Fun Family Learning Events Happening This Weekend

This post is brought to you by Remake Learning Days and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Today I’m excited to share about Remake Learning Days Across America and the special events happening around the country, including here in Chicago, this weekend. From Remake Learning (which began in 2007), the festival Remake Learning Days was developed to provide opportunities for parents and caregivers to experience learning with their children. The festival, now in it’s fourth year, lets families with children from pre-k through high school have hands-on, relevant, engaging educational experiencesThe mission is to inspire youth to find their passion and learn important skills like creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration that will help them navigate the rapid social and technological changes that are happening. I believe that offering opportunities like this is vital in preparing our children for the future and the fact that the majority of these events are free and accessible to all families helps close the equity gap in education.

This festival is supported by the lead sponsor, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and presenting sponsors, The Grable Foundation and Schmidt Futures but features several hundred innovative learning events that are hosted by a variety of organizations and schools. The events are designed to be hands-on and relevant educational experiences that let kids and their families learn alongside one another and encourage youth to develop their sense of creativity, perseverance and curiosity. The events are organized by different learning themes such as Arts, Maker, Outdoor Learning, Science, Technology and Youth Voice. In addition, there are Professional Development sessions for school, out-of-school, childcare and non-traditional educators. 

    • Arts features hands-on learning and expression through all kids of art including: theatre, dance, visual art, music, photography, and more!
    • “Making” is about taking things apart and putting it back together. Tinker, build, and create with all kinds of materials. Try a 3D printer, take apart a toy to see what’s inside and then rebuild it, or create a marshmallow tower!
    • Outdoor Learning is about experiencing and learning about the natural world. How can we think about the environment, sustainability, and more by exploring our very own back yards?
    • Science is all about experimentation! Kids and adults can explore chemistry, biology, geography and more. How does our world work? What can we test and explore in the world around us?
    • Technology gives kids the chance to explore their digital world. Want to try coding? Build robots? Learn circuitry? Look for technology events that help you discover new things.
    • Youth Voice is about youth leadership and amplifying youth voice. Youth have the ability to express themselves in so many ways such as: through audio, video, art, music, and more. Youth voice-related events highlight how youth express themselves in their own ways.

Remake Learning began in 2007 and this year is providing opportunities for parents/caregivers to experience learning with their children through festivals in nine regions thanks to national partnerships with PBS and Digital Promise (an organization that aims to close the digital learning gap). Eastern Kentucky and Knoxville, TN already had their events in April but here are the ones happening this weekend still:

  • Southwestern Pennsylvania, May 9-19
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania, May 15-24
  • West Virginia, May 9-19
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee, May 11-18
  • Chicago, IL, May 16-19
  • Triangle Region (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill), North Carolina, May 17-18
  • Northeast Ohio, May 15-19

Want to find events near you? Check out the map of events here. What I love most is the variety of opportunities there are. Looking at events around Chicago I see workshops where kids can learn about electricity, a puzzle club, a chemistry class where kids can make bath bombs, and a career development opportunity to learn from a scientist about their job. There really is something for everyone! I’d encourage families to check out all the events and then choose some that interest your child and some that might introduce them to new concepts or careers. You never know what will spark an interest!

RLDAA events not nearby you? New regions are welcome to join Remake Learning Days Across America and host their own version of Remake Learning Days! Learn more here on how you can share your event as a RLD Pop-Up event.

 

 

 

 

Math Made Fun With Online Classes From Revolution Math

Thanks to Revolution Math for sponsoring this post and offering this amazing offer to my readers.

Math was never my strong subject in school so when it comes to homework time I’m not much help. Luckily, thanks to amazing teachers, my two boys have found math much easier than I did but they still struggle with some of the more difficult concepts sometimes, especially Lucas. I was excited to learn about Revolution Math, interactive learning classes that combine live tutoring with an immersive, story-based curriculum.

Revolution Math is an innovative program designed to help 2nd-5th graders develop their math skills and an overall love of learning. The live, online interface integrates an interactive learning experience with a story-based curriculum and Common Core aligned math games. Students enjoy a small class size of up to 4 students, allowing them to build confidence under the instruction of a dedicated teacher.

Jacob’s Revolution Math teacher starts the class by reminding kids of her two rules: “it’s okay to make mistakes” and “have fun”. I love that Revolution Math makes math fun. I believe that kids are more likely to pick up concepts this way! They read a fun story together and then complete math tasks to help the story characters. Hearing kids laugh while learning math is an amazing sound.

