Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How to Get Started in Home Schooling

Home schooling has been around for centuries. The beginning of schooling actually started in the home and then moved into outside schoolhouses. A homeschool is where children are taught by a parent or parents without the outside influence or interference of the school system. There are many variations on a homeschool but all fellowships basic rule of no outside interference. Home schooling is legal in all 50 US states with each state having set guidelines and rules about the homeschool process. Getting started in home schooling will require the parent to do some research ahead of time, so they know exactly what laws apply to them and what they need to do to get the curriculum underway.

The reasons parents choose to homeschool their children vary. Some parents site research like home schoolers placed in the 89th to 90th percentile in national standardized testing. Others state their reasons as being able to provide religious studies and building strong family bonds. Other parents look at the quality of homeschool and feel they have more control over the curriculum and content of the materials studied in addition to knowing their children will be safe. There is also the factor of flexibility that draws some families to homeschool. Flexibility not only refers to time, but methods as well. There are many good reasons to homeschool and each family should decide based on the reasons they feel are best for their family.

Getting started in homeschool involves quite a bit of research and studying before homeschool even begins. Parents looking to home school their child or children need to first find local and state home school groups. These groups will be able to provide you the best information on home schooling in your state. You can also go online and find homeschool websites where you can discuss anything relating to home schooling. They can offer you wealth's of information and help. The more you research and talk to others about homeschool the more you will be able to learn what you want to do in your homeschool curriculum and how to avoid common problems that may come up.

Home schooling is a broad term. There are many techniques that fit under the term home schooling. There are many different styles of home schooling that you can use. The following list describes the most common types of home schooling:

Structured - This works like a public school, in that, it follows a schedule throughout the day. For example, math would be done at a certain time, English at another and so on.

Interest-initiated- This approach is based on what is happening at the current time. For example, if it is snowing, you may chose to revolve the days curriculum around snow or if someone in your family has chickenpox, you may wish to do studies on that disease. This can be very unstructured or structured depending on your choices.

Learning-style- This method is based on each child's learning style

Philosophical- Using educational philosophies and studies to mold a curriculum is the basis for this method.

Accommodating- For families with special needs this approach works around those needs.

Community- Using outside groups and learning areas to teach the children is what this method is about.

These are just some of the methods used in home schooling. Some people may find a mixture of these works best for them. Home schooling is all about tailoring the process to the child, so do the research and find the methods that work best for your family.

Jay Moncliff is the founder of a website specialized on Home School, resources and articles. This site provides updated information on Home school. For more info visit his site: Home School

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cover Letters for Teachers: How to Get the Best Job

Why are cover letters so important? They provide the prospective employer with a brief review of your skills and abilities in the form of a letter. These types of letters are written much differently than resumes and can have a potent impact on your future employer.
The best news is that writing one it isn't that difficult. An excellent teacher is always going to be in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for teachers through 2014 will grow somewhere between 9 and 17% per year.

"Experts predict that over the next ten years the nation will need 2.2 to 2.4 million teachers. That means there will be 150,000 to 250,000 openings for teachers in the nation's elementary and secondary schools. The needs are greatest in urban and rural communities and in curricular areas such as special education, mathematics, science, bilingual education, and English as a second language." This information comes from, a non-profit organization based in Belmont, MS.

What does that mean? It means there will be continued growth in the field of education. If you are a good teacher, you should not encounter problems in finding a great job in a location that you desire.

What about that amazing teaching position at that awesome new school that you have your eye on, though? Do you think the competition for that position will be greater? Of course it will. The great paying jobs always demand the best and the brightest people. That is why your credentials and qualifications will have to be presented in the most incredible way if you are to get the job of your dreams.

One aspect of making a great impression on a prospective employer is to create a fantastic picture of who you are - with words. Let your cover letter show the school administrators just how remarkable you are.

The cover letter has one goal. That is to get the employer excited about the resume. It is a marketing tool, just like the resume is. Sell yourself in a compelling and exciting way. What makes the best impression on employers? The wise use of accomplishments with anecdotes will win over a principal or school administrator much faster than simply stating what you did and where you worked.

Let your best qualities reach the employer through carefully written examples and stories. Don't just state what you are capable of, show what you have done in the past with vibrant language that attracts and invites the employer to want to know more.

You are a part of a significant sector of the labor market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and secondary school teachers, except special education, held about 3.8 million jobs in 2004. Of the teachers in those jobs, about 1.5 million are elementary school teachers, 1.1 million are secondary school teachers, 628,000 are middle school teachers, 431,000 are preschool teachers, and 171,000 are kindergarten teachers."

You have to be your very best to get the great jobs. What skills and abilities do you have that you can offer the employer – and – how can you do so in a way that makes the employer want to pick up the phone and call you for an interview?
Let your cover letter generate interest in your resume, then let your resume hold the employer's attention so that you are invited in for a face to face meeting.
The cover letter builds on the resume and leads the employer toward it. Make it glow. While it may not persuade an employer to grant you an interview by itself, it is a vital part of the whole package that sells an employer on YOU.

