Sunday, July 31, 2011

When Less is More

In an article in the GoodHealth section of the July 2011 Good Housekeeping magazine, women undergoing a lumpectomy for breast cancer generally have the key "sentinel" node removed.  If it shows signs of cancer, more nodes are taken out, leaving patients vulnerable to painful arm swelling. 
But a study of 891 women at 115 medical sites, researchers found that extensive removal may not be necessary:  Whole-breast radiation and other therapies, routine after lumpectomy, treated cancer in the remaining node and survival rates were just as high.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Napping Could Better Your Health

In case your busy schedule doesn't make you tense enough, consider that such stress may also raise your blood pressure and put you at risk for heart disease.  The easy antidote: a nap, according to an article in the July 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping.  In an Allegheny College study of 85 young, tired adults, researchers allowed half the subjects to doze for up to an hour, then gave all the volunteers a mentally stressful test (tricky math problems), monitoring their blood pressure and heart rate while they did the rapid computations and after they were done.  All the subjects experienced a bump-up in blood pressure and pulse, but those who had snoozed for at least 45 minutes had significantly less dramatic rises during the test and a quicker return to lower numbers.  And if a nap is out of the question in that busy day of your? "Try to get at least a little extra sleep at night," suggest lead researcher Sarah Conklin, Ph.D. "By protecting your heart from the effects of stress, there could be a big health payoff."

Friday, July 29, 2011

First Grade Reading: Part 5

Reading instruction becomes a large focus of the curriculum in first grade. During this grade, reading becomes more complex, as children start to read sentences and learn how to comprehend text. If you're a first grade teacher and your students are struggling with either decoding or comprehension, there are several tactics that you can employ to foster reading success, making them more fluent readers and turning reading into an activity that they will enjoy.

  • 1
    Have children look for pictures based on the letter sound they begin with. Ask them to look through magazines and cut out images that begin with specified letters. Have them create a collage for the specified letter. For instance, have them cut out pictures of items that begin with the letter M and glue them onto a piece of construction paper for an M collage.
  • 2
    Provide students with dry-erase boards and dry-erase markers. Say a word and have them write the letter the word starts with or ends with on the dry-erase board.
  • 3
    Practice rimes or word families with children. State a rime or word family --- ake, for example --- and have students create different words by adding different onsets, or beginning sounds. Knowing one rime can lead to the ability to read several different words.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

First Grade Reading: Part 4 has an excellent article on first grade reading.  Below is Phonics: Picking the Words Apart

Serious ReaderFor first graders, reading is like a code to be deciphered. Kids may know what sounds individual letters make, but it takes skill to sound out the letters accurately and quickly enough to make the text resolve itself into an understandable word.
Phonics is the skill of picking words apart by sound to decipher the individual pieces. Phonics skills include such things as consonant sounds, beginning and ending sounds of words, long and short vowels, and letter combinations. Letter combinations include blends, which put several sounds next to each other as in "str" or "pl", and diagraphs, which combine to make just one sound as in "ph" or "igh".

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

First Grade Reading: Part 3 has an excellent article on first grade reading. Below is

First Grade Reading: What Do Kids
Need to Know

Teaching Reading to First Grade KidsIn first grade, reading is huge. Kids are starting to notice written words everywhere, and may drive parents crazy by reading anything and everything out loud. They sense (rightly) that reading is important and powerful, and learning to break that code is heady stuff.
Reading is complex and multi-layered, but luckily it can be broken down into separate skills that kids can practice. Looking separately at different areas of reading can help us see what kids are struggling with and find the most appropriate activities and learning games to help them improve. Here are some areas to address when teaching reading:

Phonics: Picking the Words Apart

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

First Grade Reading: Part 2

Below is part 2 from an article on first grade reading from


  • The number one function of first grade reading programs should be to build a solid reading foundation for young readers. Any reading program for first graders should be in place to help support the current reading curriculum and to be a successful technique to teach English language reading.