Also, with the small class sizes (Jake is the solo student in his class and Luke has one other student in his), children really get personalized help. Both boys have teachers that are patient when the kids make mistakes and help them through things they are having difficulties with. Children can spend time walking through concepts with the teacher to make sure they don’t just come up with the right answer but they understand and can share how they came to the answer they did. I loved hearing Lucas explain how he figured something out and it really showed me that he understood the concept because he could explain it to the teacher and the other student.

I also like that Revolution Math typically introduces concepts to kids before they will learn it in school so that when it’s introduced in school they are familiar with the concepts already. With as limited as math time is each school day, children will benefit from having this extra weekly time with the concepts so when the homework comes home it’s much easier for them to work through because they’ve already learned the lesson and had review time!

Want this year to be the best yet for your child in regards to math?! I’m excited to be able to offer a great deal to my readers so that you all can try out Revolution Math in your own homes as school is starting this back-to-school season. Revolution Math is offering Making Time For Mommy readers a one month trial for only $1!

This $1 trial includes 4 weeks of Revolution Math’s live online classes and a complimentary learning kit sent directly to your home (a $199 package value!). Use the code MAKINGTIME1 to get the $1 trial. It’s a great way to try the program out, with no obligation to continue if it’s not a good fit (though I think you’ll discover it’s amazing and want to keep going after the month is up)!

Have questions about Revolution Math? You can learn more (and sign up for the $1 trial) here. Also, feel free to contact me if you have questions or want to hear more about our experience so far!

 

Over A Million Dollars In Donations To Schools

This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

I love companies that give back so it’s been great partnering with Staples this year to help share about their Staples for Students program. Staples, with their partner Katy Perry, teamed up to help hundreds of teachers and schools by fulfilling $1 million in classroom projects through the non-profit organization DonorsChoose.org. Their donation was driven by a statistic from the Education Market Association that an estimated 99.5 percent of all public school teachers use their own money to equip their classrooms, frequently at a cost of more than $400 per year.

This year Staples was able to fulfill 1,072 classroom projects across the country, providing 787 teachers in 402 schools with their classroom needs, and impacting 98,609 students. Additionally, Staples customers nationwide donated more than $330,000 to DonorsChoose.org at Staples stores and www.StaplesForStudents.com.

Superstar singer Katy Perry said that teaming up with Staples taught her “firsthand how important it is to support our nation’s teachers, and how often they are forced to dig into their own pockets to provide even the most basic school supplies for their students”. Perry also says that she is “delighted” that their efforts have “helped pave the way for students to realize their dreams”.

In addition to donations, Katy Perry and Staples were giving away a $50,000 scholarship. That grand prize winner was just announced yesterday, October 13th when Katy Perry presented Patricia O’Keefe and her son Matthew from Deep River, Conn. with a $50,000 scholarship at a Winners VIP Celebration in Los Angeles. Matthew is a senior in high school and is currently applying to colleges for enrollment in fall 2017. Four lucky first prize winners and one guest each also joined the celebration and met Katy Perry.

This program has really done amazing things in the community. Thank you to all who have helped make this campaign a success by making donations online or in store. The donations made this year will have lasting impacts on the classrooms that they helped!

 

A Parent’s Fight For Special Education Services

There are many things in life that I take for granted and, before becoming a mom, I assumed that public education for my children would be one of them. I was wrong. My children go to public school but I no longer take their education for granted and that’s because I’ve had to go through numerous fights with the school districts to get it. This is a fight that many parents of children with special needs know too well.

Lucas is on the Autism Spectrum so he is protected by a Special Education law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which says it is his right to receive free appropriate education (FAPE) from the school district. Appropriate education should be uniquely designed to meet his needs. The problem develops when the parent and school differ on what “appropriate” means and sadly, as I’ve learned, this doesn’t mean they need to provide the best education for him, just an adequate one that’s enough to get him from one grade to the next.

My fight for my youngest son began before his first day of school even started. Having been in the state’s early intervention program, his first day of public school was the day he turned three years old which happened to be during the district’s extended school year (also known as ESY or summer school). The school insisted he be put in their general education preschool room even though I was adamantly against it for a number of reasons. They told me they’d see how it went then we’d meet once the new school year started and if he needed to be moved to their special education classroom they’d do that (after the school year had started). I repeatedly told them I didn’t agree with that decision but in the end had no choice but to let the school put him where they wanted to put him for ESY.

