Now that fall is officially here (although you wouldn’t know it from the weather we had this past weekend!), it’s a great time to celebrate the arrival of a new season. There are a number of creative ways you can do it, so let your imagination run wild. We found ways to incorporate music, art, cooking, and crafts into any celebration. Share with us your ideas to celebrate fall!
As fall gets into full swing, many families find themselves knee-deep in sports practices, games, and piles of dirty uniforms in the laundry. With all of the effort it takes to have kids participate in sports, it can be easy to wonder if it’s all worth it. While not all researchers agree on all points, many researchers do concur that sports have advantages for kids far beyond fitness. If you’re considering signing your child up for a sport, it might be helpful to consider some of the following benefits of sports.
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Do Kids Need Art? The web site We Are Teachers has a great section addressing the timely topic of Art in Education. The site aptly captures the current conundrum in its introductory paragraph: “Teachers instinctually know that art, music and drama add value to kids’ lives. But in the era of high-stakes exams, the arts often fall to the bottom of the list, whether we intend them to or not.” (http://www.weareteachers.com/hot-topics/topics-in-education/why-our-kids-need-art)
A dilemma most parents face—whether cyber schooling or not—is if and when to begin assigning chores to their children, and what chores are suitable for what ages. If the internet is any indication, the belief that chores are an appropriate and important part of growing up, as the prevalence of sites, blogs, and articles on the benefits of and suggestions for chores greatly outweigh those speaking out against them. Most experts (and non-experts, too) seem to agree that doing chores teaches kids responsibility (and gives you some help around the house!). Rabbi Shmuley, perhaps best known for his television show Shalom in the Home, argues that if children don't help out with chores when they are younger, it can set the stage for their behavior as an adult. He explains, “Children get used to having things done for them. The result is that children feel entitled and parents are demoted to being a cleaning person.” Children need to play a role in the family, and chores are a way of giving children a role in the household, he says. "Kids can—and should—start doing chores from a very young age," Rabbi Shmuley says. Links to his suggestions for chores at every age and guidelines for assigning them to your children can be found here.
Are you new to PA Virtual and wondering what your life as a Learning Coach is going to be like? Or have you been with us for a while and wondering if your experience is the same or different than other Learning Coaches?
One of the current debates in education is regarding cursive writing. With so much of our "writing" being done electronically, the debate over cursive writing's usefulness has been seen across the internet and even in such prestigious publications as TIME magazine. One of our own educators, Learning Support High School Teacher Diane Eversmeyer, weighs in with her thoughts on the subject.
Has your family been considering an expansion? We're not talking about another child; we're talking pets! Pets can be a wonderful addition to a home. Studies have shown numerous benefits of pet ownership for both adults and children. For example, according to WebMD, "for nearly 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides certain health benefits. Pets help lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. They boost our immunity. They can even help you get dates."
For families that have just begun cyber schooling with their children, it can be a little intimidating to figure out how to “do this virtual school thing.” One of the pieces of advice we hear most often from experienced families is that it helps to set up a specific area where school “happens.” While some students may work just as well in a more relaxed environment, setting up a dedicated school area can be a great tactic for helping new families get into the swing of things.