Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences: Part 3

Below is part 3 of the article on Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences written by Thomas R. Hoerr, Ph.D. Makes sure you read the entire article to get all the information. I will be posting parts of the article this week.

While understanding your child's style helps you speak to his strengths, it is also important to give him opportunities to strengthen his weaknesses: Even if you're sure your child is a linguistic learner, there is plenty to be gained from engaging him in spatial or musical experiences. Here's a look at lingusistic, logical-mathematicial, and body-kinesthetic intelligences and the types of activities and experiences children tend to excel at with that learning style:


What it is: Sensitivity to the meaning and order of words. These children use an expanded vocabulary and usually like to tell jokes, riddles or puns. They also like to read, write, tell stories and play word games.
A good way to engage a language-oriented child in a home science experiment, for example, is to encourage him to describe and record exactly what he is doing and observing. To help him understand a concept such as counting, ask him to create a story in which a character has to count many items. Have paper, writing material, different types of storybooks, and a tape recorder handy.


What it is: The ability to handle chains of reasoning and to recognize patterns and order. These learners enjoy working with numbers, want to know how things work, ask lots of questions, and collect items and keep track of their collections.

To interest a logical-mathematical learner in a picture book, have her sort and classify the different items or animals she sees in it. Asking her to compare the different sounds and tones various instruments can make is a good way to help her explore musical concepts. Good items to have on hand include puzzles, blocks and small manipulatives to count with.


What it is: The ability to use the body skillfully and to handle objects adroitly. Kinesthetic learners enjoy sports and love to be physically active. They tend to use body language, dance, act or engage in miKids with this intelligence tend to learn well through movement games and dramatizing scenes and situations.

Playing a game of hopscotch will help your physical learner grasp math concepts more easily than counting items. A good science experiment for a bodily-kinesthetic child is to compare how far he can throw different types of objects. Try to have dress-up clothes and props for role-playing, bean bags, and other age-appropriate sports equipment around the house.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences: Part 2

Below is part 2 of the article on Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences written by Thomas R. Hoerr, Ph.D. Makes sure you read the entire article to get all the information. I will be posting parts of the article this week.

Most children have a number of different intelligences and learning styles and can be engaged in a variety of ways. If you don't see a strong preference for particular toys or games, it means that your child has more than one primary intelligence or that she isn't old enough to have developed a strong predilection. In most cases, you can begin to see a preference for particular styles at around age 2. By then your child will most likely respond best to specific activities and types of experiences.

Respecting individual intelligences and learning styles means offering your child a variety of ways to learn. This doesn't mean that you should shy away from helping him master certain skills — almost anything can be taught in a way that works well for a specific intelligence. When you identify and respond to your child's intelligence and learning style, you help him approach the world on his own terms. Playing to his strengths can make mastering new skills less frustrating — and can help him develop a lifelong love of learning.

Many ways to learn

One of the benefits of the multiple intelligence theory is that it offers parents many options — if a child isn't responding to a particular activity, there are many other approaches to try. Once you have a sense of your child's learning style, take a look at your home environment and routine to see how well it works for the way she learns. If you find that your child gravitates toward music, make sure that she has instruments available. Try playing music throughout the day and using songs as a way to encourage her enjoyment of different activities (a special song for doing the dishes or going grocery shopping can go a long way!). If she seems to have a powerful physical, or bodily-kinesthetic, intelligence, remember that creating fun hopping or jumping games to play while you're waiting in lines or at the store can help to make these tough times easier.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences: Part 1

Below is an article written by Thomas R. Hoerr, Ph.D., on Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences.  This information is important for parents and children to understand how we learn and how to improve our weaker areas. 

By Thomas R. Hoerr, Ph.D.

Over two decades after Howard Gardner identified multiple intelligences in his ground-breaking book Frames of Mind (1983), educators around the world have been using the theory of multiple intelligences in their classrooms. In some ways, parents and teachers have always intuitively known that children learn in different ways and that an activity that grabs one child may not be of interest to another. But many of our traditional ideas about teaching imply that there is a certain way to learn particular skills. As parents, we've all had times when we've become frustrated by our children's apparent inability to accomplish a task the way we were taught to do it. When we have a better understanding of their individual intelligences and learning styles, we can provide experiences that speak to how our children learn best.

