Study Online and Polish Your Career Standards

Don't you think that one should consider education as one's passion? For ages, schools and universities have played key roles in helping individuals frame colorful futures. However, the present scenario depicts some other story. With the initiation of the internet, lives of millions have undergone splendid developments. In fact, people have started feeling monotonous in taking classes for long hours. Working individuals especially have come up with unwilling responses towards traditional learning system. Since it's obvious for one to feel tedious in attending campus classes after working for almost the entire day, the option to study online in this respect is absolutely perfect.

Distance Learning is beneficial for all

Today, plenty of universities and institutions have come up with several online courses for people of all ages. This has helped individuals balance their work and social lives with perfection. After college, many students get pressurized to work in order to provide financial security to his/her family. In this context, a distance learning course will be a sound alternative.

Online Learning is entertained globally

People often raise questions regarding the effectiveness of online learning in comparison to traditional learning. As a matter of fact, it's not only the developed nations that have taken initiatives to offer online courses to but countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Jamaica, Botswana etc today offer distance learning courses to individuals hailing from different parts of the world.

Is an online degree accredited?

Accreditation too stands as a big question especially for people who support classroom learning. One who earns an online degree in any subject will always be accepted at any corner of the world provided he/she pursues the course from a recognized organization. Therefore, research work is a must for one who is willing to enroll in an online course.

Online Education is Exciting

The entire process initiated to study online is indeed interesting as well as encouraging. Unlike the typical style of attending lectures for hours, one is required to switch on his webcam, log in to the institute's website, click on the appropriate link connecting the online classroom and finally get going. What's best about a distance learning course is that you can communicate with your instructor as well as your classmates sitting at any corner of the world.

Today, social networking has attained huge importance among web professionals as well as career enthusiasts. Students today love reading the blogs posted at social networking sites and come across news and events going on in today's educational arena. In other words, the idea to study online is indeed a brilliant and effective one which is bound to give you success provided you assure to give all your heart and soul for it.

Harry Martin here focuses on the importance and advantages of study online that are much more easier and convenient to pursue.For information on distance learning please visit

Getting Counseling Continuing Education

For those who need counseling continuing education, many factors need to be taken into consideration. The first consideration needs to be what type of CE you require based on the type of degree you hold and what type of license you are aiming to maintain. The licensing board will ultimately determine what types of courses you need to take to maintain your license. However, in most situations, there is a great deal of flexibility built in and this can make a big difference to your overall needs. Once you know what you need, the next step is to consider the options for obtaining it.

Go Online

One option for getting the counseling continuing education you need is to do so online. This method may provide you with the best overall success because it gives you the resources you need to get your requirements fulfilled on your own time. You do not have to enroll in a local school and attend courses in person. That means there is no time spent driving back and forth or dealing with late teachers. You can take courses when they are right for you.

Consider Variety

One of the things many people need to consider when obtaining CE credit is that they do have a range of options to select from in most cases. This means that instead of taking a basic course, you can take something unique and different that could help to add to your business skills or otherwise enhance your understanding of a topic. When you obtain your education through online providers, you will have more flexibility in the types of courses available to you. You also will learn a great deal about what you want to learn about instead of taking whatever is offered locally.

It Is Difficult

There is no doubt that maintaining your degree and license is something you want to do but taking courses through the Internet can be difficult to do. For many people, the real challenge here is in getting organized enough to make it happen. You also need to ensure that you are getting the type teaching that fits your needs. Keep in mind that you still have to put in the work and that means dedicating enough time to the learning process.

Counseling continuing education is not something to dread doing. It should provide you with a way of improving your skills and giving yourself new information to advance your abilities. If you take the right course, this can make a big difference in your long-term goals. It can also provide you with the best possible way to create the lifestyle that is right for your future.

Professionals interested in counseling continuing education  courses have a convenient option. To find what you're looking for online, visit

Educational Resources - Helping Develop Social Skills

You can now include a wide range of educational resources for both outdoor and indoor activities for your children. They are available under different categories, such as art and crafts offering paints, adhesives, easels and pencils and crayons. Children can make use of imaginative play with the help of products that involve structures, such as prams, dolls and accessories for improving their role play skills.

