Tag Archives: Education

The End of the School Year

If you have school-aged children, this time of year is one you know well. Your kids are excited to not have school for the next three months, and you’ve had to figure out child care arrangements. You may have planned a fun local trip or a larger vacation. You’re hoping your kids have fun, clean up after themselves, and make memories.

Summer vacation presents challenges and opportunities, but we often let opportunities slide away from us. I’m talking about learning opportunities. Few parents I know require their children to keep up basic skill practice over the summer. Math, reading, and writing are skills. Like any skills, when they lie dormant, they atrophy. Summer loss is a real problem that is completely preventable.

From the time my kids were small, we required that they read, write, and practice math over the summer. When they were little, math workbooks were easy enough to find at the store, as were free worksheets online. One of my kids struggled with adding and subtracting fractions. We found practice sheets online, helped her learn the concept, and she practiced them. Now she’s in advanced math. My other daughter took an even greater interest in math, and she’s three years ahead in math. (No, we did NOT push her. If anything, we held her back. When they wanted to put her in Algebra in 5th grade, we compromised on 6th grade advanced.) I attribute this to our dedication to making sure they practiced their skills over the summer.

Reading is another skill that’s easy to keep current. Require your kids to read for a minimum of twenty minutes every day. Make it a routine. Many kids report that reading before bed allows them to fall asleep faster. (The light from screens actually makes your brain take about 30 minutes longer to fall asleep.) This will improve their comprehension, stamina, and speed—all critical factors that hold kids back when reading difficulty increased at around the 4th grade. Make this fun for them—visit a library together to select books, have a time when the whole family reads together, and talk to each other about what you’re reading. Keep track of pages read and celebrate milestones.

Visit www.lexile.com to find a list of age-appropriate reading suggestions. You may not know your child’s Lexile range (unless you ask the school—some standardized test like the NWEA/MAP report a Lexile as part of their score, though the school may not report it to the parents), but you can ballpark it based on books they are reading in school. The best way to ballpark a reading level is to have your child read the first page or two of a book they may like. If they encounter more than five words they don’t know and can’t figure out using context clues, then it’s too hard. Conversely, if they breeze through it quickly, then it’s too easy. You want kids to choose a combination of “challenge” and “fun” books to grow their skills without frying their brains.

Writing is perhaps the most difficult skill to keep current. Most parents have no idea what to expect, and that makes them reticent to require their kids to write. Don’t make this into a big deal. Yeah, I assigned my kids a research project last summer, but it was to figure out which National Parks they wanted to visit on vacation. They looked up specific places they wanted to visit, created a presentation in Google Slides, and we ended up visiting most of their choices. This grew organically out of a family discussion. You don’t have to be that elaborate (unless your kids are driving that train—then let them run with it.)

You can have them write their thoughts, opinions, or ideas in a journal. You can email them a question and have them respond with at least a paragraph. Grow the dialogue from there. If they have an opinion about something, have them find evidence and reasons to support it. Make them cite their sources. If they send you short responses, ask questions to help them draw out their thoughts. The more you do this, the easier it’ll get. Can’t think of topics? Let your fingers do the walking. I searched “writing topics for middle school/elementary students/high school” and came up with hundreds of hits. Here are two of them: http://www.dailyteachingtools.com/journal-writing-prompts.html and http://journalbuddies.com/journal_prompts__journal_topics/fun-writing-prompts-for-middle-school/

Once you have a starting point, have them set a goal for what they want to improve. Perhaps they want to have better description, use dialogue or similes, explain their reasoning better—whatever it is, keep it simple and be supportive. You’ll likely find 50 things wrong with their writing, but only work on improving 1-2 at a time. Anything more is too much, too fast. If you’re struggling to look for goals, check out this website: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/

Select “Writing” and choose the grade level you want. The standards are pretty straightforward, but note that examples and resources aren’t provided.

This sounds like a lot, but if you set an expectation for your child to read every day, and practice writing and math twice each week, when the new school year begins, your child will hit the ground running.

A Quickie … but a bit of a downer !!!

Because  it’s my day and I didn’t have much material for it other than the Ogham I’m having a go at an off-the-cuff one now …

How many people out there enjoy “weather”? I love it, almost whatever it is. Our’s is quite odd at the moment in Britain, probably due to ash clouds as well as global warming and that brings me to what set me off tonight. I watched the programme on the Icelandic volcanoes the other night and very good it was too. The way they can change weather for us, just like that, and the amount of change too, is staggering. As I said, I love weather … but this was scary!

The big volcano, Katala, is very likely to go off in the next few months and make the lst one look like a damp squib. global warming is making the Jet Stream far more contrary than it used to be so it’s quite likely the volcanic cloud will sweep Europe quickly and, from there, make its way around the whole globe. This could mean a darkness on the face of the Earth similar to what happened with the Yellow Plague in the 500s when starvation and famine ran round the northern hemisphere.

What can we do about it? Well, stopping a volcano is not even a starter for 10! You think BP has problems? Just imagine trying to plug a volcano – I get ROFLMAO at the mere thought. So … ???

We can plan for it. It IS going to happen, it’s not an “if” but a “when”. and it’s not just air travel, that will b e the least of our worries, it’ll be food, water, livestock dying, asthma, emphysema, any lung sufferers having a really bad time and probably dying. And that’s just for starters. With no air travel that will cut off food imports as well – assuming anyone has any to spare. Etc, etc, etc.

So what’s my point? It really is high time we stopped having World Cup, Big Brother, general gossip, party politics, and if we have a barbecue summer, as our first priorities. The state of the climate really IS far more important even than the Afghan war of terrorism.

