I’m often asked, “how can I help my child learn”?
When my son was born a few months ago, it took all of our time and effort to get him through the newborn stages, and now, as he is beginning to feel his age, we’re having to learn new ways to help him along.
There are many programs out there designed to help infants and toddlers learn, but you can also find many natural methods for teaching your child at home too.
One of the first things you need to know if you want to help your child learn is that babies are wired to learn through touch.
They will pick up things wherever they can and will replicate what they see you doing.
So, it’s important that you keep their environment constantly busy with lots of different kinds of repetitive movements like running, crawling, and dancing.
These types of movements will help them get used to being in a lot of different situations and will help them begin to understand that they need to move with other people as well.
Babies will learn a lot more quickly when you help them stimulate their senses.
This can be accomplished in many ways.
One of them is by having a very quiet place to play.
Find ways to put your baby in front of a lot of bright natural light and noises, like a sunny day, a baby monitor playing calming music, or maybe a fire burning out in the background.
While you’re at it, find ways to help your child relax.
One of the better ideas we can use is online tutoring with the help of Ls Tuition, tutoring has proven to be really good choice.
Scented candles, incense, and essential oils will help them relax their sense of smell.
You can use these in the nursery, in the bathroom, and even in the kitchen if you cook a lot.
This will help them to associate certain smells with certain activities, like getting dressed, going to the bathroom, rolling over in the crib, or any other activity.
It’s amazing what times children can be introduced to and allowed to explore.
If you start them young with learning toys, then you’ll never have a reason to complain about “all the time they were running around!”
Most children will enjoy playing pretend games or dolls.
They will spend a lot of time pretending to be mothers and fathers or just other kids.
Dollhouses are another great place to learn about language, word recognition, and memory skills.
The more you can do to encourage your child in all of his learning experiences, the easier it will be for them to pick up new skills and learn new things.
If you can help your child build blocks, then you can help him build his vocabulary at the same time.
Or you can start him out with simple games that just have him memorize what he needs to do before trying a more difficult one.
You can start simple and make it fun, or go all out and get him an electronic gadget or game to play.
There are endless ways to teach a child how can I help my child learn?
You also want to have fun when teaching your child.
This creates a learning environment that will motivate and inspire your child.
Keep your lessons fun and interesting.
Games like spelling puzzles and jigsaw puzzles are great ways to create learning experiences that will stick in your child’s mind.
You can even use music or voices to help inspire your child’s learning.
How can I help my child learn?
Try these simple strategies.
You might be surprised by just how much you can help your child increase his or her intelligence.
And, helping your child become an independent, well-rounded learner makes life a little easier.…Read More
Further education is never a waste – unless the student wastes the opportunity; picks a career without doing the necessary research first; or cannot realize its application to the real world. Everything one learns is another notch on the experience belt, and really does move one forward on the career path. However, a student could still end up with the wrong credentials to enter into a chosen field. The wise student/career enhancer follows these simple guidelines to ensure every penny and minute spent on education really is an investment.
Research to Ensure Employability after Graduation
Don’t ever just assume a certain title of degree or certificate really will make it easier to get a job. Investigate to find out what is necessary for the chosen path, and then if the institute really provides those qualifications. As well, make sure the institute has the authority or is recognized by the particular province or state you want to work in. Make sure the expectations are not just based on personal assessment. Do the research necessary to see what else is needed to get into that field. An ad stating “take this course and you could be a CSI in x years making $X” is just that – an ad. Get the real facts before enrolling. Do not just take the admissions officer word for any promises – ask for supporting research or documentation.
It’s also prudent to make sure there will be jobs available after graduation in the chosen field. A quick way to do this is to check out local employment news items and online sites. Indeed.ca offers job trends via industry which provides a fairly cohesive chart comparing the various industries. Clicking on the individual industry link will give a breakdown of the types of employment for that industry as well as top keyword searches and the top city locations for that job.
