by Charlene Little, Contributing Writer
got hurt or is in danger of being hurt, do not go in yelling and screaming because they are going to brush you off as a complete nut and you will not get anywhere. However, if there is a child hurt for no reason, or a child that is afraid of being hurt and there is no action being taken, by all means go in screaming in a bullhorn, I sure would. If you didn't have problems working out problems with your school, you probably would be reading this. I myself have dealt with schools that refuse to yield, even when it comes to quality of education and child safety. Currently, my niece attends a school that is unyielding regardless of what the problem is. They make paying for school lunches difficult, but there is a way to solve the problem. EVERYONE has a boss. Keep notes of names of people you spoke to, what you spoke to them about, and what their resolution to the problem was. It also helps to keep track of phone numbers in case you have to contact that person directly again.
Chain of Command
If you have worked your way from the teacher, to the counselor, to the assistant principal, and up to the principal and still are not getting anywhere, try the school board. If you work your way all the way to the superintendent and still not resolution, let them know that you don't agree with their decision especially if this problem affects more than one child or more than one family.
Don't give up. There are so many other things that you can do. If this problem affects more than one child or more than one family, find out when the next school board meeting is. These meetings are open to the public and you are allowed to attend. When it is asked if anyone else has a problem that they would like addressed, address your problem. You will have to speak in front of people, but hey, you have everyone together in that room that has the power to make a decision. This is the best time to make yourself heard. After you address your concern, ask if anyone in the room has recommendations for the solution. Everything that is said in that room goes down in the meeting minutes. This means that whatever they agree to in that meeting has to happen. Talk about pressure to fix a problem.
Still No Resolution?
Call your state school board. They tend to pressure local school boards into a quiet resolution. Typically, pressure from what you have done before and the pressure that they can put on the school, tends to work. Work your way up the ladder here the same as you did with your local school board.
If all else fails, contact the federal Department of Education. If you get this high and still have no resolution, contact an attorney too. Make sure that you look up an education attorney. These are people who take pride in the ability to stick it to the school system when they are out of line. This shows the school system that you are not joking and you are willing to take this to court. Typically they will give in after the initial letter from your attorney. Remember, school systems run on a very tight budget; they really cannot afford to pay their attorney unless they have to. Sometimes, just the thought of forking out all of that cash makes the cringe enough to cave.
Originally Published on Yahoo! Voices
About the Author
Charlene Little is the mother of four wonderful boys and an active volunteer in her community. She owns a series of websites entitled Blog4UrMoney. She loves sharing information with people around the internet and is a regular contributor to Write W.A.V.E Media
Does Your Child Really Need a Preschool?: The Importance of Early Childhood Education
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Does your child really need a preschool or is that just another way of throwing away your money? Early Childhood Education programs, preschool, pre-k, learning center instruction, and a host of other names are all the same thing, right? Well, in a sense they are. They are all a means of teaching your child essential skills at an early age.
What skills are taught in a preschool setting?
Skills taught in preschool are skills such as language recognition, proper speech, the alphabet, basic mathematical skills and much more. Without these skills, it is very difficult for a child to adjust once formal schooling is started.
Why are these skills so important?
The skills a child learns at the early stages provide the foundation for all other skills that will be learned throughout life. If the proper foundation is not set, the child will ultimately struggle in school each time something new comes up.
How can your child gain these skills?
There are many ways for your child to gain this valuable knowledge. The most popular way is to send the child to preschool, however, do not just stop there and think that is the only way for your child to learn. There are a multitude of ways.
Early learning center -- While these are sometimes very similar to preschool, they often offer lower tuition fees for quality care and learning. Early learning centers are becoming more popular as parents search to find a more affordable way to give their children a good head start in life.
Daycare center -- Many large daycare centers offer the very same instruction as early learning centers, but are even more affordable. Remember to ask the operators of the center about their curriculum. Chances are if they respond to that question and discuss a curriculum, your child will be receiving some formal lessons, which will help to prepare for kindergarten. Don't forget to listen carefully to what the lessons will teach. Take notes and compare them to notes you have taken from preschool and early learning center interviews.
