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Doing It All Without Losing Your Mind: Tips For Adults Going Back To College

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It’s pretty common to see a wide range of ages in a college classroom these days, especially when more older adults are returning to the educational path after years spent working and raising families. While going back to school is a great way to further your career or start a new one, it can also put you in the center of a juggling act, trying to balance a job, taking care of your family, and keeping up with your coursework. Don’t be put off by the thought of this balancing act; use these tips to help you do it all without losing your mind as an adult heading back to school. Check to see if you can skip any classes If you went to a college before “life happened,” check to see if any of your former credits are still any good. You may also have the option of “testing out” of some general education classes. This could reduce the amount of time it takes to get your degree and save you money on tuition costs. A variety of test choices may be offered by the college you wish to attend. Some tests let you test for more advanced subjects and shorten the amount of time it takes to get your degree. This means you can skip some basic courses and get right to the more challenging ones from the start. Talk to your employer about adjusting your schedule If you’re going back to school to work towards a job higher up on the food chain at your current employer, your employer may be willing to help create a more flexible schedule for you so that you can attend classes. They may even offer to reimburse you for the tuition you pay if the degree you wish to obtain will benefit your career with them. If your schedule can’t be changed, online classes are a great way to get your degree even with a full-time job. Take advantage of guidance counselors Besides the fact that they know the college degree programs in great detail, guidance counselors see what works for other students and what doesn’t. They can help you map out your degree so that you only take the classes that will get you to your goal in the shortest amount of time. Whether you’re aiming for an accounting degree or looking to go pre-med, they can help you zero in on the most efficient path for you and offer advice on fitting the classes in around your work and family commitments. Think of counselors as free career advisors. They’re a great resource for all students of every age and background. Prepare your family for your new schedule If you are responsible for taking care of your family’s cooking, cleaning and care, you may need to ask them to step up and help out more. You’ll have to carve out time in your day for your classwork, whether you attend a physical school or take online classes. Ask older kids and your spouse to help with family chores and explain that your study time is important because it will help you get a college degree so you can get a better job or make more money for your family. You’ll need to make sure you have a quiet place...

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Tips For A Successful Catholic School Interview

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you intend on going to a private high school or Catholic school, then it is likely that you will be asked to go through an interview. This is especially true if the school is prestigious or if there are limited spots for applicants. Essays, grades, and extracurriculars can certainly prove that you are worthy of an available opening. Interviews are generally used as the deciding factor to show that you have the right attitude for the learning facility. The interview process can be nerve wracking, but you can make a great and memorable impression. If you need a little help with this, then follow the tips here. Do Not Be Afraid of Saying “I Don’t Know” Many people who go through Catholic private school interviews think they need to show their intelligence to garner a spot at the school. Although this is true, and you should be prepared for questions about current events, headmasters and admissions professionals are also looking for things like honesty, a love of knowledge, and humility. One of the best ways to show these traits is to answer “I don’t know” when posed with a question that you do not know the answer to. Stammering, saying “ummm”, or making up an answer are common and obvious tactics used to skirt around questions. Unfortunately, the interviewer will be familiar with these things and they may create an unsure or poor image of you. If you are not sure about an “I don’t know” answer, then consider asking the interviewer about their thoughts. This is especially helpful if the questions is about the school itself or an open-ended or thought provoking questions about religion. You can also follow this answer with a statement about how you will look up the correct information when you get home. If you do this, just make sure to follow through. Either include the answer on a card or thank you email that you send to the interviewer after the interview. This shows a go-getter attitude and it will also solidify a positive and memorable impression of you. Be Confident Shake Hands Correctly It can be incredibly difficult to try to exude confidence when you are nervous. However, as long as you pay close attention to your body language, you can project a strong image of yourself. Present your hand for a handshake at the beginning of the interview, but wait for the interviewer to hold out their hand first. This shows respect by taking the lead from the person in the more powerful position. Make sure to stand up when you do this, hold your shoulders high, but straight, and keep your elbow close to your torso and extend your arm out at a right angle. Make eye contact as well with a smile on your face, and introduce yourself by name. Firmness is one of the keys to a good handshake, but you do not want to crush the interviewer’s hand. When you make contact, shake in an up and down motion and let go after only a few seconds. Generally, it is polite to allow the person who extended their hand first to pull back from the handshake. A good handshake can actually be a unique and mature way to show respect for your age during a private school interview, since many people shy away from the gesture due to...