Full Time or Part Time; Online or Face-to-Face
Many believe education is just a matter of money. It’s not just cost that has to examined as one parameter to choosing an educational institute, but cost is a large part of the decision. The potential student needs to also understand and choose between style of institute and delivery of program. Face to face, or traditional education, involves going to a campus and attending classes. The plus side is the social aspect of being right there to ask questions and get support from fellow classmates. There’s also more perceived help available when dealing face to face, and more immediacy in problem solving. Online education though, allows the student the flexibility of deciding when to do the required reading and assignments – even if it’s at 2 am. This arrangement allows students to work either full time or part time, and fit in the education around the work schedule, as opposed to fitting in part time hours around class times.
The down side of online education for many is the perceived isolation, which can be overcome by participating in online forums and chats in the online classroom. Online education is great for mature or returning adults; meaning those who can motivate themselves. And there’s no travel time involved to get to the class. The cost though is much higher than for traditional education.
Pick the Right Type of Education for the Right Fit
Both methods of education allow for part time or full time studies; so it becomes a matter of personal preference weighed against cost and time; as well as feasibility.
Another important feature is the after-graduation support the educational institute provides. Many online institutes are geared to those already working the chosen field, and are providing a working way to be accredited. Traditional institutes such as University of Toronto or Sheridan College actually provide Career Counselling for students and Career Fair days within the professions – definitely a help for those trying to break into their new field.
Even if the education doesn’t get the job seeker the desired result of a new job, the education itself is not unworthy. All education can be applied to real situations – the student learned better study habits, learned how to learn, and how to do time management – definite pluses in today’s working world and job search.…Read More
Steiner schools alternative teaching system, follow anthroposophy and use a different approach to teaching children. The school’s philosophy, teaching training and the school curriculum are somewhat different to state schools. The general outline is a follows:
Steiner Lesson Structure
According to Yeuhdit Angres, author of, Impressions from Waldorf’ Education: Pedagogical Diary, 1990, usually, the day consists of three parts. In the morning the class remains together. During the first two hours frontal lessons are used to teach the main subject as children are more willing to listen and absorb in this period. Just before noon practising and drilling are the main elements of the lessons in which playing instruments and eurhythmics are included. Arts and crafts are left until the afternoon when concentration is at its lowest.
Steiner Pre-school – Lots of Copying
Until age 5/6 the school day blends structure and freedom in the form of creative play in an atmosphere comparable to a second home. The child learns respect for the natural world and one another and for his environment through healthy repetition. Copying is the main characteristic of this period of development; therefore, teaching subjects such as grammar are ineffectual. As copying is at the forefront, Waldorf teachers use it as an educational tool; for example, for disciplinary purpose, instead of reproof the children are taught through emulation. (Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Education.)
Steiner Lower School – Imaginative Thought
Around age 6/7 children enter the “Lower School”. At this stage of their education Steiner recommended children remain with the same teacher until the age of 14, since, continuity enables those responsible to follow and evaluate each child’s needs through the important developmental stages of childhood and youth.
During this period, development and encouragement of imaginative thought is at a premium. Much of the lesson is conveyed through the spoken word allowing the pupils freedom to exercise their imaginations. They make home-made textbooks in preference to commercially produced books, encouraging active rather than passive involvement in their education. (Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Education)
Steiner Upper School – Childhood into Young Adulthood
During the ages 13-18 great developmental changes occur and the child has to contend with the metamorphism from childhood to young adulthood. The teacher’s main task is to help the student adjust to the new demands of this period with the help of the sound base built in the formative years.
Steiner School Subjects
Following is a brief look at a selection of subjects taught in Steiner schools.
According to Angres, the ideal age for introducing musical instruments is between 7 and 14 when children need to fulfil their senses. In addition, music enhances listening and studying abilities. The recorder is a good instrument to begin with because it’s notes emphasise the contrast between sound and silence.
Angres mentions that since Steiner educators view language as the foundation of freedom and expression, therefore, children are exposed to foreign languages from class 1. For the first two years they learn mostly through songs, rhymes, and movements.