  • First graders are learning the basics of reading, which is why it is vital to have first grade reading programs in schools. First graders should be on a certain level when it comes to reading, and according to Reading Rockets, should include: 1) being able to read and retell familiar stories, 2) identify words by sight, 3) orally read with reasonable fluency and 4) attempt to use punctuation and capitalization. Reading programs significantly help first graders reach this level of learning so that they are ready to move on when the time comes.


  • There are many types of first grade reading programs available at schools or that can be implemented if not currently used. Independent reading, where students read quietly by themselves and at their own pace is one type. Another type is a read-aloud program where teachers use read-aloud methods for reading materials that are too advanced for students to read themselves. Other types of first grade reading programs include guided reading (for small groups) and shared reading, where students follow along when a teacher is reading aloud.
Read more: First Grade Reading Programs |

Monday, July 25, 2011

First Grade Reading: Part 1

According to an article from, first grade reading programs are essential to boost children's language skills. Schools may already have these types of programs in place, which could be classroom exclusive or school-wide, or they may need to implement programs in schools with poor reading and language comprehension. There are a variety of reading program types that teachers can utilize to help children comprehend the lesson at hand.

  1. Features

    • First grade reading programs feature a variety of curriculum resources to help boost children's vocabulary and language as well as create an understanding of the lesson. An effective reading program should feature five critical areas of learning, according to the National Reading Panel Report. These five areas of learning include 1) phonemic awareness, 2) phonics, 3) fluency, 4) vocabulary and 5) comprehension.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Environmental Triggers and Body Stress

According to an article in the January issue of Better Homes and Garden, environmental triggers can sett off body's stress response without you even realizing it, says psychologist Shelly Carson, Ph.D.  Below are four annoyances worth nixing:

1. Amient Racket: Studies show that back-ground noise, say from a TV droning in another room, stimulates the release of the stress hormone cortisol.  If you can't quiet the clamor, try to distance yourself.

2. Wordrobe Woes: Itchy sweaters, too-tight hosiery pumps that pinch can all cause stress.   An uncomfortable ensemble can leave you on edge all day.  So when choosing an outfit, don't focus on how it looks until you consider how it feels.  Not comfy? Slip on something else.

3. Chronic Clutter: It's not how much stuff you have; it's how you store it.  Stress sets in when objects are hard to find or appear disorderly.  Two quick moves that help: Clear tabletops and pick up loose objects from the floor.

4. "Urgent" E-Mail: E-mails cause more stress for women than men because women feel greater pressure to respond immediately.  So try turning off your e-mail alerts, and check your in-box when the timing is right for you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Coupons 2.0

You don't have to worry about clipping or forgetting coupons thanks to online services according to an article in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  Most sites let you pick and choose your coupons; others simply download everything to your account when you visit the page, says Rachel Singer Gordon, author of Point, Click and Save.  All automatically deduct the coupon values at checkout.  Go to for Safeway and Kroger stores. partners with Shoprite, Tom Thumbs, Randalls, and Vons.  A&P, Waldbaum's, Superfresh, and other chains participate in And Procter & Gamble has it own program at

Friday, July 22, 2011

Laying the Groundwork for Kindergarten Reading Success: Part 4

According to an article from by Lawren Allphin a parent must lay the groundwork for their kindergarten child to be a successfl reader. Below is part 4 of the article:


Reading and writing go together like peanut butter and jelly. But for kindergarten kids, working on "writing" often means working on art. “Drawing is writing in its earliest form," Daniel says. "If you ask a child what his paper ‘says,’ he’ll tell you all about it." Children express their ideas through drawings long before they're able to express their ideas through words. Even if the only "words" kids can write are scribbles and lines, it's important to remember the goal: for a child to know that they can express themselves on paper. As they develop, Daniel says, children will begin to try their hand at letters and words. “When a child begins inventive writing, there’s no need to correct it. It’s important for the child to express himself, and have adults ‘ooh and ah’ over it,” she says.
To help your child make the connection that writing and drawing are a form of expression and communication, ask your child to narrate what they’ve drawn. When she tells you what her picture is about, write what she tells you on the page, so she'll begin to understand that words have meaning. "Knowing that her words can be put onto paper is a thrilling thing for a child,” Daniel says. Looking for other ways to incorporate writing into your child's day? Involve her in creating a grocery or packing list. Ask her what's missing and write down what she says. This will help her realize the utility in writing.
The recipe for preparing your child for reading success is quite simple: read every book on the shelf, chat until you’ve run out of things to say, and write on any blank writing surface you can find! Keep in mind that whatever stage your child is at in learning to read, your own enthusiasm is key. Support him in his journey with gusto.
And as the world’s young reader’s guru, Dr. Seuss, once said, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” In this case, the answer is simple: Enjoy reading, writing, and talking with your child and soon, there will be another independent reader in the house!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Laying the Groundwork for Kindergarten Reading Success: Part 3