His first day of school went horrible, as I had expected. The environment in that classroom became unsafe for both him and the other children. He had numerous meltdowns and had escaped the room a couple times. The staff in there was not trained to handle children with special needs. And I’ll never forget the homework he came home with that first day. My child, who had just turned 3 that day and had a speech delay, was being asked to “describe a baseball game using your five senses”. This child who spoke only a handful of words, didn’t know what baseball was and didn’t know any of his five senses, was definitely in the wrong classroom.

The teachers in the room, and finally the Principal, also ended up realizing that the general education setting was not appropriate for him but I still had to fight for weeks to have the meeting scheduled for before the school year started. They kept insisting we’d just have another meeting once the school year started and then he was would be switched to the other program. To me, it didn’t make sense to start the school year in one program and move him a week in and I believed that would be detrimental to him, causing unneeded stress and problems. They finally agreed to have the meeting before the school year started and changed his placement to a Special Education classroom.

He was put into an appropriate classroom for the school year that was specifically designed for children who had Autism. It was a small class size with numerous aides and therapists in the room at a time and ran a couple hours longer than the typical preschool day. There were picture schedules, repetition, built in therapy and everything my son needed- including a room staffed with people that understood and had experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum.

Lucas had two great years of preschool. The last year he even started taking a daily trip to the general education classroom (accompanied by an aide) to spend 15-30 minutes at a time in there, testing a new environment. Having found success in those short periods of time in the general education class, Luke’s team decided to give him a split day when he went to Kindergarten. Since our neighborhood school didn’t have an Autism specific classroom they bussed him across town, to the school that did. Though our district only had half day kindergarten, Luke would spend the whole day at school because they felt that academically and socially just a couple hours was not enough for him. He would go to AM Kindergarten in their Autism classroom, eat lunch, and then spend the second half of his day (accompanied by an aide) in the PM general education Kindergarten classroom. It was the best situation that I could have dreamed of and it was designed to give him everything he needed to learn. He’d have one on one assistance and a smaller group for some of the day but still get some time to interact with children who were higher functioning and could model language and social skills which is what he had been missing in the Autism only classroom.

A few months into the Kindergarten school year we ended up moving to a new district and I found myself fighting for his educational needs again. This was a smaller district with a smaller Special Education staff and budget. The district didn’t offer full day kindergarten and wouldn’t allow him to go to both the AM and PM sessions. They also did not offer a special education classroom or would bus him somewhere that did like the other school was doing. So they cut his school day in half, took away his time in a special education classroom, took his bus services away and reduced the amount of time he worked with therapists. They still gave him an aide to help him as he navigated the school day but I felt completely defeated. Almost everything I had fought for was gone. To make matters worse, my son went from being in the middle of his class academically, to being in the bottom one percent by the end of his Kindergarten year.

So he started off first grade extremely behind and, though I think he made huge advances during his first grade year, he is still behind. Now he’s headed into second grade next year and I’m back to fighting the school district again. This time I’m trying to get him in our district’s extended school year program (or ESY) for academics. This program helps children who have shown academic regression in the past so that they don’t fall even farther behind than they already are. Though my son has in fact shown regression previously, and was in summer school last year, I was told that this year the Special Education director of the district said he doesn’t qualify because of his test scores. My son, who is going into second grade and can’t put letter sounds together to read words, does not qualify for academic summer school because his reading test score, at the bottom 27% of his class, is not “low” enough? That reading test score of 27% was with assistance, since my son requires help taking all tests, which only makes me wonder what his test scores really would be if he had taken it himself and not had help. In my eyes he is qualified because he has previously shown regression and is behind academically so I have to call the Special Education Director and try to get her to reverse her decision by asking her to actually look at his file, his IEP, his teacher’s notes and perhaps even talk to his teachers and therapists (who all felt he would benefit).

I just wish that parents of children with special needs didn’t have to fight for Special Education services that our children need. Our children are entitled to an education that is tailored to their special needs and a placement that will allow them to make educational progress. I’m not satisfied with my child just barely making it to the next grade. Scoring in the bottom 27% on a reading test (that he had help with) and being told the school district views that as “acceptable”, when reading is the basis of almost everything else he will do in school, is not okay. I want him to have a shot at success, like every other child does, and I’m going to fight until he has an even playing field.

