Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve Promises

Make sure you think of all the ways you and your family can make 2011 a better year.  Below are just a few suggestions from me.  They are not in any particular order.  Just manage to incorporate as many as possible.

1. Promise to work together to get out of debt.
2. Get on a healthy eating and exercising program.
3. Make sure every child in your life is getting the "Best Education Possible".
4. Do something to improve your personal life.
5. Promise to show more love and respect for one another and others.
6. Read a good book and have your children to do the same.
7. Make your home a place of peace and comfort.
8. Smile more and speak kind words to one another
9. Support and compliment each other whenever possible.
10. Eat as a family whenever possible.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #73

In order for a school to be truly effective, there must be the perfect recipe and perfect ingredients.  That brings us to tip #73.

Tip #73: Make sure your child's school has the ingredients for an effective school.

4 cups of a superintendent, principal, and school board with vision and energy
6 Tablespoons of skilled, dedicated, willing to learn, motivated teachers
3 teaspoons of concerned, involved, willing to discipline when necessary, parents
4 1/2 cups of excited, hard working, well behaved students

1. Preheat school building to 72 loving degrees Fahrenheit.
2. First you must pour in 4 cups of leaders that have a vision for success and know how to make that vision come alive for everyone involved. They can verbalize the vision and get everyone to buy in. You must combine the 4 cups of leaders in a large functioning building with all the staff, materials, curriculum, and technology needed to make it smooth and fluffy.
3. Next you mix in 6 heaping Tablespoons of skilled, dedicated teachers. They must be able to do whatever it takes to make this school the perfect consistency. They should be able to apply the latest research strategies and individualize lessons so all students are engaged in learning. They should also be deeply in love with the process of learning, sharing ideas and seeing every student as a perfected work in progress. You blend that with the principal and vision until the consistency is thick and blended well.
4. Blend in 3 leveled teaspoons of concerned and involved parents. The parents are the right spice of partnership that is needed to give every school the sweet aroma of success. They cover their children with encouragement and positive attitudes about learning and consistent appropriate discipline. They turn off the heat of the TV, video games, and cell phones during the process of baking "The Best Education Possible". They attend PTA meetings, conferences, and special programs. Roll out the batter on the cooking board of knowledge and kneed the dough until the vision of the school leaders, teachers, and parents have rise together.
5. Finally, you add 4 heaping cups of excited, hard working, well behaved students. They respect the entire recipe and understand the importance of mixing well with all the other ingredients. They are self-motivated and rise to every occasion and want the baking process to be perfect until all knowledge has been significantly added for easy consumption. They feel a sense of belonging and ownership to the recipe of excellence. Slowly add the future leaders of the world and sprinkle in respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness.
6. Allow the effective school to stand in a warm place until well done. Lastly, spread the icing of outstanding academic standards on top and enjoy "The Best Education Possible For Your Child!"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #72

School is the definition of change. Each year students must get use to the next grade, new teacher, and different classmates. Stress really multiples when kids make the great leap from elementary school to middle school and middle school to high school. Not only are the academics and extra personal responsibility more challenging, new middle-school students must learn to cope with puberty, peer pressure, and exposure to negative influence.  That brings us to tip #72.

Tip #72: Help your child with school changes and changing grades.

Through all these changes, big and small, your child will look to you for perspective, expectation, and advice. Here are some suggestions for helping your child with school changes according to Stephen C. George.

1. Nervous is normal - Let your child know it is normal to be nervous. Share a story about your own back-to-school jitters.
2. Get a conversation going - The last thing a kid wants is to hear a lecture, so look for opportunities to spark a conversation. Don worry about invading your child's privacy.
3. Don't do all the talking - Listen to the child once they open up to you. Help them think through the problem and let them solve it on their own if possible.
4. Tackle the touchy subjects - Talking about sex, drugs, and bullying with children is a tough job, but every parent has to when the time comes.
5. Get help - Sometimes, kids need someone else with the benefit of experience closer to their age. This is why many school districts have adopted buddy systems.
6. Say the "v" word - Every talk with your child is the opportunity to remind them of your values.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #71

Parents are a child's first and most influential teacher. Therefore, the schools should and must have a strong, positive, partnership with parents.  That brings us to tip #71.

Tip #71:  Get involved in the your child's school.

From involving families in the first day of school, to the principals and teachers getting to know the parents (and making home visits when necessary), to hosting no fewer than 10 fun, informational family events throughout the year. I believe with the school and family friendly partnership, our schools will reach their full potential. I teach at a magnet school in Huntsville, Alabama, and I know that the key ingredent to the success of our program is a strong academic program, capable administrators and teachers, and strong parential involvement. We work as a family and the health and success of any family is that everyone is important and must be successful. We are only as strong as the weakest link. So, parents please, please, please get involved. To find out how to get involved purchase my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education For Your Child K-6. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, December 27, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #71

In the beginning, there was Howdy Doody and Bozo the Clown. Now, there is Big Bird, Nick, Disney, and Dora the Explorer, just to name a few. Doctors advocate "media literacy" Daniel McGinn, suggest making wise TV choices. That brings us to tip #71.

Tip #71: Make sure you monitor what your child is watching on TV.

Some tips from the article, Guilt Free TV":

1. Set limits: Kid under 2 should be discouraged from watching TV. Older children should be rationed to 2 hours of daily TV, computer, and videogames.
2. Pull up a chair: Co-view with kids. Make sure the show is appropriate and encourage interaction with good messages. Talk about the show when it is over.
3. No TV in bedrooms: This leads to unsupervised viewing and a potential for overdose.
4. Use TV-book synergy: Kids programming from "Arthur" to "The Book of Pooh" often comes from books. After watching the show, read the book.
5. Focus, Focus, Focus: Observe children's behavior while watching TV. Their recall is amazing.

