Category: Parenting

Educational Resources for Teaching Kids at Home

Resources for Teaching Students at Home

Whether you are a parent assisting kids for the first time at home in a distance learning situation, or a regular homeschooler, home classroom management strategies plays a major role in a students success.  Or you may be a parent who simply wants to supplement what your kids are already learning in a regular school classroom.

Whatever your situation, here are some valuable tips to help you enhance your child’s “at home” learning experience. We will cover home schooling structure to ensure kids stay engaged, as well as teaching ideas for parents which can be implemented on a daily basis. Throughout the article you will find helpful resources to equip your home school with the latest educational resources available.

Some Learning Strategies Happen Naturally at Home

Providing quiet areas for independent older students who need to work on a paper is important, especially when younger siblings are being loud.  Making the environment more conducive to study can also help.  Using music, games, role playing or charts to present information are excellent ways to engage students. You can take it one step further by having them help create the games or make the charts to further engage through in active learning. Explore available STEM Books for Kids.

Breaking up the lesson into twenty-minute segments can help.  Before returning to the lesson, review what was learned before moving on to new material.  And of course, one should always give prompt specific feedback about a student’s work.

Allow for Flexibility Within Structured Learning

Interacting with adults is much easier to do at home, but teachers in classroom have also seen success in allowing students to move away from their desks and interact with classmates.  This can be done in a form of activity or allowing the student to freely go for a drink of water throughout the day.  At home, this is a good example of keeping things free flowing within a structure.  Getting up and moving around allows for blood to flow and keep the mind alert.

This brings up another important point about exercise. While you may not be able to have structured sports daily, make sure to include some kind of exercise routine throughout the day. It can be simple floor exercises or going for a walk.  If you find that your kids are having trouble paying attention, it may be a good time to stop the lesson and so some kind of physical activity for five minutes. It also brings additional benefits such as reducing screen time to ensure more balanced life.

The Importance of Asking Questions

There are other strategies that might not occur so naturally at home, such as allowing three to five seconds of wait time after asking questions throughout the presentation.  These pauses allow students to process the information before, during and after the presentation of the new concept.  It will also help you determine what the student knows and correct any misunderstandings.  Don’t be afraid to adjusting your presentation to re-teach anything that needs clarifying.

As kids get older be sure to ask questions that involve critical thinking, such as…

Do you agree with why or how something happened or is the way it is?”

How would you prove is there a better solution?

How would you rank the importance of various situations or options?

This helps students develop critical thinking skills.  Using words like “evaluate, justify, support and critique” when discussing material can help them make judgments about reality.

Remember too that the high school student is naturally interested in questions that challenge the status quo. In subjects such as Social Studies, kids care about whether a proposed course of action was expedient or inexpedient.   They care about whether someone deserves praise or blame.

If any of these suggestions are making you feel overwhelmed by the sheer notion of having to supplement or replace the teaching your child was receiving in school, start with the fundamentals; Language, Reading and Math.

The Importance of Open Discussion

Whether or not asking questions leads to a discussion about a topic, creating an environment for open discussion throughout any lesson is vital to keep students engaged and even excited about what they are learning.   Discussions can help participant learn and stay interested in a way listening to a lecture doesn’t.

A focus on starting a discussion can also be what it takes get the ball rolling into kids asking the questions they may not even be thinking about.  While this is going on, students are working out what they believe about ideas and concepts while being an active participant in learning.

Whether kids are receiving online teaching or tutoring through distance learning, parents can always enhance the education of their children.  After all, the most important reason we educate our children at home is to form their minds and hearts. This can’t be done without conversation, so the best learning strategy is to talk to your children.  It can often be easier to begin any discussion within an educational framework as simple as when you are helping them with homework. 

Educational Resources for Parents and Teachers

Explore the complete online resource called TeacherBox, which has something every child with activities from over 600 Evan-Moor books.  Including hands-on learning games, reading activities and mini books, an simple STEM and Science projects.  You can make learning fun with ‘ready to go’ arts and crafts, puzzles, games and fun projects.  There are activities for every subject area.

Easily print pages so your child can complete worksheets independently or they can complete online through the TeacherBox interface.  See visuals of some of the available resources in the video below.

Use TeacherFileBox FREE for 30 days!

Why Speech Issues Negatively Affects Your Life

challenges for students who stutter

Stuttering is a socio communicational problem which is a common problem among adults and children. Undoubtedly, it has negative effects on individuals’ mental, social and emotional aspects. Its causes are often numerous but mainly they are precipitated by accidents or head injuries or are simply presented during childhood.