According to an article from by Lawren Allphin a parent must lay the groundwork for their kindergarten child to be a successfl reader. Below is part 3 of the article:

One-on-One Conversations

You talk to your child all day long, but setting aside a set amount of time each day to talk in a special way can have a big impact on reading readiness. According to Daniel, “Young children need ‘Ear Time:’ a time when an adult the child cares about is listening intently to them and responding with questions.” Everybody is busy, and often when we talk with our kids, we're only half listening.
To get maximum reading benefit, set a kitchen timer at a specific time each day and tell your child that until it rings, you're going to focus solely on him. If the phone rings, ignore it. Let the laundry sit until later. Start a conversation, listen to what your child says, and ask questions. Ear Time not only builds self-esteem, it helps prepare children's brains for maximum intake, Daniel says. One-on-one conversations with your child teach them how to hold a back-and-forth dialogue, and build their vocabulary at the same time. And studies show that one of the key predictors of reading success in young children is their vocabulary.
Want to help your child stretch his word bank? Quit dumbing down what you say for his benefit. “It’s important for parents to use grown-up vocabulary when talking to their kids," Daniel says. "They’ll be able to understand you by reading your non-verbal cues, listening to your expression and tone, and by the context of the situation. This will build your child’s vocabulary, and help him understand the nuances of language.”
For example, if your child is diving into a big slice of chocolate cake, instead of saying, “Mmm, yummy,” try rubbing your tummy and saying, “That cake looks delectable!” The excitement in your eyes and your other non-verbal cues will ensure that your child understands you. Sprinkling “Ear Time” in with your more casual conversations can prove to be a huge factor in your child’s reading success.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Laying the Groundwork for Kindergarten Reading Success: Part 2

According to an article from by Lawren Allphin a parent must lay the groundwork for their kindergarten child to be a successfl reader. Below is part 2 of the article:

Reading Aloud

If you're the parent of a child under six, you've probably been told over and over again how important it is to read to your child. And while the advice can start to sound like a broken record, it can't be emphasized enough. According to the National Commission on Reading, reading aloud to kids is the single most important thing you can do in terms of making sure they develop literacy. Research shows that reading aloud to children promotes their development of language, vocabulary, even motor skills (as they learn to turn pages). Kids who are read to consistently from an early age don't only learn to read more easily, but they also show better language scores long after kindergarten is a distant memory-- years later in upper elementary school.
In fact, the research on reading aloud is so strong, that the American Academy of Pediatrics recently began advising member doctors to prescribe daily reading to young children. Reading aloud fosters social and emotional development, and it's a great time to bond with your child. Also, according to Daniel, “Reading to children brings them an awareness of worlds beyond their own, a sense of imagination, an increase in vocabulary, and helps them make solid connections between literature and things in their own life.”
Reading aloud is all about building a foundation, by showing kids that words hold meaning. Another way to plant that reading seed? “Children like to do what they see their parents do, so modeling an interest in reading is important,” says Daniel. Whether you are reading to your child or showing your excitement to her about something you’re reading on your own, immersing your child in a world where reading is important, is key. And studies show that as little as fifteen minutes a day of reading together can make a huge difference in a child's ability to learn to read on their own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Laying The Goundwork for Kindergarten Reading Success: Part 1