Saturday, December 25, 2010




May every child in your life receive the BEST EDUCATION POSSIBLE!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spreading Some Holiday Cheer

This is the time of holiday cheer! I don't care if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, it is a time to enjoy family, faith, and friends. Many of us send out holiday cards during this time. What if we got our children to make cards or sent one of our cards we usually send at this time to the wonderful people who have sacrificed so much for our country. When making out your list this year please include the following:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, N.W
Washington, DC 20307-5001

When sending out your holiday card, take the time to teach your child how to address an envelope, including return address, and stamp. It will become a good learning experience along with teaching them to reach out to others. Have a blessed holiday season and remember to try to be mindful of others less fortunate.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wish List for Older Children

According to Celia Shatzman, associate editor of Family Circle Magazine, kids who are over the letter-to-Santa deal, the next best thing is Just download the Wishpot button to their computer toolbar lets them create one master wish list with stuff they want from any retailer on the Web. Then let them share their "Wish List" with grandma and other friends and relatives. This is also a good idea for birthdays and other special occasions.

Make sure your children understand that they should think about others during this Holiday Season. Encourage them to think of something they can do for someone less fortunate, soldiers serving overseas, or a favorite charity. It can become a family tradition! When children grow up doing charitable deeds, it becomes something natural for them to give when they become adults.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What Makes an Effective Teacher?

What makes some teachers better than others?  According to an article in the Fall/Winter issue of Teacher PD Sourcebook, it depends on which research study you are reading.

A new study from the nonprofit Rand Corporation, for example, examines data from the Los Angeles Unified School District over a five year period and concludes that there is little correlation between teacher effectiveness (as measured by student test-score progress) and any particular qualifications or credentials.  That includes years of experience, education level attained, or licensure test scores.  Even failing a licensure exam showed no "statistically significant link: to a teacher's future effectiveness.

On the other hand, a newly published study by Duke University researcher Helen F. Ladd cross-checks North Carolina high school students' scores on required end-of-course exams against their teachers' records and find that teachers' credentials matter quite a bit.  Test-scores boosts, their study finds, are associate with everything from whether a teacher has a master's to where he or she went to college to how well he or she was scored on subject-area certification tests.

Moral of the story: "When it comes to improving teacher quality, make sure you check more than one source," states Anthony Rebora.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Get Involved In Your Child's Education

Most parents are truly concerned with their child's education. They really want the "best education possible" for their child, but don't know how to make that happen or are simply intimidated with the school environment. In order for a school to be the "best" possible there must be a total commitment from the school leadership, teachers, parents, and students.
The reading and math curriculum is very different from when most parents and grandparents were in school. Therefore, many parents are unable to understand the homework and cannot help their child after school. So, what is a parent to do if they want to help with homework? There are some websites that can help you. For parents of kindergarten and first grade children go to This is an excellent website! For parents of older children google "homework" or "parent university". Parent university will show you different states and school districts that are offering parents classes to learn how to help with homework today.

To find out what your child needs to master in the beginning, middle, and end of grades K-6, purchase my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible for Your Child K-6 Grades". This handbook/workbook will give you a pacing guide on what your child should master and the time of year they should master that skill. It will also give you important tips on making sure your child is getting the "best education possible." Parents that are involved with their child's education do better than children with little or no parental support. If the child knows that doing well in school is expect and important, the child will feel the same way. So, GET INVOLVED and this book makes a great gift.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Healthy Breakfast Sandwiches

According to an article in the September 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping, when you are in a rush and looking for a healthy choice for breakfast, try the options below which are all under 350 calories:

1. Dunkin' Donuts - Egg White Wake-Up Wrap - 150 calories
2. Subway - Western Egg Whit Muffin Melt - 180 calories
3. Burger King - Ham Omelet Sandwich - 270 calories
4. Jack in the Box - Breakfast Jack - 284 calories
5. McDonald's - Egg McMuffin - 300 calories
6. Au Bon Pain - Bacon an Bagel Sandwich - 340 calories
7. Starbucks - Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites - 340 calories

Most restaurants and fast food restaurants have healthy options.  Just educate yourself and make wise choices for you and your family.  I hope you are having a happy and healthy holiday season!

Friday, December 17, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #70

With all the germs that are pasted around schools in the winter months, a school wellness kit is a good idea. That brings us to tip #70. 

Tip #70: Make your child a wellness kit for the winter months at school.

 Kids, especially adolescents, will have little complications such as hangnails or a lost contact lens can grow into a BIG DEAL! Sent your child to school with a wellness kit recommended by Dr. Kate Cronan, pediatrician and medical expert for . Most everything will fit into a shaving bag or toiletry bag. Check with the school office for a list of exactly what is allowed with a child or in a locker.
Wellness Kit:
1. Hand sanitizer
2. Travel-pack of tissue
3. Lip balm
4. Throat lozenges
5. Breath mints
6. Band-Aids
7. Soft nail file
8. Travel-size deodorant
9. Nonperishable healthy snack (trail mix, protein bar, etc)
10. Sunscreen for field trips/recess

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #69

The family has changed greatly over the years. Today we have about half of the families being headed by a single parent. That brings us to tip #69.

Tip #69: Single parent must build a positive support system to help with their child.

It is not easy raising children with two parents let alone raising a child or children by a single parent. There are some things that a single mom or dad can do to help get through the challenges of raising children alone.

1. Make sure you are mentally healthy and happy while in your singleness. A happy healthy parent is the key!
2. Never speak negatively about the absent parent. Most children will figure what each parent's contribution has truly been to their lives in time .
3. Try to get the absent parent to be a part of the child's life if possible. If not, leave it alone and move on to making it with you and your child/children.
4. Find a support system of people to help. This can be grandparents, uncles, aunt, church members, or friends. It takes a village to raise children and sometimes you will need a break.
5. Keep open communications with your child and know how they are feeling about the family's current standings.
6. Try to get as much education as you can to support you and your family.
7. Never introduce your friend into the family circle until the relationship is serious, and don't keep a revolving door of suitors coming and going. It sends the wrong message and is very confusing to a child.
8. Be involved as much as possible in your child's education and extracurricular activities.