Such kind of dramatic play resources can be stocked and propped up in the house or in the classroom, so that young children can play make believe games to stir their imagination. These can be in the form of pots and pans or stuffed toys that are washable and unbreakable. They can consist of a whole range of items, such as hats, purses, dolls, tea sets, beds and homes for dolls and so on. Such imaginative play helps kids to concentrate and they can benefit by increasing their attentive powers and self control abilities. For instance, the child can play a game of pretending to be someone who works in a supermarket, where they set up a counter and pretends to be selling cans of food and drink at a till. They can make use of a cash register and handle pretend money, and also place different items of groceries on the shelves. The child improves their talent for sequential acts and also learning numeracy skills. The child also learns the importance of doing things logically and correctly with the help of such educational resources.

The child can make use of miniature doll houses and transport items, such as cars and trains to create an entire story. He can also learn to substitute objects in case he does not have certain items. This will improve imagination and creativity. The child also learns to use a lot of emotions in this way and will learn to empathize with others through such educational games. They can, for instance, learn to sympathize for a doll that is hurt in the game or scold another doll for being naughty or even praise them.

Fine motor control can be developed with the help of such products. This can actually prove to be a precursor to writing, as the child starts making use of these toys in fantasy. Even small groups can play or work on such projects and games. Whether they use these educational resources by themselves or with others, the children learn to respect the ideas of others and develop their social skills, which is an important part of childhood education. It also helps them to solve problems and find solutions easily.

Writing about children's educational resources, Zoe Robinson aims to provide readers with informative knowledge into her experience gained within this area and offer readers the chance to view a website she has experienced positively. View a range of childrens educational resources today.

Numeracy: Easing Mathematics for Kids

Children, when taught with fun and games, find things easy to learn. They take interest in learning, if it is complemented with entertainment. If there arrives something boring, it allows them to wander their minds. The idea of 'play and learn' allows a rapid brain development at an early age. 5-10 years of age is one, when a kid can grasp a lot of things which he finds attractive and interesting and store in his memory. So it is this time that should be utilized mostly in making them learn continuously.

Some children find it difficult to grasp the mathematical concepts and formulas and deal with mathematical calculations. For this, the parents and teachers must avail them with resources that introduce them with basic concepts and tricks. These resources can be a kind of puzzle, toy or game that would enhance his numeracy power. The sensory toys of this type are good source of increasing numerical abilities of children, such as sorting, counting and subtracting. This will develop their confidence with numbers. They can then, easily deal with measures as well.

Numeracy involves representation of data in the form of diagrams, charts, graphs and tables and learning calculation skills using them. Some class room activities help children in understanding this ability. Some of them are, singing rhyming songs and poems that contain all necessary knowledge and information in an interesting style, sorting colorful pencils, recognizing and learning colors and shapes, sequencing numbers in order, classifying fruits and vegetables according to colors and sizes and playing with activity cards.

Learning mathematics through numeracy is very interesting and easy. It has two parts. First one is using it in daily life, while second one is to think, solve and practice the problem. As far as, teaching a child is concerned, he should be taught with everyday examples. Parents should make them understand the importance and use of the subject in day-to-day life. They should relate things with calculations and sorting, so as to make it easy and interesting for their child. Some of these activities can be, measuring the child's height and showing him his growth, taking them to vendors and showing the weighing and pricing activities, making them learn how measure time in clock or temperature in an oven. Once he gets used to this environment, he will start applying the concepts in his everyday life, which will not only make him think and solve but also practice. Practical application of any knowledge is important to get expertise in it.

Writing about childrens educational resources, Zoe Robinson aims to provide readers with informative knowledge into her experience gained within this area and offer readers the chance to view a website she has experienced positively. Take a look at a collection of numeracy learning resources today.

Associate Degree In Nursing At A Glance

One of the ways through which you can become a registered nurse in the US is by taking up a program in associate degree in nursing (AND). If you successfully complete the program, you are qualified to work as a RN in a number of healthcare settings and other employment establishments that require nurses in their clinics.

There is an awesome job prospect for any person doing AND program in an accredited institution. This is because there is a high demand for RN in the US. Their salaries are also very attractive. AND is a stepping stone to earning a bachelor degree as well as master's degree in nursing in case you will like to further your education and build up a strong career for yourself in the healthcare sector.