Home daycare -- Many of these type of providers also choose to teach preschool or pre-k curriculum. Be sure to ask home childcare providers about this. This option can save you money as well. This option also can be good for your child if he or she starts with the provider at a younger age, such as starting at 6 months or up. The reason for this is that the provider will always be the same face and your child can develop a close bond, resulting in more love as well as a great lesson in trust.
Homeschool -- Still another option is to forego all of the above options and take it on yourself. Many parents find that they already enjoy teaching their children. They also see that they are doing a great job already. So, why pay for an education that you could easily give yourself? While this does work for some parents, keep in mind that it won't work for everyone. It really works best when there is one parent that stays home, or at the very least, works part time. Most preschool education can really come from normal day to day playing, chores, and activities. Of course, there are many things that you will have to have the child do, like practicing handwriting that cannot come with just playing. If you choose to take this on yourself, just be sure you will be dedicated because a child's foundation needs to be set firmly or it will crumble quickly when that child starts kindergarten.
The answer to the question of whether preschool is needed comes in two parts: yes it is most definitely needed -- but it can come from many different places.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Free Wood Project Plans for Homeschool
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
The smell of fresh sawdust fills the air as Tony and his teacher work on their latest project. Wood shop is Tony's favorite class for more than one reason. Working with wood has always seemed second nature to Tony. This class allows him to express his creativity in that area, as well contribute something to his household. All of his projects are purposed somewhere in the home. The best part of all is the time Tony is spending with his father. You see, Tony is homeschooling and his dad is his wood shop teacher.
Running a homeschool woodworking class is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance - even if neither parent knows anything about working with wood or what to buy. It does make it easier to teach the class if at least one parent has experience working with wood, but concepts can be learned together during the process. Sometimes that is even part of the fun. Hands-on practice often produces the best of lessons, as does trial and error. There will be plenty of both in woodworking.
Part of homeschooling is the opportunity for one-on-one teacher/child interaction, as well as learning together as parents and child. Another benefit to homeschooling is the unique opportunity to incorporate any class that the child is interested in. There is virtually no limit on choices, as there is no worry about whether it is offered at your child's school. You are your child's school, in more ways than one.
If you need wood shop lesson ideas, visit your local home improvement store, where free do-it-yourself guides can often be found. Another way to find ideas is by visiting wood shop and woodworking websites. There are plenty of them all over the web. Just doing a simple search for "wood shop projects" will yield a great variety. To get you started, here is a list of basic materials, as well as instructions for 10 simple, fun, and useful wood shop projects.
Homeschooling Wood Shop Materials
Not every project will require the same materials and you may sometimes find yourself purchasing additional materials for certain projects. However, the below tools and materials are commonly used in wood shop or woodworking classes.
c-clamp, workbench, wood saw, staple gun, hammer, screwdriver, 14v power drill with bits, screws (assorted sizes), nails (assorted sizes), wood glue, safety glasses, safety gloves, sander, sandpaper, wood-burning kit, Dremel kit, wood (various types - as needed per project), scrap wood (keep after projects for practicing with), scissors, hobby knife, table saw, measuring tape, contractor's pencil
Basic Homeschooling Wood Shop Safety
Safety in a wood shop first starts with knowing your tools and materials and how to use them properly. Also be sure to wear safety glasses and a dust mask during every project, even small steps. You never know what is going to happen. Watch fingers around electrical devices and cutting devices. Adults should operate any heavy machinery or power equipment. Also check age guidelines. Adhere strictly to manufacturer's safety guidelines on any electrical or battery-operated tools and devices. Ear muffs are also a good idea. They will keep out saw dust, as well as cancel out some of the noise from the machinery.
A safety class should be held before giving any other classes. It is also important to test on this, as well as follow up on it periodically and hold a safety session before each project on safety related to that specific project and the tools required for building it. Always be sure all equipment is turned off, unplugged, and out of reach of children. Keep cords rolled up and out of the way. Keep chemicals, like turpentine out of reach of children. Many materials and tools used in wood shop can be dangerous, so be sure they are not easily accessible to a child. Be sure all sawdust is swept up and anything else used is cleaned up right away. This is not intended to be a complete safety guide. Always follow safety guidelines of each tool or material you are using and use your best judgment.