For more ideas on how to get involved in your child's education, purchase my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible For Your Child K-6 Grades". You can order your copy at

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #68

A gift you can give yourself this season is the gift of forgiveness. It is astounding the benefits for both your body and soul forgiveness will bring. Better yet, showing your children how to forgive will be a tool they can utilize for the rest of their lives. That brings us to tip #68.

Tip #68: Teach your children the value of forgiveness.

Although there is no single path to forgiveness, here are expert guidelines to follow according to December 2009, "Good House Keeping" magazine:

1. Allow yourself to feel anger before trying to let go of the hurt and how you can protect yourself in the future.
2. Talk about it with a trusted friend or therapist. Not only can this help you sort out how you feel, it can also allow you to see alternative viewpoints.
3. Calm yourself when you start feeling upset. It can help to go for a walk or do something else to calm down. Practicing meditation helps reduce stress and enhance a person's ability to forgive.
4. Empathize with the person who hurt you. Put yourself in the shoes of the person who hurt you, or recall a time that you hurt someone and were forgiven.
5. Remind yourself that forgiveness is a gift to yourself. It is easy to think of your own self-interest rather than the interest of a person who wounded you.
6. Commit to forgiveness. Once you feel like you've reached a turning point, write it down or tell someone - a friend, your spouse, or the person who hurt you. Forgiveness is easier to hold on to if it goes beyond the privacy of your own heart.
7. Relish the release. The sense of peace feels so good.
Teach your children the value of forgiveness. It can change everyones' lives for the better.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #67

Years ago, depression was thought to be for adults only. Dr. David Brent, a professor of child psychiatry at the University of Pittsburg, states,"If you become depressed at 25, you have coping skills. But at age 11, there's a lot you need to learn, and you may never learn it."  That brings us to tip #66.

Tip #67: If your child shows signs of depression, get professional help.

The dramatic social and biological changes that occur during adolescence are enough to cause even the healthiest teen to go over the edge, but when moodiness interferes with daily activities, it can be an early sign of depression. Warning sign for teen depression according to Ronald Dahu M.d. If five or more of these symptoms persist for two or more weeks, they may indicate teen depression:
1. Vague physical complaints, such as headaches
2. Frequent absences from school or drop in grades
3. Bouts of shouting or crying
4. Reckless behavior
5. Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
6. Loss of interest in friends

Depression rates jump after puberty, especially in girls. Up to 7% of severely depressed teens commit suicide. This is why it is important to recognize teen depression and get help for those who suffer with it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #66

According to an article written by editorial staff, part of a parent's responsibility is to teach your children how to lead healthy lives.  That brings us to tip #66.

Tip #66: Teach your children how to have a healthy lifestyle by living a healthy lifestyle.

The best time to start teaching these lessons to your children is when they are young, before unhealthy choices become lifelong bad habits.  When you want to pass on healthy habits to your kids, it's important to practice what you preach.  Just telling your kids what to do won't necessarily work.  They need to see you choosing healthy behaviors too.

What can I do?
1. Pay attention to the kinds of food you buy and limit the amount of "junk food" your kids eat.
2. Serve a variety of healthy foods and use appropriate portion sizes.
3. Encourage your children to drink plenty of water or milk, instead of fruit or sugar drinks.
4. Limit the amount of time your children spend watching television, computer, or video games to a maximum of 2 hours or less a day.
5. Eat meals and snacks together, as a family, at the table and not in front of the television.
6. Make physical activity part of your family's routine.  Take a walk, visit the community pool, or go for a bike ride together.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

10 Ways to Save on the Holidays

Sharon O'Brien, a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon, wrote an article for on how to save money for the holidays.  This year many people's budget is tighter, but that doesn't mean this holiday needs to be short on holiday cheer.  Below are 10 tips Sharon suggest to get started.

1. Make your own ornaments.  This can be fun to do with the entire family.  Just be creative and use materials like popcorn, flour dough and food coloring, paper, yarn or whatever your family can imagine.
2.Travel smart.  Sign up for airfare alerts sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia, or Travelocity.  If your not fly consider carpooling  and share expenses.
3. Share the expense of the holiday meal. Ask everyone to bring  a favorite dish.  This way the expense of the meal is not on one person or family.
4. Secret Santa.  Have everyone pick an adults name that will be their Secret Santa.  That way everyone will only have to buy one gift for the adults. You can all agree on a cost for the gift.  Have parents make up a wish list and clothes sizes for the children and agree to only buy for the children.  Make sure the children get what they truly need, a toy, and of course a BOOK. The adults can agree on what they will get for each child.
5. Look for bargains.  Make sure you are looking for the sales.  Also, shop the search engines like Bing or Google and coupons. There are plenty of bargains out the if you know what you are looking for.
6. Look for free activities. There are many free activities your family can go to.  Some examples would be school play, pageants, sporting events, church programs, tree lighting ceremonies, parades, and carolers.
7. Give the gift of Good Cheer. Instead of buying gifts for everyone have a wonderful potluck dinner instead. Make it a fun time to feast and spend time together.
8. Shop around for your tree. You can bargain with the tree seller.  If you can wait a week or two before Christmas the prices drop.
9. Save Energy. Skip the outdoor lights this year.  Also, cut the number of hours the tree lights are on.  Finally, purchase LED lights.  They may cost more, but use 90% less energy.
10. Plan now for next year. Holiday theme gifts, wrapping paper, decorations, dishes, cards, will be 50% off right after Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How Healthy are Avocados?

Add Avocados to your diet

According to an email from Healthy Tips, a study has found that a diet including avocados can help get cholesterol levels into the healthy range. In the study after 7 days LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels dropped by 22 percent and HDL ("good") cholesterol shot up 11 percent. Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, and folate. Avocados are very low in sodium and cholesterol-free but they do contain fat so eat in moderation.