According to an article from by Lawren Allphin a parent must lay the groundwork for their kindergarten child to be a successfl reader.  Below is part 1 of the article:
Who’s more excited about the prospect of your child learning to read, you or him? It’s a hard call. At this point, he's so close, he can taste it. And he's so eager, he might just choose the power to read over x-ray vision, or even a new Transformer guy. For parents, excitement is usually tinged with worry. You’re excited alright, but it’s a mixture of happy excitement for your child's future success, and nervous excitement for his future struggles. Parents want so badly for their child's progress in reading to be smooth and easy. As a teacher, I'm here to tell you: while it may be smooth, easy is not usually the most apt label for this giant milestone.
That said, there are some very practical and easy things you can do at home to pave the road to reading. And it's never too early to start! Jerlean Daniel, Deputy Executive Director at the National Association for the Education of Young Children says that the process of raising a great reader starts well before kindergarten. But as kindergarten approaches, it's important to ramp things up. Where to begin? According to Daniel, there are three major things that prepare children to read: reading aloud to them, engaging them in one-on-one conversations, and giving them lots of opportunities to write. Read on tomorrow to find out why these components are so vital and how to incorporate them into your child's day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Parent's Guide to Phonics

Below is an excellent article from written by Lia Freitas on kindergarten and phonetic awareness.  I hope this will give you some idea on what to expect for your child entering kindergarten and reading readiness.
What exactly is phonics? Many parents hear the term when their child is learning to read, but a lot of them have no clue what teachers are talking about--let alone how they might be able to help.
Plain and simple, phonics is the relationship between letters and sounds in language. Phonic instruction usually starts in kindergarten, with kids learning CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words by the end of the year. Words such as hat, cat, and pot are all CVC words.
But CVC is just the beginning. The bulk of phonics instruction is done in first grade. Students usually learn consonant blends (-gl, -tr -cr), consonant digraphs (-sh, -ch, -qu), short vowels, final e, long vowels, r-controlled vowels, and diphthongs. From second grade on up, phonics continues to build fluency and teach multisyllabic words.
Interest peaked, but don’t know where to begin? Here are some basic phonics rules to keep in mind as your child learns to read:
  • Short vowels: When there is a single vowel in a short word or syllable, the vowel usually makes a short sound. Short vowels usually appear at the beginning of the word or between two consonants. Examples of short vowels are found in the words: cat, pig, bus.
  • Long vowel:
  • Consonant blends: When two or three consonants are blended together, each consonant sound should be heard in the blend. Some examples of consonant blends are: black, grab, stop.
  • Consonant digraphs: A combination of two consonants sounds that together represent a new sound. Examples of consonant digraphs are: shop, chin, photo.
  • R-controlled vowels: When a vowel is followed by the letter "r," the vowel does not make the long or short sound but is considered "r-controlled." Examples are: bird, corn, nurse.
  • Vowel diphthongs: The term "vowel diphthong" refers to the blending of two vowels sounds – both vowel sounds are usually heard and they make a gliding sound. Examples include: moon, saw, mouth.
Phonics are the building blocks to reading. And while they’re not always intuitive, once you know the rules, they can help quite a bit. So learn the basics. Not only will you be helping your child, but you’ll finally understand what the teacher is talking about!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Call It Vege-Magic

According to Samantha B. Cassetty, M.S. R.D., Good Housekeeping Nutrition Director, if you sneak greens (and yellows and reds) into entrees, and not only will you up your produce intake, but you may also drop pounds.  When researchers at Penn State subbed a veggie puree for 25% of otherwise ordinary main courses (macaroni and cheese, for instance, or chicken with rice), study participants nearly doubled their vegetable consumption and ate, on average, 357 fewer calories over the day.  Best of all, despite the mega-drop in calories, the volunteers felt equally full after meals and pronounced the entrees just as delicious.

