Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Liberty's Kids

I had parents video tape this series for me when I was teaching. I recently found a second hand copy of a book to pass on to a family member that is home schooling. While emailing her I decided to see if they had a website. Sure enough they do and I added it to the social studies section under American Revolution for future reference. However I will list it here as well in case you arrived her looking for it.

Liberty's Kids

Some have contacted me because I have not be updating this site frequently. In fact I have always intended this to be more of a resource site than an active blog. I generally just add the new resources to their categories. This allows me to find them easily and to share them with others who are looking for free resources. However, I also realize it is important to add a new entry once in a while.

If anyone is looking for specific resources please feel free to leave a comment. I am always happy to help.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Have Fun Teaching

I have been busy with writing projects, my craft blog, and a new dog in the family and have not had much new information to create a new blog page. I continue updating the existing pages as I find new resources. I located a new to me resource site that I thought was worthy of blogging about after adding many of their resources links to the pages here. I decided I would write a blog notice since I have not seen them mentioned as frequently as some of the other sites teachers and homeschoolers use for free resources.

If you are looking for free worksheets, songs, videos, and flashcards, they are worth checking out.

Have Fun Teaching

Pictures may not be used without written permission.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Silly Bandz Activities

I have had a surprising number of searches to this blog for Silly Bandz educational activities. Searching the net did not yield a remarkable number of choices so I decided to write a blog that would provide people with a few ideas of how to substitute Silly Bandz for other manipulatives traditionally used in classroom environments.


Silly Bandz can be used as a substitute for other manipulatives, especially those used for sorting activities. Activities designed to teach children about sorting by attributes that have traditionally used pattern blocks or other manipulatives could use Silly Bandz. Students can sort by color, shape, size, theme, etc. While teachers and parents may initially suggest methods to sort the items, students should be encouraged to create their own sorting methods and explain them. Teachers and parents can mix sets and require them to find ways to sort the sets that combine multiple sets. This would not allow children to separate the animal set from the car set for instance. They would need to find a rule that would sort both sets under a new rule, size, color, or some other choice that would include animals and cars in the sort.


While there are better manipulatives for counting, never discount engaging children's interest. Children enjoy Silly Bandz so using them as manipulative counters can be a means of engaging kids in math problems. This is less practical for more advanced problems, but it is a good way to get children engaged in early math in the same way some people use stickers and other picture clues.


Graphing can be a simple lesson with younger children or a more complicated marketing related activity with older children. Many teachers teach graphing to kids by posing a question, having children answer the question and then having the kids graph the results using a variety of methods. Posing questions about the Silly Bandz provides a variety of options. This can also work with older students by including questions that are more complicated. The students can not only create the questions, but also generate a broader group to answer the questions and present their results in proper graphing formats.


Silly Bandz is another marketing fad. However, students in the elementary and upper grades can learn about economics from studying fads. Students can learn how they were introduced to the product, what makes some of the items more attractive than others. There are all kinds of lessons to be learned from their own buying, trading, and marketing choices. It is a great introduction to consumer and capitalistic principles. Teachers and parents who are concerned about students trading their own items can develop a classroom supply that like other manipulatives is used for lesson purposes and does not become personal property after each lesson.

Picture Credit: MG Shelton

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back to School Shopping 2010

I ran across this Wal-Mart vs. Target Shopping Blog entry and wanted to share it with others who may find it interesting.

The author breaks down her school supply shopping list and summarizes that Wal-Mart is only a slight winner in the contest. As someone who no longer has to buy classroom supplies, I still feel for my former colleagues and those parents who are buying. I also know there are cost conscious homeschoolers in the market. I always buy art supplies for Christmas presents at this time of year. You cannot beat the prices on markers, crayons, and colored pencils that you find now. The prices in December are far more expensive.

For those of you interested in reading her review you can find it at Have Fun Teaching.

As I find more helpful back to school information I will post it.

Picture Credit:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Massachusetts Abandons State Control of Education Standards

Wednesday, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously approved adopting the Common Core standards abandoning state control of education standards and testing.

While the press has generally ignored the consequences of this action focusing on the dollars that Massachusetts will get for submitting to the bribe, others are concerned with the effect of lowering the standards in Massachusetts. While celebrating gaining the bribes, little has been said about the costs involved with leaving the Massachusetts state standards behind. Every time Massachusetts changes its own standards, schools complain about the costs involved with updating curriculum. Often books and other materials cannot be changed across levels when topics move across grade levels. A book used to teach sixth graders is not going to be age or reading level appropriate for fourth graders and a first grade book, lacks depth for third graders. This requires districts to buy new curriculum. However, states knowing about budget issues can control when curriculum changes. When planning curriculum changes, the DOE can choose to delay implementing changes when the economy does not make changes realistic.