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The Benefits Of A Multi-Age Montessori Based Preschool

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

One way that a Montessori based education is different from a traditional preschool is that children are placed in classrooms with children of varying ages. Children remain with the same teacher or teachers as long as they are in the preschool program. There are many benefits to this way of arranging the classroom. Here are a few of them.  Consistency in Teaching When you enroll your child in a Montessori based preschool, that child will have the same teacher every year of the program. There are many advantages to this consistency.  Your child’s teacher has more time to develop an understanding of your child’s individual learning style.  Your child’s teacher gains a deeper knowledge of your child’s strengths and challenges. Your child and the teacher have more time to bond.  Your child does not have to spend time and energy getting used to a new teacher each year.  You have the opportunity to be closer to the teacher.  The teacher will have greater insight for you about the ways your child has progressed and developed throughout preschool.  Competition Free Environment When children are in a classroom with other children who are older and younger than they are, there is less competition. Mixing the age groups means that children are working on a variety of different skills on many different levels. There is much less emphasis placed on who is best at a certain skill or has mastered or not mastered challenges in reading and math.  This environment allows kids to truly work at their own pace. A child might be an advanced reader while still having trouble with basic counting and number skills. Children are able to blend into a mixed age classroom and can feel good about their own accomplishments without having to compare themselves to others.  Less Bullying Kids who work with children of other age groups each day are less likely to engage in bullying behaviors with kids who are smaller than they are. Children in a multi-age classroom learn to respect each other and to work in cooperation with other children. Through this teamwork, they are also learning to respect each other’s strengths, viewpoints and ideas.  Development of Leadership Skills Children who are among the oldest in their preschool classrooms will learn to help younger children along. Each year when a new group of younger children join the class, older kids are encouraged to show them the ropes and help them learn what is expected. This not only helps the younger children feel a sense of belonging, but it also gives older kids self-confidence that they will take with them into their schooling years.  Creation of a Community The American Montessori Society explains that children in a multi-age Montessori environment experience a recreation of a family structure, allowing them to find a special place within the classroom that will develop as they do. Older children find confidence as mentors and leaders, while younger children gain a feeling of security and confidence.  When children are confident and feel safe in their learning environment, they are able to take risks, challenge themselves and learn more than they could in a more structured setting.  A preschool that offers classrooms for multiple age groups provides many advantages to young students that a traditional class cannot offer. The Montessori educational...

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Finding A Day Care Program For Your Special Needs Child

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Finding a day care program that is the right fit for a regularly developing school-age child can be a challenge. But it can be even more difficult when you have a child with special needs. Perhaps, in an ideal world, the parents of a physically or mentally challenged child would be able to stay home with their child 24 hours a day, but in reality, many parents in the United States have to work. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of families in 2013 that have both parents working was 59.1 percent. And, of course, many single parents also have to work as well. So what should you look for if you need to find day care for your special needs, school-age child? Talk with the Day Care Program’s Administrator Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), day care programs must comply with the ADA, which means they cannot discriminate against a child because of their disability. The two caveats are your child cannot pose a direct threat to others and the program cannot be forced to make a major alteration to their fundamental program. When searching for a day care program, you should ask if you can set up an appointment to speak with its head administrator. During your meeting, you should then: Discuss your child’s special needs and requirements. Ask the administrator if the program’s staff has the appropriate training to deal with your child’s special needs. For example, if your child has special medical needs, such as diabetes, your child will need someone on staff who can deal with any complications as soon as they arise.  Staff Size When you visit the facility, ask what the staff to child ratio is. You want a facility that will not have one adult trying to keep an eye on a big group of children. This is especially important if you have a physically or mentally challenged child. For example, Childcare Aware recommends for a group of four-year-olds, there should be at least one adult for every ten children Willing to Work With Your Local School District Even if you are not planning on putting your child in a public school, you may want to have them evaluated for an individualized education program, also commonly referred to as an IEP. If your child is found eligible through the IEP, they can then receive special services — such as hearing, speech or occupational therapy — from the school system. And in some cases, your special needs child could attend a full or partial day in a public school and then go to a day care program afterwards. Either way, you will need to talk to the day care program that you are interested in to see if they would be willing to: Work with pickup and drop-off of your child from the public school. If your child’s IEP includes transportation services, the school should be responsible for transporting your special needs child to and from the daycare. However, the daycare must be willing to get your child ready to meet the transportation or to get them off a bus or other vehicle when they return.  Once you do find a day care program you feel comfortable to leave your child with, it is important you...