Reading and Writing
As mentioned above, until around the age of seven children are great imitators and copiers; however, in order to learn to read there has to be understanding. At this stage the child cannot relate words to pictures, therefore, Steiner education suggests that artistic aspects such as writing should be developed before the intellectual aspects of, for example, reading are focused upon. As children can only absorb one item at a time, anthroposophic teachers teach only one letter at a time. The child learns by repeatedly copying the letter and experiencing it in different ways. (Angres)
Painting and Drawing
Since the natural world is full of colour, anthroposophic painting and drawing deepens the understanding of form and colour. Pupils use a lot of water colours and learn the characteristics of each colour and shade evoking emotions and enhancing perception. Around age 13/14, the beginning of the adolescence, sketching becomes very important. At this stage emphasis is placed on contrasts between light and shade, in preparation for the contrasts and conflicts the teenagers may face. (Angres)
The daily story plays an important part in education as they help develop the imagination. There are different stories for every age group, for example, between age 8 to 10, The Bible, Vikings, and Greek mythology help children relate to the world and see things in proportion as they illustrate ways of dealing with difficulties and torments. (Angres)
One of Steiner methods of teaching maths is by using movement. For example, walking around and counting steps. Another way is to take a large number and reduce it to it’s components. This is useful for the future as it teaches children to face problems holistically and encourages analysis and investigation. (Angres)
Alternative System Focusing on the Child
Many of Steiner schools methods are based upon the child’s stages of development and use a different approach to learning that pays more attention to the develomental needs of the child. However, parents should check thoroughly any education system they are interested in before enrolling their children.…Read More
In recent years the economy and employment have been on the minds of most people. An unsurprising side-effect has been the boom of the education industry. Technical colleges, online degree programs and adult education opportunities are springing up all over the country. According to the American Association of University Professors, thirty percent of all faculty in degree-granting institutions in the United States were part-time workers in 1975. By 2007, that total had risen sharply to over fifty percent.
Adjunct professors do not require a terminal degree in most institutions, so some critics contend that adjunct faculty lower the quality of education received by the student. The same critics also cite that colleges and universities are simply using the adjunct designation to allow them to higher part-time workers, avoiding costly benefits in the process.
Though these are respectable criticisms, there are valid reasons for an institution to rely heavily on adjunct faculty. The growing popularity of technical colleges challenges the critics. In some cases, a part-time instructor may be just the right person for the role.
Students in technology programs are looking for real-world experience. Most adjunct instructors at career colleges are professionals currently practicing in the field. While there is an advantage to having faculty that can devote their full attention to teaching, there is also an advantage in the instructor that can relay current examples to the learner. In the computer technology field, being out of the field for over a year can put an instructor behind the curve of modern equipment and software.
Generally, nursing instructors are required to have and maintain a current license as a registered nurse with clinical experience. Adding in the continuing education requirements, most nursing instructors need to be practicing in the field as well as teaching.
Drafting and Design Training
Visual communications is a changing field. With constant software and hardware upgrades, designers have to keep in touch with the movement of business. Students also value the experience of the instructor and the ability to use real-world tasks as projects.
A more positive view of adjunct staff in technical schools may be that practicing professionals can serve as mentors for their future colleagues. By being the instructor, a professional can help ensure that the students learn the skill set required to be employable in the chosen career field.
Though the climb in adjunct numbers seems drastic, it could simply be a sign of the changing demand for education. More and more students are opting for technical education over general education.…Read More
Expert witnesses are often retained by public and private agencies to give a report or opinion regarding a particular subject. This person is an expert in his or her field and considered to be very knowledgeable on the matter through a combination of education, skills and experience. One of the expert witnesses that is commonly used is an education expert witness. He or she may work independently or as a consultant for law firms and insurance companies.
What Does an Education Expert Witness Do
Most education experts offer a variety of services ranging from evaluating school liability to administrative issues. A huge role this person has is providing expert testimony in litigation. This is especially prevalent when schools are faced with lawsuits. School litigation can involve a complaint of a student or work related injury, student or staff member harassment or assault, or a complaint by a disgruntled staff member. Often the attorneys for both parties will usually hire an education expert witness to testify at trial in their defense. Cases like this can result in million dollar settlements and both parties want the best representation. Other types of cases this expert may be asked to work on are family cases where the expert has been asked to give an opinion about the quality and environment of one school versus another.
These experts also provide in-depth studies and research that affect school systems and communities. Some of the studies involve analyzing standards of care by the teachers and staff, ways the school system can improve and school performance.
What Qualifications Does an Education Expert Witness Have
Many of these professionals have years of experience in the education system and most likely have worked as a principal, a superintendent or overseen school administration. Some other qualifications an education expert witness has is a familiarity of the courts along with legal policies and procedures as they relate to educational issues. In addition, a lot of these experts hold certifications relating to compliance, forensics, human resource management and educational safety.