Due to its effect on social life, it is advisable to seek help and overcome the issue as its damages become more severe. Stuttering is very common in kids, but it is not entirely in-existent in adults. This involuntary fluency disorder is known to precipitate socio communication problems in toddlers. The question many people ask, however, is whether or not the disorder has an impact on the Quality of life (QOL) in adulthood. What is its effect on individuals’ mental and emotional health?

To answer this question, we must look at stuttering from a multidimensional perspective and we must look at different aspects of a stutterer’s life. Of course, there are tons of studies that try to investigate and estimate the impact of stuttering on QOL, but most of them have registered little to no success.

One thing is certain, though: Stuttering has a negative effect on most quality of life (QOL) dimensions in adults. It is important that additional research is done in order to get the exact extent of the negative impact for better treatment planning. This will also be instrumental in preventing any future mental, emotional, or social disorders that could stem from adult stuttering.

Causes of Stuttering In Adults

Understanding the causes of stuttering in adults is the key to understanding a stutterer’s quality of life. Some speech issues start in childhood while others are precipitated by head injuries after an accident or a prolonged illness. People who suffer from neurological diseases sometimes find trouble producing sound and developing speech. They often find themselves making a slurred speech or lacking the right words to form complete statements.

There are qualified speech and language pathologists who help such people to improve speech. You can sign up for speech therapy for adults, for example, to have a professional help you deal with language issues. Speech therapy for adults also applies to patients with cognitive difficulties, particularly short-term memory.

The Impact on Socio‐Emotional Development and Quality Of Life of Language Impairment

•           Adults with severe speech impairment tend to have a worse QOL compared to those that stutter just a little. Research shows that as an individual tries to regulate and manage his/her speech impairment, his/her quality of life improves.

•           People who struggle with speech problems right from childhood have a normal QOL. Studies show that such people get used to the life of stuttering, since they know no other life, so they don’t really care how others think of their stuttering. That is different from people who develop speech impairment in adulthood, say due to stroke or any other illness.

•           Poor social interaction skills sometimes precipitate shame, embarrassment, and frustrations. People with speech impairment are easily irritated and are more vulnerable to depression. Note that speech impairments can be very isolating, so you must do all you can to prevent that from happening.

•           Studies also indicate that many people who struggle with speech issues through school are affected negatively in their academic life. Without positive emotions towards their time in school, such kids have problems making friends and establishing healthy relationships with teachers. If not addressed early enough, this problem can adversely affect an individual’s later life, say in terms of limiting their career options.

•           Speech issues can also affect your ability to obtain work or to relate well with colleagues, bosses, and clients. That can reflect in a bad way your work performance, hampering your chances for promotion. The good thing is that with speech therapy for adults, you can successfully reverse the effect of speech impairment on your professional life.

Problems with stutter are problems that also impact the student’s academic and social life within the school premises. Especially for teenagers, such a problem may impact their social life considerably. Thus, it is very important for teachers to know how to behave in such cases and help the student overcome the challenges.

There are several steps that teacher can do to help students such as:

  • Talk slow so that the student feels comfortable when he then speaks slow.
  • Do not tell the student to relax or slow down.
  • Convey to the student that you are listening to the content said rather than the way it was said.
  • Look at them with interest when they are talking.
  • Repeat and rephrase what the student said to let them know your understood what was said.
  • Research new technology available for students who may need additional resources.

As well, if the student is already visiting a speech therapy specialist, the teacher must coordinate with the speech therapist and let him/her know where the student is struggling most, so that practices are made in that context. Provide the speech therapist with classroom materials so that they can use them as part of the practice sessions.

The speech therapist and teacher must also coordinate on the technique they want to follow to push the student because it would be confusing, ineffective and unsuccessful to use different approaches to push the children to talk normally.

Final Thoughts

It is advisable that you seek medical attention as soon as possible in case you experience a sudden onset of impaired speech as that could be a sign of an underlying health condition. As we have mentioned, impaired speech in adulthood is in most cases a product of illnesses such as stroke, or severe head injuries. These conditions can be life-threatening if not addressed early enough.

7 Ways to Cope with Braces as a Teenager

teens coping with braces

Getting braces can be a huge deal for many teenagers. It can affect you both physically and emotionally. There is an adjustment period that you must ride through. There will be food restrictions and you may have some speech issues as your mouth adjusts to braces.

Here are 7 tips for braces that will help you navigate this journey as a teenager.

Embrace the Braces

Braces are quite common amongst teenagers but that doesn’t mean you would necessarily feel comfortable with having them. The first step in coping with braces is to accept them whole-heartedly. If you look around, you will notice quite a few people who have braces. This should help you feel less conscious about them.

However, if you still feel embarrassed by your braces, draw attention away from your mouth. For example, skip the lip gloss that will draw attention to your teeth, get a new haircut, put on cool accessories, or go for trendy eyewear. 

