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How to Help Your Child Prepare for an Early College High School Education

Students who attend an early college high school are expected to finish high school classes in half the time. This means students must double up on all necessary courses in their 9th and 10th grade years to free up two to three years for college courses. The idea of graduating high school with an associate’s degree is appealing for our daughter, but she has hours of studying and plenty of weekends dedicated to reading, homework and projects in her near future.


Practice time management techniques. With a minimum of two hours study time a night, students in an early college high school need strong time management skills. There are two ways to approach time management, either the student can use a planner to schedule study time with other life activities or establish a study schedule as the focal point of each evening with other activities molding around that study time. With four children in school, I chose the study schedule. Each child has a dedicated study schedule with time for breaks noted on the schedule. The entire family uses this time to study or prepare for the following day and all breaks are taken at the same time. Study time ends at 6:00 P.M. when the entire family gathers for dinner preparation and family time.

Establish a study schedule. It does not matter if a family has one child or twenty; a study schedule is helpful when planning dedicated time for education. In my case, children have a unique study schedule based upon their individual educational path. My children study and complete homework from 4:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. on most nights. During this time, each child follows a set schedule of activities to ensure proper time management. First homework obligations are completed. If homework takes only one hour, the remaining time is utilized for reading. Both parents are available during study time for questions and homework / study help. If children do not need help from parents on a given day, that time is used to prepare for the following workday or as dedicated reading time. It is easier for an early college high school student to maintain the attention needed for advanced study preparation if the entire family is doing the same thing.

Encourage your child to think outside the normal. Sometimes the obvious answer is not the best answer. Whether a student is practicing creative writing techniques or preparing for a school project, thinking outside of the box is an important life skill to learn. My daughter makes a master list of potential project themes before choosing the best theme for the given project. Completing a poster for a book project, for instance, may be the simplest idea but it does not tap into creativity. Instead of a simple poster, I encourage my daughter to write a simplified version of each chapter to create a study guide for the book, complete with a unique book cover.

Make education a fun experience. On Sunday of each week, I plan activities that compliment current school lessons. The activity is a family experience yet it is personalized to each child. My first graders may create and color activity pages about pilgrims and Indians during Thanksgiving week. At the same time, my 6th grader is creating a cornucopia out of paper mache and my 8th grader is creating a unique story of one Indian and the changes caused by pilgrim interaction. All projects are shared over Thanksgiving dinner.

I have always stressed the importance of education to all my children. Athletic prowess may come and go, beauty is only skin-deep and acquaintances are a dime a dozen, but no one can take away your education. When preparing for an early college high school education, students need a special set of skills and a strong, dedicated family.

Write a Addition Math Lesson Plan for Homeschool

Teaching your child addition is an important part of a kindergarten or first grade homeschool education. It is the first step in being able to master all other mathematical facts. There are many options as to how you can create an addition math lesson plan. Below are several methods that will cater to any child depending on their personal learning style.

Instruction

The first step in any homeschool lesson plan is instruction of the new topic. You must first teach your child what addition is, how to do it, and different ways to think about it. Explaining the concept is the only way that they will know what addition is.

Manipulatives

It is often easier to explain and demonstrate different math facts through the use of manipulatives. These are simply tools that you use to represent the number of things you are working with. While you can buy professionally made math manipulatives, for addition, it is just as easy to use buttons, dry beans, or even M Ms.;

Drills and Practice

After making sure that your child knows the concept behind addition math, you should include drills and practice in your lesson plan. This can be done in many different ways.

One of the most popular ways of practicing addition facts is by using flashcards. These are small index cards with a math addition problem on one side and the answer on the other. Show the problem to your child and have them tell you the answer. It is a good idea to make them say the whole equation aloud to further cement it into their head.

Another way of doing basic addition practice is through the use of worksheets or a math textbook. Repetitive practice doing basic math problems will help your child learn the facts. In the beginning, you can provide manipulatives or a number line to assist them.

Word Problems

In order to make the process of learning addition make more sense, it is a good idea to include real world problems in your homeschool lesson plan. Word problems do this well. You can find worksheets and textbooks that include word problems in them or make up your own.

Using realistic word problems to teach addition facts helps children realize that there is a real use in learning. Abstract concepts are not as easily remembered as things that correlate to the real world.

Games and Fun

Learning addition can be boring after the initial thrill of grasping the concept. Kids do not learn very well when they are bored. To help prevent boredom in your math lesson plan, you should create games and fun activities to help learn math. You can play a dice game and add up the rolls to see how far you go on the board. You can play dominos and math the sum of the two numbers instead of just one. You can even play one of the many fun math games online.