Now in the middle of a very bad economy, the state trades control of its standards for bribes that will not cover these curriculum changes. The bribes are a short-term cover for budget shortfalls. The next time the federal government decides to play with the core curriculum, there is no guarantee that the state will receive any money for curriculum updates.

Massachusetts has a harder curriculum than the core curriculum standards the federal government wants us to adopt. Our testing standards are also higher than those the federal government would like us to adopt. The current attitude developed from Race to the Top is why work harder if we can get more federal money doing less? Well if it were just about money, that might be a sad, but understandable attitude. However, we should be working to improve our curriculum, not making it worse. We want our children getting a better education, not decreasing their opportunities so that we are equal with what children across the country are getting. Why not reach to bring individual state standards up, not force states who have improved their education standards to decrease them to make all educational programs equally bad.

The way to improve education is not to decrease standards and to surrender state control of education to the federal government. When the federal government’s solution to improving education is to lower education standards, it is obvious something is wrong. We need to retain control of our state’s educational system.

Current MA Math Standards

Current MA English Language Arts Standards

MA History and Social Studies Standards Current

MA Science and Technology Standards Current

Federal Common Core Standards

Picture Credits:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Moonbase Alpha

NASA has released a free video game for download. The premise of the game has astronauts landing on the moon and encountering problems that need repairs. Players than have the challenge of balancing available resources, using problem solving skills to make the repairs, and limited time to make the repairs to ensure survival of the astronauts.

There are single and multiple player options and the site lists computer requirements to play. This is the closest to the moon many students may get with the severe limitations of our space program.

NASA Moonbase Alpha Game

Picture Credit:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Reading Programs

Summer can be a great time to encourage children to read for fun and to improve reading skills. Many local libraries offer free programs in conjunction with other programs to bring kids into the library during the summer. Book stores often offer programs for children. The Internet has also opened new doors to summer reading programs. A visit to your local library can generally provide you with all the schedules of programs. Many libraries have started posting information on their websites so you can start the search their to see if they have posted any information. If there is a great program going on in another town, find out if they accept outside students. Not all libraries do, but it is worth checking.

I have been trying to find resources for parents who wish to locate summer reading programs for their children. I will list the ones I find. If anyone has any additional programs to suggest or can give me feedback about the ones I have listed I will add that information here.

Reading Programs:

Barnes and Noble Passport to Summer Reading requires students to read eight books, fill out the Passport form, return it to the store and choose one book from their free book selection.

Book Adventureis a Free Program offered through Sylvan Learning. It provides leveled book lists and computer tests that are not unlike programs many kids already use in school to track independent reading comprehension. Parents and students must register in order to access the full benefits of the program using the same e-mail address.

Bookworm Wednesdays Children who write a book report can attend a 10 AM Children's movie at select Showcase Cinemas, Multiplex Cinemas or Cinema de Lux box office for six weeks starting July 7th. Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six receive free admission and do not need to submit a book report.

Borders Double Dog Dare is a challenge program. Children 12 or under can participate. A form needs to be downloaded and filled out. Children read 10 books, list them on the form and return it to the store for a free book. The offer is good until August 26 and children can only pick from selected free books.

Pizza Hut Book It Summer Program

Reading Warriors

Scholastic Summer Challenge offered through Scholastic Books.

Super Why PBS Read-A-Thon July and August program sponsored by PBS.

TD Savings Summer Reading Program Students can earn $10 for new or existing young savers account by reading 10 books, filling out the form and returning it to the bank.

Reading Lists:

Top Ten Summer Reading Lists

Picture Credit:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fairy Tale Engineering

Studying Engineering Before They Can Spell It NY Times Article

I read this article in the NY Times about children studying engineering in conjunction with fairy tale stories and was surprised to find people had written this was a new idea. It is just not done enough. I think it is great to see teachers taking a story children have a natural interest in, like The Three Little Pigs, mentioned in this story and then finding a way to use the story to teach material from a different subject area. Examining the engineering behind the pigs’ house structures and the damage the homes could withstand is great teaching and learning. One criticism in the article is that it could not be “real” engineering. Well how do students get to real engineering? They arrive there by learning proper science exploration skills. How do we get them there? We engage them in cross-curricular projects that build on interest generated during one class period to explore new skills during another lesson. Instead of spending time generating interest in studying the science lesson of the day, the interest is already present. Kids want to know more about what happened in the story.