Associate degree in nursing helps student to acquire the practical experience and skills required of nurses. It will take a full-time student about 2 to 3 years in order to complete the program. In most colleges, those that have done any licensed practiced nursing program, are given credit for the classes that they have completed already.

AND programs can be done in the conventional schools. Many community colleges as well as junior colleges are offering the programs. Today, the AND programs can also be done online. If you want to do the program through the internet, you can find a good accredited online school that will offer you quality education. If you are doing the program through the internet, you will still do the practical aspect of the course. The online schools that provide these programs normally work hand in hand with some medical facilities where their students will have the practical experience.

AND program is not like other programs which a community college can offer. In some states, there are few institutions that are offering the program. This is why there may be no vacant for people that apply for the program late in most states.

Some of the AND programs include

• Foundation of nursing care

• Maternity nursing care

• Principles of clinical decision making

• Pediatric nursing

• pharmacology

• medical surgical nursing care

Admission into Associate degree in nursing is somewhat selective and strict. This is because of the high number of people that will want to enroll in these programs. Though the basic admission requirement may differ from one college to another, some of the factors that are considered by most schools are entrance exam scores, standardized test scores and prior college experience. Some schools may have some specific prerequisite.

Normally, a fresh graduate of AND begins his or her profession in a hospital setting caring for the patients. When the person has gotten many years of experience, the person can now work in home health care, doctor's office, community health clinics, nursing homes and other health care setting.

There are also some programs that are similar to Associate degree in nursing. One can also start working as a nursing by doing these related programs such as bachelor RN and diploma RN programs.

For more information about Nurse Practitioner Online Programs, go to Registered Nurse Online Programs site, where you can find many related information and resources including Nursing Online Courses that you can browse to develop your own nursing career in the future.

Optional Items for Your College Dorm

If you are in college you will know that your dorm room is your home away from home. While it may never have all the niceties of your parents place, there are some items you might want to have to make your stay a little easier. Granted none of these items are necessities and some dorms have restrictions on what you can and can't have, but some of these things are pretty handy to have around.

A refrigerator can be very useful. No, not the huge Kenmore that your parents have, just buy a small dorm room fridge that fits nicely under your desk. That way you can keep a stash of burritos and TV dinners for those late night cravings. It is also great for storing those left overs you took home from Chili's.

If you have a fridge to keep food cold you will naturally need a microwave to warm it back up. It's 1 A.M., you are only half way through that term paper that is due tomorrow morning and you need to refuel. Pop the fridge open, grab a TV dinner and cook away. Use it to make some popcorn and you might be the most popular person on your floor.

Unless you have night vision goggles then you will need light to see, and that mean you need a lamp. It's true that most dorms have overhead lighting but if your roomie is asleep, he (or she) may not want the bright overheads on, which makes a lamp the perfect light to see by. At the very least get a reading light to clip onto your bed or desk.

We said early none of these things are necessities but there is one item that might very well be and that is a coffee pot. If you are fortunate enough not to be addicted to coffee skip this part, but for the rest of us, this be can crucial to survival. You don't really have time to run to the café every morning anyways and it will save you money in the end.

Lastly you may want to consider an iron. You probably hate ironing and it is true most of your clothes will be free T-shirts, but at times you may need to dress up. What if you go to a dance or have a job interview? You will want to look your best. For an ironing board just buy one of those small portable ones. Finally, don't forget a laundry basket, unless you want to carry a cardboard box around.

Aiden Jefferson lives, works and breathes in sunny Southern California. Don't try to find him though, he is well hidden and sneaky. He writes (usually) about life, college, cars, pop culture and loves to mix them all together when he can get away with it. That being said, you can skip the whole dorm room experience by attending a miltary university or a army college.

The Psychology of Beginning a Collection

Collecting, whether it be dolls, coins, or figurines, can be a rewarding hobby. Beginning a collection is easy if you have a good understanding of the psychology of it. Figurines have always been a passion of mine. Collecting can be highly stimulating and rewarding. So here are some motivators and tips to help understand the psychology of collecting.

1. Find what is personal to you, something that holds a special meaning. My latest project has been dragon figurines. I first reflected on what those creatures meant for me, how they stood as giant mythic figures from my childhood. How they represented both monsters and champions. Once I realized what a strong presence they had in my subconscious approach to the world, I was able to get excited about taking these creatures from conception and giving them substance.