The eight intelligences are:

1. Linguistic
2. Logical-mathematical
3. Bodily-kinesthetic
4. Musical
5. Spatial
6. Naturalist
7. Interpersonal
8. Intrapersonal

To understand your child's learning style, observe her as she plays. Which toys does she tend to choose? Chances are, you'll notice that her favorites have something in common. Perhaps they all have bright colors and distinct patterns or interesting textures and shapes, or make sounds. Then look at how she plays: Does she tend to look at objects intently or to hold and feel them in her hands? Perhaps she is less interested in toys than in rolling, tumbling and moving around. As you cuddle up with your child and a favorite book, pay attention to what she is most interested in. Is it looking at the illustrations? Listening to the cadence of the words and rhymes as you read aloud? Touching the different objects pictured on the page? Or does she practically leap out of your lap and start to act out the actions in the story as you describe them?

Read tomorrow's post from Dr. Thomas R. Hoerr, Ph.D. on multiple intelligence

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eat More Fiber and Grains

The staff of life may be exactly that, scientist from the National Cancer Institute say.  There study of 388,122 men and women found that those who ate the most fiber from grains, an average of 9 grams a day for women, were 19% less likely to die over the nine-year research period  than those who at the least.  They were also 28% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.  Although the high-fiber eaters took in a lot from fruits, veggies, and beans, whole grains were the key, say the researchers, probably because of the foods' anti-inflammatory prowess.  To fill up on whole grains fiber, try these carbs below.

1. Whole wheat pancakes
2. Oatmeal
3. Whole wheat English muffins
4. Bulgur
5. Whole wheat spaghetti

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stand Up for Heart Health

According to an article in the September 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, if you spend most of your day sitting down, the rest of your body is paying the price.  Researchers strapped motion-tracking devices to almost 5,000 adults for a week, and found that Americans sit an average of almost eight hours per day.  No surprise: People who logged the most chair time had the poorest measures of heart risk (true even for those who exercises).  However, participants who got up from their chairs the most had C-reactive protein, a marker for heart disease, than those who got up the least, regardless of their total sitting time, and their waist were, on average, 1.6 inches trimmer.  "Standing up at least every 30 minutes," suggest lead author Genevieve Healy, Ph.D., of the University of Queensland, Australia.  While longer, active breaks are probably best, even brief pop-ups help.  So, take phone calls on your feet, use the restroom on another floor, and walk over to talk with colleagues.

Children need even more activity then adults.  This is why it is a bad idea to cut P.E. and recess at schools when there are budget cuts and time restrictions.  Make sure your children are not sitting watching TV and play video games for long periods of time.  Make them go outside and get some exercise.  We all need to be more active.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tip 14: Get To Know Your Child's Friends

This next tip is very important. Many times parents don't realize just how important is it to get to know their child's friends.

Tip #14: Get to know your child's friends.

You need to watch young children who are just starting pre-school or kindergarten. Check out who they choose to play with and choose as friends. Many times children are leaders and children just want to be around them. Parents usually don't have to worry as much about children who are leaders except for what kind leader they are . Other children are followers and just wanting other children to like them. These children are the ones you want to see what kind of friends they are attracted to. The last kind of child is usuall quite shy or would rather play alone. These children you want to encourage to socialize and learn how to make friends. Usually as a child gets older their taste in friends don't change much. There are 3 very important things a parent needs to look out for with their children's friends.

1. Is the friend that your child wants to be around supervised well outside of school? You don't want your child to spend too much time with children who have little or no supervision. Many times these children experiment and try things earlier then children whose parents keep a close eye on their child.
2. Set up play dated with other children and their parents so you can see how your child interacts with children around the same age. Better yet you will want to see how the friend interact with their parents. If the child is disrespectful or too demanding, let your child know that that is unacceptable behavior for your family. If your child has real trouble getting along with or socializing with their peers, set up more time and make more opportunities for your child to interact with other children.
3. If you notice that there are real problems with your child getting alone or playing with children, get professional help if you truly have concerns. The earlier you get your child help with social play and sharing the better it will be for the child when they school starts.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tip 13: A Parent Must Find a Balance When Disciplining

It is very hard being a parent in this day and time, and how you discipline your child is a very important part of parenting. We discussed the parent that is too easy and too harsh. Today we will look at the parent who truly tries hard to balance disciplining their child.

Tip #13: A parent must find a balance when disciplining their child.

1. Parents who try to be balanced when disciplining their child gives their child choices when it is appropriate and guides the child into making good decisions.
2. The parent that is balanced when disciplining is consistent and loving, while letting the child know the bad behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
3. The balanced parent lets the child know that there are consequences for their bad behavior and holds them accountable for their actions in a fair way.
4. The parent who is balanced with discipline sees their child realistically and has realistic expectations for their child.
5. The balanced parent gives their child love, self worth, and respect. Therefore, this helps build the child's confidence and self-esteem when they are out in the world and have to make important decisions.