Those concerned about proper engineering and science skills taught in these lessons should volunteer with their local schools to help maintain the science principles written into these programs. Most schools could benefit from professional mentors from the science and engineering worlds. However, I am always encouraged to see schools taking on more science and combining it with other curriculum areas rather than avoiding it. The goal should be outcomes and when schools can demonstrate student achievement of curriculum goals, alternative curriculum approaches should not be an issue.

Instead of criticizing the program, one would think critics would be looking for ways to make the program stronger. We have long seen the benefits of engaging students in cross-curricular fairy tale projects in math and social studies. When kids want to know the answer, they are more motivated to look for one. People have used fairy tales to teach upper elementary students about our court systems and engage in math explorations. It seems logical to harvest fairy tales for science exploration.

Picture Credit: ewen and donabel

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Common Core Standards

As part of Race to the Top, the federal government has been pushing states to agree to a core set of standards that all states would be in compliance with and be held accountable to by the federal government.

Standards are a fine thing, but state governments can and should be in control of their own educational systems. Massachusetts has set high standards and should have the right to adjust and change its standards as it chooses, regardless of how this suits the rest of the country.

This is hailed as a state based initiative because the states' Governors approved of the standards, not the Congress or a federal panel imposing this on Massachusetts and the rest of the states. However, there are consequences when Massachusetts says no. The federal government stops sending us our own money back. Yes, contrary to popular belief federal funding is our own taxpayer money. It does not belong to a gracious and benevolent Congress to be given to us when we behave as requested and denied when we disagree.

Massachusetts taxpayers should stand firm against Common Core standards and support local control of education.

The Common Core Standards can be found here.

Picture Credit: dbking

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Silly Bandz Being Banned in Public Schools

I tried finding a free photo of the Bandz but resorted to an Amazon picture when I could not find one.

As a freelance writer I have seen several requests for stories about the Bandz products. I have not yet seen the craze emerge among my relatives and friends' children so perhaps we have just escaped this particular marketing frenzy. I never took the assignments because I just could not imagine what to write 400+ words about these items. As with most crazes they found a niche that appealed to children and it took off.

The problem is not the item in schools. The behaviors that result from them are the issue. The bracelets used as intended are harmless. However, they can become a huge problem when they become a marketable item in school. We have found this with trading cards and other toys over the years. Children like the interaction with friends, but like all capitalistic systems, trading is not regulated to guarantee fairness. Children can be cheated or just have regrets after trading away a favorite band. This creates discipline problems. Parents often expect schools to regulate these markets. Teachers and schools are not designed to be a toy stock market exchange.

If you have ever watched these situations get ugly among parents you can sympathize with administrators and teachers who move to shut down the free market trading in classrooms. This is not what children are sent to school to do or what teachers and administrators are paid to do by taxpayers.

The distractions that arise as children play with these toys, taunt each other with new acquisitions, and then expect teachers and administrators to protect property rights just makes an already challenging job, more difficult. It is just easier to leave the toys at home and have kids trade under parental supervision. Leave the parents to determine what kind of market they want their children to participate in and how to handle it when deals go bad. There is no way administrators and teachers are going to make a plan that will keep parents from complaining their children are not being exploited by other kids.

The best choice would be not be to ban the items, but for parents to support the law of natural consequences. Students who fool around with Silly Bandz in school can no longer wear them in school. Those who are responsible and do not create problems by playing with them during class get to wear them. Unfortunately, our society has deemed this policy discriminatory. I would also support the law of natural consequences for trading. The school does not support trading of Silly Bandz in school. Any child that gets involved with trading of Bandz will not be punished, but will suffer the consequences of trades that go bad. Any behaviors resulting from bad trades will not be justified because a student was cheated. Students were warned that trading could result in cheating. Now they have to learn to handle the consequences. This is an early lesson in buyer beware. I would also be clear that these things can be stolen when students do not secure them and teachers are not going to be responsible for property that is lost. If students risk their Silly Bandz by bringing them to school, the parents willingly took that risk by allowing the behavior. While the school does not condone or support stealing, they are not going to spend hours investigating Silly Bandz thefts either.