This is just another tip for families to take into consideration when planning a healthier lifestyle.  We need to stop dieting and start "eating to live" not "living to eat".  Educate yourself and then take action toward a healthier change for the sake of everyone you love. I am truly trying very hard to make that healthy change in my families' eating habits.

Friday, December 10, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #65

If you are trying to think of a gift to buy for your child for a birthday or the holiday season, consider making the gift a good book at at least one of the gifts.  That brings us to tip #65.

Tip #65: Give your child a book as a gift whenever possible.

Research shows that children who read for pleasure do better academically then children who do little or no reading at home. Find out what the child is interested in or likes to read and buy that book.  According to Great Schools staff, below are some of the best new kids books available:

1. Children Make Terrible Pets, By Peter Brown - ages 4-8
2. The Odious Ogre, By Norton Juster - ages 4-8
3. It's a Book, By Lane Smith - ages 5-7
4. Art and Max, By David Wiesner - ages 5-7
5. The Nightwood, By Robin Muller - ages 5-7
6. Big Nate (series), By Lincoln Perrce - ages 9-12
7. The Clock Without a Face, By Gus Twintig - ages 9-12
8. The Search for Wondla, By Tony DiTerlizzi - ages 9-12
9. Storyteller, By Patricia Reilly Giff - ages 9-12
10. The Candymakers, By Wendy Moss - ages 10-14
11. Reckless, By Cornelia Funke - ages 11-14
12. Adios, Nirvana, By Conrad Wesselhoeft - ages 14 and up
13. Pulp History (series), By David Talbot and Gary Kamiya- ages 14 and up
14. Mockingjay, By Suzanne Collins - ages 15 and up

For more information on each book and how to order go to .

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #64

The naturalistic or nature smart child is curious about and understands the environment we live in. They notice what is around them and enjoy identifying and classifying things like plants or animals. That brings us to tip #64.

Tip #64: Know if your child is a naturalist or nature smart.

This intelligence was not part of Gardner's original theory of Multiple Intelligence, but was added in 1997. Children and adults with this intelligence have a greater sensitivity to nature and their place within it. They love animals, usually have a green thumb, care about nature and the environment causes, like going to the parks, zoos, and aquariums, enjoy hiking, camping. Nature smart people have a good memory for the details of places where they have been and remember names of animals, plants, people, places, and things in the environment or nature.
Careers suited for those who are dominate naturalistic or nature smart include scientists, naturalists, conservationists, gardeners, and farmers.
If you would like to expand your child to be more naturalistic or nature smart you can:
1. Point out nature wherever you are.
2. Plant something and watch it grow.
3. Lie down in your yard together and look at the sky during the day and night.
4. Go bird watching.
5. Watch nature shows on television.
6. Read books and magazines about nature.
7.Get involved with environmental organizations.
8. Take care of a pet.
9. Build your own ecosystem.
10. Start a collection.
If your child is naturalistic or nature smart it is important that solve logic problems and games, get involved with a team sport or take dance classes, play an instrument, read books of interest, take photography lessons, keep a journal or diary, and meet new people. For more information on naturalistic or nature smart children read, "You're Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. For more information on how to get involved in your child's education, purchase my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible for Your Child K-6 Grades". To purchase the handbook/workbook order from .

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #63

The interpersonal or people smart child has to do with the interaction with others. Children or adults who are highly interpersonal or people smart tend to be outgoing. That brings us to tip #63.

Tip #63: Know if your child is interpersonal or people smart.

People smart children are sensitive to other's moods, feelings, and have the ability to cooperate as a part of a group. They typically learn best by working with others and enjoy discussion and debate. Interpersonal people like watch people, make friends easily, offer to help when someone needs it, enjoys group activities, feels confident when meeting new people, like to organize activities for friends, enjoys getting people to see things their way, and enjoys volunteering for causes that help other people.
Careers that suit those with dominate interpersonal or people smart intelligences include sales, politicians, managers, teachers, and social workers.
Some things you can do to help your child become more interpersonal or people smart are:
1. Keep a list of your friends and their telephone numbers.
2. Meet new people.
3. Volunteer to help others.
4. Run for election in student government.
5. Tutor someone.
6. Spend time with friends and family.
7. Practice meeting friend with family members or someone you trust.
8. Make the most of cooperative learning.
9. Start a club or group that has like interest.
10. Go to public places and watch people and notice their body language and expressions.

Interpersonal or people smart children need to learn to work alone. Encourage them to read books of interest, take up an instrument, play sports like tennis, golfing, or swimming where they must depend on themselves, take art lesson, keep a journal or diary, play logic games, or computer games. For more information on the interpersonal or people smart child read, "You're Smarter Than You Think," by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. To find out ways to get involved in your child's education purchase my book, "A Parent's Handbook, How to Get the Best Education Possible for Your Child K-6 Grades. To order the handbook/workbook go to

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #62

The intrapersonal or self smart child has the ability of being self-reflective. Those who are strongest in this intelligence are usually introverts or prefer to work alone.  That brings us to tip #62.

Tip #62: Know if your child is interpersonal or self smart.

Interpersonal or self smart children are highly self-aware and capable of understanding their own emotions, goals and motivations. They learn best when allowed to concentrate on a subject by themselves. They can be perfectionist, like to set and meet own goals, stand up for their beliefs even if not poplar, worry less about what people think of them, know how they are feeling and why, enjoy keeping a diary or writing a journal, have a good sense of who they are, and think about the future and what they want to be someday.
Careers suited for the intrapersonal intelligence include philosophers, psychologists, theologians, writers, and scientist.
To help your child become more intrapersonal or self smart have them:
1. Ask yourself, "Who am I?"
2. Keep a journal.
3. Make a list of thing you do well.
4. Set goals for yourself.
5. Put together your autobiography.
6. Remember your dreams.
7. Read self-help books.
8. Do something you love
It is very important for intrapersonal or self smart children to learn to work cooperatively with others, take up a sports team and get physical exercise, learn an instrument or join a choir, read books of interest, volunteer to help someone or a cause, or take a hike in nature with family or friends. To find out more information on the intrapersonal or self smart child read, "You're Smarter Than You Think," by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. For ideas on how to get involved in your child's education purchase my book,"A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible for Your Child K-6 Grades. Order the book at .