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What To Expect Of A Child-Centered Learning Environment

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For parents who are looking for an educational approach that fosters independence, child-centered learning in a charter or private school may be just the solution. In child centered charter schools, the student leads the learning while the teacher serves in a supporting role. In early elementary classrooms, it provides children the opportunity to learn through hands-on exploration and investigation. Here’s a look at what you can expect from a typical child-centered classroom. Teacher’s Role In a child-centered learning environment, the teacher doesn’t take charge of the room. Instead of providing direct instruction, the teacher acts as a facilitator, providing guidance and support where needed. For example, a teacher in a child-centered classroom may offer kids a variety of hands-on tools for learning letters, including cutouts and magnetic boards. This gives kids the chance to learn letters on their own while also enhancing their hand-eye coordination. Learning Centers Teachers who are creating a child-centered learning environment will create learning centers for kids to move through lessons on their own. These classrooms typically feature several different types of learning centers where children can move from one center to another independently. This type of design is convenient for kids, because they are able to move at their own pace. The teacher’s primary role with learning centers is to decide what type of learning materials to make available in each learning center, and how long to leave each one up before moving on to a new skill. Most of these learning centers are available for days or weeks before being shifted to new or different projects. Building different learning centers allows children to focus on numbers, letters and other core skills throughout the day. While kids are moving from workstation to workstation, the teacher can move between groups and offer support as needed instead of having to provide direct instruction. Brief Instruction In child-led classrooms, the teacher’s active instruction time is broken into brief lessons, often called mini lessons. Depending on how the students learn best, this brief instruction time may be in the morning or in the afternoon. This time is often used to model a new concept or introduce a new learning center. Then, kids are given the freedom to explore the environment and the concept on their own. Cooperative Learning In child-centered educational environments, kids can benefit from learning with other students. Cooperative learning opportunities give kids a chance to work together to resolve problems and the opportunity to learn from each other’s knowledge. Educators in these classrooms will strive to pair students together who have opposing strengths and weaknesses. This lets each child learn from the other and share abilities. This cooperative learning approach means that the child-centered classroom isn’t designed like a traditional educational classroom with a blackboard in front and rows of desks. Instead, these classrooms are set up in groups, with desks facing each other to encourage the kids to work together during class time. Child-centered classrooms are often louder and more chaotic than a traditional classroom, but when the process is implemented correctly, the chaos of the room is actually more organized than it may seem and the kids are often working excitedly together on a mutual goal. Interactive Evaluations Unlike the testing of a traditional classroom, child-centered classrooms are typically evaluated through observation. This...

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4 Lifestyle Benefits You Can Expect From Regular Chiropractor Visits

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Chiropractic care is a safe and non-invasive option for those who are looking to treat neck and back discomfort. But regular chiropractic visits can offer you so much more than that, even if you are not currently dealing with back and neck issues. Here are four lifestyle benefits you can expect to take advantage of by scheduling regular visits to the chiropractor: The Opportunity to Manage Pain with Less Medication While most traditional medical doctors tend to manage various types of pain with medication of some kind, chiropractors can often treat that same pain with the addition of minimal medication, if there is even a need for any at all. A well trained chiropractor can treat a variety of ailments in addition to neck and back pain such as: Recurring Headaches Sciatica Ear Infections Fibromyalgia Osteoarthritis In addition, chiropractic care typically involves aligning the spine, which can open up nerve flow and improve nerve function throughout the body. This results in less chance for the occurrence of body pain overall. The Need for Less Effort During Exercise Because chiropractic care straightens and lengthens the spine, as well as opens up nerve energy as already mentioned, flexibility and muscular strength tends to increase as well. This means that exercising is a little easier on the body, and you don’t have to expel as much effort as you would if you were working out with stiff muscles and joints. Some of the many types of exercises you can expect to have an easier time with after seeing a chiropractor include: Yoga Pilates Running Rowing Lifting weights may even be a bit easier on your muscles after being freshly relaxed and conditioned by a chiropractor, and the additional strength you gain from weight lifting will help to support your musculoskeletal system for optimal health and minimal pain. The Ability to Recognize Muscle Stress Symptoms A good chiropractor is happy to sit down with you and provide you with some insight that will help you recognize signs of muscle stress and nerve compression, giving you an opportunity to schedule an appointment for spinal manipulation and to treat trigger points before any bothersome pain begins to develop. Calling for treatment before serious pain begins ensures that you don’t end up having to live with much pain while waiting for an appointment to open up with your chiropractor. Being able to recognize muscle stress symptoms will also give you the opportunity to ramp up your stretching and exercising routine as to avoid any pain in between chiropractic care visits. Your chiropractor can show you basic stretches to do that are effective options for relieving muscle strain as well as back and neck pain. The Knowledge That There’s Less Risk for Disease An adjustment of the C-1 vertebra may significantly reduce blood pressure without the need for medications. In fact, this chiropractic procedure can have the same effect as two typical blood pressure medications combined. Keeping blood pressure low is important as it helps to prevent: Heart and Blood Vessel Damage Kidney Damage Erectile Dysfunction Angina Vision Loss Your blood pressure should consistently read below 140/90 mm Hg to maximize your chances of avoiding these complications as time goes on, and chiropractic care can help you manage your levels. Of course, in addition to making use...