If parents still want to allow children to wear the Silly Bandz to school under those conditions, then it would be their choice. The students would learn about risk, reward, and consequences of their actions and choices. Bans do little to teach children, they just contain a problem to allow teachers to continue forward when parents do not want to deal with the consequences of children's actions.

There are more important things you want your teachers to be focused on then Bandz trading regulations.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Time-Travel Math: An Advanced Geometry Adventure

I saw an interview with the author and a review of this book in our local newspaper. It motivated me to find out more about the book. I always loved the chance of being able to combine curriculum areas. With limited teaching time, having kids explore history while learning math, science, or language arts concepts extends learning time and allows more information to be covered.

The author of the book, Amy Bernstein, is a teacher of gifted and talented programs who decided to put some of her classroom experience in book format.

The stories remind me of the Magic Tree House Series that has been popular in introducing science and history topics to children. In fact, like the Magic Tree House series, the main characters are a boy and girl who time travel. Thomas and Harriet’s interactions with historical figures will feel comfortable to children already introduced to Jack and Annie in the Magic Tree House Adventures.

This is not a traditional geometry workbook. The stories and discussions are designed to help children work towards understandings of concepts like ratio. The da Vinci story has the characters working through the math involved with ratio to help the young artist improve his drawing skills and keep his job as an apprentice. There are activities for students to do that engage and lead them in learning about ratio as well. This should be viewed as a challenging math approach for kids as it is not spelled out in a first do X then do Y format. However, children who are able to work through independent challenges would benefit by this type of approach.

Amazon does provide a limited preview of this book that allows you to see some of the stories and project pages. This is beyond their normal table of contents previews that you can access online.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Massachusetts Moves to Regionalize Testing

The announcement that Massachusetts wants to stop using the MCAS and move to a regionalized testing system, is prompting all the wrong arguments. Supporters of the current MCAS testing system argue that this is being done to support Unions and others who have long fought the testing system. Teachers argue this is going to create another level of issues in standardizing curriculum and teaching programs to match the demands of a new testing program.

The issue that lies behind this is a move by the federal government to gain control of local education by offering states bribes to do it the federal government’s way. Massachusetts currently sets the goals and curriculum standards for MCAS. Like it or hate it the standards are locally controlled. When we move to regionalize those standards to reach testing criteria acceptable to a regional system, we are now controlled, not at a state level, but by a regional board. By accepting a federal bribe, we have ceded more local control of education to the federal government. Once surrendered, this control will not be easily regained.

Those who like or hate MCAS should not support regionalization of our state education system. There are always ways to reform education locally and those discussions must be active locally. Once we cede control of our system in return for federal dollars, we sacrifice that option and all our freedoms that we value in local control of education.

Be clear, changing MCAS is not about testing, it is about state control of public education. Retaining that right is important. Those who wish to reform or abolish MCAS can definitely continue those discussions within the confines of state control. However, ceding control to a federal authority will only achieve minor financial gains. The misguided attempt to score wins against political opponents in current debates about this issue will have long lasting educational consequences. Massachusetts must retain local state control of education. Reforming, changing, or maintaining MCAS is an issue that must be resolved within our state borders and without federal interference. Once we retain the ability for Massachusetts to control its educational system, the political arguments over the benefits or dangers of MCAS or another system can continue unabated. While the federal government is attempting to take control of our system, we must put these arguments aside and both sides must agree that Massachusetts should control the state education system, not the federal government. All other arguments can wait for another day. No matter how tempting we must walk away from federal bribes to surrender our educational freedom. Once our state’s educational rights are secure, we can continue debating the merits of testing.

Picture Credit:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Paint Recipes

There are always people looking for ways to make craft materials for children. Buying paint can get expensive for kids and they love to use it. I will list links for recipes as I find them.

Finger Paint Creative Kids at Home

Frugal Finger Painting Living a Better Life

Paint About.Com

Paint Recipes Holiday Zone

Picture Credit:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Glue Recipes

As a child, I remember making certain products at school and home and then it seemed everything was produced commercially. With the economy as it is more people are returning to making products again. I found this first site while researching an unrelated topic. I will add more if I find them.