Monday, December 6, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #61

The musical child learns by rhythm, music, and hearing and they really love music. Those who have a high level of musical-rhythmic intelligence displays greater sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. That brings us to tip #61.

Tip #61: Know if your child is Musical.

Musical children and adults enjoy singing , listening to music, play an instrument, remembers melodies or tunes easily, hear the differences in instruments, make up or write their own songs, and can remember facts by making up a song for them. Those who are strong musical intelligence can learn best by lecture. Our culture doesn't put such a great importance on being smart with music. Many people think it's a nice talent to have, but don't consider it an intelligence, but it is and shouldn't be overlooked.
Careers suited for this intelligence include instrumentalists, singers, conductors, disc-jockeys, orators, writers, and composer.
Here are some ways to expand your child's experiences with the musical intelligence that will be enjoyable:
1. Listen to as many different kinds of music as you can.
2. Sing with your family or friends.
3. Play musical games whenever you get the chance.
4. Get involved in music at school.
5. Learn to read music and learn to play an instrument.
6. Become more aware of the music around you.
7. Compose a song or musical piece.
8. Start a band.
If you have a child that shows dominates in musical intelligences make sure they play an instrument, sing in a choir, write music and develop that part of them. They should also develop the other part of their brain by write poems and stories, take up a sport, play logical games, take art classes, and go outside and hear the music in nature. To get more information on the musical intelligences read, "Your Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. or google multiple intelligences. If you want to get more involved with your child's education purchase my book, "A Parent's Handbook: How to Get the Best Education Possible for Your Child K-6 Grades". You can purchase my book at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Child Nutrition Act recently sent out an email that S. 3307, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 passed Congress last week.  This comprehensive, historic legislation will help improve the nutritional quality of school lunches, get junk food out of the school vending machines, and support strong nutrition and physical activity policies and practices in schools and child care settings.  The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (also known as the Child Nutrition Act) now goes to President Obama's desk and , according to the New York Times, he intends to sign it. 

It is time that the health and quality of education for every child is improved.  This is just the beginning of trying to have health and education reform in this country. My desire is that every citizen get the best health care and every child receives the "Best Education Possible".

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yoga Can Help With Weight Control

I read an article that stated that practicing yoga fights extra pounds by supporting endocrine and thyroid function as well as by lowering cortisol, a stress hormone that promotes weight gain around your middle.  Yogis say back bends can even boost your energy if you're dragging in the morning.  So another good health tip for those trying to control the pounds around their waist and stomach is to practice yoga.  How easy and pleasant is that?

Friday, December 3, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #60

The visual-spatial child mainly learns and thinks in pictures. They probably have good memory for faces and places, or notice little details that other people over-look. That brings us to tip #60.

Tip #60:  Know if your child is visual-spatial.

Visual-spatial children and adults can visualize and mentally manipulate objects, and usually are extremely good at solving puzzles. A lot of the visual spatial have a good sense of direction and also have very good hand-eye coordination, although this is normally seen as a body-kinesthetic intelligence. There is a high correlation between spatial and mathematical abilities, which seems to indicate that these two intelligences are not independent. If you or your child are picture smart or spatial you will remember faces better than names, like to draw out ideas to figure out a problem, see objects in your mind, enjoy building things, play lots of video games, notice styles of clothing, hair, cars, bikes, read or draw maps for fun, enjoy looking at photos and pictures, and draw and doodle a lot.
Careers that suit picture smart people are artist, engineers, and architects.
Here are some things a parent can do to help their child become more picture smart or spatial:
1. Explore the world of art.
2. Keep a visual journal.
3.Collect pictures, images, or designs.
4. Take pictures of your day.
5. Create your own video
6. Take a class in something of interest.
7. Spend a few minutes a day looking around you.
8. Look for visual patterns in every day life.
9. Have a picture conversation by drawing instead of talking.
10. Create an art area in your home with as many art materials available as possible.
If your child is already picture smart or spatial make sure they are involved in physical activities such as sports, or play a musical instrument or sing in a choir, read books of interest, play logic games and try learning a foreign language. To learn more about the picture smart/spatial intelligence read, "Your Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. or google multiple intelligences. To get more involved in your child's education, purchase my newly released book, "A Parents Handbook: How to Get the Best Education for Your Child K-6 Grades". You can order it at or .

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #59

The body-kinesthetic children learn and think with their bodies. They also use their bodies to express themselves or their skills. That brings us to tip # 59.

Tip #59: Know if your child is body-kinesthetic.

In theory, people who have bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should learn better by involving muscular movement,and moving around into the learning experience. These children are generally good at physical activity such as sports or dance. They may enjoy acting or performing, and are good at building and making things. They often learn best by doing something physical, rather than reading or hearing the information. Body-kinesthetic child likes to move around and be active, learn physical skills easily and quickly, move while thinking, enjoy acting in skits or plays, mimic or imitates people's gestures and expressions, play sports, build models with skill, dance gracefully, movement helps them remember, and love recess.
The careers the body-kinesthetic people seem to enjoy and are successful at are athletes, dancers, actors, surgeons, doctors, builders, and soldiers.
Here are some ways to help your child become more body smart:
1. Practice your hand-eye coordination.
2. Join a sports team in your neighborhood or at school.
3. Play charades with family and friends.
4. Look for ideas while you move and exercise.
5. Learn how to give shoulder rubs to your family and friends.
6. Think of an idea and then build it.
7. Learn an art or craft
8. Let your stress go and relax.
9. Take a drama class or try out for a play.
10. Take martial arts lesson.
A body-kinesthetic child should act out their favorite story or poem, exercise to music, draw pictures or symbols to remember information, listen to tapes while walking through nature, dancing, jumping rope, or exercise. Make sure your body-kinesthetic child writes out vocabulary words and traces over the words with their finger, read books that interest them, build things using math skills, use dance and listen to music while learning. To learn more about body-kinesthetic intelligences read,"Your Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. or google multiple intelligences.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #58

The Logical-Mathematical Child enjoys figuring things out and may easily understand numbers and math concepts like finding patterns, and are interested and have fun with science.  That brings us to tip #58.