Have you been through a similar struggle? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

18 Summer STEM Activities Suggested By K-12 Teachers

My boys have only been out of school since Thursday and I already feel like it’s going to be a long summer. I’m so excited to share 15 STEM activities that were suggested by a handful of K-12 teachers. These fun activities will keep kids busy this summer and keep kids learning at the same time.

1. Take a field trip to your local wastewater plant and/or water treatment facility. Tours are usually free but need to be scheduled beforehand. This is a great way for kids (and parents) to learn about water management processes and what we can do to help conserve water and properly care for our water resources. Water management systems involve many fields, including, but not limited to, biology, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and environmental engineering.

2. With so many products now being manufactured, many students do not get much experience with hand tools. One great summer project is to design and build a small structure with your kids, such as a dog house or a tree house. There are many design plans online that you can study before creating and building your own design!

3. Want a fun and educational adventure for the whole family? Visit a glass blowing studio to see demonstrations and/or take classes. This is a great way to experience the beauty of combining STEM with art through a creative manufacturing process!

4. Girls: Watch the TED Talk about Debbie Sterling (inventor and CEO of GoldieBLOX) about her journey as a female engineer and her quest to inspire young girls to pursue engineering.

5. Do science experiments with pill bugs! Here’s a great blog with wonderful science experiments to do over the summer using the Pill Bug.

6. Create with cardboard boxes. There are so many fun things you can create with cardboard boxes to inspire the inner engineer in your child! Here are some ideas:

  • Design and build a car out of cardboard. Families could park their cars in the living room and enjoy a family night watching a movie in their own drive-in!
  • Design an arcade game! Get some inspiration from a 9-year-old boy named Caine who created his very own cardboard arcade. http://cainesarcade.com
  • Create a miniature golf course. Q-Tips and paper towel and toilet paper rolls work great!
7. Put together an inventors box! By having a “Tinker” Box at a child’s disposal it will encourage them to use their imagination and natural curiosity to design and build, not to mention it can also store all their items for building. I have a couple of rules for my kiddos at home: if it’s in the box, they can use it how they see fit in their designs. However, if there is something they want to use that is not in the box, they must ask for permission.

Items to include in the box: small boxes, toilet paper and paper towel tubes, yarn, egg cartons, empty butter tubs, broken toys, old toy parts, tape of all kinds, empty cereal boxes, white glue, glue sticks, paper clips, string, left over craft materials, construction paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, cotton balls, and any recycled materials around the house. The list could really go on and on. Make sure all materials are safe for children to use.

One fun idea for your child’s tinker box is to design a boat that can hold 10 to 20 pennies and then try to float it in the sink, bathtub, or small pool.

8. Read a book that introduces students to STEM and their inner inventor. Here are some ones to check out (affiliate links):

9. The Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest is an Internet-based competition that provides middle school and high school students with a realistic, engaging introduction to engineering. While the contest for 2016 has ended, you can still download the free software and try your hand at bridge design to get a leg up on next year’s competition!

10. Robot Virtual Worlds – Expedition Atlantis! Download this fun activity to learn how to code, incorporate math skills, and expand on your proportional reasoning skills!

11. Many colleges and universities offer STEM summer programs. The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), offers a “RoboCamp” that is great for students. They actually have a week long robotics camp, as well as weekend programs. Look up a university or college program like it close to you. What kid wouldn’t like to go away for the weekend or the week and delve into the world of robotics?

12. Attend a local “Rocket Launch”! See rockets large and small take to the skies on a monthly basis at a local rocket club’s launch site. The Syracuse rocket club hosts a monthly launch and invites the public to come and watch, and even build one and launch it with them! Do a google search to see if there are any rocket clubs or launches near you.

13. Visit a local science museum or STEM-based museum to keep students’ interest piqued all summer long. Most have daily activities and lots of hands-on displays as well as an I-MAX theater.

14. Try your hand at the various tutorials on the MIT App Inventor website. Basic tutorials are great to start, and once you have a basic understanding, try the QuizMe tutorial to help students understand the concept of List and how to use indexes to iterate through them.

15.  STRETCH your body. Use stretching techniques to become more flexible. Then research the changes in your ligaments and muscles that have to happen for you to become more flexible. Record your observations.

16. Design your own toothbrush. What do you wish could be better about your current toothbrush? What issues do you see with it? Design a better version and test it. Record the steps you took to identify the problem, design a new toothbrush, and your final observations in a notebook.