When you write an addition math lesson plan for your homeschool class, you must use a varied approach to incorporate all different learning styles. After all, it is not only important for a child to understand the concept of addition, but to do addition on paper, in their heads, and to memorize the facts for quick recall.

Preschool: What to Do When It’s Not Available

The Advantages of Preschool

The Effective Provision of Preschool Education Project has determined preschool to be an integral aspect of developing social development. The project also showed that preschoolers have a higher tendency to become task oriented, and that they are better prepared for academic environments.

Some children from disadvantaged environments gain a benefit from preschools by getting an edge of academic and social interaction that is not always possible at home. Parents may both be working; one parent may not be living at home; and in many cases, the parent’s may not have the academic background suitable for enhancing early development.

While preschool is not a mandatory grade in most public school systems, those children that have the advantage of attending it have an even better advantage for success for the rest of their school days.

Availability of Preschool

Some preschools can be very expensive. Others can be a free extension of the public school system. You can always check with the elementary schools in your district to see what type of preschool is available to you. If the schools don’t offer them, someone there may be able to give you some good leads for available preschool programs.

Head Start and Sure Start

Since preschools can be pricey, especially for low-income people, there are some programs developed to offset the costs. Head Start and Sure Start are two examples of nationally recognized, incredible preschool programs available to people free of costs. Head Start admission is based on the parents’ income. You can do a search on-line, or you can call the schools to ask where you can inquire about this preschool program. Sure Start is the military equivalent of Head Start. Sure Start admission is usually based on military rank, rather then overall income. The drawback of Sure Start is that it is based on the military member’s rank. So, in that sense, if one spouse was a civilian making a very nice pay, but the military member was only a low ranking enlisted member, that family may get priority over a military family with one income where the military member was one rank above the well-to-do family.

Other considerations are put into the admission process of these preschools. Parents’ education, parents’ age at the time of having the child; number of siblings, and primary language spoken in the family are just a few of the other considerations that go into the admission process of the Head Start and Sure Start Programs.

Special Needs Children

If your child has a special need or a learning disability, you may qualify for free preschool. Also, if you are not sure but suspect your child may have a developmental or learning delay or disability, you may be surprised to find that there are free screening services available to you. Find out through your local Health Department, the Head Start Program, or even local public school what you can do to help your child in this instance.

Preschool is Not Available. Now What?

While the knowledge of the importance of preschool has grown, and many programs have blossomed to make this kind of education more available to everyone, preschool is not always available to everyone. In some remote military locations, preschool may not be an option in the civilian sector. Furthermore, the only available preschool programs may be filled, or may only be provided by Sure Start, which will restrict admissions by those of certain military ranks. In some locations, preschool is not public, and it may be too costly to lower middle income people who do not quite qualify for the low income programs. Sometimes, even, job schedules will hamper the ability of some parents to admit their children into a preschool program that may be offered for only a couple hours of the day.

Here are some ways to give your child some of the advantages of preschool without enrolling them in a preschool program:

-Ensure your child has the kinds of toys available in most preschools, such as blocks (math skills), crafts (dexterity), outdoor activities (large motor skills), and small items to manipulate (small motor skills, IE. writing).

-Read to your child on a regular basis. If your job keeps you from being with your child during the day, or at night, finding the time to read a story will not only give the two of you great “together” time, but will ensure your child is exposed to language.

-Take your child to the park often. On one of your off days, you can get some relaxation at the park while your child is engaging other children in a social environment and is developing well needed motor skills.

-Find other children in the area to start play groups. You can be the host, or you can alternate hosting these groups with other parents. Not only can you ensure your child is getting some social interaction, but you may be able to get a little break every other week or so. Work with the other parents to establish “rules of play” for the children.

-During playgroups, be sure to facilitate the children’s interactions by guiding them to solve social problems on their own. Solving social problems is one of the most important aspects of preschool education that gives children a better advantage later on in their education. Say things such as, “Dillian, ask Jason how you can play with him?” or, “Hmm. You both want to play with that toy. How can you both play with it?”

-Expose your child to a variety of experiences. Take her to restaurants, the store, to the bank. Many parents enjoy a little bit of a breather when they are on an errand run; however, involving your child in these activities by giving simple explanations or by giving her simple tasks will not only make the trip smooth, but will increase your child’s awareness of his or her environment.

-Enroll your child into some type of sports or art activity. While preschool may not be available, you child may be able to join some type of class, such as soccer, martial arts, drama, or crafting. What an excellent way to introduce your child to a structured setting that encourages discipline and reward!!