Tip#58: Know if your child is Logic-Mathematical or Numbers Smart.

Numbers smart children can excel in chess, computers, and like riddles, creating their own codes, and numerical activities. They also have the capacity for the abstract, and have a natural ability toward scientific thinking and investigation. These children enjoy estimating, doing math in their head, solving mysteries, spending time with brainteasers or logic puzzles, love organizing information on charts and graphs, and use computers for more than playing games. Career's which suit those with logical-mathematical intelligence include scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors, and economist.

Remember we all have some of all the intelligences, it is just that we may have more dominate traits of one or two. Ways your child can become more logic smart are:
1. Play games that use strategy and logic.
2. Watch television programs that teach science and math.
3. Practice calculating simple math problems in your head.
4. Explore science.
5.Read magazines or newspapers that cover math and science news.
6. Practice estimating things.
7. Do brainteasers.
8. Have a special math or science day with the entire family.
9. Write down ten questions about how the world works that you want answered.
10. Join a math or science club.
11. Find a book or Web site on science experiments.
12. Get a tutor or classmate to help with science or math.
13. Teach someone else science or math.
14. Research the orgins of math in other cultures.
15. Build your own Web page or site.
16. Notice how you solve problems.
If your child already is logical-mathematical, make sure they participate in some sports activities, read or write stories, play an instrument, join a social club like Boys/Girl scouts, or take up gardening. It will make them more social and engage them in much need physical activities. For more information on multiple intelligences get,"You're Smarter Than You Think", by Thomas Armstrong, PhD or google multiple intelligences.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #57

The linguistic child's strength has to do with words, spoken or written. Children or adults with high verbal-linguistic intelligence are able to express themselves with words and language.  That brings us to tip #57.

Tip #57: Know if your child is a Linguistic Learner or Word Smart.

They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories, and memorizing words along with dates. They tend to learn best by reading the information, taking notes, listening to lectures, and discussion and debate. They also can explain, teach, and persuade by simply speaking. Those who have verbal-linguistic intelligence learn foreign languages very easily as they have high verbal memory and recall. This intelligence are usually found as writers, lawyers, philosophers, journalists, politicians, poets, and teachers.

If you believe your child's strength is the linguistic intelligence, then reading and speaking will come very natural. They should study by taking notes, listening or tape recording information, discussing, and reading over the materials and brainstorming ideas.

How to help your child become more word smart? Your child should:
1. Write down their ideas as they get them.
2. Read about what interest them.
3. Start a journal.
4. Start going to the library.
5. Look up words they don't know in a dictionary.
7. Have a regular storytelling time with your family.
8. Pay with words.
9. Play with spoken words.
10. Join a book club where they can discuss books with others.
11. Write their favorite authors.
12. Go listen to writer speak.
13. Learn another language.
All of the intelligences are equal and we all possess some of the other intelligences, but usually one or two are more dominate. It is also important to strengthen the other intelligences . So, linguistic students should try to be a part of playing math logic games, sports, playing an instrument or singing, art lessons, dance, or join Boy/Girls Scouts. These activities will not come naturally, but can be enjoyed by linguistic students and mastered.
For more information on Multiple Intelligences get "You're Smarter Than You Think" by Thomas Armstrong, PhD. or google multiple intelligence.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #56

When you know your child's learning style, you will be able to help them to study and become more successful in school. Many parents think their child is having a hard time learning, but it is simply the material is not being presented in a way they are able to understand and retain the information.  That brings us to tip #56.

Tip #56: Know your child's learning style.

Dr. Howard Gardner researched and found out that children and adults seem to learn and show how smart they are in a lot of ways. He also noticed that different parts of the brain seem to be tied to the different ways of being smart. Most people have some portion of each of the intelligences, but usually one or two of the intelligences will be more dominate. For the next couple of week days, I will present the 8 Gardner Intelligences.  Review each of the 8 intelligences carefully, and try to decide which one or two is the most dominate in your child. Then, talk to your child and tell them their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, have them participate in strengthening the weaker intelligences and have fun and take advantage of the dominate ones. This should be a fun thing to do with the entire family.

Teachers today are aware of these findings on Multiple Intelligences. They should be using them in their daily instruction. If your child is having difficulty with learning, it could be the way the material is being presented. Talk to the teacher and let him/her know that you are aware of your child's learning style. Maybe you both can come up with a plan together to help your child succeed. If you or the teacher feel the problem is more serious, don't hesitate to have the child tested and evaluated as soon as possible. The earlier a problem is diagnosis and treated, the better the results. There are so many new findings and treatments for learning delays, disabilities, and other interferences.

I have posted the intelligence before, but by request I am adding them to my How to Get The Best Education Possible: Tips for Parents.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Skip Burgers, Breathe Easier

According to an article in December 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, eating three or more of the hamburgers each week may make kids more likely to develop asthma.  Researchers from Germany, Spain and Britain studied 50,000 children ages 8 to 12 across the globe and found that adhering to Mediterranean diet (one that emphasizes healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables) may give kids some protection against asthma.  Researchers say it's not the beef in burgers that's at fault; rather, a Western diet rich in Big Macs is likely to lack the components of a healthy meal plan that help stave off breathing issues.  to help protect your child, know that vitamin C-rich foods have been linked to better lung function and lower asthma rates; omega-3 fats found in fish may help prevent allergies and asthma, too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Butter or Margarine?