18.  Collect water samples from different areas in your house and backyard. Look at small drops with a high magnification magnifying glass. Do you see anything moving? Then research the various things contained in water.

Thanks to Project Lead the Way (PLTW) for sharing these ideas! PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S., in more than 8,000 schools nationwide. Special thanks to the following teachers for providing the ideas:
  • April Moon (@aprilsunshine77), Robert and Patricia Kern National Teacher of the Year – Waxahachie, TX, PLTW Engineering Master Teacher (Ideas 1-4)
  • Kelly Wheeler (@kwheeler_kelly), PLTW Launch Teacher of the Year – Menifee, CA (Ideas 5-8)
  • Beth Fox (@bfox01), PLTW Gateway Teacher of the Year – Lenoir, NC (Ideas 9-10)
  • Chris Hurd (@CazHSTechLabs), PLTW Engineering Teacher of the Year – Cazenovia, NY (Ideas 11-13)
  • Darwin Shorters (@MrShorters), PLTW Computer Science Teacher of the Year – Charleston, SC (Idea 14)
  • Dr. Julye Adams (@DrJulyeAdams), PLTW Biomedical Science Teacher of the Year – Georgetown, KY (Ideas 15-18)

 

Literacy Events Around The Nation Today

Join the record-breaking literacy celebration today, October 3, with Jumpstart! People all across the country will read the children’s book Otis by Loren Long in support of Jumpstart’s mission to work towards the day that every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Joined by Tiffani Thiessen, actress and star of USA’s White Collar, Jumpstart hopes to break last year’s record of 2.3 million participants reading the same book at the same time.

Jumpstart will host several large scale events on October 3 in cities and towns across the country with marquee events in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. In addition, many of Jumpstart’s campaign Reading Partners and sponsors will be hosting events. Gymboree will host events in every Gymboree, Janie & Jack, Crazy 8, and Gymboree Play & Music locations across the country. Additionally, official Reading Partner, We Give Books will have Otis available to read online for free in both English and Spanish at www.wegivebooks.org.

”Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is a meaningful way for Americans to support the critical need for high-quality early education in our country,” said Jumpstart’s president and CEO, Naila Bolus. “We know that for children living in low-income communities, this need is significant. By the time these children enter kindergarten, they are already 60% behind their more affluent peers. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record brings light to this national issue and gives citizens a platform to voice their support for this cause.”

Learn more at http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/read-record.

Chicago Area Events

Chicago will hold two events today in honor of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record.

Lincoln Park Zoo:

The Lincoln Park Zoo will host three readings of “Otis” by Loren Long on Thursday morning. The readings are open to the public, and U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley will attend. Readings are at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Chicago Children’s Museum:

The Chicago Children’s Museum will also hold an event. Kraft Family Free Night will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is open to the public. There will be readings of “Otis“ throughout the night.

 

 

Stand With The Children Of Syria‏ {One Tweet = One Dollar Donated}

As Malala Yousafzai recently said, “We must not forget that 57 million children are out of school. We must speak up for peace and development in Nigeria, Syria and Somalia… let us help them through our voice, action and charity.  Let us help them to read books and go to school.”

2 million people are now displaced refugees of Syria. 1 million of them are children.

These children have lost the home they’ve known, often, their families, and the opportunity to grow and prosper as they struggle to grasp what has just happened to them.

Many organizations in neighboring countries such as UNHCR, UNICEF, Save the Children, the World Food Programme and others are working to provide them with essential shelter, food, and the chance to continue their education.  But the resources needed for this work are severely lacking.

A World At School has developed a plan to provide Education without Borders so that the Syrian refugee children in Lebanon can go to school within a few weeks.  But they need your help to make this a reality.

Here are a few ways you can help do this:

1) Sign the petition we will deliver to world leaders on September 23rd asking them to fund education for Syrian refugees.

2) Tweet for good – every time this tweet is shared, $1 will be donated to humanitarian aid – at no cost to you:

Click to Tweet your support for Syria's child refugees
3) Donate to efforts on the ground to establish schools, provide books, and other humanitarian aid.  Just $34 USD can provide a ‘back to school kit’ so a child can continue their education and $72 can provide food for a family for an entire month.  Check out ways to donate here

If you can’t donate at this time I hope you will still lend your voice to this important cause with a signature and a tweet.

(Content courtesy of A World At School.)

Send A Child To School For Only A $1 A Day

It’s back to school season and I’ve been busy getting supplies and new clothes, filling out paperwork, and celebrating the first day of school in special ways. Most of the other moms in my area and in my online networks are doing the same thing. Not all families are so lucky.

