The High School Confusion

download-16If you think it’s easy to get into even a public high school for some kids, think again. Yesterday I met a girl and heard her story, her parents formally disowned her when she was 15, and she spent six months living in a car before trying to enroll herself in school miles away with no parents.

It’s not the lack of parents that was the problem — it seems her former school district was so far ahead of the new one that, even at 16, she only had three classes left to graduate.

She had two options: continue high school, or sign up for online GED classes online, and believe me there are plenty of great courses. Three classes simply weren’t worth the trouble for the school.

she was denied entry back into high school and told to finish her high school equivalency at the nearby community college. Obviously, this came with a fee that fortunately she could pay from working two minimum wage jobs. Perhaps it was survival instincts kicking in, but even then she knew she was the exception.

High School isn’t a Guarantee

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Energy Drinks and Teens – What Every Parent Ought to Know

energy-drink-dangers1Jolt, Buzzed, Amp, Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, Nos, Full Throttle, Sobe… sounds like nicknames for the starting lineup of a hockey team, but they’re not.

These, my fellow wired parents, are the names of just a handful of the many different energy drinks that our teens are consuming by the “BFC” (that’s an acronym for Big F*****g Can, and is indeed the name used for one style of Monster drinks).

And we thought we were wild when we were kids and we drank Mountain Dew, now they have things like Hype and Bawls to get their kicks with. Are these energy drinks safe? As parents of today’s teens, should we be concerned?

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Gaming is A Way Parents Can Connect With Their Teens

images-66As winter settles in here in the great white North, we find ourselves doing more and more things inside. For my family, this means things like watching football, catching up on movies, surfing the web, baking cookies (Superdad here baked cookies with my 6 year old girl last weekend), and playing video games (gasp!).

I really enjoy the outdoors and the warmer months, but the colder weather and being inside more offers some advantages – namely, we find ourselves doing more things together as a family, including playing video games together.

I’ve played more Madden / Rock Band / Guitar Hero / Halo 3 (with my kids) on our Xbox 360 over the past month… I almost forgot how much fun it can be. So why should you pick up that controller too?

Not All Video Games Are Violent

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Tracking Your Teen’s Progress in School with Skyward

images-68As parents in the digital age, it’s never been easier to stay up-to-date and informed on how our kids are doing in school. Web-based school administration programs and school websites provide us with class schedules, updated assignments, after-school activity schedules, and teachers’ email addresses and phone numbers.

Parents and students can utilize these online tools to keep track of daily assignments and track progress throughout the school year. Our school district recently switched to a system called Skyward Family Access, and after using it for the past week or so, I simply love it.

Assignments and Grades

Skyward includes a calendar of the current month, showing assignments due (or past due) for each date on the calendar, by class and teacher. Missing assignments show in red and are clickable for additional details on the assignment.

The calendar on Skyward is clean, easy to follow, and a one stop shop for just about everything that is currently going on with your student’s scheduled classes at school.

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A Fundamental Guide to Music Sharing for Today’s Parents

download-35When was the last time one of your kids (or you, for that matter), bought a music CD? A month ago, six months ago, a couple years ago? Over the past couple of years, more and more of us are turning to digital music and away from CDs – a trend led by our youth. W

While the digital trend in music is definitely a convenient one, it can be tricky one for today’s parents to keep up with to make sure our kids aren’t doing anything illegal (does Limewire mean anything to you?).

The Good

Social media sites and paid-for music services like Itunes and Rhapsody are the safest options when it comes to sharing music online.

Sites like Imeem, Ilike, and Pandora are social networking sites (like Myspace) that allow users to upload music, create playlists, and interact with others in a music-centric setting. It’s free to sign-up and listen to other people’s playlists or uploaded music tracks – so as long as your teen is uploading and sharing music that’s paid for, they’re safe. Continue reading

How To Predict Your Child Career Potential

download-36Taking on an examination of your career potential might seems difficult especially when if your education path was not straightforward, coming back to school for your GED might be the alternative path but it doesn’t mean that your career potential is smaller.

In the late 1970’s, while studying executives impacted by the breakup of AT&T, Dr. Suzanne Kobasa developed the concept of “Stress Hardiness”. Predicting potential for future success is based on past performance and demonstrated skills.

I’ve adapted the three C’s of Kobasa [and added a fourth] to the specific issue of career examination as follows:

1. Commitment: People with a strong sense of commitment to their own selves, their families, their work or a personal cause. They believe in their self-worth. They want either to feel better about their current field of professional engagement or find other outlets that will suit them better.

2. Challenge: People who see life as a challenge welcome new situations and opportunities to grow and develop, rather than feeling fearful. They see opportunities not obstacles.

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How to Choose a Safe Web Browser?

images-69Chances are you’re sitting at a computer right now that’s running some version of Microsoft Windows, and you’re browsing the web with some version of the browser that’s included with Windows – Internet Explorer (IE).

At home (or if you’re at work now), you likely have a similar setup – a Windows PC (or two) with Internet Explorer as your web browser. Not me. As a wired parent of teenagers who spend plenty of time on the Internet, I setup Firefox as the default browser on all four of our home computers (and my work one) to help prevent all that nasty malware from rearing its ugly head.

Certain Web Activities Can Harm Your PC

If you’re a parent of a teenager, you know all too well that today’s teens are very web savvy. They spend all kinds of time connecting with each other on Myspace, watching videos on YouTube, or playing games online. Most of these online activities are harmless to your PC, as there is typically nothing malicious or harmful in most of the more popular online areas that teenagers venture to.

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What is FAFSA Application

download-37Financial aid can help students with significant need for money attend school and pursue education. There are many types of financial assistance available, but the first step always seems to be the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

This form will determine one’s eligibility for school grants and other types of financial aid.

In order to benefit from the Federal Student Financial Aid, you must foremost fill out and file your FAFSA application.

Aside from checking your financial status, it will also determine the type of dependency you have. While most students seem to be dependents of their parents, adult, graduate or married students may be considered differently.

You can visit the FAFSA official website to determine your dependency status. Furthermore, you can seek guidance from the guidance counselor or the financial aid department of your chosen school.

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Grants for Native Americans

images-70There are various types of educational aid that can help you pursue college education, such as scholarships, grants, loans, and work study. While each of these financial aids offer specific benefits, it is relatively safe to declare that grants could be the best type of college funding.

Each year, the federal government sets aside millions of dollars in grant money to help thriving students pursue college education.

If you are a Native American and you’d like to attend school but just don’t have the necessary funding for it then you should know about grants.

If you belong to the native tribe and if your name is on the official roll, you can benefit from the federal grants to shoulder the costs of your education. To determine if you are a registered tribe member you should talk to your ancestral tribe, as individual tribes determine tribal membership.

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What You Should Know About Graduate Grants

images-71The cost of a four-year college education can mount as high as mortgage dues. Apparently, graduate school has never been cheap or free. Several government funded resources can really make a big difference when it comes to paying college fees.

However, nobody can benefit from any of these grants without learning the right techniques for writing the essays and filing of application.

Whether you choose to finish graduate school on-campus or online, it could be possible to apply for grants to cover all or part of your tuition expenses. It is worthwhile that students take their part seeking out for every possible option to benefit from grant rewards.

After all, grants never need to be paid back after students complete their studies unlike loans. Nonetheless, one must foremost comply with the standards that are outlined in the grant agreement.

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