People are quite ridiculous in the way they look at weather. If it rains that’s a “bad” thing … but where do the silly sausages think their food comes from? Do they think it grows in plastic packs in the supermarket? Doesn’t anyone teach about how plants work? That plants – indeed most life on Earth – is about 70% water ??? where does this water come from? Out the tap ???

We have to stop being ignorant. we have to stop worrying about getting a degree in film technique or media studies and start doing “real” things like understanding what keeps us alive and how fragile that system is. And that we humans can’t “fix” nay of it, certainly not by throwing money at it.

Ho hum! Rant over. But I am concerned, the more I hear/see people who are completely ignorant of how life works – real life like food and air and water – but are brilliant at “business plans”.

and on that note … do you know … I met a student nurse at our doc’s practice who didn’t even know where the pancreas was or what it does when she was asked to examine me … a diabetes patient. If that’s not scary, what is ? Arrrrrggghhh !!!

Elen Sentier
… behind every gifted woman there’s usually a rather talented cat …
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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier Ogham: Duir – Oak

Women Issues : Sex, Suppression, & Orgasms

What do you call a woman who loves sex and enjoys it with different partners?

A slut.

What do you call men who love sex and has a different lover nearly every night?

A player.

And what do we think of players?

So many, including young men, aspire to be them.

Well we are bringing an end to such gibberish now. What do you say?

~~

Long ago in Ancient times, having sexual encounters with a woman meant that the man was experiencing a spiritual act of love with the goddess herself. And women were taught wondrous arts of how to obtain orgasms, which would also awaken her senses and bring her closer to the divine forces of her Great Mother. In fact, in many cultures, an orgasm was one of the greatest of powers and forms of divination.

In ancient Egypt, women and men had trial marriages where the woman would live with the man and ‘try him out’ to see if relations with him and a living arrangement suited her.

And in the earliest of cultures we had Sacred Prostitutes who were great priestess, well kept in temples…and through them a man or woman could discover unimaginable divinities.

And then one day…a woman’s sexual freedoms became eternal damnation and myth. And this horrible thing happened:

According to JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association), 43 percent of American women suffer from some form of “Female Sexual Dysfunction”–often placing the blame on themselves for their inability to reach orgasm. SOURCE

Yes, hard to believe but somehow, someway, we women, FORGOT how to get off!

And men stopped worrying about it unless it made them feel less than a man—in which case—he blamed us.

And what is worse….we began blaming ourselves.

What? What happened to us?

~~~

Why the big difference between men and women? Is it various religions that has dug a sexually suppressed grave for our ladies and buried them in it? How come people think sex is more important to men? How come women need to lie or hide the fact that they have been with more than one man while men get to brag and flaunt every woman they have scored with? How come our own sisters will crucify us, call us sluts, whores, and ho’s if we desire more than one man?

But more importantly…..with all of our medical knowledge, how come its only been the span of a generation since the medical community have even and finally discovered that yes…women can have an orgasm to?

How come indeed?

That was yesterday….and today is a new day. While the answers above may never be answered nor matter anymore….today women can bust out of their ruts and have a sexual awakening. No longer is she expected to lay there, but rather take her lover by the hair and tell HIM what she likes and what she wants.

Now we know that virtually any woman can climax – and indeed have multiple climaxes – if the circumstances of her life are right. And these circumstances usually include having a caring, understanding partner who is knowledgeable about sex, and who uses that knowledge to help her relax and to reach orgasm. Source

I would like to draw your attention to the article above at this web site. If you do not like that one, then by the Gods, just Google Women and Orgasms and you will find a whole slew of places to explore.  The one I have listed is my favorite, though, and seems to have a little of everything.

Why bother?

Because in order for women to understand their sexuality, they need to understand how their bodies work. And men…if you are worthy lovers and wish the ultimate sexual experience…you will explore these sites and learn as well.

Why?

Because by understanding our bodies we can achieve all the blessings that come with them. And I am not sure if men realize this….but when your woman doesn’t have to fake it…the experience is ten times better than the usual automatic climaxes your body just seems to shoot off.

Health Benefits?

I believe that possibly some of  the reasons women are suffering from obesity– caused by stress and poor metabolism, high blood pressure, tension (migraines), insomnia, depression, and who KNOWS what else, is because we ladies have stopped getting our GROOVE on. Maybe why we crave junk food or binge eat is because we are not having our needed dose of orgasms. We can’t sleep even though we pop pills because why? Because our body lacks the natural tranquilizer it produces during climax.  Am I nuts?

No, I am a woman discovering and figuring these things out same as you. But thanks to those doing research and studies…other people got a clue long before I did.

And no, this isn’t going to be a one problem solved kind of thing especially if your just not in the ‘mood’. This again falls in line with the article I posted earlier titled Women Issues:Asserting Your Power .

While there are other issues in a woman’s life to get right….SEX should not be forgotten. If you can not get comfortable with your lover to climax with him or her (just yet)…then go please yourself. There are tons of toys and aids you can order secretly online to be delivered to your house without ANYONE knowing.

We are leaving the darkness of an Age where women drudge through this world never knowing a true orgasm and suffering the illnesses—mentally and physically from that. Today, we leave behind the old mentality of sluts, whores, or scarlet women and the many other horrid names we label our sisters with—> just because they have attempted to know their own sexuality.

Sites like the one I listed above will explain all sorts of  ways and facts.

So I say ladies, you are no longer suppressed. Go on out there and have your lovers…and bed them well…and teach them how to bed YOU well.

But here’s hoping you find a man that wanted to learn on his own….and off he went to educate himself. *winks*

C.H. Scarlett