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Foods To Boost Your Concentration During Flight School

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are currently attending flight school at a place like Parkland College, then you have taken the first step to becoming either a private or commercial pilot. If you find yourself drifting off during lessons or if you become drowsy when you should be paying attention to safety protocols, then you may not be learning what you should. This can be dangerous for you when you are finally able to fly a plane. Poor concentration can also limit your ability to fly properly once you get a job in your field. It is in your best interest to boost your ability to concentrate. A good night’s sleep, the reduction of distractions, and a proper exercise regimen can all offer assistance. Eating a healthy diet can help you too, so keep reading to find out about the nutrients you should consume to keep your brain focused. Consume Omega 3 Fatty Acids Many people know they should eat foods with omega 3 fatty acids to keep the heart healthy and to lower bad cholesterol levels. These essential and healthy fats are also good for your brain. Specifically, they protect your neural pathways, increase memory, and help to promote tissue growth. Also, when the fats are consumed, the volume of gray matter in the brain increases. This can help with emotional well being to keep stress levels from destroying your concentration. Omega 3 fatty acids can even help to protect you from degenerative brain disorders. For good brain health, it is wise to consume between 1,000 and 3,000 milligrams of omega 3 fatty acids a day. Flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, beef, soybeans, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower are the foods highest in the healthy fats. Eat at least one of these foods every day. Increase Sugar Intake Poor concentration is sometimes linked to fluctuating blood sugar levels. Blood sugars increase substantially when you eat candy, soda, cake, jam, and other sugary foods. These items contain refined sugars that also provide little energy. Once the levels rise and fall, you are left feeling tired because your body has already used the small amount of energy the foods have provided.   Natural sugars do not raise blood sugar levels as drastically as refined sugars and they do provide a more consistent and quick burst of energy. This means you should eat foods containing fructose several times a day to retain concentration and to fight off fatigue. Many fruits contain natural sugars, so eat apples, oranges, blueberries, pears and bananas throughout the day. Carrots, beets, and corn contain them as well. It is a good idea to eat carbohydrates as well at the same time you consume a food with natural sugars. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, but it takes your body some time to digest the foods before they can provide energy. This means the fruits and vegetables will provide quick energy and the carbohydrates will keep your brain going after the sugars are used up. Eat Foods With Antioxidants The brain is made up of millions of cells and neurons working together to help you memorize data, process information, and concentrate on important tasks. Unfortunately, the brain is relatively fragile and cells die and replicate on a daily basis. If cells do not replicate as quickly as they die off, then you may find yourself...

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Diagnosing And Replacing Heat Pump Reversing Valves