For more information about cover letters, please follow this link to: Cover Letter Guideline
Carla Vaughan, Owner/Webmaster
Carla is the proud owner of devoted to assisting candidates in the job-search process. She holds a B.S. in Business from Southern Illinois University and has authored several books.

You can also visit her Professional Resume blog at: Professional Resumes
Article Source:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Brick or Click - Finding a Degree That Fits you

The advance of internet technology has created one more channel for you to earn your degree. Online education has growth rapidly, online degrees from prestige and proper accredited online universities have widely accepted in the job market, making online education a popular education channel selected by many students to earn their degree online. But, this "click to earn a degree" trend might not fit you well if you are a kind person that needs a "brick & mortar" on-campus programs to drive you toward your degree completion. What type of degree program best suit you, a "brick" or a "click"?

"Brick" Group - On Campus Education

To be success as online student, you need to have a certain behavior and criteria to ensure your success; else you might fall out from your study and fail to earn your degree at last. The best way to know which type of degree best fit you is do a self assessment and if you found you have below personal behaviors, then, an on-campus education might best fit you:

* You prefer to learn by listening, speaking, reading and writing. You like to have discussions face-to-face with your peers and lecturers, and if the encounter gets lively, you will feel your fellow students' enthusiasm, even if you don't speak yourself.

* Social life and face-to-face interaction with fellow students are importance to you. You like campus life and prefer to make face-to-face contacts with your professors and mentors for guidance.

* You need reminders from your lecturers on your assignment due dates, need to attend tests and quizzes to keep you motivated to finish the semester and collect your credits.

* You prefer to have a fix or pre-plan learning schedule and you are able to adjust your time to fit the fixed schedule.

"Click" Group - Online Education

Online education has many advantages that can benefit you if you earn your degree online. Flexibility, self-pace, self-planning and learning from your comfort home are among the key benefits that enjoy by most online students. You may like to enjoy these benefits offer by an online degree program, but you need to have below characteristics to be success as an online student:

* You like freedom but you are able to commit to yourself without the need of a mentor guide to complete a task. Your task is to complete and get a degree. If you can do self-motivation and commit to yourself to complete your study program, then you can enjoy the freedom offer by online degree program. The flexible and self-pace learning styles give you the greatest freedom to plan your time and fit the learning schedule based on your preference.

* You are able to learn by mainly reading a text format document. You will have hard time to learn with this method if you are a kind of person who will fall into a sleep whenever you see text only materials. Be able to learn through reading text is the key factor to be a success online student because of most learning materials are in text format.

* Social life and face-to-face contact with peers, lecturers and mentors are optional for you because you are comfort to communicate with them through online channels such as online chats, online discussion board and online college forums.

In Summary

You always have two options to pursue your degree, a "brick" on-campus or a "click" online education. Do your own self assessment to determine one that best fit you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

After School Tutoring Benefits Students

If your child is struggling in school, after school tutoring may be an option to improve his understanding of academic concepts and increase his self esteem.

Children that struggle in a school may not have many opportunities to get one on one help with academics. Some children are hesitant to ask for help while others do not get the help they need even if they ask. This can be because of too many children in a classroom or not enough time for the teacher to review and repeat lessons that a child is having difficulty.

For that reason, a parent may want to look into hiring a tutor at least once a week for additional instruction and one on one help. This session can last as little as 30 minutes with children under seven years old and up to one hour for older children. Sessions longer than the child’s attention spam are not conducive to learning. Keep your child’s attention span in mind when scheduling the time.

Look for an individual session rather than a group session. The opportunity to get one on one help should be the deciding factor in getting a tutor. Almost all children will succeed getting individual attention and individual instruction on the level they are learning. Be cautious of group tutoring sessions and companies that offer homework help. A tutor should re-teach and reinforce skills that the individual child is not succeeding in by finding appropriate activities in that subject area. Homework help will help increase your child’s grade, but will not necessarily help them understand. Tutoring should focus on the understanding of the concepts, not only improving a report card grade.

Although group sessions can cost less and are an option is finances are a consideration, try to find a group that has less than four children per tutor. Larger groups will not provide the individual attention that a smaller group offers.

Some parents do not know where to look for a quality tutor. Of course, the best option is to get a referral from the child’s teacher, the school board, or other parents. Look in the classifieds at a local college. College students are often looking for tutoring work and can be a great option since they are usually younger and perceived to be “cooler” than a teacher. Churches and religious organizations may also provide tutoring services for free or a reduced charge. Stay at home parents, home schooling parents, and former and current teachers may be a resource for referrals or services. You may also find the occasional high school student that tutors. This would probably be the cheapest option.

