Monday, June 11, 2012

Why More and More Families Are Choosing Home Education?

The number of families who are choosing to home educate is rising every year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics that there are approximately 1.73 - 2.35 million children in grades K-12 being homeschooled at this time. Research shows that the homeschool population is growing at a rate of 2% - 8% per annum.

Just a decade ago home educating was still considered a rogue alternative but today it is almost mainstream. How their children will be educated is a very personal choice for every family. However, some of the reasons families are choosing home education are:

The Educational Choices in Your City are Less Than Ideal

All public schools are not created equal. First and foremost, each family needs to evaluate if the public school in their area is meeting the needs of their child.

If your child is falling behind academically, being bullied at school or generally not thriving in the public school environment it may be time to closely evaluate what is going on at school.

Many teachers have a large number of students in their classroom and are not able to meet the needs of each child. In some cases, the classroom atmosphere itself may be hard for very kinesthetic children to adjust to. In the traditional public school setting, young boys are 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Parents Want to Customize the Learning Environment for Their Child

Children almost always benefit from having one on one instruction. Daily interaction with your child will uncover his strengths and weaknesses and can greatly encourage him over a learning hurdle.

Many home educating families also realize that certain curriculum choices can have a huge impact in how well your child processes the information. We observed this first hand with all of our children. What curriculum worked for one may not necessarily work for the others.

In a traditional school setting the teacher must find the best teaching approach to reach the greatest number of children. However, if your student is not able to respond well to that teaching approach, your child may end up falling behind.

Academic Performance

Scoring 15 to 30 percentile points higher on standardized achievement test than their public school counterparts, homeschooled students typically do better academically.

This also holds true on the ACT and SAT tests used by college admissions. Homeschool students score above average.

An interesting fact from the National Home Education Research Institute ( NHERI ) states, "Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents' level of formal education or their family's household income."

Social and Emotional Health

Home educating children also do above average when being measured for emotional, social and psychological development. Leadership skills, peer interaction, self-esteem, family unity and community service were among the research measures evaluated.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Some Factors You Need to Comprehend When Getting Into Medical Assistant Schools

If you want to pursue a medical assistant career, you need to pursue further studies in order to increase the probability of achieving this end. Medical assistant schools are the practical solution to meeting this end and you can either choose to pursue online studying or traditional depending on what works best for you. With the increasing number of schools however, making the right choice is not easy and especially considering the fact that they all promise to offer quality education. For this reason, there are a couple of things you need to consider and these are as highlighted below.

• Recognized Institution
You have to ensure you enroll in an institution that is well recognized. Bear in mind that not all institutions are recognized by department of education or bureau of health education. Therefore, you have to carry out thorough research and find genuine schools which have a reputation of offering quality education. Before signing up with any institution, make sure that you carry out thorough background research to determine that it is accredited by the approving bodies. It should offer you authentic certification because most hospitals do not employ someone who is not appropriately certified.

• Review and Dig Deeper
As a wise student, it is always prudent that you take time to review the medical assistant schools extensively in order to determine the school is recognized legally and not after money only. Find out what the passing rate is as well as the rate of graduating students. Look at their bylaws and standards in a cautious manner. While at it, it is also advisable to find out whether the school is known to offer clinical placement and training that makes it possible for you to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during training.

• Enrollment Fess and Time Scheduling
You have to take into consideration the enrollment fees that need to be covered and the procedure or manner in which this is supposed to be carried out. There are different types of costs that need to be covered and you need to have a clear picture of how you are supposed to do this. There are typical costs and additional costs and as long as you understand the overall costs and how to go about making the payments you are safe. You need to consider the time scheduling as well and in this case, it is advisable to look at the program provided by the medical assistant schools alongside your schedule in order to make an informed decision.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Insurance Continuing Education Classes

Insurance professionals are accountable for helping clients make very important decisions on a day-to-day basis. They must act professional and ethical when dealing with their clients. Whether they are helping a client invest or purchase a life insurance policy they must be up to date on industry trends and products available. This is where insurance continuing education can really benefit both the agent and the client. Education is important in every industry, but when it comes to advising others, it's imperative. Continuing education classes keep the insurance agent up to date on state rules and regulations and educate them on what's going on the industry. It also provides them information on new products available to their clients. The more products an agent can discuss with their clients, the better. The agent will benefit because they have a better chance of making a sale. The client benefits because they have more options when it comes to purchasing a policy.