We can only hope our children grow into healthy, independent, contributing citizens. You can do everything possible and many children still make bad choices and decisions. All we can do as parents is to be as balanced as possible when correcting and directing our children. Hopefully, you have the confidence in the school your child attends to work as partners in educating and help directing your child into young adulthood. These are only the opinions of a mother of 5, grandmother of 8, and educator of over 22 years. There is no scientific study or data in my discipline theory. Only life experiences. I truly wish everyone who reads this the wisdom and patience to mold and develop their child to be able to reach their true potential and see every dream come to past in their child's life.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tip 12: Don't Be Too Hard or Controlling

The parent that is too easy or not consistent with discipline usually has a lot of problems keeping their child under control. The type of parent we will look at today is the parent that is too harsh in punishing their child and are very controlling.

Tip #12: Don't be too hard or controlling as far as disciplining your child.

1. A parent that is too harsh or controlling has the child afraid to say or do anything. The child usually obeys the parent only out of fear, not because it is the right thing to do.
2. The parent usually makes all the decisions for the child and the child's opinion is not heard nor does it matter.
3. A very controlling parent usually has harsh consequences and will sometimes embarrasses the child in front of others.
4. This parent that disciplines too hard usually punishes and reacts while angry. There can even be physical and/or mental abuse in some cases.
5. The controlling parent a lot of the time has unrealistic expectations for their child and will punish harshly if expectations are not met or fall short. It is hard for the child to satisfy or make the parent happy.
6. This type of harsh discipline invites rebellion and unhappiness. Many times when the child is a young adult and out of sight of the controlling parent they go wild and make unwise decisions because they are not use to thinking for themselves.
7. Children who are treated harshly many times are mean and angry. Sometimes they have problems making friends and can be known as bullies.

As a result of being to harsh and controlling, the child can be rebellious, angry, and unhappy. Make sure you're not controlling your child through fear and anger. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tip 11: Don't Be Too Easy When Disciplining Your Child

It is necessary to discipline your child from time to time. The most important thing is to be consistent and always focus on the behavior and not the child. When disciplining your child you must find a balance. Never punish your child in anger. If you have to wait until you calm down, wait and then issue any consequences with a calm head. If you believe in spanking,which I personally discourage, make sure you never harm the child to the point you leave marks or bruises. Always make sure your child understands why they are being punished and make sure the punishment matches the misbehavior.

Tip #12: Don't be too easy when disciplining your child.
1. Usually when there is a parent that is too easy on discipline the child never truly understand what is expected behavior. The parent tries to be a friend to their child and will many times do everything for the child. Even things the child could or should do for themselves.
2. When they do try to discipline the child it is usually inconsistent. They give consequences, but never follow through and the child usually ends up getting out of the punishment. The child knows just how far to push the parent to get out of the punishment.
3. Many times these parents will also blame everyone except the child for any bad behavior (and will even blame themselves before the child has to face consequences). This certainly doesn't help the child understand what behavior is expected of them.
4. Usually the parents who are too easy with discipline build a fairy tale world for their child and makes sure life is as easy as possible. Many children don't even have chores or any responsibilities at home. These children think someone is suppose to wait on them hand and foot.
5. Some parents who discipline too easy try to live through the child. The child rules the home and every desire is tried to be fulfilled. The parent's desires and needs are put on hold, so their relationship suffers.

As a result of being too easy on discipline, many times it invites rebellion and unhappiness. The child doesn't understand what the word "NO" means and will not respond to simple request the first, second, and sometimes third time asked.The child thinks they are the center of the universe and when they get to school and find out otherwise, they are sadly disappointed and sometimes are disliked by teachers and peers. The solution is to have expectations for your child's behavior and if you punish make sure you follow through and are consistant.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tip 10: Children Should Have Age Appropriate Chores

In order for your child to become independent and responsible, they should have chores they must complete in a timely and complete manner. Chores can also teach children colors, patterns, and sequencing. A child as young as 3 or 4 years old can pick up their toys and put them in their proper place. Older children should help where you feel it is appropriate. Every child is different and you must determine when your child is ready for more responsibilities. Below are some suggested chore ideas by age level.

3-4 year old
Pick up toys
Pair socks together
Help feed family pet

5-8 years old
Make bed
Clean room
Fold laundry
Vacuum the rugs

9-12 years old
Clean room/change linens
Help fix meals
Wash and fold clothes
Yard work

13-18 years old
Just about anything

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Better Fish to "Fry"

According to an article in the July 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping, you should be eating at least two servings of fish per week, but don't count on fried fillets for the health perks.  Fish used for frying tend to be lean varieties that aren't high in healthful omega-3 fats.  Plus, frying depletes the omega-3 that are there.  Instead, enjoy crispy oven-fried pollock, which packs 600mg of fish fats per serving.  Below find a quick and easy recipe for crispy-oven pollock.