To try this  Add broccoli to pesto: Heat a covered 5-quart pot of water to boiling on high.  Add 1lb. broccoli florets.  Cook 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.  With slotted spoon, transfer to food processor.  Add 1c. fresh basil leaves, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Puree until smooth.  With processor running, add 1/2  c. extra virgin olive oil.  Stir in 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese.  Makes 2 and 1/2 c. (enough to coat 1 lb. whole wheat penne).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Walk Away

According to an article in the December 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, if you want to tone your muscles, "fitness" sneakers are not a "shoe-in."  When researchers for American Council on Exercise measured muscle activity at six body points while walkers were wearing either Skechers Shape-ups, Reebok EasyTones, MBTs, or (the control group) regular New Balance sneakers, they found no significant difference.  So why the hype?  Toning shoes have an unstable sole, so you use different muscles to balance.  This may cause temporary soreness, which eases as your body adjusts the scientists say.  The author's footnote: Buy regular sneakers, and get the toning from your workout.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Declutter For The School Year 2011-1012: Part 5

There is nothing more frustrating then clutter. As the new school year begins you and your children can get started on organizing your lives. Clutter can cause tardiness, anger, frustration, and depression. Why not get on a program to declutter you and your family's life by taking tips from the experts. Below are 21-25 tips from an article in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, submitted by Berit Thorkelson.

21.  Is your linen closet overflowing? Pare down your stock to three towels and washcloths per person, two sets of sheets per bed, plus a set of each for guest.  Voila! A roomier linen closet.  Laura Wittmann, author of Clutter Rehab

22. Procrastination breeds clutter.  Institute a do-it-now policy for a few highly visible everyday tasks, like loading the dishwasher or folding and putting away a load of laundry before starting another.  Aby Garvey,

23. Designate a separate, labeled bag for each regularly scheduled activity, lesson, or sport on your family calendar.  Pack the bags with the necessary gear, and hang them on hooks in a handy spot.  Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch, author of Pretty Neat: Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection

24. If toy are overrunning your house, quietly tuck a few of them away in a box.  If kids ask for a specific item, retrieve it.  After a month, donate what's left in the box.  Scott Roewer, professional organizer

25. Attics, basements, and garages tend to harbor lots of items you haven't seen or used in a while, which also makes them prime candidates for purging.  Clear them first so when you tackle your living areas, you'll have storage space waiting.  Debbie Lillard, author of Absolutely Organized

I truly hope these suggestions for organizing will help make the 2011-2012 school year GREAT for you and your child.  So, read over all 25 tips and get started.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Declutter For The School Year 2011-1012: Part 4

There is nothing more frustrating then clutter. As the new school year begins you and your children can get started on organizing your lives. Clutter can cause tardiness, anger, frustration, and depression. Why not get on a program to declutter you and your family's life by taking tips from the experts. Below are 16-20 tips from an article in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, submitted by Berit Thorkelson.

16. If you're having trouble letting go of clutter, whether it's too many things in your house or too many commitments eating up your time, think about what it requires you to sacrifice.  Less stuff means less to organize and less money spent.  Fewer activities means less running around and more family time.  Laura Wittmann, author of Clutter Rehab

17. "Go clean your room," can mean lots of things.  Give your kids a list of exactly what you expect, and let them check off the task as they are done.  Scott Roewer, professional organizer

18. fit a cardboard banker's box with13 pocket folders.  At the end of the school year, go though your child's artwork and school papers together to select only as many favorites as will fit in one folder.  Memories from an entire school career will fit neatly on a shelf.  Julie Morgenster, author of Organizing from the Inside Out

19. Keep a folder labeled "Tax Documents" where you sort your mail.  As statements come in , slip them into the folder.  When tax time comes, everything you need is in one spot.  Julie Morgenster

20. Perform daily triage on incoming papers and mail.  Set up a desktop file box or wall-mounted file holder, with three folders: To Read, To Do, and To File.  Sort the keepers into one of the categories, then recycle the rest.  Schedule a weekly time to deal with the contents of each folder.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Declutter For The School Year 2011-1012: Part 3

There is nothing more frustrating then clutter. As the new school year begins you and your children can get started on organizing your lives. Clutter can cause tardiness, anger, frustration, and depression. Why not get on a program to declutter you and your family's life by taking tips from the experts. Below are 11-15 tips from an article in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, submitted by Berit Thorkelson.

11.  Tackle your junk drawer first.  Remove anything you don't use at least monthly, then sort what's left into the compartments of a drawer organizer that completely fills the drawer.  You won't have room to stash things that don't belong there.  Janna Lufkin, stylist

12. Every time you arrive home, clear the car of anything that doesn't permanently belong in it.  Keep a tote or basket in the car for this purpose, and draft your passengers to help - nobody leaves the car empty-handed! Stay vigilant, and it'll become second nature. 