The Education Expert’s Role in Case Preparation and Court Proceedings
When it comes to litigation and preparing a case for court, the education expert will conduct research, prepare evidence and assist with discovery. This individual will have to answer any interrogatories and compile responses to formal requests for production of documents if asked by the attorney. The expert may also be asked to give a deposition. If the case goes to court, he or she will need to appear before the judge and give their expert opinion on the evidence and research involved in the litigation.…Read More
Utopian workplaces are possible in many small districts and in larger districts with principals who assume personal accountability for the success of their schools. If the budget were not an issue, very small class sizes would be the number one issue to confront. Placing approximately 10 students in each class, with no more than 12, would be ideal in a perfect world. Schools would not “separate” some students; all students would be included in the general education classrooms. The aforementioned would allow for better manageability, teacher satisfaction, increased individual student attention, and improved student learning.
The principal would have the ability to hire only the most effective teachers and would be involved in all of the hiring decisions. Effectiveness would be based on personality, attitude, creativity, education, proven skill, track record, test scores, desire to help all learners, peer references, professional references, and parent references.
Each classroom would be equipped with state of the art technology and other resources. There would be one laptop computer per student and teacher in each classroom. The computers would contain the most up to date software and programs designed to foster creativity, success, innovation, inquiry, and learning. Students would have limited internet capability (certain sites would be forbidden).
Additionally, each classroom would be equipped with smart boards. All books and other curricular resources would be new and aligned with the State content standards and would inspire academic rigor. Each student would participate in fairly routine assessments to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Students wouldn’t need to purchase school supplies because everything would be provided through corporate donations.
Designer Physical Education Program
Nutritious lunches and snacks would be provided at no cost to students, teachers, volunteers, and other staff. Each student, teacher, volunteer, and other staff would participate in a designer physical and health education program. Participants in the designer program could choose from aerobics, water aerobics, swimming, yoga, Pilates, karate, or spin class. Additionally, each participant would receive individualized healthy living follow-ups and education. The school nurses and doctors would provide these services at no cost to the participants.
Each student would begin to focus on skill development in kindergarten. Portfolios would be developed at this stage and would follow the student through high school graduation. Teachers would follow the students through their academic careers. If teachers weren’t qualified to teach a high school subject, for example, they would invite other qualified teachers into their classroom for instruction in that subject. In the fourth grade, students would begin to focus on the skills they need to be successful in middle school.
In middle school, students would begin exploring their career interests, and would start planning their high school courses of interest. In high school, each student would continue to take interest inventories and would revise their course schedule, if necessary. They would also tour one college each month. The cost of travel would be funded through corporate donors.
Teachers would participate in professional development to include, but not be limited to formal education and advanced degrees. They would be allowed to attend these classes during the day (for a portion of the day). Coverage would be provided. Teacher professional development would be provided at no expense to the individual. They would agree to remain with the district for a period of time in exchange for this formal training. Teacher salaries would be commensurate with their skill and ability. For example, if a teacher had an advanced degree, they would be compensated fairly.
School board members would regularly tour the school and would recognize and celebrate excellence. They would provide gift certificates to outstanding teachers on a monthly basis. Community members and parents would be invited to walk through classrooms during an open forum once per month. This would provide an opportunity to demonstrate school safety, high standards, and satisfied and competent teachers.
Each classroom would display, in writing, the rules, expectations, and consequences for disobeying the rules. Each classroom would have a lending library for parents and students containing books, audiotapes, and videotapes on various educational topics. Guest speakers would be invited into each classroom once per month which could include therapists, psychologists, college representatives, SAT preparation, other educators, medical professionals, researchers, and others.
Parents, students, teachers, other staff, and volunteers could participate in the guest speaker sessions. Teachers would host morning coffees once a week, in their classrooms, for the parents. The administration, staff, teachers, and volunteers would host monthly parent discussion groups to provide insight into specific issues such as learning disabilities, co-parenting, bilingual education, ADHD, gifted students, literacy skills, behavioral issues, standardized testing, exit exams, board policies, etc…
Classroom Staffing and Organization
Each classroom would be staffed with a master teacher, an ancillary teacher, two substitute teachers, one teaching assistant, and several volunteers. Classrooms would be large and would be organized into sections. One section would cater to group learning and instruction; one section would include “cubbies” to allow for one on one assistance; one section would include a technology center; one section would include a small library space; the teacher work space would be included in another section; student lockers would be in one area; and a student break area would also be included.