2. Consider what place they have in the world, what they really mean to people. Going with the same example, dragons can be found in almost every world culture. From Ancient Gaelic, to China, to Gothic England, they appear throughout ages and cultures. These creatures clearly represent something essential to human experience. Whether or not people know how much certain ideas mean to them, nevertheless, many things hold a mysterious attraction and power to people, and you, as a collector can be an expert when it comes to such things.

3. Consider the rarity and the quality of the item of your choice. Possessing something well crafted and rare is an end in itself. There is a certain power and joy that objects of fine craft possess, and a collection can be a fantasy world unto itself. A collection can be a constant source of inspiration to the imagination.

4. Find what aspect of an item is most important to you. Is it the artistry, is it the uniqueness of a piece? Is it the accumulated value? Once you have a vision of what aspects of your collectible is most important, your collection will grow organically, and thus will have more emotional and conceptual meaning. The more personal a collection is to you, the more psychologically beneficial it is.

In closing, I would add that when you have your heart set on a collection, begin slowly. Start with a few choice items and see how they make you feel. You'll know when its time to grow your collection. It is a source of inspiration, spiritual and psychological. I started with dragon figurines and collectibles, but there are many treasures out there. Whatever you choose, don't forget that your collection is meant to enhance your life. Happy collecting!

Alex Tayrien, is an avid collector, and is currently passionate about dragon figurines, statues and other collectibles.

His website on dragon collectibles is:

Managing Academic Modules With Educational ERP

Smooth deliverance of knowledge is the most crucial function of an Academic institute - It forms the nucleus of a school or college. However, at present we would see that a majority of schools and colleges are not been able to give maximum outputs as far as effective education is concerned. Past few decades have been very dynamic for educational sector; it has seen tremendous growth in terms of its conceptions and functions, thus giving rise to a number of intricacies which adversely affect its core operation.

But, as it said that "necessity is the mother of all inventions"; the obligation to produce extraordinary consequence, resulted into Online learning management system. Primarily developed for large scale corporation houses, it is now customized to suit the demands of an educational sector, i.e., effective deliverance of education.

It is hard to believe and digest that an ERP system can meet the rising scholastic demands in an educational institute. Schools and colleges have grown in terms of its core pursuit, founding as well as operations. A robust learning management system can not only assist the teachers but also the academic coordinators to deal with the day to day tasks which in way drain them of their energy and affect their productivity.

If we take a look at the jobs a teacher has to do; we will find that majority of them has to look after a series of mundane or say non-academic tasks, apart from concentrating on her actual job; i.e., teaching. They have to divide their time between like taking lessons and creating a detailed student portfolio containing their progress reports, assignments, personal details, submissions, timetables, exam schedules etc. One can't accept them to give 100% performance after applying most of their energy left in doing such tedious jobs.

Being comprehensive software, learning management system assimilates some of the non-teaching functions. It helps the teacher to focus her time and energy on the area of their core competence - Education. It creates maintains as well as stores a complete database containing customized reports related to student's progress, comparative analysis based on each terms, assignments submission, other personal records, etc.

ERP system saves the valuable time and energy of the faculties who can direct in trying to improve and take up an innovative approach towards teaching. It also makes a teacher pay some attention to the queries of the students, to connect with their students, helping them to solve queries related to academic queries as well as other out of class room queries.

Academic advantages of Learning management software is not only limited for the teachers, every person handling the scholastic functions right from the principal to faculty coordinators can reap the benefits from it.

Class scheduling and management needs accuracy and great deal of management on the part of an academic coordinator. A well developed educational ERP assist the coordinator and principal to keep a track of the class and subject allocated to the teachers. It makes it easy for them to allocate the subjects, once the class scheduling is done perfectly.

For a faculty to prepare customized annual analytical reports of the students, they have to keep a database and evaluate the progress manually. However, many learning management software offers a special wherein the progress report of the student can be prepared. The teacher only has to enter the data (marks or grades); it aids the faculty to make a customized presentation (in form of bar charts). Moreover, the students can download their results online and save it as PDF in their PCs. In this way, the students can also preserve their results.