13.  Make clutter-busting a family game.  Write task on Ping-Pong balls.  Each person chooses a ball, completes the task, then chooses another one.  After 30 minutes, whoever has the most balls gets a prize, like a no-chores day or control of the TV remote.  Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch, authors of Pretty Neat: Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection

14. Get creative with storage containers.  Try a ceramic egg tray for paper clips and rubber bands; a tackle box for craft supplies; a napkin holder for incoming mail; and a garden tote for kid's art supplies.

15. Make two coffee dates with a good friend.  On the first one, go through her kitchen cabinets to identify and get rid of clutter (lidless plastic containers, mismatched glasses, petrified spatulas, etc.). On the second date, do the same in your kitchen.  Alicia Rockmore and SarahWelch

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Declutter For The School Year 2011-1012: Part 2

There is nothing more frustrating then clutter. As the new school year begins you and your children can get started on organizing your lives. Clutter can cause tardiness, anger, frustration, and depression. Why not get on a program to declutter you and your family's life by taking tips from the experts. Below are 6-10 tips from an article in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, submitted by Berit Thorkelson. 

6. Create a repair center for clothes that need mending, toys that need batteries, things that need gluing.  That way, unusable items aren't in general circulation, and you know where to look when you have time to tackle a project. Julie Morgenstern

7. Relegating a sentimental item you no longer have use for to a box in the closet, basement, or attic does nothing to honor it.  Instead, take a photo of the item and put it in a scrapbook or load it on your digital picture frame.  Then donate the item.  It's both space saving and respectful.  Scott Roewer, professional organizer

8. Each spring and fall, do CPR on your closet:  Categorize, Purge, and Rearrange.  Carefully consider each item.  If it doesn't make you feel wonderful or look fabulous, it's a no.  Put it in the "to donate" box, and put that box in your car right away.  Debbie Lillard, author of Absolutely Organized

9. A tighter focus for your to-do list clears mental clutter.  Include only your three most important tasks, and don't let less important busywork distract you.  If you complete everything on you list, great.  If not, at least you'll know you sent time on the highest-priority task.  Meredith Schwartz,

10. I spend a few minutes every night before bed restoring order to my purse.  I remove all trash, return floating change to my wallet, and replenish tissues and business cards.  It makes me feel ready to start the day.  Claire Kurtz, the

Monday, July 11, 2011

Declutter For The School Year 2011-1012: Part 1

There is nothing more frustrating then clutter.  As the new school year begins you and your children can get started on organizing your lives.  Clutter can cause tardiness, anger, frustration, and depression. Why not get on a program to declutter you and your family's life by taking tips from the experts.  Below are the first 5 tips from an article in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, submitted by Berit Thorkelson.  

1.  Every three months or so, reserve one Saturday morning for a family clean out.  Set a timer for 30 minutes and have each person find things in his or her own space to donate or throw away.  Box up the donations and drop them off right away, then reward yourselves with lunch out.  Meredith Schwartz,

2. Avoid zigzag organizing.  Scattering your efforts over multiple rooms prevents you from seeing progress.  For visible, dramatic results, work one room at a time, one section at a time, completing each area before your move on the next.   Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing from the Inside Out

3. When you're trying to decide whether to keep something, ask yourself three questions: Do I love it? So I use it? Could someone else use it? Claire Kurtz,

4. A system that's a natural extension of your habits is easier to stick with than one that forces dramatic change.  So set up solutions right where clutter collects, such as a labeled pail for each family member's shoes and other equipment, in a bookshelf right by the front door. Aby Garvey,

5. Give frequently accessed paper (take-out menus, sports schedules, phone directories) a dedicated spot, rather than in a pile on the counter or stuck to the fridge.  Three-hole-punch all that paper, and store it in a pretty binder with labeled tabs. Aby Garvey,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Best Tea

I love drinking a cup of hot or ice tea.  According to an article in the December 2011 issue of Better Home and Gardens, the next time your thirsting for tea, try skipping the bottled stuff and brew your own.  Most commercially bottled teas contain fewer antioxidant polyphenols than home-steeped varieties.  These findings were from a preliminary finding presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.  Scientists tested six brands of bottled tea and found that five contained less than 45 mg of polyphenols per 16-oz. bottle.  On the other hand, a home-brewed cup of green or black tea typically contains 50-150 mg of polyphenols. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Keeping the Pounds Off!

