Sunday, April 28, 2013

Is College Worth It?--A book review 

 In Is College Worth It?, William J. Bennett and David Wilezol assess the problems of American higher education at various levels, from runaway costs to inferior academics to poor graduation rates to political indoctrination, and propose serious reforms and alternative methods for improving higher education that better serves our students.

The book Is College Worth It? explores the history of why college has become so expensive and why so many students have so much debt after college. The book helps you to evaluate a college based on the total cost of  tuition versus how much earning potential a graduate from that institution will have.  The book discusses careers that in the future will require more than a high school diploma, but less than four years of college. This book has case studies to help a potential student determine whether a trade, a gap year, working, or going to college is the right choice for them. 

Reading Is College Worth It? is like sitting down with a good guidance counselor who shares with you options for the future and is able to back up those options with data.  Being a mom who has three children looking at post secondary options over the next five years this was a critical read for me. The book did a great job of summarizing the current times in a readable way that will help me as a parent guide my children to  make informed  decisions about their future.  It is a book that I will encourage my children to read as it will help them self reflect and think about where their skills and passions can lead them to an affordable and fulfilling future.  I highly recommend Is College Worth It?

Note: I have found a site called Book Sneeze where you receive free books in exchange for an honest review.  The draw of free books was great, and I decided to give it a try.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Being Prepared.

Washington, D.C., July 7, 2006 -- A Red Cross

Our local library hosted a Red Cross Emergency Preparedness workshop.  We found it very helpful.  The idea is that everyone in a home should have a 72 hour emergency kit.  You would be able to survive for 72 hours before help arrived in the event of an emergency.

Red Cross sells various kits that you can store in your home.  This blog post by the Red Cross on the FEMA site lists all you need to make your own 72 hour kit. 

Lastly, they gave out a handout for kids.  This would be a great activity to fit into your health curriculum this year. 

You can also buy supplies at Emergency Essentials. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A chance to win.

A friend of mine is giving away a movie on her blog!  Very fun.  It is easy to enter and so far there are under 10 entries.  The odds are in your favor.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Schedule of a Friend.

At our local home school group I was asked to share my home school schedule.  I was excited to share and hear about how other families in our group schedule their day.  I was particularly intrigued my friend Ellesha's schedule.  Ellesha has two children who are in kindergarten and second grade.  She has developed a schedule for them using two different pocket charts.  She graciously agreed to share them on my blog.
Her son's schedule

Her daughter's schedule.

She moves the order of the cards to best facilitate independence with one child while she works with the other.  She also removes items when they are not scheduled for the day.  She can add in chores, and free time activities depending on the day.

I absolutely loved this!  What a great way to visually train your student to follow a schedule.  I really like it for K-3.

If you are intersted in learning about how others structure their day, here is a link to The Well Trained Mind blog with different examples of families' days.

Happy Scheduling.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness month.  I have a son with high functioning autism/Aspergers.  We have come a long way in the past eight years with a program called Relationship Development Intervention.  It is a developmental program founded by Dr. Steven Gutstein.  Autism is a processing disorder where children miss many developmental steps along the way.  Dr. Gutstein surveyed all of the milestones that typically developing children pass through and came up with over 1,000 objectives in the RDI program.   Dr. Gustsein believes you can deliberately work on objectives in the developmental order they occur at a slower pace with children with ASD.  By doing this with your child they master objectives and move along the typical developmental path. It allows your child a developmental "do over" on what he/she has  missed.  You work with a consultant who helps you guide your child.  It is a great fit with homeschooling.  Dr. Gutstein believes that you are capable of guiding your child and making progress.  Dr. Gutstein was a homeschooling parent himself.

My son has made amazing progress with RDI.  He is able to do more school work, is able to solve problems, has friendships with his brothers, sisters and others.  He is becoming a functioning and contributing member of our family.  If you have a child on the Autism Spectrum I think you might enjoy exploring RDI.

Lastly, my friend Kathy Darrow, an RDI Consultant, did an interview on Autism One Radio about RDI.    I felt the interview does a great job giving you an overview of the program. 
Happy April!