In a a pie plate, whisk 2 large egg whites with a fork just until frothy.   Place 3/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs on waxed paper.  Sprinkle 4 pollock fillets (4oz. each) with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Dip each fillet into egg whites, then coat with bread crumbs.  Arrange on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray.  Broil 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning over once.  Serves 4.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Berry Good News

According to an article in the July 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, eating one serving (1/2 cup) of blueberries per week can cut your odds of developing high blood pressure 10% suggests new research involving 157,000 women and men who were tracked for 14 years.  True, 10% isn't a mega reduction, but when we can get it from our favorite summer cereal topper, smoothie add-in, and snack, we're happy to take it. 

So, buy some blueberries, help lower your blood pressure , and enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tip 9: Eat Healthy Meals

Continuing along the same topic as tip # 8 on health, tip #9 has to do with getting the right nutrition.

Tip # 9: Make sure your family is eating balanced and healthy meals.
The first thing you want to make sure your child is getting a good breakfast. This can be at home or at school. If your child eats breakfast at home make sure it is not full of sugar and empty calories. A good guide would be a serving of fruit, protein, and grains. (example: small glass of orange juice, a bowl of oatmeal, a glass of low fat milk, and a piece of toast or bagel). If your child eats breakfast at school, check the school menu and make sure your child is going to eat what is offered and that the meals the school is offering is balanced and healthy. This goes for lunch and dinner. Try not to eat processed foods and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Only eat at fast food restaurants on rare occasions and get your child use to eating at home or making healthy choices when eating out. A healthy mind and body will learn and retain more at school.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tip 8: Make Sure Your Child Is Neat and Clean

Making sure your child is "Getting the Best Education Possible" is more than "AB Cs and 12 3s. Tip #8 is about the cleanliness of your child.

Tip #8: Make sure your child is neat and clean.
Your child's body, clothes, and teeth should be neat and clean. Other children may not want to be around a child who is not clean and even make fun of a child because of their hygiene. Set out what they will wear the night before and even have your child bathe at night if possible. This will become a lifelong habit that will guide them into adulthood. All children should brush their teeth in the morning and at night. They should also floss their teeth once a day to maintain good dental hygiene. Hair should be clean and neatly combed and brushed. All of this should help your child feel good about themselves and have confidence to stand up for themselves or what they believe in. A child cannot learn their best if they are constantly worried about their appearance. Also you never want others to point out the cleanliness of your child.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tip 7: Check Your Child's Book Bag Every Evening

There are many things parents can do to make sure their child is "Getting The Best Education Possible". This next tip is very important and will cost you nothing but a little time and effort.

Tip #7: Check your child's book bag every evening.

Parents must check their child's book bag every evening because important notes, announcements, field trip, event, and graded papers are sent home in the book bag. In order to make sure your child is completing all homework assignments, you must check their book bag. Try to help them keep it organized and clean it out daily of papers no longer needed. Parents miss out on important dates because of not checking their child's book bag. If your school doesn't supply a take-home-folder, you may want to purchase a pocket folder for your child to put all important papers and announcements in the folder,so they can't get lost coming or going in the bag.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tip 6: Make Every Conference

All of the tips I have given you for "Getting The Best Education Possible" are hopefully things everyone can do with little or no resources. It may take making your child's education a priority and "time", but it will pay off in the end for your child.

Tip #6: Make sure you make every conference.
Schools usually will have a conferences for parents every grading period. These conferences are very important and you should attend or send someone you trust in your place. This is the time you can find out where your child is academically and get questions answered on find out information on how you can help him/her. You also can get advice how to handle certain situations. Take advantage of the professionals in the building. I only hope you trust and have confidence in the administration, faculty, and staff, because they can assist you with many of your questions. Make sure the school is aware of any medications, allergies, or medical problems your child may have. If you or your family is going through a rough time, meeting with the school counselor and they can help look for any changes in your child's academic performance of behavior. Having a positive working relationship with everyone at the school is important. But the school will always want to see you doing your part to help your child.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tip 5: Join the PTA and Get Involved

In order to have a successful school year you, your child, and the school must work together as positive "partners". School conferences, functions, and meetings can be intimidating if you don't understand everything that is going on. This brings us to Tip #5,