An after school tutor is a great option for parents to help their child succeed in struggling curriculum areas. If your child is in need of help, do not hesitate to start researching tutors now. The longer you wait, the more difficulty may arise in that curriculum area.

Rebekah Kogelschatz is a former school teacher of students with disabilities. She has taught all grades from pre-school to 8th grade in all subject areas. She is a stay at home with her two children in rural Florida. She is a co-founder of the site SmartMoms-SmartBusiness and the founder of a preschool resource site Preschool Activities Everyday. You can read more articles on parenting in her Mom Blog.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Teach English Abroad - Getting Your Second English Teaching Position

When several readers sent in “generically similar” questions like the ones below, my response was similar to each. It helped them. Perhaps it will help you too. Sooner or later, we all leave our first ELT position for “greener pastures”. Sometimes we stay. Sometimes we don’t. Often we simply want a better salary or income to help support the better life we were originally looking for. Here are the situations, questions and my response.

“About teaching English abroad; I wanted to ask you a couple of questions.”

“I have a technical degree and years of successful experience but I find myself with a desire to do something different. I visited my dream country on vacation and I fell in love with the country. Now I am giving up a good job in the USA and moving to abroad to teach English.”

“I took the TEFL and have my certification but I am finding that most schools want an Education-related degree and my technical degree seems to be hurting me despite the TEFL. I have found work with private students but I am having a hard time finding full-time teaching jobs in one of my more desired cities. For me it's not only about the money. I just want to teach at a high-level school or university.”

Question: Do you have any advice? With my TEFL and technical degree, I can't get a teaching position at a bilingual school. It's depressing!

Thanks for any help at all!!

Here’s What to Do

I'm a little surprised at the "difficulty" you seem to be having, but I'd like to suggest a slightly different approach. You're obviously not marketing to target markets that could most benefit from your multiple expertise. If I may be a bit blunt, you need to get off your duff and do some marketing research. Then market to the target markets you find.

• First, write a cover letter which highlights your technical background with your teaching skills. Show how one complements the other. Focus on trade / technical schools and / or technical career faculties in universities.

• Second, write proposals for teaching ESP, that is technical English to businesses and companies in your target areas. Intensive English courses of from one week to one month might work best at first. Use the phone book, chamber of commerce and periodicals for leads on companies to target.

• Third, advertise in large local newspapers using a small but highly targeted ad for teaching business / technical English to high-tech companies and business professionals. Get some decent business cards too - with your full contact information on one side and your services / expertise on the other. I'll bet you don't have good business cards at the moment, do you?

• Finally, you're causing your own problem in part, which is good in that you can then provide your own solutions. Get to work. If you really get stuck and genuinely require additional help, let me know and I'll try to prod you in the right directions again.

I hope I've helped. What happens to you is up to you - not me or anybody else for that matter.

One final point: Don't give up. Keep plugging away. If it takes a couple of months or more to saturate the market sufficiently to start getting relevant feedback, so be it. Do what it takes to succeed.

The opportunities are out there.

Now you just go out and get them.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. For more information on entering into or advancing in the fascinating field of ELT send for his no-cost pdf Ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know”, send an e-mail with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject heading. For comments, questions, requests, to receive more information or to be added to his free TESOL articles and teaching materials mailing list, e-mail:

Monday, August 6, 2007

School Teachers

Over the many years that I have taught I have seen one fact that is always constant. TEACHERS
When the lights go out for the day they move into the halls or to the nearest window and TEACH.

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When computers go down and all the technology stops because of some catastrophe they TEACH.
When there are no books they buy their own and share with the students and TEACH.
When the buses get stuck and half the class is late they TEACH the ones that are there.
When half the class is absent because of a flu outbreak, they TEACH the students that are there and then have to do it again when the others return.

When the heat goes off they put on coats and gloves and open their books and TEACH.
When the heat is unbearable they take their classes outside and sit under the trees and TEACH.
When the principal leaves, they don’t know, because they are too busy TEACHING.
When the bells fail to ring they keep TEACHING.

That’s their job and they love it, it’s a passion and they make their administrators look mighty good. If your test scores are up it is because of your teachers.
Just like the district the teachers bills have gone up, their transportation costs are up, their food costs are up, their heat and electricity is up etc. etc. But unlike other industries their salaries are low.

Teachers are the backbone of the education system. They are the ones that are on the front lines of the war against ignorance. They are not only required to teach core subjects they are expected to teach citizenship, responsibilities, manners, cleanliness, safety from all the bad things of the world and each year more responsibilities are shifted from the home to the school system. The compensation they receive in comparison to their responsibility is pitiful. But dispite the pitiful compensation they keep teaching because they love kids.
Your teachers deserve a break, not a little break, but a big break. They need adequate compensation for all they do. They are the bottom line and are the ones that accomplish the goal of a district. They TEACH.


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