According to an article in the December 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, you can drop the pounds and feel great, the goal is keeping it off. Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research tracked 348 volunteers who had lost an average of 19 pounds.  Participants were encouraged to visit a special website regularly to  record their weight, exercise habits, and other variables.  At the end of the 30 months experiment, those who logged in at least once a month maintained the largest weight lost 9 out of 19 pounds on average).  People who used the site less often kept off just 3-5 pounds.  Creating a track record may make people more accountable, upping the odds they'll stick to a healthy regimen, says study coauthor Kristine L. Funk, R.D.  To reap the benefits, look for a weight-loss website that allows you to set goals, track or progress, and solicit tailored advice.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Best ADHD Summer Camps

According to, below are some of the most popular ADHD summer camps in the United States and Canada. They all offer different activities and programs for children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Summer Camps For ADHD Children

Brewster Academy
80 Academy Drive
Wolfeboro, NH 03894

The Hillside School
404 Robin Hill Road
Marlborough, MA 01752
Phone: 508.485.2824

The Learning Camp
PO Box 1146
Vail, CO 81658
Phone: 970.524.2706

Camp Buckskin
PO Box 389
Ely, MN 55731
Phone: 218-365-2121

Camp Sequoia
Winter Address: 221 Williams Avenue, Narberth, PA 19072
Summer Address: 717 East High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464
Phone: (610) 771-0111
Fax: 610.771.0122

Summit Camp
168 Duck Harbor Road
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: 800-323-9908

Camp Kodiak
General Delivery
McKellar, Ontario,
Canada, P0G 1C0
Phone: (705) 389-1910

Camp Nuhop
404 Hillcrest Dr.
Ashland, OH 44805
Phone: (419) 289-2227

Soar Adventure Camps
226 SOAR Lane
P.O. Box 388
Balsam, NC 28707
Phone: 828-456-3435

Eagle View Ranch
184 Uphill Road
P.O Box 584
Dubois, WY 82513
Phone: 307-455-3084

Round Lake Camp
119 Woods Road
Lakewood, PA 18439
Phone: (570) 798-2552 x 21

UAB's Summer Treatment Program
University Of Alabama Civitan International Research Center
CIRC 329
1530 3rd Ave. South
Birmingham, AL 35294
Phone: 1-800-822-2472

Camp Lee Mar
450 Route 590
Lackawaxen, PA 18435
Phone: (215) 658-1708 and (570) 685-7188

Camp Funtime
5461 Louise Ave
Encino, CA 91316
Phone: (818) 789-8405

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Choosing The Best Summer Camp

According to an article from, the season of summer is coming soon, and this would mean extra days of sun, warm shine and outdoor recreation for the summer school holidays. Unfortunately, it might also mean long days of boredom for some. In order to avoid a summer filled with long days of children moping about the house, it's a great idea to look into a supper camp for them.

In your attempt to search for the best appropriate summer camp for your child, there are several key factors to take into account. There are many fun summer camps, but each child has different needs and interests, and it's important to find a camp that caters to those specific needs.
For those who are taking the summer camp for a first time, or even for younger children, camp out summer camps should be left to the next season. It might be too much to force them into a new environment 24 hours a day. For younger children or first timers, a day camp is the perfect solution. They will have all the fun of activities, sports, and new friends, without having to adjust to sleeping away from mom and dad. Another great option for young campers are family summer camps. This is a great transitional camp if you plan to send your child to sleep away summer camps in the future.

Summer adventure camps give an outdoor kind of environment where children can participate in various activities. The best summer camp will offer outdoor games and sports, including water activities, arts and crafts and both group and individual activities. There should be a wide selection of things, which your child can choose to take part in. This type of program allows the child to be involved in some familiar and well loved activities, and also to branch out and try some new ones as well.