Did you know that a staggering 130 million children around the world are not in school? 70% are girls. It’s been shown that a girl with just one extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult.

Opportunity International knows that education is a pathway out of poverty and has seen the accelerator effect it has on improving lives and strengthening communities. They have started the Invest in One Child – Back to School Campaign because education is not free in Sub-Saharan Africa. Schools have big costs and the families are forced to cover up to 30% of primary education expenses. Studies have shown that the number one reason that African families do not send their children to school is lack of financial resources. 

Through the Invest in One Child campaign people can help send a child to school for $1 a day. A $240 donation is a representative amount families borrow from Opportunity International to pay for a year of school for one child. As an extra incentive, through the contributions of two generous donors, all donations to Invest in One Child will be matched dollar for dollar up to $35,000. 

Education is a pathway out of poverty and Opportunity International believes in the power of investing in children since they are our future!

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. I am a member of the Global Team of 200 which is a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.)

A New Appreciation For E-Learning Classes

There was a point in my life where I was working and I decided that I wanted to go back to school. Because of the hours I worked I had to take night classes. After a year or so of working during the day and then driving to class at night I decided I was sick of rush hour traffic and thought I’d try online classes instead. I liked that these classes offered me flexibility and that I could learn from the comfort of my home while sitting in my pajamas. I never considered all of the work that went into putting an e-learning experience together until I came upon the below infographic. 200 hours of work for 1 hour of learning!? Wow! No wonder the classes were so expensive! I definitely have a better appreciation for the e-learning classes I took and the people that helped create the classes.

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.)

Online Learning Options For Grades 6-12

I recently had the chance to explore more about online learning at the online school solutions website and also was able to view a demo about Aventa learning.  The curriculum is for teens in grades 6-12.

Here are some of the things I love about this online learning curriculum:

  • Students can begin and complete courses at any time so they can go at their own pace. Some topics and lessons may be easier than others and students can spend more time in areas that they need to.
  • There are discussion forums where students can interact with both teachers and other students.
  • The learning methods vary from hands-on-labs to writing papers to interactive demonstrations online.
  • Students have the option to set up video conferencing with their teachers if they need extra help or have questions.
  • Teachers have access to a white board so they can demonstrate more complex mathematical and science equations to students.
  • Quizzes and exams include a variety of assessment tools.

Before viewing this demo on the learning system I thought that all online learning was like the online courses I took in college where I was given a piece of paper with instructions, a book, and a “study guide” and was expected to use those tools to help me do well in the class. If I had questions about the material I had nobody to go to. If I needed to review something and needed longer than one week for each unit that was just too bad because a week was all I was given. I remember after my first semester of online learning I swore I would never make that mistake again. I think that if my online learning classes had this many options I would have done great in them and may have actually ENJOYED them!

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Here’s a little bit more about why online learning is becoming so popular:

Today’s students, known as the “iGeneration”, are the first to crave and benefit from education “on demand” – or the option to choose where, when and how they want to learn.

To put it in context, the “iGeneration” has never known life without the Internet, being mobile, using avatars, IMing or choosing and watching content whether they are at home, in the car, at a football game or shopping at the mall. To reach them in their high-tech, high-touch world, many parents and educators are looking at how to rewire schools to match how the iGeneration learns.

Taking classes online is one way to give middle and high school students (and their school districts) new options to learn using preferred tools in a familiar environment, and even experience enhanced, one-on-one relationships with educators.  Whether they’re in need of more assistance, looking for wider range of classes or simply prefer to learn in a medium that they have grown up with, online learning can be a great way to fit your child’s needs.

Students are increasingly able to take online classes in partnership with their local school districts.  Schools facing budget cuts and a reduction in teachers are turning to online classes to supplement their curriculum, from offering classes for which they have no teachers, Advanced Placement® classes for students who excel, and credit recovery options for students who struggle.  In fact, today there are 1 million children learning online, either part time, full time or between school terms. Additionally, more than 20 percent of schools and educational institutions around the country offer online classes today, and that number should grow by another 30 percent within a couple of years, according to industry research. (Simba Information).

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(Disclosure: I am really happy that I can share this site with others who are considering online courses but in full disclosure would like to note that I am being compensated for sharing about this website with you. Online learning may or may not be right for your family so please prayerfully consider what is best for your children before choosing any method of learning.)