Classes can typically be done either online or in a classroom. Depending on how the agent can better retain the information, one would have to choose how they want to complete their educational requirements. Online is popular because they can revert back to the textbook while taking the exams. The more information an insurance professional can retain the better. If they are asked a question by a client and are unable to answer it, the client may decide to work with another agent. Knowledge is power in the insurance and financial industry.

Many of the successful insurance producers have been in the business for many years. They are not required to take any formal education classes, just continuing education. So for some agents, this is the only form of education an agent has completed since they received their license. As you may assume, laws, policies, and products change over time. This is why continuing education is so valuable to producers.It enables insurance and financial professionals to stay up to date on trends and help their clients to the best of their ability. At the end of the day the clients come first.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Continuing Education Is It Worth the Investmen

There are many factors students consider when going back to school. Affordability is often on top of their list. Many try to determine the risk V. reward. Is a $30,000 master's degree worth it? Will I get a promotion or land a better job? It is recommended to look at where you are in your career, where you want to be, and how many more years you will be in the workforce. We will give you a couple of examples and help you decide what the individual should do.

John Smith is 35 years old, married with two children. He is currently working as a team leader for Nike. John has a bachelor's degree from University of Phoenix and he is considering going back to school for an MBA in Project Management. Nike is a very large company and they are constantly hiring and offering their employees advancement opportunities. Taking all of this into consideration, an advanced degree should certainly benefit John. He has about 30 years left in his career and has a lot of growth potential in his current company. An MBA could help him move into a more managerial or director type role.

Mary Moore has a little bit of a different situation. She is 52 years old and COO of Unique Printers. It is a smaller company and she reports directly to the President. She is looking at multiple programs online. She is considering investing $42,000 for her Master's in Human Resources. Mary has been working 35 years now and wants to retire at the age of 60. Due to her circumstances, we would probably not recommend Mary to continue her education at this time. There is little to no room for advancement and she will only be working another eight years.

As you can see, everyone thinking about going back to school has a different situation. Some are harder than others. Again, it goes back to the risk V. reward. One thing that may sway your decision is if your employer will help fund your education. In the previous example, if the President was willing to pay Mary's tuition then she would really have to think it over. It would be very tough to turn town a free education. Employers do this often to show how they are investing in their employees. They hope the employee grows in their role and stays committed to their company. The only drawback is if the employee decides to leave for a better opportunity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some Effects of Homeschooling on Socialization

Why the debate about homeschooling and socialization?

A common criticism of homeschooling is that homeschool children will not be properly socialized and therefore will lack social skills. So what is it about school that is so important for socialization? As kids develop psychologically they go though many stages. The stages vary depending on the psychologist you happen to be reading, but there is a basic pattern. Kids are attached to their parents, then kids like to play around other kids (but not with them), then kids desire to make friends and play with the other kids (this is a simplified version of course). So the concern with homeschooling is that with homeschooled children not leaving to go to school when they are five they will not have the opportunity to go through proper psychological development because they will not have the other children of similar age to interact with. This of course means critics are assuming that homeschoolers lock their children in a room or chain them to a table making them do countless hours of school work and never letting them "socialize" with other children. In reality, because of concern for the social development of their homeshooled children many parents overcompensate involving their children in many group activities, even more than their public school peers.

What is the effect of public school on socialization?

Take a walk through a public school and listen to the conversations that kids are having, or check out one of the millions of facebook pages of today's students and you will most likely find yourself weeping for the future of mankind. There are epidemics of drug and alcohol abuse, sexual pressure, bullying, and a culture that celebrates ignorance over intelligence and creativity. The public schools promote an environment that overemphasizes the importance of athletic achievement and downplays academic or creative endevours. Football and basketball players have rallies that celebrate their achievement whether or not they have a winning season, while exemplary performers in academics, music and art are lucky to receive a letter home acknowledging their accomplishments. When a student puts forth a good effort in class the common ridicule is to be labeled a "try hard". Can you think something any more ignorant to demean someone for. Trying hard is now somehow something to be ashamed of. This is the "Jersey Shore" Generation, a mindset that if you party, get drunk and make yourself sound as stupid as possible you can be rich and famous, trying hard and working for something is for chumps. That is the socialization that is taking place in public schools today.

Socialization is a pro for homeschooling not a con.