Focus on the End Goal

Getting braces as a teenager can seem like the end of the world and cause anxiety. What can help is focusing on the end goal – which is to have straighter teeth and a better smile.

Ask your dentist for an approximate end date. If you know when the braces will come off, you will focus more on the end date than anything else. It will help you realize that braces won’t be on your teeth for as long as you would imagine.

Schedule Regular Dental Appointments

Regular appointments with the dentist will help in tackling various issues that you might have.

Your braces can make you prone to plaque and tartar accumulation between your teeth. You may need dental cleaning to clear them off. Regular dental appointments will help in keeping your teeth clean and tackle issues like tooth sensitivity, bad breath, or cavities.

Consider Painkillers

Over-the-counter medication helps in relieving some pain. Ask your dentist to prescribe you some if necessary. However, keep the use of painkillers to a minimum. Take them only when the pain becomes unbearable.

Follow the directions for the painkiller you are taking. If you rely heavily on painkillers, there will be side-effects. Take the dosage as per your age and weight.  

If your dentist appointments are painful, you can take one painkiller before your appointment. Inform your doctor about the same.

Apply Dental Wax

The brackets of the braces can rub against your lips or cheeks. This can be quite irritating and painful.

To avoid this from happening, use dental wax to create a barrier between your braces, and lips and cheeks.

Roll a small piece of wax to make a small ball. Cover the area that is irritating your mouth by flattening the wax over the metal. Even if it comes off and you swallow it by mistake, don’t worry as it is non-toxic.

Request for Invisalign

If braces are an option that you just do not want to consider, ask your parents if you can opt for Invisalign.

They are much less noticeable than metal braces but equally effective. Due to their transparency, Invisalign is becoming a popular choice amongst teens.

Check with an orthodontist if you are the right candidate for Invisalign. You may need some adjustment before they are fitted.

Understand What to Avoid Eating

There are certain foods that you should absolutely avoid when you have metal braces. Sticky foods and hard, crunchy foods top that list.

Sticky foods like gummy bears, caramel, licorice, and chewing gums are an absolute no-no as they can get stuck between the brackets. Taking them off would almost be impossible.

Hard foods such as nuts, apples, corn on the cob, and candy must also be avoided. The hard foods can bend the braces wire, break a bracket or even pop it off. Moreover, hard foods will make your mouth sore.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

The final and most important things to do is maintain good oral hygiene. This will help in preventing dental issues like cavities and tooth decay. Brush and floss after every meal. This will wash away the debris and prevent bad breath too.

Well, now you know how to prepare for braces. Just follow these tips and the braces will come off before you know it.

Author Bio:

Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She writes about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!

How to Inspire Our Kids to Love Reading!

Inspring Kids to Love Reading

As parents, we want to do everything we can to make sure our kids have good reading skills. We entrust our children to the school system a few hours each weekday but are fully aware that what we do at home is just as important, if not even more vital to developing good reading habits. Sounds good right? But there is one problem.

I used the work ‘habit’ when referring to our desire to inspire kids to love reading. The problem is, a focus on developing good reading habits is the wrong goal. On it’s own, it won’t be enough.

Don’t misunderstand. Healthy habits can make it easier for any of us to do things we may not particularly feel like doing on any given day. But to inspire a love for reading is to instill the passion needed to fuel a lifestyle that ‘always includes reading’.

The infographic below gives some great tips on how to set the stage for kids of any age to begin a journey into a lifelong passion for reading. They go hand in hand with good resources that enable parents to do more than just laying a solid foundation. Setting our kids up for success is only the beginning.

Early literacy is vital to child development and lifelong learning. Yet, there is a literacy gap in our world that makes it that much more difficult for kids to get the jump start they need. In any situation, kids need all the help they can get.

We’ve talked about inspiring our kids to want to read. We’ve talked about instilling passion. One way we can help is by introducing them to books they can identify with. This can include authors that have a common upbringing or common ethnicity.

What is your child interested in? Is is fantasy, science fiction? Do they want to be a veterinarian when they grow up or a fireman? Search online with your child about topics they may be interested in. Then take them to the library regularly to exploration a world of themes, ideas and authors from all walks of life.

While early literacy is important, it’s never too late to get started.

Brought to you by Head Start Reading: Reading Resources for Parents!

Another valuable learning strategy to encourage new readers is to teach your child alphabet recognition.  This can begin from very early ages to better prepare them for when it’s time to begin reading. Getting to know letters will give kids a jump start even when you are reading to them from storybooks.  Children will not only follow the pictures but also begin recognizing the letters on the page as you read.

Being well read helps kids be creative writers too.  Here are some easy ways to improve your child’s creative writing skills.

In Search of a Teaching Job? Discover Educational Companies that Hire for Online Teaching Jobs