Learning Games to Stimulate the Brain

When your child has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and other conditions that affect children, you may be wondering what you can do at home to help your child. You will soon learn the importance of a routine that is structured and provides everything your child needs. However, when you have the opportunity, it would be beneficial to perform one of these learning games to stimulate your child's brain and encourage learning.


When your child is young, it is important to teach them numbers. There are many ways to squeeze numbers in your daily life because numbers are all around. One way to get numbers in your life is to count the animals, flowers, cars, or buildings on your way to school. Count them out loud with your child so he or she will see the number of something, hear the numbers with you, and count them over every day then this will create self confidence in counting and learning their numbers.


You don't have to wait until your child is in school to teach them to write. They can learn to write as soon as they can grasp a pencil. When writing, it takes a considerable amount of brain power to make it work and to create the right lettering, stay in the lines, be coordinated, and more. You can help your child be creative, express themselves more, and be able to communicated when they may struggle otherwise.

Song and dance

When your child is up and moving to music, they can learn anything as long as you put it to rhythm. If you don't have a radio to play music, clap your hands to keep rhythm, dance around, create a drum beat with wooden spoons, and more. You can sing your ABC's, 123's, or learn about colors.

It's important that your child doesn't find stimulation in television shows unless you limit the amount of television time they have. Too much television can be non-stimulating and can lead to an addiction to television. This creates less time to move around.

You can also make cookies with your child. Measuring ingredients and placing them into the bowl one at a time in a certain way will stimulate the brain and create games that are fun for your child. It's important that your child enjoy learning in order to create a positive learning environment.

It doesn't matter where you are and what you are doing, you can always create a game and stimulate the brain; pick up sticks, pick up toys in the room, eating breakfast, walking in the city, going to the park, driving to school, and more. When you go to the grocery store, there are so many different games you could play that will help you stimulate the brain and help them to learn. Having children is a pleasure so enjoy activities that are not only educative but also fun for both of you.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit

The Classical Education Model

Touted to be the return to a proven method of past centuries, the Classical Educational Model is gaining in popularity among homeschooling parents. The model is characterized by exposure to history, art, culture, languages, philosophy, and literature of Western Civilization. With a Christian emphasis (it also concentrates on the development of a biblical view of the world and Theology is considered to be the queen of sciences), the core of this model is the Trivium, which tailors curriculum subject matter to a child's cognitive development.

The Trivium is based on three levels, or stages of teaching and learning based on the age and ability of the child. The goals of the Trivium are Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.

Grammar Level

This stage is the based on concrete learning. In Bloom's taxonomy, this is considered to be the base of the learning pyramid. In this stage, rote memorization is the emphasis. Many public school systems call this "kill and drill." The idea is for kids to learn the vocabulary, rules, and basics first. This level is recommended for the elementary ages of children.

During this stage, children are taught Art, Bible, Geography, History, Literature, Math, Music, Oratory, Science, and Writing.

Dialectic Level

Also considered to be the analytical thinking and understanding stage, this is recommended for the middle school age kids.

The student learns to reason and to string isolated ideas together.

During this stage, students are taught more in-depth concepts in Art, Bible, History, Literature, Math, Music, Oratory, Science, and Writing. Language, Logic, and Government are introduced at this time.

Rhetoric Level

This is where abstract thinking and self-expression come in. It is recommended for the high school years.

During this stage, students take all that they have learned and develop the ability to apply that knowledge to abstract ideas. Rhetoric and Philosophy are added to the studies while Government and Logic receive less concentration.

On a side note, history is taught throughout all stages in four year cycles. Repeating the cycle allows for further understanding as the child's cognitive development advances.

This model can be explained in layman's terms by likening it to the process in which a baby learns to speak. A child first learns sounds, vocabulary, and simple sentences. He then learns how to apply the rules of grammar in order to express more complete thoughts. Finally, the child learns to express opinions and more complex ideas.

The supporters of the Classical Education Model argue that the modern education system expects kids to master subjects before mastering the skill of learning. A bit like putting the cart before the horse?

If you are looking into more information on Classical Education Model or would like to know about some great homeschool conventions visit

Teaching Children to Read and Spell - Learning Objectives for the Teaching of First Six Sounds

When teaching children to read and spell in the early years the most effective method, `s recommended by all government reports of the last decade, is a 'synthetic phonics' approach combined with activities combined to promote phonemic awareness.