Staff meetings would be mandatory, but would cover only what couldn’t be covered in the monthly e-bulletin. A continental breakfast would be provided at no cost. Teachers would provide updates regarding their workgroups; each workgroup would focus on writing one grant per year. Important decisions would be made and agreed upon during these staff meetings. Teachers would provide their input regarding the school budget, spending, curriculum, changes, policy, needs, wants, etc…Local newspaper staff would be invited to attend these meetings so they could provide updates for the community.
All students would participate in a conflict buster or peace academy. They would be trained in nonviolence and conflict resolution. Parents would be in charge of designing school bulletin boards documenting student and family community service projects. Parents would also organize and plan monthly barbeques for the community, staff, volunteers, students, and families. Student and community member art would be auctioned during this time to benefit the school.
Collaborative Problem Solving
Collaboration and partnerships would be the keys to a utopian workplace. Everyone would be respected, valued, cared for, and trusted. Decision making would be consensual; there would be no tyranny. People would feel compelled to share and would thrive on excelling. They would feel the confidence that comes from collaborative problem solving. All participants would realize a commitment to providing excellent education, safety, improved health and happiness, and cultural participation. Passion and zeal would inspire creativity and success. Everyone would buy into the environment because of the awe-inspiring positive effects of job satisfaction, empowerment, flexibility, mobility, and balance.
The utopian workplace would be vision driven versus stress driven. Teachers and other staff would be afforded a certain number of days in which they would be able to work from home. As technology has improved, they could conduct research using the internet, they could interface using voicemail, email, teleconferencing, or web conferencing. The vision would include ensuring world class learning to each student who attends the school. The vision statement would be developed by all staff. All staff would be held accountable for its success as it would be rigorously enforced. Staff would be rewarded for supporting the vision.…Read More
Parents and Colleges, a popular website for parents of college-bound students, has just (Dec. 29) published their 2010 list of the Top Ten Best College Towns in the U.S. and Austin, Texas comes in No. 1. The competition was stiff, as many other communities with top-notch academic institutions like Madison, Wisconsin and Princeton, New Jersey also offer a great educational experience, but the cultural amenities available in Austin, as well as the sunny weather, tilted the scales to Central Texas.
2010 Parents and Colleges Top Ten Best College Towns
- Austin, Texas
- Boulder, Colorado
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Berkeley, California
- Athens, Georgia
- Princeton, New Jersey
- Eugene, Oregon
- Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Gainesville, Florida
- Lawrence, Kansas
Academic Institutions and Culture in Austin, Texas
Austin is, of course, home to the University of Texas at Austin, a perennial sports powerhouse and big State U with an enrollment of almost 60,000 students. Austin is also home to St. Edward's University, Huston-Tillotson College, and Concordia University Texas.
Austin is well-known as the liberal bastion and cultural mecca of Texas. While the rest of the state has gradually turned Republican over the last few decades, Austin has remained a liberal stronghold both politically and socially. Austin is famed for its live music scene and hosts the now world-famous SXSW Music and Film Festival every year. Austin also is home to the world's largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats (nightly flights April through October).
Academic Institutions and Culture in Boulder, Colorado
Almost one third of Boulder, Colorado's 91,000 residents are students at the University of Colorado at Boulder (30,000), and that makes it a true college town. And everyone in Boulder, students and working residents alike tend to be avid hikers, road cyclists and mountain bikers, skiers, rock climbers and any other athletic activity you can imagine. Boulder's lively culture, thriving arts scene and well-known annual music, film, and Shakespeare festivals also add to the cultural ambiance.
Academic Institutions and Culture in Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin has been a favorite college town for a long time. Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin Badgers, and just about everybody in town is a Badgers fan. It can get cold in Madison in the winter, but the spring and summer is beautiful and there are five lakes and 150 miles of bike trails within 15 miles of Madison.…Read More