Homeschooling and socialization go hand in hand and give parents more say in their child's psychological development. What is wrong with choosing who your child associates with when they are young? As a homeschool family you can join groups, go on playdates and of course your child can play kids in your neighborhood (after the public school kids finish their homework!). Educating you children at home does not mean they wont ever get to see other kids. They will probably get to interact even more. If I recall, most of the time kids got in trouble in my classes, it was for socializing! Additionally socialization is public schools is not diverse. In a typical class you have 30 children all of the same age and socioeconomic background. These groupings delay maturity because the young student have no older students to emulate. Homeschooled children interact with a much wider variety of people with diverse background and participate more within the community, you know the "real world". Public schools claim to be preparing students for the real world yet foster an environment that is nothing like it, where being bad at a sport is more important than being good at math or science.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What Metacognition Brings to the Homeschool Learning?

In learning, our goal is to have the student take control of his learning and move beyond just remembering facts for a test and then forgetting them at a later time. We want our homeschooled kids to remember information and be able to apply it in various situations. We want them to make neural connections that will allow them to access the information when it is needed and useful.

What Is Metacognition?

In the book How People Learn metacognition is defined as "people's abilities to predict their performances on various tasks (e.g., how well they will be able to remember various stimuli) and to monitor their current levels of mastery and understanding... Teaching practices congruent with a metacognitive approach to learning include those that focus on sense-making, self-assessment, and reflection on what worked and what needs improving. These practices have been shown to increase the degree to which students transfer their learning to new settings and events."

In simple English, metacognition is the point where learners can monitor and take charge of their learning. When students use metacognition, they are able to think about how they are learning. Metacognition allows learners to come to an understanding of concepts, not just a rote memorization of facts.

Metacognition is developed by encouraging home school students to think for themselves. As teachers, we want to provide help and many times do more than we should while we are trying to help. Asking questions that guide our kids to think helps them to develop the skills necessary to take learning to a higher level.

What Metacognitive Thinking Looks Like

Think about how science (or other content) vocabulary is learned. One way students study vocabulary is to repeat the definition to themselves ten times each night for a number of nights before a test. This helps them to memorize definitions and parrot them back on the test. The words are quickly forgotten and serve no useful purpose.

When a student is thinking about vocabulary in a metacognitive sense, they are asking questions about how these words work within a context. For example, learning that a molecule is "the smallest physical unit of an element or compound, consisting of one or more like atoms in an element and two or more different atoms in a compound"(dictionary.com) may help a student pass a test but they do not really understand molecules. A student using metacognitive thinking may ask what are atoms and how do they affect molecules? If I can identify the molecules in a compound, how does changing those molecules affect the compound? They have now taken the definition and have asked themselves further questions. As they do this, molecule becomes more than just a vocabulary word, it becomes an essential part of the chemistry or physics they are studying.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Homeschool Students and College

More families are choosing to homeschool because they believe they are seeking a superior educational experience for their children. However the variety of homeschool curricula makes it difficult for colleges and universities to accurately evaluate student accomplishments in comparison to those of other students.

Homeschooled students can stand out for college admissions in all of the same ways that traditional students can. You just have to be a little more diligent in accounting for it.

Here are some suggestions for developing an application that really stands out. (Most suggestions apply to everyone, not just homeschooled students.)

1. Academics- Many homeschool students will need to create their own "transcript" to show colleges what they have studied. Some colleges and universities have supplemental forms for homeschool students to complete, listing their academic accomplishments.

Take time to present your coursework in detail- list experiences, travels, books read, etc. A student I advised this year was working on a research project at a local hospital, an in-depth project ideal for the homeschool student. Some students have in-depth Bible study as part of their curriculum. All of these academic experiences are valuable and should be clearly listed on college applications.

2. Activities - Another way homeschooled students can stand out is in their activities. Activities do not have to be school-based. You don't have to be a member of a school club or sports team to have accumulated significant hours in sports, organizations, or activities meaningful to you.

With greater flexibility of schedule, homeschoolers and can participate in activities requiring a significant time commitment. I've known some students who homeschooled so that they could pursue high-level competition in sports such as gymnastics, golf, or tennis, but your activity could incorporate your talents in music, the arts, or any field of your choice.

3. Service and Leadership - We need service and leadership in every community! Homeschool students have the unique ability to contribute because they are often available when other students are in school. Whether you choose to incorporate opportunities into your curriculum or take advantage of your ability to participate in activities scheduled during the traditional school day, you can stand out for your dedication to service or your leadership.

Consider service at your church or religious organization. Volunteer your time at the local library, hospital, or community center. Stand out in your community by becoming involved in local political campaigns, organizations such as Toastmasters or the Rotary Club, and look for opportunities to pursue issues and activities you are passionate about.

All students should take advantage of the opportunities on college applications to explain meaningful activities and elaborate on unique educational opportunities. Homeschool students may need to spend extra time and effort on applications to make sure all their academics, activities, service, and leadership stand out.