Glue Can Teach

Glue, Glitter Glue, Library Paste, Paper Mache Holiday Zone

Recipe Goldmine Scroll Down Through Ads

Picture Credits:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Strengthening Science Education in Primary and Elementary Education

There was an interesting study released by Wheelock College (Wheelock Study) regarding improving science education in at the pre K-6 level. As usual when I read this study, the article in the news was not accurate. It had a narrow focus, making the illogical premise that pre-K science was the sole focus of the study. We suddenly were trying to create MIT geniuses in the preschool. This in fact was not the focus of the study. It looked at Pre-K-6 science, math, and technology improvement.

In fact, there are practical issues surrounding how preschool can involve more engagement with science and math, but hardly the physics and chemistry labs needing to be built at preschools across the country as the article I had seen implied. This was more in line with what I had come to expect from Wheelock’s philosophy of education. Studies aside, it has been my experience that suggestions tend to stay within the college or university’s comfort zone. They rarely stray far when making suggestions for improvements.

The best idea from this study is one that is not new. Preschool and elementary teachers require better math and science training. When I was teaching, I paid out of pocket for several additional courses in science education. Science, unlike math and elementary reading just does not get the same attention for training and materials for educators to utilize in providing students with learning opportunities. Teachers need additional training, not just in core content, but also in better strategies to teach science. This study failed to address what we already know, while we have discovered multiple ways of teaching reading and even math to reach learners with different abilities and learning styles, science still lags behind in differentiation.

Another suggestion that bothered me when I taught and still bothers colleagues today is that we need to spend more time on science even though states have mandated blocks for reading and math. Do any of the people writing these studies read a clock? I sat on a committee to rewrite our town science curriculum across the elementary grade system so we would meet state standards and not duplicate efforts. The biggest issue we had was how much material we had to cover and how little time we had in the day to cover it. We used science material as reading material. We combined math and social studies where possible with science to maximize our time. However, at the end of the day there are only so many minutes of teaching time. Once you carve out specials and maximum blocks for mandated math and reading, just where will this mandated science time come? I have no objection to more science. Kids always were interested and I hated taking away the time to explore and learn the material that this study rightly says they need to know. I am sure I am not the only teacher who has read this study and asked where in the day would you like me to add this?

This is why homeschooling has become so appealing since I have left teaching. I love helping homeschoolers work on curriculum. I have come to appreciate the flexibility and valuable TIME to explore subjects that we lack in public school.

Picture Credit:

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Best Kind of Different

I saw Curt and Shonda Shilling doing an interview about this book on tv and decided to reserve it at the library. As a Red Sox fan I was familiar with their work on skin cancer and ALS, but I had not heard of their experiences with Aspergers.

My first experience with Aspergers was with a student about nine years ago. Our school provided great resources for teachers on learning disabilities, but our resources on behavioral disorders were not as wide. I found myself utilizing outside resources to educate myself on the topic. It was frustrating as an educator that practical resources were hard to come by and I can only imagine how parents felt. I was fortunate to find parents groups that welcomed me online and shared their wealth of knowledge and places to look.

This book was a great read. I was thinking this would be a great book to share with family and friends as one is trying to introduce them to the topic of Aspergers. The book is autobiographical, but it does address the factual issues of Aspergers and parents and teachers who have walked with families through a diagnosis can relate to the story. For family who may be sports fans it introduces the topic through the story of a sports family. I can think of some people this would have been useful to have given this to as an early read. For family members who may not be able to relate to the behaviors, the technical terms, and issues that start with the diagnosis, this may be a good introductory point.

I was able to find this book through interlibrary loan. That may be a great place to test the book to see if you find it helpful. I will be purchasing a few copies as gifts.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Patriot's Day

A favorite trivia question to ask my students was why there was a Massachusetts state holiday in April that the rest of the country did not celebrate. I would challenge them to consider why the date, which is always moved to a Monday to create a long weekend, exists.

The most common answer received, even among adults, has to do with the Boston Marathon. That however, is not the correct answer. Patriot's Day celebrates the beginning of the American Revolution with the battles fought in Concord and Lexington Massachusetts and all along the road returning to Boston.

Those who live in Massachusetts can take advantage of the local historical reenactments that occur not only around Patriot's day, but also through the summer and into the fall to reconnect with local American history. Online sites can help others reconnect with the fascinating history of the birth of our country.

Challenge your kids and yourself to sort through the myths and the legends. For instance, the poem many of us memorized regarding Paul Revere’s Ride. Poor Paul, while an amazing spymaster and a true patriot was not in fact the one who did warn the countryside as Longfellow led us to believe. He had the best of intentions. Like several of the riders, however he was stopped by a British patrol. Your children will find it fascinating to read Longfellow’s eloquent poem and then to uncover the amazing group effort that it took to warn the countryside and get them prepared to fight.