Tip #5 Get Involved
Getting involved in your child's school doesn't take being there 2 to 3 hours everyday. As a matter of fact, simply joining the PTA and attending their meetings will give you valuable information about the objectives of the school year and things you can do to help. Volunteer where you feel comfortable. If there is a fund raiser, try to sell as many items as possible. All the funds should go toward enhancing every child's education at the school. If you can be a "reading buddy" for a child or tutor a child in math. This should be a rewarding experience for both of you and the child. If you work everyday, ask the teacher if there is something you can do at home (examples: make activities for centers,staple packets, help with bulletin boards, copy assignments for the class, organize papers or group assignments, color or paint objects, etc.). Just being visible and helpful at your child's school truly helps your child.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

5 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning

The average homeowner spends about $375 on air conditioning. Here's how to slash your summer energy bills, and still stay cool.
By Dan Shapley
With a brutal heat wave spreading across the U.S., many people are turning on their air conditioners. The typical U.S. home spends 17% of its annual energy bill on cooling – about $375.
Summer is the time when electricity demand spikes, stressing the grid and pumping copious air pollution into the atmosphere. Emissions from coal-fired power plants, particularly, cooks in the summer sun to create smog and ozone pollution.
These tips will help you reduce the amount of energy you pay for to run your air conditioner. How? You'll use it less, and use electricity more efficiently.
1. Adjust the thermostat
If you have central air controlled by a thermostat, use a programmable thermostat to save energy by increasing the heat significantly during the day when the house is empty. You can give up a couple degrees at night, too – especially on the hottest days. You may be surprised to find that the contrast between outdoor and indoor temperatures matters as much as the absolute temperature inside your home. When home, aim to set the temperature at 78 degrees to balance comfort with energy and cost savings. Together with winter energy savings, a programmable thermostat used properly can save the average home up to $150.
2. Clean the air filter
Whether you have central air or a room air conditioner, a dirty filter will reduce its efficiency, making it use more energy and cost more money to do the same job. Check your HVAC system's air filter monthly and expect to change the filter every three months.
3. Get an annual checkup
If you have central air, consider an annual checkup – once should cover both the heating and the cooling season. A professional should be able to diagnose any inefficiencies before you've wasted money on monthly heating and cooling bills.
4. Think small
Cooling one room with a window air conditioning unit requires much less energy (and investment) than a central air system. Ask yourself how you'll use your new air conditioner, and choose the smallest option that works. The government's Energy Star site has a handy guide to help you choose the right air conditioner for your space.
5. Buy Energy Star
Whether you're buying a central air conditioner (which could qualify for a tax credit) or a room unit, efficiency matters. An Energy Star central air system will use about 14% less energy than minimum government standards, and a room air conditioner will save at least 10%. Use the Energy Star Website before making a purchase, because while the vast majority of the 1,000-plus Energy Star window air conditioners barely meet the standards by using just 10% less energy than a standard model, some are clearly a better value. Compared to the typical, these nine models use at least 25% less energy:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Addition By Subtraction

According to Dr. Robert J. Leon , cardiovascular disease specialist, patients in his office ask the question, "What vitamins or pill would you recommend to improve my health?" And his answer is always the same: addition by subtraction!  That's because Dr. Leon believes that before you add anything to your health routine your should take a hard look at what things can be taken away.  Below are Dr. Leon's tips:

1. If you smoke, nothing is more important than stopping this habit.  No amount of Pilate's or novel concoctions is likely to reverse the harm of nicotine.
2. If you are overweight, losing 10 pounds will have tremendous positive effects on your cardiovascular health, blood pressure, insulin levels and overall well being, not to mention the fact that you will feel better.
3. A simple 30-minute daily exercise regimen, which can be as simple as walking or as complex as circuit training, is invaluable in maintaining your overall health fitness.
4. If you have hypertension or diabetes , monitor your blood pressure or blood glucose levels.
5. If you suffer from stress, get a hobby or meet with friends to relax. 
6. You should read, do puzzles, or play chess to keep your mind sharp.  Turn off the TV and stimulate your mind in other ways.

If you said "yes" to questions 1 through 5 or  "no" to 6, don't think Dr. Leon can prescribe a magic pill.  You have some work to do. Then he can talk about vitamins.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Make sure this year is a successful academic year for your child. We already discussed turning off the electronics during the school week, organizing a study area, and putting your child on an regular schedule. Today we will look at the next important tip.


Research shows that how fluent a child reads (how many words per minute a child can read) will determine their success academically. In order to complete assignments in high school, college, and graduate courses a students must be able to read a certain amount of materials in a short amount of time and comprehend what's been read. This is why schools are using researched based reading series that make sure a child is fluently reading and understanding what they read on grade level.