If parents are teaching their own children to read, write and spell at home they can choose an 'initial sound group' e.g. the sounds chosen in the popular phonics program Jolly Phonics. These sounds are s,a,t,i,p and n, with the letter sounds being taught rather than the letter names. This is because the word 'sat' for example can be 'sounded out' for reading and also spelling with the sounds are taught. Even just using this sound group children can quickly learn to read, write and spell words using just those letters e.g. tan, tin, pan, pat, sit, sat, at, in. With the introduction of a few 'tricky' words the children can be reading, writing and spelling whole sentences in no time- for example 'Is it a pin? No it is a pan'. Readers can be made so that the children are actually 'reading' books with illustrations. Many are available online for free not for profit organisations such as Fantastic Phonics and SPELD SA.

When parents know what their children need to know before they move on to learning new sound pics (letter sounds) the following list can help them, as a 'check list'. By using this list parents can ensure that the child has understood the important concepts and are able to demonstrate the skills required for early reading and spelling acquisition ie code knowledge, blending, phoneme segmenting and manipulation.

When children can decode a word they can then start to learn its meaning. Fluency, comprehension and vocabulary come after decoding. If a child can't work out the word (ie read the word) he can't begin to understand it within sentences. So parents should focus first on teaching children how to decode and then expand on their teaching to include fluency, comprehension and vocabulary. However as can be seen from the following list this can happen very quickly, and these additional skills (fluency, vocabulary and comprehension) be incorporated into teaching alongside phonics and phonemic awareness training.

At the end of the initial sound group children should be;

* 'hearing' sounds in words - beginning, middle end

* recognising letter sounds in print - and knowing what (oral) sound they correspond with.

* forming letters correctly (this is arguably less as important as the other concepts, before they start school as they can 'spell' words and form sentences using magnetic letters etc.)

* blending sounds orally into words- and as they sound words on paper (knowing they do this from left to right)

* 'reading' words by decoding from left to right- and blending the sounds into words- also exploring what the word means and how we use it in our language.

* 'spelling words by listening for sounds in order - and (the next step) knowing how to order / blend them on paper (using letters and also by forming the letters themselves - can use a pencil and also keyboard with lower case letters)

* 'reading' the words (sat, it, at, in, pin, tin, sit, pat, nip, spin, tan etc) and then comprehending the meaning of the word and sentence if the words are written within a sentence (and in this case knowing that we read the words from left to right)

* learning some 'tricky' words eg 'I' 'was' 'the' - to recognise as sight words

They will also be able to read sentences - using decodable readers in line with this sound groups (also initial sound group in Jolly Phonics.)

What next?

If ready they can be moved on to digraphs - learning that 2 or more sounds can make a new sound (s, h and sh- 3 sounds) You could use bolded text to show children where the 'chunks' are in words- or 'Sound Pics'. So shop would be shown as having 3 sounds and 3 sound pics- sh+o+p.

After the first sound group children can move on to learn that sounds in our spoken language can be represented in several ways ( f could be ff as in gruff, ph as in phone etc)
And that some sounds on paper can represent more than one sound in our language- ow- as in cow or as in tow.

Parents should focus very much on auditory discrimination at first- rather than whats on paper. When we start with what the children know how to do- ie to speak - then it is easier for them to understand how to crack the code. when encouraged to hear the sounds in words, and to know where they are placed then it is easier for children to then learn that there are 'sound pics' that are simply pictures of the sounds in their words. So 's' is simply a representation on paper of the sound 's', and why we call them 'Sound pics'. Even early on children can learn to hear how many sounds are in words, even if they have not yet been introduced to the pic. For example to hear that 'ship' has 3 sounds and therefore would have 3 sound pics. You would then draw 3 lines on paper and the children can work out which sound pic sits on which line to build the word.

Teaching your child to read and spell early is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child. It should be fun and help then to develop a love to learning and of words. The Reading Whisperer™ is often heard telling parents 'Being able to read and spell even before they start school will give them increased self-confidence, and they can start to 'read to learn' far earlier than most of the other children, who are still 'learning to read'."