A bulletin board is a very simple woodworking project that beginners can try their hand at. With the help of a free lesson plan from UniqueProjects.com, homeschooling dads can teach their kids how to make a bulletin board. A bulletin board is a great wood shop project, as the completed product can be used for class. To make the simple version, materials required will be fabric, plywood, paint, thumb tacks, ribbon, brads, hobby knife, wood saw, staple gun, measuring tape, and scissors. For measurements and complete instructions, view the free guide.
Jewelry Trinket Box
A jewelry trinket box makes a great Mother's Day or Christmas gift for that special woman. With the help of a free lesson plan from U-Bild.com, a homeschooling dad can help his son create this wood shop project. Materials include maple, maple molding, butt hinges, small box lock, wood glue, and finish. Measurements are given in the free downloadable lesson guide.
Have a little one who's potty training? Maybe someone's just a tad too short to reach the kitchen sink or cabinets. CanadianHomeWorkshop.com has free instructions for building a simple step stool that a 2 year old actually helped construct. Materials for this project are a sander, a handsaw, a coping saw, screws, a drill, linseed oil, turpentine, tung oil, and pine. Measurements and specifications can be found in the instructions.
Toys starting to overfill their current location? How about making them a new toybox? Courtesy of azwoodman.com, homeschooling dads can get a free project plan for a wooden toy box. Tools and materials required are a handsaw or circular saw, combination square, screwdriver, drill, finish sander, bit set, jigsaw, 3 pieces of lumber, plywood, strap hinges with screws, corner braces with screws, sandpaper, wood glue, finish, four plate casters, thick and soft rope, and furniture gliders. See the free project guide for measurements and specifications.
Tired of accidentally smashing your bread inside the pantry? A bread box can fix that problem. Am-wood.com has an easy and free step-by-step project plan for a simple bread box. Tools and materials required are a drill, sander, router, jigsaw, pine lumber, plywood, dowel, and a knob handle. Measurements and specifications can be found in the instructions.
If mom's lost her keys around the house one too many times, you may consider making her a key holder. At LeesWoodProjects.com, homeschooling dads can find a simple keyholder project to use for wood shop class with their kids. If something more complex is desired, Lee's Wood Projects also has another design that doubles as a mail and key holder. For the simple key holder, materials required are a small piece of walnut wood, metal key hooks, poster board, scissors, hobby knife, drill, sand paper, and file. See the free project plan for measurements and specifications.
Books starting to stack up everywhere but a shelf? This is a handy project that can help clear some clutter around the house when it's finished. Homeschooling dads can download a free wood shop project plan for a simple, traditional book shelf in PDF form from MinWax.com. Clicking on the link will open the PDF file. Materials and tools required for this project include a small crosscut saw, pine lumber, plywood, screws, brads, shelf pins, finish, a block plane, pipe or bar clamps, combination square, carpenter's square, screwdriver, nails, pencil, wood glue, hobby knife, sander, saber saw, router, table saw, and a drill or power screwdriver. Measurements and specifications can be found in the free PDF.
Paper Towel Holder
Paper towel racks are useful in many households. Unfortunately, it is a hard to find one that isn't plastic these days. So, why not make one? It's simple and fun. FreepaperTowelHolderPlans.com has a great free wood project homeschooling dads can enjoy using with their kids. It can be viewed on the website or downloaded in PDF form. The choice is yours. Materials required are lumber, dowel rod or towel bar, screws, finishing nails, leaf hinges with screws, router, sander, double-stick tape, bandsaw, lathe, and drill. See the free guide for measurements and specifications.
Tired of magazines being scattered across floors, furniture, and countertops? A magazine rack is a great , helpful project. Instructables.com has a fancy, but simple free project plan for a magazine rack. Homeschooling dads can appreciate presenting this one to the kids because it is not your ordinary magazine rack. Materials required are plywood, white paper, square, meter, pencil, modeling saw, hammer, nails, wood glue, elastic bands, heavy objects to use as press, and 4 pivoting wheels. Measurements and specifications can be found in the free lesson.