There are free online resources resources to use. Review the social studies links I have collected.

Picture Credits:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winter Olympic Teaching Resources

The Olympics are an exciting time for kids. Many are interested in specific sports or sports athletes. It can be a great time for teachers to use sports themes in reading, research, math, science, and social studies themes.

I will adding resources as I locate them:

History of the Games:

International Olympic Site

Scholastic Publishers Cyber Hunt

Language Arts:

Alphabetical Order

Acrostic Poem

Crossword Puzzle

Enchanted Learning Books

Enchanted Learning Quiz

Vocabulary Fill in the Blanks


Distance to Travel

Reading Comprehension:

abcteach Rings Questions

Squaw Valley Story and Questions


Sports Science

Sports Information:

Official Site

Pocantico Hills School

abc teach Resources

Enchanted Learning

Kids Turn Central Sports Trivia

Crafts Sites:

Coloring Sheets

Free Kids Crafts


Kids Turn Central Coloring Sheets Bears



Picture Credits:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Valentines Day Activities

Valentine's Day can be a fun time for crafts and children's activities.



Activity Village


Color Cards



Coloring Pages:

Activity Village



Card Holder

Craft Elf

Kaboose Multiple Offerings

Woven Valentine

File Folder Games:

Match the Numbers




Tic Tac Toe

Language Arts

Alphabetical Order

Match the Syllables

Missing Letters

Spelling Sheet

Valentine's Word List


Circle the Different Heart Patterns

Connect the Dots

How Many Colorful Hearts Printable Book Scroll Down


Multiplication to 8

Multiplication to 9

Sorting Hearts

Symmetrical Shapes


Activity Village Puzzles




Jigsaw Puzzles



Valentine's Printable Activity Book Scroll Down

Word Ladder

Word Scramble

Word Search DLTK

Reading Comprehension:

Craft and Reading Comprehension Activities

The Legend of St. Valentine

Making a Valentine Box Directions and Questions

Picture Cloze

Reading Worksheets for Fluffy's Valentine's Day

Reading Worksheets for Froggy's First Kiss

Valentine's Day Reading Comprehension Sheet Elementary

Valentine's Comprehension Sheet Primary

Valentine's Comprehension Sheet Upper Elementary

A Valentine for Our Mother

The Valentine Surprise Primary

Valentines Word Book Printable Scroll Down



Picture Credits:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January Back to School is a Great Time to Request a Senior Credit Audit

As High School Seniors prepare for exams, it is a great time to approach schools about a senior credit audit. Most schools should do this for parents in the fall, but not all do. Even students who we assume should be in the clear can find that with changing requirements, cuts in available courses, and promised waivers that fail to materialize problems can arise. Parents who ask in January to have this done can prepare for any possible issues. Parents who find out in May have few options to assist their children with finishing the school year and being allowed to graduate.

Truthfully, it is never too early to start asking for credit updates. Juniors should also be aware that they are on target to graduate. With courses being cut and requirements changing, it is easy to believe students are working hard and on target to graduate, only to find that there is a minor requirement that has not been met. Sometimes students are meeting outdated course requirements only to find that they are not aware of adjustments. Other students have fallen off the radar and parents need to be informed.

The best way to find out is to ask for a credit audit. Schools can help parents and students determine if children are on target to meet graduation goals and parents can help students make alternate plans if additional outside work will be required.

For those with college students, it is not a bad idea to talk with your children about doing the same thing on their own. Not all colleges grandfather students into programs. Children can start in a program with a set number of requirements and the program can change. Some schools will honor the original contract if the student gets the appropriate waivers. However, since many schools use a computer to generate graduation lists, it is important that students have verification that the computer agrees with their credit count. It is never fun to be fighting these battles during graduation week.

Picture Credit:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Strictly By the Book Salem, NH Out of Business

I had blogged about this store as an inexpensive resource for books for home schoolers, parents, and teachers. Unfortunatly, New Years Eve the store closed its doors. I made it there on the last evening to pick up some deals, but almost missed out all together as I had decided to wait until after the Christmas expenses to pick up my post holiday stash.

The employees seemed clear that the store was not going to relocate in another location any time soon. A loss for those of us who have enjoyed the great deals.

If anyone else has some great suggestions for book sites please share.

Picture Credit: