Like practically everything else in today’s society, the field of education has evolved significantly over the past decade and student expectations have skyrocketed along with it.
Competition between prospective students applying to colleges and universities across the nation are at an all time high and are expected to grow more competitive over time. More and more employment opportunities are becoming available in areas such as Information Technology, Healthcare, and the Applied Sciences. But what does this mean for you and your child? It means that the key to securing your child’s future lies in ensuring they are not only meeting but exceeding today’s learning standards, and being proactive about supplementing the instruction they receive in school with additional curriculum outside of the classroom.
As a parent of two young children and an education paraprofessional, I have some of the same concerns most Millennial parents have in this day-in-age; primarily making sure my children are able to adapt to and thrive in a fast-paced, highly technical, relentlessly competitive workforce. One of the most concrete ways of ensuring this happens is keeping up and being fully aware of your child’s progress from year to year via assessments and mastering the related skill sets for a given level.
Here are 5 things you can do as a mom to prepare your child for these new-aged assessments.
1) Know the Common Core Standards
The Common Core standards are a new set of educational guidelines America’s schools have began officially using at the start of the 2014-2015 school year. There are only 2 states so far that have opted not to comply with these new frameworks. By being familiar with these standards and being sure your child reaches each milestone, you’ll put your child on the fast track to successful learning and for a promising career.
2) Be Prepared to Teach at Home
Even the developers of the new Common Core Standards agree that the standards are only guidelines, the foundation; in other words the bare minimum a student needs to know in order to simply be able to graduate from high school and function at a basic level.
3) Make Use of New Technology
Many school districts are taking advantage of new-fangled technologies to help students learn, such as tablets in the classroom, smartboards, and testing software. Your child will be at a significant disadvantage if you do not personally expose them to at least some of these devices and various technological competencies such as: typing and how to do research online, as early as possible.
4) Do Away with Summer Downtime
Why not prepare your kids for what they’ll likely have to look forward to their entire lives?… a life that does not include a 3 month “vacation” from life. Enroll them in performance art camps, sports clinics, creative writing workshops, or space camp, whatever it takes to keep those intellectual juices flowing to prevent losing an excess of all the information they just learned the previous school year.
5) Be Aware of Your Child’s School’s Performance
Take the time to know exactly where your child’s school stands academically, not just at the local level, but nationally as well. If your child’s school’s collective test scores are below proficient in any given area, chances are your child’s individual performance will lag too, unless you take the necessary steps to make the difference.
Obviously, most of the suggestions I’ve provided are practical in nature but most of the time we get so consumed in the never ending business of our own lives we forget to fully invest in the lives of our children. All in all, if you do the research and put forth the effort you can help your children get around the challenges they’ll face in today’s classroom.
Children are always watching and learning from their parents, so teaching them about eco-friendly practices and ecological awareness is essential in order to protect the Earth’s environment in future generations. While caring for the Earth is important for today’s adults, it is even more important for future generations. In a few hundred years, people will not have beautiful places to visit for relaxation unless everyone begins today to protect the earth from harmful pollutants.
Conserve Water during Everyday Activities
Teach your children to not waste water because fossil fuels are required at treatment plants to clean and transport it to homes. Instead of allowing water to run continuously while brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet after wetting a toothbrush. Next, turn on the faucet again after brushing your teeth to rinse off the brush. Because everyone in a family is supposed to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes, they are conserving a lot of water with this method. By doing this each day for two weeks, it becomes a lifelong habit.
Use Less Paper in Your Home
Instead of wasting paper in your home, find ways to use every scrap to avoid loss of trees. Your children may not understand that paper is derived from wood pulp, requiring cutting down trees before the plants are transported on trucks that use a lot of fossil fuel. Using less paper leads to conservation of several resources, including petroleum products, water and plants. Reuse paper bags from the grocery store, cut junk mail in sections to use for writing notes, and use the back of lined paper when completing homework.
Plant and Flowers Grow Together
There is a good chance that your children have never seen flowers grow from tiny seeds. You only need a small space on a lawn to plant flower seeds in the spring. If you do not have a garden, buy flowerpots to fill with soil to grow houseplants instead. Each day, take time to water the seeds and seedlings to see how flowers grow. Also take children to a botanical garden, park or flower shop to see the wide assortment of plants that provide oxygen and beauty for people.
Create a Recycling Station in a Home
Make it easy to recycle in your home by creating an easy to use area near a kitchen. Most recycling of trash needs to take place near your home’s kitchen where families open cans and bottles while preparing meals. Color-coding with plastic bins in red, blue and yellow for different types of trash such as glass, plastic or metal makes it easier for youngsters to sort trash quickly. After the trash bins are filled with clean containers, it is simple to haul the items to a neighborhood recycling station.
Model Behavior to Teach Your Children
Your children are like sponges, watching everything that their parents do to repeat the behavior. While telling your children to use less water or recycle containers is an acceptable way to teach children about protecting the earth, modeling the behavior is more effective. Parents can help children learn about saving the planet’s resources by taking time each day to reuse items such as old envelopes for creating grocery lists or making pencil holders from soup cans.
It’s amazing what a woman can do, especially those Supermoms who can leap over any problem in a single bound to save the day. They juggle work, family, and home with an ability to seemingly do it all. Stretching the budget, creating a healthy menu, and holding everything together is just par for the course. That’s why it’s no surprise that many mothers are out there designing their own home renovations. It is a do-it-yourself era in this tough economy and some moms are going beyond the level of expectations. They’ve got the determination, are willing to learn, and have an imaginative flair that can’t be beat.
Daring to Take on the Bathroom
The bathroom is a vital space in any home, but many will neglect it as they put their creative efforts into improving the rest of the house. That’s not the case for a mother in upstate New York. Cindy wanted her bathroom to be functional and attractive. That meant designing a space to take on the demands of two girls and two boys; fortunately, she and her husband had their own bathroom. She started out with putting in a tub surround to make it easier to keep the bathroom clean as well as cover up the old wall and tub that had seen it’s better days. The delivery crew brought in the surround and set in place, giving her the muscle she needed. Cindy took over and did the rest, thanks to home improvement sites that gave her plenty of guidance. She also added shelves for storage, a ventilation fan, new paint, and wallpaper trim to revitalize her space. Toss in new shower curtains and the job was done. Supermom to the rescue!
The Wonders of a Cozy Kitchen
Out in Montana, Nancy wanted her kitchen to be the heart of the home, but first she needed to make some changes. She started by tearing out the old cabinets, some that were mounted too high for any average person, and brought in new. She so happened to luck out with a steal of a deal when a customer turned down a custom order. From that point, Nancy added an island in the middle of her kitchen with stools. Now, her entire family gathers for casual meals, including breakfast each morning. It’s a great way to touch base and catch up with the kids while she’s busy cooking or packing lunches.
Bring on a Second Story
Talk about rising to the challenge. Marie in San Diego wanted a second story room addition for her home and wasn’t about to buy another house to get it. She loved her space. Turning to a third party company, she explained to them exactly what she wanted. Together, they poured over design plans, ensuring Marie would get true satisfaction from the build. The team of competent builders did the framework, allowing Marie and her husband to do the finishing work. In the end, they could say that there home was their true pride and joy. There is nothing like the satisfaction of being a part of the build and watching a dream take shape. It all worked out in the nick of time. Marie had to start preparing for the arrival of a new baby. They were going to need that additional space.
A mom who stays at home to raise her children definitely has one of the toughest jobs on Earth – but if you stay at home with your kids, you probably already know that. Despite the rigors of raising young children, you may be looking for a way to supplement your bank balance. In this guide, you’ll find eight real ways to become the breadwinner in your home.
Get into Social Media Consulting
Businesses everywhere want to build and manage an online presence, and many want to hire social media managers and consultants. In this line of work, you’ll help local and faraway businesses with their Google+, Twitter, Facebook and other pages. This job doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge – all you need is patience and the willingness to do some research.
Be a VA (Virtual Assistant)
This job is great for productive, highly organized and detail-oriented moms. Put your organizational skills to use as a virtual assistant, and you’ll help businesses schedule appointments, answer phones, organize files and type documents. No formal training is necessary – but good typing skills and phone etiquette are a must.
Break into Blogging
Blogs aren’t just online diaries anymore – people are making real money at it! Think of all of your skills – if you’re good with a sewing machine, think about starting a sewing blog. Some bloggers start out small, and turn it into a full-time job.
Sell Your Crafts
There are a few places online, such as Etsy, where you can sell handmade and vintage jewelry, crafts and a lot more. Open a storefront and ship your orders as they’re received. These online marketplaces are a great way to build a fan base for your art, and they’re definitely worth a try.
Sell Your Services on Fiverr
Despite some recent site troubles, the site Fiverr.com is popular for allowing people everywhere to sell a skill or service for $5. It’s really interesting to see what people have to offer – you may find someone to do a singing telegram, or you may be able to get a business logo designed. Be creative, have fun, and make money at the same time!
Run a Babysitting Service
You’re already at home taking care of your kids – adding a few more will be easy, right? Let family, friends and neighbors know that you’re offering your services, and get ready to help local parents who work outside the home.
Quality graphic design services are in great demand, and a good designer can make a substantial income designing for online clients, ebooks and websites. Learn about some of the programs designers use, and determine which business model is right for you.
Do Business Bookkeeping
Many business owners just want to focus on their day-to-day jobs, and the last thing they want to do is bookkeeping work. There’s a big market for those who like to crunch numbers – before you start, you should take an accounting course or two. Stay up to date on client activities and offer comprehensive service, and the work will come pouring in.
These are some relatively easy ways to make a full-time income from home – with a bit of brainstorming, you can surely find a few more. Just because you’re not bringing home a paycheck, doesn’t mean that you can’t contribute to your household’s finances.
As parents in the age of the “Internet of Everything,” when everything and everyone is more connected to others around the world, teaching your children how to engage on social media in a safe way. One of the most popular of these social media platforms is Twitter, which has captured a significant amount of Internet users the world over. We’ve collected some guidelines you may want to follow when teaching your kids how to engage with others on sites like Twitter where they will engage and interact with millions.
1) Passwords Should Be Kept Secret
Most children ready to use twitter are likely experienced with creating passwords and pass-phrases for many other sites. In fact, as technology and their accompanying interfaces become more streamlined and user friendly, children and younger and younger ages will be adept at created passwords for their online accounts.
What is worth expressing here is the need to keep those passwords safe. Young children are known to share such things as passwords with friends, and because of this can become targets for hackers who phish for private information. Encouraging secrecy with account information is the first step in protecting them on social media networks.
2) Set Tweet Limits
One reason kids love social networks like Twitter is because it simulates the feeling of being somewhat adult by engaging with others without restriction. But restriction is necessary, it’s a tool of parenting that has effects that reach far beyond time spent on the Internet. Set a limit for number of tweets and hours your child ca spend on Twitter a day.
3) Twitter is Public
To anyone who pays attention to local or national news will know, anything that goes online will remain online forever. In recent years, employers and even educators have been known to look in on the twitter accounts of persons to monitor behavior, relationships and interactions. Teaching your children to exercise a little temperance before tweeting can save a lot of frustration in the future.
4) Know Who Your Kids Tweet To
Twitter is a platform mostly utilized by adults. It has regularly served as a platform for businesses, entertainment personalities and even promotion for material not friendly to kids. Yes, it’s true that on Twitter “adult content” can freely be shared amongst users and can appear in a user’s Twitter feed if they follow that person or are tagged in their tweets.
In the account settings, a user can filter their feed to eliminate material not configured as safe for viewers of all ages. If your kids will be using twitter regularly, make a point to change their settings for them to make sure that their feed remains safe. You may also want to want to make a habit of investigating their direct message inbox. As Twitter is a social media platform, it is a hunting ground for phishers who may resort to using objectionable material to lure your kids into conversation in order to get personal information. Such messages should never be responded to, and should be reported immediately.
The whole of the Internet, as in the real world, children can be subject to bullying and harassment at any time. Open dialogue between you and your child ensures that you know who they are communicating with and how their exchanges transpire to determine if an online relationship requires some intervention.
Whether on Twitter or in everyday life, parenting takes more than five little rules. But considering the guidelines above, you can better your kid’s chances of having a positive experience when interacting online.
During most of our working lives, we want our homes be places where we can rest and recover among our family and loved ones from the daily grind of jobs, careers and schools. We also look forward to exciting weekends and holidays and special occasion events with entertainment, excursions, vacation and travel. In addition to outside activities, why not introduce some interactive family practices that can bring the excitement of mutual discovery and inspire the whole family to surpass one another’s expectations? Here are some ways to make your family’s daily home life more exciting and inspirational.
1. DAILY ROUNDUP
Set a daily time when all the family members are gathered together, for example, at dinner time. Ask each person what was the best thing that happened that day, and what was the worst thing that happened that day. This will be exciting for the youngest ones as they take part on an equal footing with the older ones and the adults. At the same time, the older family members will experience the excitement of observing new traits emerge as your children grow and develop over time. And your family will be creating a rich, shared understanding of the values that inspire one another.
2. PERSONAL HEROES
Who are your personal heroes? Who are the people who fire your imagination with their achievements and spur you to rise above your daily routine? Let each family member in turn research a chosen heroes through libraries or internet, films, documentaries, or related organizations, then report to the whole family why their heroes are admirable and inspiring. Why will this be exciting? Your family members can be surprising in their choice of hero and the inner values that they exhibit by their choice. Moreover, they can inspire you in turn in their passionate description of their hero.
3. GUEST CHEF
Once a week, let each person pick a dinner recipe, shop for the ingredients and prepare the family dinner, allowing for assistance as needed. The resulting dinner is to be rated on a 5-star scale by each member of the family. This could become exciting if the family members introduce a regular family culinary competition with imaginative dishes from different cuisines.
4. GUEST AUTHOR
Every week, one member of the family creates a 5-10 minute story and presents it to the family. It is their choice what props they use or what medium – a computer presentation, a series of drawings, or even costumes, song and dance. This is a wonderful excuse to let imaginations run wild and creativity blossom.
5. SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION
Spiritual inspiration can already be a regular part of family life. Perhaps your faith tradition is a source of sacred books and stories, statues or icons, scriptural teachings. Faith rituals also include commemorations of significant life passages: birth, young adulthood, marriage and illness and passing. The home millieu is one more source of inspiration. A clean, neat house without clutter reduces stress; bright natural lighting with indoor plants or outdoor vistas can lift moods and bring a sense of clarity and inspiration through eliminating distraction and conflict.
These are five ways of making your daily family life more exciting and inspirational. They will be all the more effective if you practice moderation rather than pile them on all at once. They will also help create, enrich and maintain strong family bonds if they are practiced as regular parts of daily family life.
If you’re a mom that works outside of the home, you know that sometimes it can be difficult to find a balance between your work and home wardrobe. Particularly if you’ve got little ones around, your at-home attire may revolve around a seriously casual look. Sweatpants, anyone? So, if you’re searching for some good options that strike a balance between business casual and busy mom, follow this guide for the best and newest trends that will help you create a more professional look.
Incorporate a few neutral classics.
No matter what’s showing on the current runway, there are a few basic pieces that can be incorporated in any wardrobe and see you through any season. Find a crisp, white button-down that works with your body type. Try on different styles, and choose something that works both on it’s own and under items such as cardigans and blazers.
A couple basic bottoms to add to your wardrobe are a good pair of dark-wash skinny jeans and a pair of trouser pants. Your skinny jeans will work in any business casual environment and can easily go from day to night, or from office to mom-on-the-run. When you buy a pair of trouser pants, choose a neutral color like grey, black or tan. Remember that patterns such as pinstripes and a light tweed can work as a neutral as well. Be sure to have the pants hemmed to the height of whatever shoe you wear most often.
Invest in a quality hairstyle that is easy and flattering.
Getting that polished look for work can take extra time in the morning if you’re always having a bad hair day. Those are minutes that you probably don’t have to waste. Visit a good stylist that knows how to develop a look that works for your face and won’t take forever to re-create at home. It’s best if you have some ideas of what you want before heading into the salon. If you want to keep up-to-date with what’s trending, visit your local hair coloring salon and ask for some ideas or take a look at some of the magazines they provide. A hairstylist will have the best idea on what will look best with your face shape and coloring.
Introduce a few pops of color and added texture into your wardrobe.
So, you’ve got some classic neutral pieces that you can use to mix and match. Plus, an easy hairstyle that only takes minutes in the morning. To pull off an easy business casual outfit that looks like you spent a lot of time putting yourself together, include some pops of color or patterns. The great part about adding colors, patterns and textures into your wardrobe is that it can be incorporated in several different ways. Maybe it’s a bold cardigan in bright yellow or a statement necklace that pulls your whole outfit together. You can use shoes, handbags or scarves to bring life to your wardrobe. It’s fun and casual but also fits in a professional environment.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be overwhelming to start developing a style that is business casual for the busy mom. Just by taking these first few steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a professional look that caters to your hectic life. With this guide in-hand, you’ll be the most fashionable mom on the block.
Lots of women are joining the ranks and becoming stay-at-home moms. Although the economy makes it tough to be a single-income household, it’s easier than ever to earn money from home. Thanks to today’s technology, moms can have the joy of being home with their children, and can still contribute to the family’s financial resources by running an online business. Here are ten that moms can start from home in just a day.
1. Ebay Auctions
Ebay’s been around a long time, and it’s still just as easy to start an online auction business from home. It requires some time to take pictures and prepare your posts, but you can start listing items in a matter of hours.
2. An Online Store
Opening an online store is easy to do, no matter what you’re selling. Be prepared to invest some time in reaching your target market to promote your product, and check with your local courthouse to determine any licensing required.
This is an easy and fun option that can be started very quickly. Just choose your domain, decide on a theme, and start writing. The more you promote your blog, the more visitors you’ll have, and that translates into more money generated through ads.
4. Coaching Or Consulting
Whatever area you have expertise in, starting an online coaching and consulting business is quick and profitable. You’re essentially offering your guidance to help others less knowledgeable in your field, and it can all be done by email or IM.
Whether you’re a writer or something else, freelancing your services online is simple. Find someone who needs what you offer, and then sell them your product. Because you’re an independent contractor, you choose when you work.
6. Product Review Business
A product review business is fast to start up. You determine the types of products you’ll review, and then target the consumers and companies who will be interested. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to register your review business, and you’re on your way.
For this one, all you need is software and some clients . Small, newer businesses are good candidates for your skills. Just make an offer to handle their bookkeeping, and you’re an independent contractor working from home.
8. Amazon Sales
Selling on Amazon easy to do. Just sign up for a seller’s account and start listing. Thanks to fulfillment by Amazon, you can bulk ship your products to them and they take care of the rest.
9. Affiliate Marketing
Find the company you’d like to sell products for, and sign up as an affiliate. Promote the products, and for each sale you make, you earn a percentage.
10. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are self-employed and work from home for a variety of clients, doing things like scheduling and emails. It’s just a matter of finding a business that needs your skills and jumping in.
This is just a small sampling of possibilities that moms can start from home in a day. There are lots of opportunities out there, so with a little research and creativity, you can be well on your way to the fun and many advantages of running an online business while being home.
Your child may have to face standardized tests eventually, but they don’t need to be a source of tension and stress. You can help you child get a good perspective on standardized tests that will help them throughout their education. A child being relaxed when taking a test almost always gives a better chance of doing well than being tense. Before they face the first test, there are some things you can do to help.
Your child should always feel supported by you. If your child believes you are proud of his or her achievements, they will feel more secure. You can tell them that you have confidence that they will do their best. Let them know that comparisons are not important. If they don’t know an answer, not to worry, just go on to the next question. In most schools, children aren’t expected to know all the answers, and the test results help the teacher know their strengths and weaknesses.
If you are nervous, your child will be nervous. This is not only unhealthy, but it shows a lack of confidence on your part. Ask them if they want any help from you and try to keep them in their normal daily routines. Study or homework time should be balanced with plenty of physical exercise. Sometimes just staring off into space is required for information to sink in. Talk to your child’s teacher about more techniques for relaxation.
You can put the exam in context of the larger picture. Some exams are important for the child’s next educational step such as the SAT or ACT tests. However, these exams can usually be taken again if the score is not what your child expected. Even AP exams are a one time performance. They don’t necessarily define your child’s whole educational career. Your child should want to do their best, but they should never feel that their whole life depends on one exam. A child’s amazing potential should never be reduced to an exam result.
When you see the results, find the right reaction. Both getting angry at a poor result and being euphoric at a stellar performance are the wrong reaction. The focus should stay on the child, not get shifted to the exam. You can praise the child’s efforts in preparation, tell them you are proud they were able to stay focused for the whole exam and ask them how they feel about the results. You can ask if they would change anything about their preparation time.
Parents can help children prepare by finding practice tests. These can be obtained from the school, district or state website, and there may be samples of previous tests on the site. You can also talk with your child’s teacher to get a good recommendation for sat prep courses online.
If children develop, with the help of their parents, a healthy attitude towards standardized exams at an early age, they will have a better chance of getting good results. Studying is only part of taking exams, albeit a big part, but attitude is also very important. A child may be thorough with a subject at home, but when they sit in front of an exam paper, they go blank. The best way to avoid this is to be as calm and relaxed as possible.
Many of us have heard the expression that children soak up information like sponges, and there is much research and many every day happenings that have proved this to be true. While parents do not want their children to “soak up” the wrong ideas, it is inevitable that children will be exposed to content/experiences that they should not have exposure to. This goes deeper than just hearing an inappropriate song or watching an R-rated movie. There are other things that parents should be wary of their children being exposed to, such as the concept of greed.
Now, some might argue that since it is inevitable, what point is there in trying to safeguard their children? It is true that there is NO way to shelter children from all things undesirable in the world, but that also does not mean that children should be allowed to do what they please. Discipline and guidance is essential for children so that they are not exposed to things when inappropriate, like watching a slasher film at age eight. But what about greediness? Is that such a bad thing?
Greed is part of human nature- this is inescapable. Children will see as well as display examples of greed in their daily lives. Whether they have a friend who refuses to share or if they eat all the cookies, children learn early on the basic concept of greed. When people are “not fair”, children take notice. But what if a child is exposed to more than just these minor incidents of greed?
Cause and Effect
People in general cannot handle greed well. The Peacebringer Musings mentions how greed is a global issue and leads humans to become so greedy that it effects millions, like the stock market crashes leading to the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Imagine a family that is obsessed with wealth- these “values” of always needing to have more and never having enough are passed down to their children. The children grow up becoming the same as their parents were since it’s all that they had ever known. The cycle continues on and creates monsters of greed that slaughter economies for the sake of financial and material comfort. While greed clearly has many negative connotations, is it ALL bad?
It Can Be Good
Greed in smaller doses can be used to achieve great things. The Peacebringer Musings goes on to say how greed can be used as a motivator for accomplishing goals and how it can actually benefit economies, but only if the greed does not get out of control. So what does this mean for children? If taught how to use greed to their advantage, children can also achieve great things, and sometimes we as adults encourage their greed to do so (earning an allowance, monetary reward for all A’s, etc.).
Children as well as adults use greed to obtain what they want in life, whether it be a puppy or a
college degree. Both examples result from greed, and it serves to prove that greed can be used for positive results.
The Proper Amount
Overall, the AMOUNT of exposure to greed and the EMPHASIS that we as adults put on money effects children greatly. Whether that effect is positive or negative resides on how adults handle and present greed around their children. Children are the ones who will be taking care of the world when we no longer can, so ensuring that those important figures are not Scrooges wouldn’t be a bad idea!
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- 5 Things Moms Can Do to Prepare Their Kids For Next Generation School Assessments
- How to Instill Eco-friendly Practices and Ecological Awareness in Your Kids
- When Moms Design Home Renovations
- 8 Ways Stay-At-Home-Moms Can Make More Money Than Their Husbands
- Teaching Your Kids To Use Twitter the Right Way