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Reversing valves are an important part of a typical residential heat pump, as it reverses the flow of refrigerant depending on whether the heating or cooling cycle is selected. It’s not uncommon to see reversing valves fail, but when they do, they can be a bit difficult to properly diagnose and repair. As you complete your HVAC training, you’ll want to understand how to properly and accurately troubleshoot reversing valve problems. The following offers a few pointers for taking care of this critical HVAC problem. Why Reversing Valves Fail The most common reason for a reversing valve failure is often because the valve itself becomes stuck, leaving the heat pump locked in the heating or cooling mode until the valve can be freed again. A lack of lubrication or an accumulation of debris can cause the valve to stick in one position. Another common cause of reversing valve failures is when the valve itself leaks refrigerant. A valve leak can be a bit troublesome to diagnose, as the same symptoms (high suction, low head pressure issues, decreasing cooling or heating capacity) are often shared with a failing compressor. Diagnosing Stuck Reversing Valves The first step of diagnosing a stuck reversing valve involves checking the reversing valve solenoid or pilot valve, which should be energized when the heat pump is in heating mode or cooling mode, depending on the manufacturer. Use a multimeter to check for 24-volt power at the solenoid’s wiring connections and transformer. If power is present, grab a flat screwdriver and check for magnetic pull at the solenoid coil. If you don’t feel any pull, you’ll want to make sure the solenoid resistance is around 10 to 60 Ohms. A solenoid that receives no power or whose resistance is out of range should be replaced. If the solenoid is in good condition, your next step should be to knock the reversing valve free. You can do this by tapping one side of the valve with a rubber screwdriver handle or similarly soft object. It’s possible for the valve to get stuck due to a lack of lubrication, which is also brought on by a low refrigerant charge. If the valve doesn’t budge, it’ll have to be replaced. Diagnosing Reversing Valve Leaks The first step towards diagnosing a leaking reversing valve is making sure that there are no other issues that could possibly mimic reversing valve or compressor problems. One such issue is a liquid bypass, which occurs when the evaporator coil becomes flooded with liquid refrigerant. Once the possibility of a liquid bypass has been ruled out, your next step should be to verify whether the reversing valve is causing problems or if the compressor itself requires replacement: Set up the heat pump so that it runs without the condenser motor. This will allow the refrigerant head pressure to build up. Use your gauges to keep an eye on the pressure, as you’ll want it to top out as high as it can go, up to a maximum of 475 pounds. Once enough head pressure has built up, turn the system off. Once you do, you’ll likely hear the hot gases escaping either through the leak in the reversing valve or the compressor. As an alternative, you can position one hand on the suction line at the...

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Five Reasons You Should Take Driver’s Ed

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Uncategorized |

If you need to take driver’s ed to get your driving permit you are probably thinking it’s just one of those things you have to do to get what you want. You may even think you don’t really need it and that it’s just another way for adults to control you. The truth is, driver’s education classes do more than teach you how to drive a car. Here are some reasons why you should take driver’s ed seriously. Preparation for the Driver’s Test:  Driver’s ed prepares you for both the written and road test required to get your driver’s license. Yes, this includes all the rules and regulations for operating a motor vehicle. The written test isn’t difficult, as long as you pay attention in class, but it does require knowledge of specific laws and regulations that you may not have thought about before. This includes laws specific to your state. The written test gives you the opportunity to demonstrate you understand and can follow the laws in your current state You will also learn the skills to pass the road test. Good old mom and dad may be wonderful chauffeurs, but that doesn’t mean they follow the rules of the road or practice the safest driving techniques. Following their example could result in failing your driver’s test. You will learn what is expected of you in the road test and taught how to perform those tasks to meet the requirements to pass the test. Practical Experience: Just because you’ve been watching others drive for a lifetime, doesn’t mean you have the skills to drive safely. Assuming you have been behind the wheel a few times on back roads or private property, you may think you are ready to hit the road with no instruction. Driving in city traffic or maneuvering a traffic rotary takes more skill than the ability to steer the car. With driving lessons, you will learn how to perform routine driving tasks safely and efficiently. Taking driving lessons from a trained driver’s ed instructor also means you won’t need to listen to mom and dad as they frantically yell out instructions at the last minute. Increased Safety: Taking driver’s ed teaches you to drive safely and avoid common driving errors. In fact, according to an article by Tanya Mohn in the New York Times, the combination of new driver’s ed requirements and graduated licenses has reduced the driving violations by 20 percent, has lowered crashes by 12 percent and cut the number of suspended licenses by 50 percent in the state of Oregon. If this holds true for you, taking driver’s ed could mean you are less likely to get in an accident and less likely to lose your license for senseless violations. It also means your parents are less likely to suffer from anxiety attacks every time you ask for the keys. Lower Insurance Rates: Many auto insurance companies offer lower rates to those who have taken driver’s education classes, which means your parents are less likely to complain about the jump in their insurance costs when you are added to the policy. It also means lower rates for you when you move out and get your own auto insurance. Early Driver’s Permit or License: In most states, taking driver’s ed means you can get...

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