According to an article in the December 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, which is better - butter or margarine? The answer was neither. Spreads which are sold in a tubs, are healthier than either butter or sticks of margarine.  A tablespoon of butter contains 7 grams of saturated fat, the kind that clogs your arteries and ups your risk of heart disease.  Vegetable oil spreads, which are technically not margarine, usually contain less that  2 grams of sat fat per tablespoon.   Stick migraines are also lower in sat fat, but with one exception: I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!  Sticks.  With 3.5 grams of sat fat and no trans fats, they make a great stand-in for butter, even in holiday cookies recipes:

Friday, November 26, 2010

KIPP Schools- Schools that Work!

I went to the movie to watch the documentary, Waiting for Superman" and they featured the KIPP schools in New York City. Two young teachers started a Charter School that works for low income middle and high school students. The results are amazing! The schools start early, have 10 hour days, and meet during the summer and every other weekend. The program is developed to meet the needs of the student population that they service. If KIPP students make it through the 8Th grade, 85% of them will go and finish college.

The key to the success of this charter schools is everyone has a feeling of ownership and belonging. The dedicated and skilled teachers visit every students home. Parents are an important part of the success of the schools and if there is a lack of parental participation the school fills in the gap of parent. Lessons are taught in kid friendly ways with a lot of chanting, movements, and beats. These are found to be successful methods for many children of poverty.

The students must earn privileges such as earning new uniforms and going on field trips. Although this model will not work for every system, I think it is exciting when there is a successful model that can be replicated where it will work. If we know what works in education, why isn't every school effective? We must highlight these schools and find out why they are successful and make sure every student in this country is receiving the "Best Education Possible"!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

                  From: Best Education Possible, LLC and Debra West

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Please remember to say a prayer for our soldiers serving overseas and their families.  One other thing to remember today, keep every child in your thoughts today because every child deserves "The Best Education Possible" and chance to make their dreams come true.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Card Activity

Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, November 25Th. This is a time our country stops and takes time to contemplate on all the blessings of the year and feast shamelessly. With so many people having hard times in this economic climate, we must remember there are still many blessings to be thankful for.

This year why not make it special and do something everyone can participate. Have everyone in the family or friends start a Thanksgiving Card on Thursday, November 25Th. They can use whatever materials they choose. It can be as simple as a piece of paper or as elaborate as what your imagination will come up with. Inside will be dated November 25, 2010.  Every participants will write down (3-5) things they are truly thankful for this year.  Sometimes during the day, everyone will share their cards in whatever creative way you come up with. Here are a few suggestions on sharing the Thanksgiving Cards:

1. Share cards out loud in a group setting before dinner.
2. Have a contest on the most creative card.
3. Give prizes for most meaningful card.
4. Pick partners and share cards and have partner share the most memorable entries.
5. Share cards out loud after Thanksgiving meal.
6. Put cards in a pile and guess whose card is being shared.
7. Share 1 or 2 most meaningful Thanksgiving entries.
8. Only have the children and young people share cards.
9. Come up with your own creative way of sharing cards.
10. Make it a new family tradition on sharing Thanksgiving Cards!

I hope this gives you something to think and share during Thanksgiving. Hopefully, your children will really enjoy this activity and it will give your family and friends an opportunity to communicate and become closer. It will also be a way to communicate positive feelings with one another, along with stopping to think about all the wonderful blessings you can recognize on a daily bases and throughout the year. Get your family started on this Thursday and have fun with the Thanksgiving Cards Activity!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #55

With all of the worries about the economy, families can still enjoy fun entertainment together and stay on a budget. That brings us to tip #55.

Tip #55:  Start a family game night.

Why not start a family game night? Here are a few tips in getting started on a family fun filled night:
1. Schedule it. Decide in advance which day will be the family game night.
2. Involve everyone in the planning. Let your kids pick the games or choose the snack.
3. Create a tradition. Establish an activity on game night that becomes a family tradition. (ex. family-favorite dinner, how teams are chosen, or who gets the first turn)
4. Remind everyone. Set up reminders to make sure game night happens. Put a note in kids' lunchboxes. This can help build excitement.
5. Keep a family scoreboard. Have a special scoreboard and post the family member who won the last game on the board or create a family crown that can be worn at the family dinner before game night.
6. Mix it up with special guest. Invite other families and have a family game night tournament. Or invite extended family members. Just have fun.

Here are a few all-time favorites and new games to consider:
Kids 6-8 - Pictureka! Sorry! Sliders, Operation, Monopoly Jr.
Kids 8-10 - Clue, Monopoly, Cranium Family Edition, The Game of Life
Kids 10-12 - Monopoly, Yahzee, Clue
Families with teenagers - Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition, Scrabble, Cranium Wow, Jenga, Catch Phrase, Trivial Pursuit
For more game ideas, visit

Monday, November 22, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #54

At 211 degrees, water is hot.
At 212 degrees, it boils.
And with boiling water, comes steam.
And steam can power a locomotive.  That brings us to tip #54.

Tip #54:  Teach your children about 212 degrees!

I was given a small book as a gift, 212 Degrees the Extra Degree, by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. They state that by raising the temperature of water by one extra degree means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine. It reminds us that seemly small things can make tremendous differences. 212 degrees is not only a message of action, it's a message of persistent and additional action. We must realize in order to reap the greatest rewards that are possible we must apply one extra degree of effort. If we apply this simple theory and teach our children to push a little harder, there would be nothing we couldn't accomplish.

