Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

“You don’t understand!”
“I don’t want to talk about it!”
“Leave me alone!”

If these declarations sound familiar, you are not alone. Most parents experience the brick wall that suddenly appears without warning. You can learn what triggers this and ways to keep the conversation flowing.

Get inside your preteen’s mind to see life from their point of view. This is the road to changing the adult-preteen interaction. Let’s look at a common homework problem, which is the preteen’s to solve, to see how this works. If they are struggling with homework you may hear them say, “I just can’t do this. It’s too much, and I’m not going to do it!” This is the crucial point in which your choice of response can either create a supportive connection or enrage your preteen.

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This teacher is a leader among budding leaders

Just before the 2:40 p.m. bell signals the start of Karen Dawson’s leadership class, a handful of students brainstorm a seating plan. Father’s middle name? No, there’s one student whose dad doesn’t have one. How about father’s first name?

And so, when the 30 juniors and seniors file in, they line up and sit down in alphabetical order by father’s first name. Every so often the seating changes, one of thousands of ways Dawson keeps cliques from forming and gets the students to know and accept each other.

“True learning goes on in an atmosphere where there’s true understanding,” says Dawson, 57, who teaches art and leadership and advises the student council at Washington High, a small-town, working-class high school about 50 miles west of St. Louis. “Students learn best in an environment where they’re accepted and not judged. There are no masks in here. It’s a very accepting group.”

It’s also a very active group. Last year’s leadership students averaged 100 community service hours each. The class is where Dawson trains leaders of the 104-member student council, which is so well-known in Washington for its service projects that organizations call when they need help. Among the council’s biggest projects is an annual senior citizens prom that drew 250 seniors and won a national service award last year.

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How to Use YouTube to Connect With Your Teen

Whether you consider yourself a modern Parent or not, by now you’ve heard of YouTube – the ultra-popular video sharing website. YouTube allows users to upload, view, and share video clips on almost any topic you can imagine – you can find how-to videos, music videos, political videos, funny baby videos, and the list goes on and on.

So how can you use the user-generated videos of YouTube to connect with your teen? One of the most effective ways to get involved with our teens is to engage in some of the activities they are interested in – spend time with them, listen to them, laugh and explore with them.

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Use Text Messaging to Stay Connected with Your Teens

Earlier this year, Samsung Mobile conducted a survey focused on family texting habits. The results of the survey claim that text messaging is improving relationships between parents and teens. Not only that, parents are learning something from their teens as a result of use of text messaging to keep in touch with one another.

As a wired parent, I regularly use text messaging to quickly stay in touch and keep communication lines open with my text messaging guru teens… do you? One of the biggest challenges we face as parents of teens is communicating with them.

We want to be involved in their lives, be good listeners, and help with the many challenges that crop up in the middle and high school years. We want to do all of this while allowing our kids to grow and learn on their own without watching their every move.

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How to Avoid Scholarship Scams

Are you planning to attend college after graduating from high school or your GED and are you worried that you cannot afford the cost of education? There is no denying that colleges and universities these days are quite expensive.

While there are a lot of credible scholarships out there to help you afford high education, there are a lot of not-so-credible ones as well. This is why you have to be careful in making your options as to what scholarship you would apply for.

Nowadays, people are making every possible way to get that money- the easy way. Unfortunately, when you begin your lookout for a scholarship, you may be required to fill out certain papers that are designed to get some essential information from you.

Unknowingly, people behind the scams are fishing out on you so as to steal your personal information to their benefit. To avoid getting scammed, you have to be well versed in all your options so that you can decide which legitimate program is best for you.

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African Americans and College Scholarships

It is not so long ago that obtaining a top academic education was only a faraway dream for most African Americans. For these students, getting hold of well-paying employment and experiencing some of the greater things in their lives existed only in their wildest imagination.

Over the last decades, all this has changed. Nowadays you can find scholarships available to African Americans not only offered by the federal government, but also via companies and corporations, and through public and private sectors as well. A great example is the Hilton GED Assistance Program, learn more here.

Numerous philanthropic institutions these days have scholarship grants meant for minority groups, especially African Americans. These great scholarship grants offer many African Americans all through the country the possibility to obtain the education and learning they are worthy of.
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Setting Goals with Kids

One of the best perks of being in education is that we get to start over twice a year–once in August/September when the new school year begins and once in January when the new calendar year begins. That means that kids, too, get to reboot twice a year and start anew!

For some of you, perhaps the first part of the school year was a good one for the kids. And for others, perhaps it was a struggle. Either way, setting goals with kids is an excellent practice and can help build skills for life. i.e.: Setting goals and then making action plans to reach goals.

As a teacher, I always set aside time at the start of the school year and at the start of the calendar year for setting goals with my students. The start of the calendar year is also the perfect opportunity to evaluate progress on the goals that were set at the start of the school year. In January, kids could scrap their goals and set brand new ones or simply adjust the ones that they’d set in August. Now is the perfect opportunity to sit down with your kids to set some goals for the remaining months of the school year.

So how do you go about setting goals with kids?

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Question-Answer Relationships

“I can’t find the answer to this question!” The irritated tone of voice signals a growing frustration from one of our students struggling to complete an assignment. Indeed, from a student viewpoint, finding answers to questions seems to occupy the lion’s share of what education is about.

Understanding how questions work is a critical component of learning. Many students are unaware of the different levels of thinking that questions may elicit.

As a result, they follow a “literal” approach of seeking direct statements from the text to answer questions and feel betrayed or even give up when this strategy does not work. I have seen it many times during the GED classes that I teach online.

Other students pay only cursory attention to their reading, instead relying almost solely on what they already know to get their answers, regardless of what the text might say.

For them, answering questions becomes an exercise in “common sense” rather than a thoughtful consideration of new information encountered in print.

There is a powerful activity for helping students analyze and understand questions. Break Question Answer Relationships (known as QARs) questions into two categories: those which have answers supplied by an author (“in the book” QARs) and those which have answers that need to be developed based on the reader’s ideas and experiences (“in my head” QARs). Continue reading

Sight Words (High Frequency Words)

downloadA relatively small number of words (about 100) make up most of the text children read. Some of these words are irregular or not decodable. Successful readers have a large number of words they can read automatically by sight. These are known as sight words.

Suggested Sight Word Lists

Dolch Sight Words

The Dolch list of 220 basic sight words was developed in the 1930’s, based on three comprehensive lists of words compiled in the previous decade. The Dolch words hold sentences together and include adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, and verbs.

They include between 52 and 70 percent of all the words children generally find in assigned reading and are commonly divided into four lists: a Pre Primer list, a Primer list, a First Grade List, and a Second Grade list. Other lists of words have been developed with a high degree of consistency in the first hundred words.

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Arizona Scholarships for Hispanics

images-61The state of Arizona has quite a few universities and colleges that offer outstanding educative programs for people who would like to become educated on a higher level. On the other hand, at the majority of these colleges and universities, the tuition cost can be a problem.

The high cost of further study makes it very problematic for students who really would like a quality education but are not in the position to afford the tuition.

Especially minority students such as Hispanics are affected by these problems. In order to support these students to deal with the costs of tuition, Arizona has made scholarships available for Hispanics. These state-funded scholarship grants enable Hispanics particularly to attain the top quality education of their wishes.

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