What parent wouldn't want that for their child?

Emma Hartnell-Baker created 'Read Australia' in 2007 as a way to empower parents and carers and raise standards of reading and spelling across Australia. She is often referred to in the press as the Reading Whisperer for her passion for early reading and spelling achievement and for helping struggling readers teachers have given up on. The Reading Whisperer is dedicated to the prevention of reading and spelling difficulties is on the Advisory Board of 'Reading by Six within Australia; a panel of reading specialists and scientists across Australia committed to meeting the needs of every student.

Emma Hartnell-Baker BEd Hons. MA Special Educational Needs
'A Voice for Kids'

Unit Studies: The Solution for Homeschooling Multiple Children

The Problem: New home schooling families are often overwhelmed with just the idea of homeschooling all of their children at the same time. Some will begin homeschooling one child one year and adding another the following year. That, in itself can add the problem of having to plan your schedule around the school's schedule because at least one family member goes to school. One of the big benefits of homeschooling is to be together as a family and to schedule life around the home and the education of the children. If the family "brings school" home and sets up a school schedule with textbooks for each subject for each child, teaching multiple children in a family would be very tedious and overwhelming.

The Solution: Unit studies --- This is a method of study that allows most of the curriculum to center on a topic of interest to one or more members of family.

For example, in the state of Washington, the home school law delineates eleven required subjects for students K-8: Math, Reading, Writing, Grammar, Spelling, History, Social Studies, Health, Science, Occupational Education, Art/Music. If your state does not specify subjects or classifies them differently just modify your list. Most of these subjects can be covered well by using this method. Exceptions include: math, grammar and early reading skills. In those cases you would need curriculum that follow a "scope and sequence" - a list or chart that shows what will be covered and in what order. Since math builds on skills, order and practice are important. I would include these subjects in a unit study so that your children understand that knowledge and skills are not separate, but unified.

Steps in Forming a Unit Study:

1. Choose a subject. Keep in mind the longer you want to stay on a subject, the broader the topic.

2. Use a "Mind Map" or "Web' to brainstorm the different parts of the unit.

3. Based on # 2, decide how long to study this topic. For beginners and younger children, I would begin with a two-week unit study. Later, larger topics / longer studies may be planned. Older students could use this method and follow the scope and sequence of an American History book to "complete" this required high school subject with a series of unit studies.

4. Make a list of subjects and plan activities to cover each of the subjects.

5. Gather materials - personal library, public library, Internet, local attractions etc.

6. Evaluate - during longer studies, you should periodically evaluate what has been learned and what remains to learn. You may decide to shorten or lengthen the unit study.

7. End the Study with a Culminating Activity - this could be a notebook, video documentary, display or a play for Dad and other family or friends.

Homeschooling parents can use the unit study method to keep everyone learning about the same topic using age-appropriate materials you own or you can get from the library. While there are many products available that have ready-made unit studies, I personally like the flexibility of planning my own unit studies. In my opinion, aside from academic excellence, the greatest benefit of the unit study is building family unity.

Maggie Dail and her husband, Ronnie operate the Center for Neuro Development in Lakewood, Washington which is affiliated with Family Academy. They home schooled two foster sons and have worked with home schooling families for nearly 20 years. Maggie earned her M.A. in Special Education in 1989 and has taught for nearly 40 years.

Family Academy offers an online home school parent's course that includes more information about developing your own Unit Studies and much more: Able to Teach

Art Therapy Schools For Troubled Children

Kids in their teens can be really tough to handle. Most parents would just want to give up because they no longer know what they can do to control the behavior of their children until they came across art therapy schools that promises to help them understand their children and to help their children to understand the stage that they are going through. Sometimes the problem of parents will their children is really just a matter of lack of proper communication to help both parents and children understand each other and the point of view of where they are coming from. Most of the time, parents are scared to send their children out there to experience the real world while teenagers just want to experience the freedom and trust that they see adults enjoying.

Luckily for both parents and children, they can now enjoy the benefits of art therapy schools. The art school rankings compared to the regular schools are getting more and more popular among parents and teenagers not only because they receive the kind of therapy that they don't get from regular schools but they also learn more about themselves and discover more about the beauty of being children and parents. Ever since the world began, art has played a major role in keeping people together in harmony. Since people do not discuss art but rather enjoy it for its beauty, it has help communities survive tough times just because there is art.