The only way a child can increase fluency is to read to your child when they are young and have them read recreational materials outside of school! Research also shows that students who read for 15-60 minutes outside of school get better grades and score higher on standardized test. So, tip #4 is to find books, magazines, comics, or whatever interest your child and read to your child or have them read every evening throughout the school year. I'm sure you will be amazed at the increase in your child's vocabulary, written language, spelling, and overall understanding of the written word. What will all this amount to? Better comprehension and performance in all subject areas. So, READ to your child or have your child READ! READ! READ!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tip 3: Have a Scheduled time for Getting Up, Eating, Studying and Going to Bed

Having a successful school year takes planning and a lot of organization. Now that we have turned off all electronics during the week and have a regular study area, let's continue our quest on getting the "Best Education Possible.

Tip #3: Have a scheduled time for getting up, eating, studying, and going to bed.

Children and teens do better when they are on a schedule. (Let the truth be known, most of us do better when on a schedule).

1. There should be scheduled time to get up every morning. There should be enough time to wash, brush teeth, get dress, groom hair, eat breakfast, and load up for school. Clothes and books should be laid out the night before to keep the morning running smoothly.
2. Dinner should be at the same time or around the same time every evening. Breakfast and lunches at school are always at the same time and parents need to do the same thing at home. Parents should sit down and eat dinner with their children and discuss the day. It makes a big difference for children to have that time with you.
3. Extra curricular activities and homework all must be on a schedule. Never over schedule your child with sports or activities that will stress them out and cause homework to be a burden. Make sure activities are over early enough for homework, dinner, and bed time.
4. Bed time should be the same time every evening during the week. Young children and some teens need at least 8-12 hours of sleep a night. It is never good for your child to go to school tired because of not enough sleep. A tired mind can not learn.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tip 2: Have a Regular Study Area For Your Child

In order for you and your child to have a successful school year certain things need to be in place. We already know that the TV, video games, cell phones, and computers should be turned off or have limited use during the school week.

Tip #2: Have a regular study area in your home.

The study area can be as simple as the kitchen table, while you are fixing dinner, or a small desk or table in their room. It should be the same place every afternoon or evening. Your child should go to the study area and complete all homework assignments. There should be pencils, pens, crayons, markers, erasers, paper, rulers, calculators or whatever supplies your child might need. It should be neat and organized so your child can find everything needed to complete their homework. Make sure you check to see that the homework is completed properly and neatly. If your child does not understand an assignment, do not complete it for him/her. They cannot learn by you doing their work. Try to explain it and have them complete the work. If you can't understand the assignment, call another parent or write a note and ask the teacher to explain it to your child. If your child has no homework or completes the work quickly, have them read for at least 15-45 minutes. It will make all the difference in their grades if they are reading every night.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tip 1: Turn off the TV, Video Games, Cell Phones and Computers

With the new school year starting, every parent is trying to get organized and ready for a successful grading period. There are some very important things that you can do to make sure your child is getting the "Best Education Possible". These tips are in no specific order of importance. So, check out the next few week's  post to get some very important information for a great 2011-2012 school year.

TIP #1: Turn the TV, video games, cell phones, and the computers (unless they are doing school work) off during the week.

The parents that eliminate or limit the use and viewing of TV, video games, cell phones and computer find that their children read more or have more creative play. These children do better in school and have better grades. There is nothing more distracting then these current day electronics. If you don't totally eliminate their use, I would suggest they not be able to use any of them until all homework is completed and 15-30 minutes of recreational reading for younger children and 30-60 minutes for older children. After that I would limit their use to 15-45 minutes a night. (no more than 60 for older children). Have your child pick what game, show, or friend they want to call and make sure they stick to the agreed amount of time. If you make it a habit there will be no arguments. So, start the school year off right and turn off the TV, video games, cell phones, and computers.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How To Get The "Best Education Possible":2011-2012

Every school year for the last 22 years I have observed the kindergarten parents walking their children to class. Some of the fathers had their little ones in their arms. I have watch as the mothers fussed over their children's clothes and hair and could see the anxiety building as the principal finally announce that all parents should leave the classroom and let the teachers get started. It is then that I realized that we have to trust our administrators, teachers, and staff to take care of our most precious possessions, "Our Children".