Now that you're aware of "212 degrees - the extra degree," no longer should you be able to do only what is expected of you, because with this awareness comes responsibility to yourself, your family, and to others. 211 degrees can serve a purpose, but 212 degrees is the extra power that will move any obstacles, and get results that required by additional effort. So, teach your children about 212 degrees of power and establish it in your own life. You will experience the reward and extraordinary success.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Not To Worry About The Pounds At The Thanksgiving Feast!

Thanksgiving is the time for enjoying your favorite dishes and desserts.  It is a time when family and friends gather together to give thanks for all they are blessed to have.  What can a people do when they are faced with all that delicious food and baked goods when the are trying to keep their weight under control.  Below are 7 suggestions on a worry free festive Thanksgiving:

1. Eat only until you are comfortably full.  Don't eat until you are stuffed.  That is when the extra pounds will creep in.
2. Slow down when you are eating.  Eating too fast tends to cause overeating.  Eat slower and savor every bite. 
3. Use low fat substitutes in recipes where you can.  Use low fat cream, milk, and margarine instead of butter, for example.  Many times these substitutes really aren't noticed in the taste.
4. Take small amounts of everything.  Try to take small portions of each entry or eat on a smaller plate.  That will keep you from overloading your plate with unwanted calories.
5. Eat only the things you love to eat.  If it isn't something you absolutely love, skip it. 
6. Take a walk instead of a nap after the meal.  Ask the children and family members to join you.  Talk about family history and enjoyable times together.
7. Go to the Thanksgiving feast with every intention of enjoying your family, friends, and food.  Don't worry yourself with counting every calorie.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Are You at Risk For Diabetes?

According to an article in the November 2010 issue of Better Homes and Garden, before type 2 diabetes sets in, blood sugar hovers in an elevated limbo state.  Most people with pre-diabetes experience no symptoms.  The following signs could mean you're at risk. Below are some ways to tell if you're affected and how losing weight can halt the progression.

1. A body mass index of 25 or higher (go to for a BMI calculator)
2. Exercising fro fewer than 20 minutes three times per week.
3. A immediate family member with diabetes
4. High blood pressure
5. Low HDL ("good") cholesterol or high triglycerides
6. Polycystic ovary syndrome
7. Gestational diabetes, or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
8. Being of African-American, Indian, or Pacific Islander descent.

Friday, November 19, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #53

So many times we don't appreciate the blessings we have. If you teach your children about serving others less fortunate then themselves, they will appreciate what they have and develop a heart of giving. That brings us to tip #53.

Tip #53: Teach your child the heart of service toward others.

So many children don't know how fortunate they really are.  All many kids want these days are what they see on TV or what other children have.  It doesn't matter what your circumstances maybe, give your children the heart for helping those who have less.  Look around your community and see the areas that can be improved and discuss it. Why not visit elderly neighbors, nursing homes, food banks, soup kitchens, housing shelters, etc.  Have your children write about their experiences while doing the service and talk about their feelings.  It can be something they will never forget and may lead them to their career choices (ex. doctor, lawyer, teacher, social worker, etc.)  Every U.S. citizen should commit to serving their community and nation at least one time  a year. It could change the whole attitude about helping the less fortunate. We must start with ourselves and be aware of the needs around us, then take action, but don't forget to include your children when appropriate.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #52

We must teach our children to be responsible and accountable. So many times children get to school and don't know what it even means to be responsible or accountable for their actions, personal items, or school work. That brings us to tip # 52.

Tip #52:  Help your child be more responsible and accountable.

It is extremely frustrating for teachers to have irresponsible students that have no idea what it is to take responsibility or accountability  for anything.  Some parents are doing too much for their children and handicapping them. Kids should have things they are responsible to complete in a timely manner. Demonstrate the expected behavior and how it is to be completed. Appropriate consequences and rewards should be attached if those things  are or are not completed in a satisfactory manner. Let your children complete homework and reports as independently as possible. Make them responsible and accountable for the grades they receive. It will make them a better students and adults. So, start today and let your children have some responsibilities. It can only help them become responsible citizen and independent adults.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #51

There is a gem right in your mist. It is the public library. That brings us to tip #51.

Tip #51: Take your children to the public library and get them a library card.

Children need to read in order to be successful throughout life.  There is a great resource for finding what your child is interested in reading without spending a whole lot of money, and that's going to the public library.  Throughout the year, many libraries across this country have special events for families. There will be visiting authors, story tellers, arts and crafts, poets etc., but more importantly there are BOOKS! Your children will be able to find books on whatever interest them. Sign them up for their own library card and get them excited about exploring the world through books. Public libraries are funded through tax payers money and your family should take full advantage of this service. There is no better way to enhance your child's reading ability or love for books then a visit to the public library.  Many libraries have computers that your children can use. If you don't have a computer at home this is a way for them to get practice. There are also books on tape and DVDs with music and movies for loan.  So, get in the car and take your children to the public library and take advantage of all the resources. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How To Get The Best Education Possible: Tip #50

Just about anyone who has witnessed a youth sport these days has had a bad experience. A survey of 3,300 parents published in an issue of "SportingKid" magazine found that 84% had witnessed "violent parental behavior" toward children, coaches, or an official at kids' sports events.  This brings us to tip #50.

Tip #50: Don't take your child's sporting events too seriously.

Children should not be victims or witness adults behaving like their child is participating in the "World Series" and their life savings depends on the outcome of the child's performance. There is too much pressure put on little children and it takes away the love of the game. More than half of the parents end up removing their children from youth games because they felt that youth sports were too competitive. Team sports should teach children lesson in life, such as, sportsmanship and cooperative outcomes, while developing skills to become competitive in the future. Some parents need to RELAX, stop living through their child, and let their child develop their athletic skills, and enjoy the games.

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This weblog seeks primarily to be a resource to parents and their children facilitating, "Empowerment & Personal Responsibility through Education."

This weblog is an extension of BestEducationPossible-theCommunity an online community dedicated to Parents and their efforts to empower their children through Education.

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