Today, the world is celebrating the contribution of art therapy schools not only in enhancing the relationship of parents and their children but putting them in a place where the magic of art unites them. If you are a parent who is having a problem with your teenager, then the best solution is not to fight them over what they want to do. Instead, suggest alternative activities to what they are already used to. One of the activities that your teenagers can engage in is the arts. Their creativity and talent for the arts can be improved if they attend art therapy schools. More than that, if they are not aware that they have the eye for the arts, they will be able to discover it by attending the different art classes and that will have a great impact on their self confidence.

There is no denying that teens who have submitted themselves to taking art therapy classes have seen a great change in their attitude. Their art classes that teach them painting and drawing have taken so much of their time that they no longer spend the day thinking about their problems. Instead, they are able to use the arts to release the negative emotions that they have inside. These teenagers do not really need to be artists themselves before they can be enrolled in art therapy schools. In fact, these types of schools cater children who may not have linkages in the arts but who can find peace of mind in the arts.

Perhaps in the beginning you might think that the arts is just a hobby but the truth is that it comes with healing powers that help people keep up with the demands of the real world. This can especially help your teenagers face the world with more self confidence. The idea behind art therapy schools is for teens to produce great works of art but rather the schools help teens discover more about themselves. The focus is the process of art production and not the final product.

You can find more information about the Art Therapy Schools on my website and read its Art School Rankings for you to help in making the right decisions.

Modern Techniques Used To Home School Kids

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education and Tracking Changes In Social and Emotional Maturation

Early childhood education is so important because it makes use of a child's natural learning ability. This is the time when their brains are exploding with growth and responding to the millions of pieces of information that are coming their way. Everything that comes their way is a new thing to learn about and make sense of so you can see just how powerful this time is for making sure that children are given the opportunity to learn things which will be constructive and positive for them. The brain is working overtime at this stage to organise, process and make sense of whatever is surrounding it. The richer and more consciously planned those environments are the better their chance of learning really useful things about everything. There are so many new links to make between things and so much neural activity needed to make connections and form new networks that a child's brain never stops while they are awake - and probably not while they are asleep either!

When the young child enters nursery and their more formal education begins - albeit in a far more unstructured, playful and fun way than they will have at 'big' school - they come with a certain amount of social and personal skills but nursery will be the place where they really start to hone these two skills in particular. Up to that point they have been interacting with a limited number of people like family and a few children of the same age but now they find themselves in a larger group and they have to transfer the skills they have learnt to this new situation. Friendship making and maintaining skills are amongst the most important they will learn for the rest of their lives so nurseries are strongly advised to help children experience and succeed in this friendship area as a big priority The child's brain is still soaking up information at a great rate at this stage in their lives and they will quickly learn how to manage well if they are supported well in this area. Coaching, encouragement and plenty of pleasant opportunities to find out what to do are what will make the biggest difference to them. That, and you modelling good friendship skills with other adults. They will copy what they see. All of this will help them refine their socialising skills, learn to share, develop their sense of humour and discover great coping strategies.

So where does tracking their changes come in? Having some kind of system in the nursery to make notes on a child's social and personal strengths is a very useful start. Children come in with very different temperaments and very different backgrounds - thus their ability to form friendships and manage their own emotional states will vary enormously. They more you tune into the areas where particular children shine and then use them as models for the others in the group to copy the better. It is even easier for them to copy a peer than to copy you so take advantage of the social 'stars' and intra-personally strong children who do manage their emotions well. If you have made preliminary notes on each child you can start to arrange games and teams/group activities so that children who are strong in these areas are teamed with children who are less strong. You can select certain non-competitive games to play which foster friendship making and make these a focus for the first two terms at least. In the third term you can revisit your initial notes and see just how many ways the children have matured socially and emotionally.

There are many checklists of social and emotional behaviours available in books on early childhood development and a special report on these behaviours has been compiled by the team at Assess Baseline and Track. Any of these would give you a starting point for your early notes which will then act as your baseline measure from which you will track progress.

If you want to know more about a strengths based and developmental approach to behaviour change and find out more about early childhood education, young people or adults please visit