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
With the cost of trying to get a higher education skyrocketing, and graduating students being stuck with repaying student loans with high interest rates, the idea of going to a brick and mortar college seems daunting to many. That’s why many potential students are giving “online education” a serious look. A higher education has the potential to lift people out of poverty by providing the necessary tools to get a decent job, or for improving on the job they already have. And with an online education, you can drastically reduce the cost because you don’t have to worry about things like housing, a major cost, or books, or transportation. You can literally go to class in your pajamas.
In May 2012, a columnist for the New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman, wrote about Coursera who at that time was pioneering the idea of online education. It was co-founded by University of Stanford computer scientist Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. At the time he visited he noted that there were 300,000 people taking 38 courses being taught by professors from Stanford and a few other elite universities. Stanford is not the only school developing this massive online platform, but the well known Massachusetts Institute of Technology has also joined in. As of February 2013, there were 2.4 million students taking 214 courses from 33 universities including eight international ones.
Now while the numbers are impressive, schools do admit that only a small percentage of students complete the work, and they come from middle and upper-class families, but despite that, the participating universities believe that within 5 years, these learning platforms will reach around the world. And in the future, the concept that a college degree will only be associated with a brick and mortar college will become passe' as online graduates will be given what will be called “credential certificates” that will testify that the student has done all the work, and passed all the exams. The only problem that is being worked on right now is giving credibility to the online credentials that will verify that the student adequately mastered the subject and did not cheat, and can be counted on by an employer.
Also In the future, you will be able to create your own college degree taking the best online courses from the best professors from around the world, and paying only a nominal fee for the certificates of completion. It will change teaching, learning, and the pathway to employment.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Back to homeschool! It's that time of year again, when kids are learning more and studying for longer periods of time. For many home-schoolers, school never truly ends, but it can slow down during the summer. If you want to try something different with the kids this school year, consider the benefits of holding class outside.
Fresh Air & Breeze is Great Stimulation
One great benefit of holding class outside during homeschool hours is the fresh air. Kids can smell the fragrance of fresh flowers, plants, and other aromas. Students also may enjoy feeling a warm or cool breeze as they concentrate on their school assignments.
Outdoor Scenes Correlate Well With Hands-On Learning
Many hands-on learning activities will be done best outdoors and if class is held outside it's easy to combine hands-on learning with study materials. For instance, when a child studies the life cycle of a butterfly, rather than only read about it in a book, a child could actually observe butterflies outside. When studying the way in which plants grow, children can plant and grow their own gardens and see how that relates to what they are learning. There are many ways to use the outdoors in classroom studies. ChildrenAndNature.org is one organization dedicated to connecting children and nature and contains news, resources, tips, and more.
More Room to Stretch While Learning Outside
Stretching between homeschool assignments is necessary for students. Holding class outside gives even more room and freedom to do so. There will be much more room to stretch or even do a mini yoga session. Kids can stretch on a patio or even in the grass. They even can take a few minutes to play on a playground or elsewhere in the yard if they need a break between lessons. While this is also possible while holding a homeschool class inside, it is more convenient to do it quickly when the kids are already outside.
Calming Learning Setting
Holding class outside can make for a great calming setting for the kids to learn the lessons in. The swaying of the trees, the fresh air mentioned above, birds chirping, and other outdoor sights and sounds can help soothe and relax the kids. When kids are calm, their minds are more likely to be prepared for learning.
Fun for Students
Some kids may just love the idea of having homeschool outside. The idea of being outdoors instead of inside at a desk or table may simply sound fun to students. Even though education will be taking place, why not make it fun as well? When kids are in an enjoyable environment, they may be more likely to pay attention to their school lessons.
If your kids are getting bored during a homeschool class, it may be time to add some variety. Holding class outside is one way to do that. Try holding class outside in the backyard, at a park, at the zoo, at the library, at museums, and more. Holding class in a variety of places may help hold a child's interest and keep him or her excited to learn.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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