I truly hope that parents do trust their schools with their children. And I truly hope that teachers and administrators show parents that they can be trusted with their children to love, care, direct, and instruct them while in their care. You see, school should be a "partnership" with parents because the school has your children a large part of the day. I pray that everyone has a WONDERFUL school year and your child is getting the "Best Education Possible. "

Starting tomorrow,  I will re-post and retitle some important tips that I feel will help parents navigate their way through the 2011-2012 school year. For the next few weeks please read the suggestions and incorporate the ones that you feel will help you and your child. I truly believe that if you stay informed and involved, your child will have a more positive experience in school.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A New School Year: 2011-2012

On Monday, August 8th, Huntsville City Schools' students will report back to the classroom.  Administers, teachers, and staff  have been hard at work all summer with planning, in-service, institute, and classroom planning and setup.  With all the budget cuts and staff cuts, what can our students expect when they sit at their seats 8:00 Monday morning?  They should expect effective instruction, enthusiastic leadership, challenging curriculum, rigorous teaching, safe and functional physical plants, and support in their academic endeavors.

This year will be a lot of changes in the Huntsville City School system.  We have a new superintendent, Dr. Wardynski,  who has a new vision and plan for our system.  I can't help but feel a little excited about the the 2011-2012 school year. I truly hope the entire system will work together to be strong academically and realize we are in this together.  We are no stronger then our weakest schools and it is every one's responsibility and concern for "ALL" the children in Huntsville City School System.

This year I will continue to be a reading coach.  The change is I will be the reading coach for both the Academy for Academics and Arts and the Academy for Science and Foreign Language, two schools of choice in Huntsville City Schools.  This will be a challenging year for me, but I am up for the challenge.  I want both schools to work toward 100 percent literacy K-3 and every child to receive the "Best Education Possible".  This can only be done with dedicated professionals leading the way, parents involvement encouraging all children, and hard working effective teachers and staff that are energetic and excited. 

To achieve these goals will take the full support of our community.  We solicit  your thoughts and prayers as we take on the academic challenges for 2011-2012 school year.  We will need your full support so that every child  receives the "Best Education Possible"!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Just Ask!

In an article written by Tod Marks from the August 2011 Money Adviser Consumer Reports, he states the next time you're ready to make a major purchase, look the sales clerk in the eye and calmly pose the question, "Is this the best you can do?"  If you want to pay less than the posted price, you have to ask. 

Yet year after year, the Consumer Reports National Research Center finds that most shoppers are reluctant to haggle.  Sure, there's a chance the clerk might not budge.  But they've found that shoppers who do try have at least a 50-50 chance of success haggling for things as diverse as computers, mattresses, and hotel stays.

According to a December 2011 survey, online shoppers for electronics were just as successful at haggling as customers in the store.  So if you're shy or embarrassed about bargaining in person, you have other options.

A few tips to better haggle:
1. Know before you go.  Research prices and store policies, and have evidence of better deals from newspapers or websites at the ready
2. Find fixable flaws.  If a product has blemishes, ask the seller for a discount.
3. Avoid an audience. Merchants don't want everyone asking for the same deal.
4. Ask a manager. Sales clerks might not have the authority to give you a discount.
5. Offer a pay cash. Retailers are charged transaction fees by credit-card companies.
6. Be nice. Demanding a discount rarely works.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Second Grade Reading: Part 5

2nd Grade Reading Comprehension

It takes work at home to improve your child's Second Grade Reading Comprehension level

Below is an article from the Children's Learning Center website.  It stresses the importance of parents working with their second grader on comprehension.

Every parent wants their child to succeed, however in order for that to happen it is important that parents are willing to do the work at home that it takes. It is not enough to leave the education of our children to our nation's overcrowded and under funded school systems, parents must take an active role at home and at a young age. Reading Comprehension is an essential skill. It is the fundamental building block upon which education is based. Studies have shown that children who read a lot at a young age score higher on standardized tests later in life. However, most parents do not have the background to immediately know how best to improve their child's Second Grade Reading Comprehension level. Fortunately some of the nation's most well respected names in education have developed programs designed especially for parents to work with their kids to lift their 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension levels. These programs were designed by leading educators as well as parenting specialists to make learning fun for both you and your children. We've listed the best programs below. Just click on the buttons for more complimentary information directly from any companies of interest.

eSylvan - Reading Center
eSylvan's award-winning online tutoring is guaranteed to improve your child's reading and math skills. It will also boost their self-confidence. With personalized instruction from caring, state-certified teachers, learning at home is fun, easy, and effective. Help your child today with this accredited, low-risk and affordable solution.
The Phonics Game
Discover the fun and easy way to improve your child's reading skills. The Phonics Game is guaranteed to not only help your child's reading and spelling, but to boost their self-confidence as well. For a limited time, take advantage of our $19.95 risk-free trial. Your child (and their teachers) will thank you for it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Second Grade Reading: Part 4

