Monthly Archives: August 2011

Back to School Activities

Back to school activities come in many varieties depending on the age of the children or teens going back to school, the type of school the children will be attending, the teacher, and many other factors. In this post we would like to take a look at some of the types of back to school activities that can make the transition from summer back to a school schedule more fun and less stressful. Back to school time is always a time of great excitement, but can also be a time of fear and anxiety for many children. What if I don’t like my teacher? What if my friends aren’t in my class? What if I get lost? What if I can’t do the work? These are just a few of the questions that have been flying around my house as we prepare for back to school.

Back to school activities can include back to school shopping for new clothes or school uniforms, taking one child at a time and making this a special time between a parent and child can make the experience go a lot better. If appropriate, talk with your child before hand about what items the child will need, how much money can be spent, and a plan on where the shopping will take place. If you or your child have a favorite store, watch the ads for a few weeks before school starts and pick a time when some of the more expensive items the child will need are on sale. Make sure you are both rested and have had a good meal before starting the back to school shopping. This back to school activity can be especially exhausting, but the more prepared both parties are the better it should go.

To ease some of the worries a child may have about getting lost, meeting a new teacher, finding out who is in the child’s class or other similar fears, check with your child’s school to see if they have an open house or back to school night before school starts. This can be a fun back to school activity for both the parent and the child as you will both have the opportunity to get to know the child’s teacher, learn more about the school campus, and possibly meet a couple of classmates before school even starts. Just knowing where he/she needs to go and one or two people the child can expect to see on their first day back to school can be a great stress reliever.

There are several simple back to school activities that can make going back to school more fun for a child. Prepare a favorite meal the night before school starts, have your child pick out his/her favorite new school clothes and lay them out before bed. Go through the students school supplies together and label them with the child’s name. Help your child prepare a small back to school “gift” for his/her teacher. If the teacher has a “wish list” of classroom supplies that will be needed the gift could include some of these supplies as well as an item the child picks out for the teacher. Older children may be able to help younger children by talking about some of the back to school activities they have experienced in previous years that they especially enjoyed. Focusing on the good and positive aspects of going back to school will hep calm nerves and prepare students for the first few hectic days of getting back to school and a regular school routine.  

Keep in mind that the first few days of school are often packed with information and back to school activities that can be overwhelming even for older students. If possible have things in order around the home before school starts so that there is not a lot of extra stress and chores required of the student in the evenings. At the end of the first week you may want to consider a back to school activity to celebrate, a dinner where children can tell about some of the best, and most frustrating, times they had during their first few days back to school. Just as important as preparing for the return to school and participating in fun back to school activities, is creating a routine that will keep both parent and child focused on a successful year. Having a routine for when and where each child will do homework, chores, and have free time can help eliminate a lot of daily bickering about whether or not the child’s homework is done, whether or not he/she can go play, etc. Creating a parent contract detailing the agreement can be very helpful in sticking to the plan.

Whatever back to school activities you plan be sure to do them with love and concern for the student. As a parent with many day to day stresses we sometimes forget how hard a new school year can be. To children this is a very major change that they are going through and they need all the love and support they can get. Being involved and showing them how much you care will help them to know that everything will be okay!

Education Software

There are many different types of education software available.  This article helps define what education software is and offers examples of what teachers, students, and schools can expect to find in education software.  Keep reading to see what type of education software may fit your needs.

What Is Included in Education Software?

Education software refers to any software that has an educational function or a function in education. It includes a wide range of products with different purposes and functions. It can be software used solely by the teacher, shared by teacher and student, or used exclusively by the student.

Teacher-Oriented Education Software

Administrative software helps teachers to keep track of the details of their students’ attendance, activities, accomplishments, and grades. Included in the record-keeping software are programs designed specifically for classroom teachers in public and private schools, homeschool-oriented software, and software that can be used by any teacher. Types of education software for teachers include software for:

• assignment management
• awards and certificates
• diplomas
• high school transcripts
lesson plans
• progress reports
• reading log
• record generator
• report card grading
• resource list
• student data
• teacher’s journal
• track attendance and hours
• weighted grading

Student-Oriented Education Software

Software that students may use to complete assignments include word processing and spreadsheet programs and presentation software, like that found in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), or its counterpart Open Office, or iWork (for Apple computers). Software that is subject specific ranges from game software in which educational material is incorporated to serious study of topics, like the Rosetta Stone software for language learning.  Here is a list of some areas for which student-oriented education software is available:

  • addition and subtraction
  • algebra
  • anatomy
  • art history
  • astronomy
  • Bible study
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • colors and shapes
  • counting
  • English study for non-native speakers
  • foreign language study, such as French, Italian, German, and Spanish
  • fractions and decimals
  • geography
  • geometry
  • multiplication and division
  • music appreciation
  • music composition
  • music theory
  • musical instrument instruction
  • phonics
  • physics
  • reading
  • SAT, ACT, and PSAT test preparation
  • social studies
  • spelling
  • the US Constitution
  • thinking skills
  • typing
  • vocabulary
  • weather
  • writing

There is also software available for programming, web design, illustration, architectural design, animation, theater set and costume design, novel writing, and more.

Networked School Software

Some software is designed for deployment on a school network, with the teacher being able to control access, levels, and other items, and students each having access to their own account, that the teacher sets up appropriately for the student’s level of development and knowledge. For example, Sibelius 7 music notation software features a network license option and classroom controls that allow the teacher to manage a computer lab in which students compose music.