that can tug the heartstrings and at the same time bring hope that having dyslexia is not a desperate situation. Family support, patience, and love are central themes in this story, plus the primary focus on painting and art. The theory on multiple intelligences in education plays a major role in this movie and can be very informative to teachers and parents alike.

I really love this movie and I highly recommend this to everyone. My sister has also been nagging me to watch The Three Idiots. Maybe, tonight.

5 stars.

An Honest Anthony Kane Author Review

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been the subject of Dr. Anthony Kane author reviews. Over the past fifteen years, he has dedicated his life to helping families create a loving and peaceful relationship between parents and their ADHD sons and daughters. Below, we are going to give you a review on this author.

Dr Anthony Kane is a licensed physician and has served as director of special education for a local elementary school. He has published a book and a number of articles dealing with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD or ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). He also has runs a website dealing with parenting and special children’s education. He has lectured all over the country and has counseled parents with special needs youngsters. As a parent himself of children with ADHD and ODD, he has learned first-hand the difficulties and opportunities of the subject.

Youngsters with ADHD can usually be identified by five years of age. Kids with ADHD are very talkative, very active and playful. Sometimes they will play with any object they see. They are impatient and are easily distracted or forgetful. The key symptom is their inability to maintain their focus on only one activity.

ODD children also display similar behavior. Primarily, they behave in an aggressive or obnoxious manner, challenging their parents and other authority figures. Your son or daughter may have trouble finding friends, or have problems with their siblings

Dr Kane can help you find non-medication techniques for getting your children to significantly improve their behavior. He spent more than a decade researching the effects of ADHD drugs and how to wean your children out of them while still being able to maintain control. If you’re a new parent concerned about giving your kids medication, then this program is for you.

You may remember when you were young yourself and that the most important thing in the world was getting the attention of your father and mother. This is still true of your own young one, although with ADD and ODD kids, they not only want your attention but your love and guidance as well. Through Dr. Kane’s book, you will be able to improve your relationship in such a way that heavy or harsh discipline will not be necessary, and you will have a happy child that is proud of you and his work.

The techniques in ADD ADHD Advances can be used effectively in school. You will have to cooperate with your teacher and school and let them know in advance about your child’s condition. Regular meetings with them will be helpful in tracking your kid’s weekly progress. This proactive approach is very helpful especially with new teachers. Seasoned teachers may have had their own experiences and will be able to offer helpful advice.

Dealing with teenagers with ADD ADHD or OCD can be a harrowing experience for parents without professional help. A positive Dr Anthony Kane author review points out that the ADD ADHD Advances Course can dramatically improve your teens performance and strengthen the relationship of your family.

The Seven Deadly Sins Of No Child Left Behind – Article Review

The No Child Left Behind Act has been an important part of our education as future teachers as well as for current teachers across the country for years. The Seven Deadly Sins of No Child Left Behind questions whether or not it is really working in America and offers suggestions for education reform. Each sin offers the reader several points against the act that cannot be ignored.

Paul D. Houston writes, It is time to change direction. It is now universally accepted, even by those who authored the bill, that NCLB is flawed and needs fixing. Houston takes a deep look into the factors such as socioeconomic status of students, English-language learners, and the shift in required skill sets to survive in today s changing economy.

It has been described that the first sin addresses the assumption that schools are broken (Houston). Education reform is driven by a system of beliefs that must be altered. The system itself is in fact quite successful, not broken as it has been described by critics. The problem itself is not in the system but in the fact that the world has changed and education must change with it. According to Houston, schools throughout the country are doing better than most people assume they are, though the reports of standardized testing may reflect a different statement which brings us to the second sin.

The second sin is described as issues with testing and education. We as teachers know best that standardized testing does not always reflect the true intelligence of our students. Though standardized testing may be the easiest way to measure our intelligence against students in other countries, it should not be the only measure used.

Sin Number 3 suggests that No Child Left Behind, in fact, does leave behind those children in poverty stricken situations. Those who see poverty as an intervening variable have been accused of having lowered expectations for disadvantaged children. With a significant amount of government funding going to districts with successful academic ratings (many of which have the money to provide their students with books and top technology), poorer schools have even less ability to provide their kids with the necessary tools for a better education.

The first 3 sins alone in Houston s article raise a lot of questions as to whether or not NCLB is really working. Sin 4 suggests that fear and coercion push educators to teach to the test, and Sin 5 suggests that the law itself is unclear in many aspects. Sin 6 suggests that government officials could not possibly know what s best for students and that educators themselves are the best judge of that, and Sin 7 implies that the law undermines our international competitiveness (Houston).

Houston ends the article by giving his own suggestions as to ways we can reform our education system in America. Ways to tailor it to today s needs in today s economy. Though Houston clearly displays a biased opinion on NCLB, he offers a real insight into a growing problem that must be addressed.

Source: Houston, P. D. The Seven Deadly Sins of No Child Left Behind. Phi Delta Kappa International Online accessed on November 28, 2010 at pdkmembers(dot)org/members_online/publications/Archive/pdf/k0706hou.pdf