Monthly Archives: January 2009

Affect vs. Effect

I often get confused between when to use the word “affect” versus “effect”, so I did a little bit of research and found this grammar lesson to share with you:
Affect and Effect are both a transitive verb and a noun.

When affect is being used as a verb it means “to change or influence; to attack, cause damage to, infect; to act with intent to deceive or impress; or to act on the emotions, to create an emotional response,”. In all these definitions, affect means “to make some sort of difference.”
When affect is used as a noun it refers to “the state of emotions and is connected to the verb form”.

When effect is used as a verb it means “to cause or bring about”.
When effect is used as a noun it means “the result of something”.

Even in studying these differences I found I can get easily confused but came across this tip to help:
Remember the alphabetical order; first, something is affected and the result is an effect: A before E.

Finding Homeschool Laws

Are you interested in homeschooling but are not sure of the homeschooling laws or requirements for your state? You may want to start by going to your state’s web site for their education department. Division names usually vary by state, some of the common state education division names are:

State Education Department
Department of Education
Department of Education and Early Development
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Department of Public Instruction
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Department of Education and Cultural Affairs
Education Agency
Office of Education

Some websites are more difficult than others to navigate or find the homeschooling information you may be looking for. If you are not able to quickly find the information on their web site, you may search their site further by:
Doing a search for “home school” or “home study” within the site.
You may also look for options like nonpublic schools, which cover homeschooling in some states;
Look for links to such items as legislation or forms
Look for Contact Us (often found as a tab at the top of the page or a link at the bottom of the page) to find a phone number, mailing address, or an e-mail address.

If you plan to educate your children from home finding out your local laws is a very important step.

Higher Education

Higher education like every other business has been effected by our economic downturn. Not only resulting in funding issues and reduced enrollment but some colleges have had to close their doors, perhaps for good.
This week the House of Representatives unveiled a proposed fiscal stimulus plan, which include simplified tax breaks for education and a tax credit system for college costs. Details include:

  • Families with children in college may receive up to $2,500 per year per child in tax credit.
  • Plan raises income ceilings, allowing families with incomes of up to $160,000 a year to receive credit.
  • Delta Project report says college students are paying more, but getting less for their money, than in the past.

Although this has not been finalized and it will not solve everything I felt some good news in education was worth passing on.

Standardized Testing

Have you ever wondered what standardized testing is or what it means to you and your family? Whether you have children who are not yet in school, children in school, or children who are finished with school you have certainly heard the term “standardized testing”. Most schools send out a note when this testing is going to occur.

By title you should be able to deduce your child’s entire school will be doing testing to see how they are doing in comparison to other school districts around the country. These tests have become a great resource for statistics on schools which can be used to help create programs or curriculum to help students in any particular area in specific courses they may be struggling in such as math, reading, or sciences.

Student IEP’s or Individualized Education Programs has also been designed to help evaluate every students needs and goals. This plan gets the school, the student, and also the parent involved in understanding what is expected and needed in the child educational future, assists in setting education and career goals, and assists in everyone following through with these plans.

Peer Pressure (part 2)

In an part 1 of Peer Pressure the focus was on negative and positive peer pressure at all ages. This article will focus specifically on teen peer pressure, which is typically between the ages of 13-18 but could start or occur earlier or later. Most teens participate in some typical teen behavior like spending less time with family, changing their appearance, arguing more, and most will experiment with alcohol and drugs. It is important for parents to educate themselves on what is considered “normal” behavior and what is not, what to look for if they suspect their teen is starting to use or abuse alcohol or drugs, and how to differentiate and identify if their teen is succumbing to peer pressure or being bullied. Children of all ages need to be taught what peer pressure and bullying are, how to identify them in their lives, and how to handle different types of situations related to them. If children and teens know these things they will be better equipped to handle it if and when it occurs to them or others around them.
Peer pressure and bullying can significantly effect a teens self esteem and when their self esteem is low they are more likely to give into peer pressure to try to fit in. Even though teens often make parents feel their opinion is not important or they do not care what they think, most of the time they are ultimately looking for their parents acceptance and approval as well as their peers. Parents can help improve their teens self esteem by giving them praise, support, and with positive pressure to make good choices.
If parents feel like their teens situation is beyond peer pressure, self esteem, or bullying and their teen may be showing signs of depression or suicide it is important that they get help NOW. Parents should not be so ashamed or embarrassed of a teen who is suffering from depression, drug or alcohol abuse, or suicidal tendencies to seek help. These things can be treated and even prevented with help. It is important that parents include their child’s school principal and/or counselors in any problems they feel may affect their child in school whether it be peer pressure, depression, or drug or alcohol issues. It does “take a village” to raise a child and nobody can help fix what they do not know is broken. Children spend the larger part of their day at school. Teachers and counselors are there to help the children become the best people they can be, the easiest way for them to do that is to be included in any concerns parents may have for the safety or well being of their child.