Below is an article by Amy James on  She gives suggestions and tips for parents on the skills their child should have starting and ending second grade 

So, your child's reading! You're done, right? Not so fast! Things are just starting to get interesting. Second grade reading is a pretty important year for your child in developing the skill sets that allow him or her to see beyond the pronunciation of words to their meaning and implication. In second grade reading the focus changes from decoding (sounding out) words to learning the basic mechanics of reading. As your child grasps the mechanics of reading, comprehension skills come into greater focus.
Here's what your child should be able to do before starting second grade reading:
  • Develop appropriate active strategies to construct meaning from print
  • Decode unfamiliar words
  • Understand how speech sounds are connected
  • Understand or are able to figure out (using contextual clues) the meaning of what they read
  • Develop and maintain motivation to read
  • Extend a story
  • Predict what will happen next
  • Discuss the character's motives
  • Question the author's meaning
  • Describe causes and effects of events in the text
  • Discuss books by tying their comments directly to the text
By the end of second grade students working at the standard level:
  • Read with understanding and fluency
  • Figure out unknown words in context
  • Recognize word patterns (prefixes and suffixes)
  • Communicate in writing
  • Retell stories with accuracy
  • Correct themselves while reading
  • Identify and spell many words
  • Recognize parts of a story
  • Read for more than pleasure
  • Use a larger sight vocabulary

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Second Grade Reading: Part 3

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.

  1. Basic Reading Skills

    • To begin with, second-graders continue to work on phonics and decoding. Students at this level are expected to read one-syllable words with long and short vowels as well as two-syllable words with long vowels. They should recognize common prefixes and suffixes and about 140 "sight words"--common words that do not follow the phonics patterns they have learned. Their fluency should be developing; after practicing, they should be able to read aloud at a natural rate with appropriate expression. And they should have established the habit of self-correcting, using context to help correct miscues.
    • Comprehension of Fiction and Nonfiction

      • Second-grade reading begins to focus more on comprehension skills. Students should be able to retell stories, identify the main idea and answer questions of who, what, when, where, why and how. They have a basic understanding of characters, setting and plot, and they understand vocabulary and ideas in a nonfiction text such as their science book. (The Common Core standards especially emphasize informational text to prepare children for our information society.)

      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.

      Read more: Important Reading Skills for Second Grade |

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Second Grade Reading: Part 2

The Pennsylvania Department of Education devises and maintains standards of education for all grade levels in each subject area, including reading, as a guideline for teachers to devise their curriculum. Each second-grade students' progress is monitored to prepare them for the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments given to students in third grade.

  1. Reading Independently

    • Second-grade reading standard 1.1.2 -- Reading Independently -- includes identifying an author's type, purpose and the genre of the book or literary piece. Word recognition and comprehension of unfamiliar words through decoding using knowledge of prefixes, suffixes and root words is another subsection of this standard. The standard suggests teaching students how to tell what a story is about before, during and after reading the text through taking notes, retelling, thinking aloud and connecting to prior knowledge. Oral reading accuracy is another aspect of the reading independently standard.

    Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Text

    • Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Text, standard 1.2.2, includes differentiating between fact and opinion within the text, using the text order and other clues to derive the meaning and increase comprehension and differentiate between essential and nonessential text within the text or reading. Other areas of this standard include making inferences from the text and forming conclusions and citing evidence from the wording to support answers to comprehension questions.

Read more: Second Grade Reading Standards in Pennsylvania |

Monday, August 1, 2011

Second Grade Reading: Part 1

Second Grade
According to an article from,  second grade's curriculum is understanding that that reading and writing is necessary in order to communicate effectively with others. Below is the overview from that article.
Language Arts
The overall goal of the second-grade language arts program is for students to understand that reading and writing are intrinsic to communicating in their daily lives. At this level, language arts can be broken down into two broad areas: reading and writing. These encompass listening and speaking, oral and silent reading, phonics and comprehension skills, handwriting, grammar, and spelling. These will be integrated during the language arts block as well as in other subjects.

The second-grade reading program includes guided, choral, and independent reading. Students will be asked to listen and read thoughtfully to connect their experiences and ideas with information and ideas presented in the real world. The main objective is to promote a sense of enjoyment and a lifelong interest in reading. The students listen attentively and connect their experiences and ideas with information and ideas presented in print. Students read and respond to a wide variety of children’s literature. They continue to develop their concepts of how print connects with spoken language. Second-grade students build on their knowledge that spoken language is composed of sequences of sounds, and that those sounds are represented by letters. The students read in texts of appropriate difficulty with fluency and understanding.

About This Blog

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.

How to get the Best Education Possible for Your Child

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