Certainly there are many camps that cater to certain special areas of focus that you may also think about bringing your child to, as an example from sports camps to music, religious, or camps where the focus is given on a certain subject such as science or technology. If you love basketball, and want your child to love it too, that is no guarantee that a basketball camp is the best summer camp for your child. When choosing the camp, be sure that it is something that the child already has shown an interest in or aptitude for. Sending a child to a specialized camp in hopes that they will finally pick up a skill, or get interested in a subject is a very bad idea, and might provide them with the worst camp experience of their life.

There are just boundless options for you to think about. Take into account the location of the camp, your budget, as well as specifics, such as day camp or sleep away camp, and then explore the available choices. With your child in mind while making your choice, and with a little consultation with the child, you are sure to find the best summer camp for him!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Camp

If you’re a single mom, finding summer activities that will keep your children occupied, safe and stimulated may be a challenge. Especially if your child’s father is not in the picture. So to help, has compiled a series of articles on summer camps for kids. As you will see, summer camps are as varied as the children that attend them. From day camps and overnight camps to athletic and academic camps, sources like The American Camp Association and can help you find a camp that just right for your child and your wallet.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Second Grade Reading: Part 4

Second grade is a pivotal year in reading. Once the basics are underway, students come back to a large quantity of new skills that build on what they learned the previous year and prepare them for the middle grades. Although states' expectations vary, some consensus has emerged in the form of the 2010 Common Core State Standards.
Text Structure and Author's Craft

  • Second-grade students begin to learn about the different purposes and structures reading material can have. They look at whether an author is entertaining or informing and discover that stories have a beginning, middle and ending. They use features like headings, boldface words and the index to find information. (They often begin to learn computer conventions as well--if they don't already know them.) They look at the patterns in poems and rhymes.

Connecting Information from Different Sources

  • Students in grade two are expected to use both text and illustrations to help them understand what they read. They should be able to interpret simple diagrams and the like. They also look at how information in a text supports other information (how details support main ideas and how reasons support statements an author makes). They begin to make comparisons between texts, such as similar stories or nonfiction readings on the same topic.
    By the end of second grade, students will be reading stories, poems and nonfiction text, approaching a third-grade reading level (determined by content, structure and language), with support on the more difficult texts.


                 HAPPY JULY 4TH

May you all have a wonderful 4th of July, and remember that every child
deserves the "Best Education Possible" and you can make that
happen by getting involved.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Are Your Kids Too Busy?

Over-scheduling your children can take a toll on everyone in the family. You and your child will feel like you are doing ten things at once. It can affect family life, health, friendships, and school grades. Sooner or later, kids who are too busy will begin to show signs of wearing down. Every child is different, but if your child feels tired, anxious, or seems depressed, it may mean you need to look at the extracurricular schedule and readjust somethings. Some children complain of headaches, stomachaches, stop eating regularly, and can't sleep. The key to scheduling thing is moderation and choosing activities that are age appropriate, of interest to the child, and the child has some success in participating in the activity. Finally, make sure the schedule is not over-taxing for you because that can cause another stressful situation. Whatever your child is involved in affects everyone in the family. Make sure it is a positive and fun experience. To read more on this topic go to and read the article entitled, "Are Your Kids Too Busy"?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Creating Memories

There is nothing more important than creating memories.  Why not spend some quality time with your child. You can schedule it the same time every week! Start going for walks together, or to the park, library, or local museums. It does not have to cost you a cent, just some time. Start a collection that interest you and the child.. You may decide to collect coins, stamps, dolls, shells, rocks, angels, model cars, etc.. Read about your collection and become experts. Go to yard sales and try to find little gems to add to the collection. You will find that the times you spend together will be remembered for the rest of your lives. Just enjoy some quality time together and see what happens! Your child will be happier and so will you.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Visit the Library This Summer

There is a gem right in your mist. It is 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, book clubs, 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. So, get in the car and take your children to the public library and READ, READ, READ!!!  It will make all the difference in your child's a attitude and grades in school.

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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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