Monthly Archives: May 2016

Alternatives for College Education

Taking a break after high school can be very beneficial. You could learn a new skill or travel around the world. This article lists some great ways to spend your gap year, and alternatives to college.

After completing high school, not every teenager wants to go to college. Some want to start working and living independently, while others want to have a gap year where they can take time to find themselves and try to understand what they want from life. Whatever it is, it should contribute to the teenager’s personal growth and development.

Community Service
Get involved in community service and do social work. Helping the community can benefit the teen in many ways. He will be able to gain professional experience, and perhaps consider taking it up as a career. Other than that, community service helps to promote personal growth and self-esteem, bring people together, strengthen the community, and give volunteers a chance to give back to the community. The most important benefit is that the teen will be making a difference in the world, a feeling he can treasure for the rest of his life. By doing community service, the teen will know the importance of working hard and taking responsibility in life.

Apprenticeship
A teenager could learn a trade by working as an apprentice in the business of his choice. If he is interested in joining or opening his own advertising firm in the future, he can then work at an advertising agency for a year after high school. This will help gain a basic idea of how this industry works. In addition to that, he can get the necessary certificates from the company which will help him to get a job in the same field in the future.

Military
Joining the military right after high school has many benefits. A teen can learn a great deal about himself after joining the military. He can learn values such as patriotism, discipline, teamwork, leadership, etiquette, and keeping fit. At the same time, he can earn enough money to fund his college education. If he does not want to continue further education, the military experience will help him to get good civilian jobs as well.

Travel
Taking a break and traveling to new places will help the teen meet new people and learn about various cultures. He will be able to learn about how people from different communities live, what cultural values they follow, etc. With globalization and people from many countries working together in organizations now, this knowledge about other cultures will help him in the future.

Vocational Training
One of the most useful options is vocational training. The teen can learn various trades such as nursing, accountancy, carpentry, cooking, medicine, etc. A student can get enrolled in a certificate program for the trade of his choice. Once he learns the skills and earns the appropriate qualifications, he can pursue it as a career.

These are a few alternatives which a teenager can choose to effectively spend and utilize his time after high school. Care should be taken that he is engaged in something that adds to his experience, knowledge, and personal growth.

Activities for Preschoolers

Looking for something innovative to engage the preschool kids? Here is our collection of outer space activities for preschoolers that will get them interested in exploring the universe and also teach them a little about our solar system and more.

Remember when you were taught this nursery rhyme? It was probably during your preschool years, right? This was when you were first introduced to the concept of outer space and you probably never realized it! What is outer space? For preschoolers, it is a mystery. Outer space activities meant for preschool kids should get them interested to explore outer space, in their own small way.

Outer space is the region of perfect vacuum. It is the space in which objects such as the planets and their natural satellites move along their trajectories. It is where stars form and die. There is so much more that happens in the outer space and there is so much that’s yet to be discovered. Bombarding the kids with such scientific terms and concepts will not work. But introducing them to the universe through fun activities will. In this Buzzle article, we are going to look at some interesting activities for preschoolers that will help them know about the solar system and other celestial bodies. We’ve included art activities, puzzles, and fun games. Take a look and pick what you like.
Outer Space Activities for Preschool Kids

Solar System

Our first set of outer space activities is built around the solar system. It’s one of the most basic areas of knowledge pertaining to space. It’s a good idea to introduce the kids to our solar system through interesting activities that will help them know what it is and why it is called so, how many and which planets it holds, and more.

  • Create a 3-d model of our solar system out of clay or paper and explain it to the kids.
  • Conduct an activity to have them remember the names or some fun facts about the planets. You could give them a line like “My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nice Pudding” (where the first letter of each word stands for a planet’s name) or ask them to come up with a line of their own.
  • Organize an art and craft activity for the preschoolers, where they model the entire solar system or some planets in it.
  • Conduct a word game where they complete the spellings of planets.
  • Have a quiz where you say a letter and the kids are needed to give you a planet’s name starting from it.
  • Show them pictures (online or from books) about how the planets look, whether they have rings, whether they are hot or cold, and so on.
  • Give them paper cutouts of planets and have the kids color them, and/or stick them on a chart paper.
  • Take the kids to an open space and arrange for a telescope. Let them view the planets.

As They Imagine

A different way to get the kids to explore space it to have them imagine it. Through pictures or videos, provide them with some interesting information about space. Ask them to think about the Earth, the Moon, the Sun, and the sky as it looks during the day and at night. Then let the activities begin.

  • Have them create drawings of the outer space.
  • Give them a “Match the pairs” quiz to match objects in space with their colors or shapes, or pictures of celestial bodies (such as the Sun, Moon, or the stars) with their names.
  • On a drawing or model of anything related to outer space (our solar system or the night sky, for example), let the kids take turns to point out/label the objects they know.

Sizes and Distances

The following set of activities is built around sizes and distances in space. Obviously, giving them mathematical figures is not going to help. But some fun activities may help introduce them to the enormity of space or help them distinguish between the sizes of objects in space.

  • Give them cards with facts like “Venus is almost the size of the Earth” or “the Moon is smaller than the Sun”, and so on. Then give them an exercise to arrange various bodies in space in the order of their size (You could give them ping-pong balls of different sizes and colors).
  • Give them statements like “the Earth is bigger than the Moon” and have them draw the two showing the difference in their sizes.
  • Give the kids some simple facts about the distances between planets or other bodies in space. For instance, tell them that Venus is closest to the Earth and that Pluto is the farthest from Earth. Now give them three ping-pong balls representing the three bodies and ask the kids to arrange them such that the difference in the distances is shown.
  • Teach them to count from 1 to 9 while they also learn the planet names.
  • Create a model of the solar system and draw their attention to the differences in the sizes of different planets.

Astronomy

Astronomy is the study of the universe as a whole. It includes the study or not just planets and stars, but also comets, satellites, and other such objects in space. Activities built around this will be purely informational. They can be made interesting with the help of audio-visual aids. Here’s what you could do.

  • Show the children interesting videos of space flights, how a rocket takes off, a space mission, the moon landing, etc.
  • Show them pictures of astronomers giving them a brief account of each one’s work.
  • Give them some interesting information about famous space research organizations.
  • Take the children to a nearby planetarium.

Aliens

One of the most fascinating aspects of outer space is aliens. Children are bound to have questions like, how aliens look, what they eat, and how they communicate. You may organize short story-telling sessions and narrate to them interesting stories about aliens. To add some fun to this activity, get some spacesuits and masks for them to wear. You could have activities like these:

  • Have a fancy dress competition themed ‘alien’.
  • Have the kids take turns to tell imaginary stories of aliens.
  • Collect fun experiences that people claim to have had with aliens and narrate their stories to the kids.
  • Have the kids draw aliens as they imagine them to be.
  • Create a jigsaw puzzle of an alien figure and have the kids solve it.
  • Have them enact alien behavior.
  • Help them find words related to aliens or give them such words and their meanings.
  • Make coloring pages based on the theme.

These were some interesting and educational outer space activities for preschoolers. Though the kids are too young to understand the mysteries of outer space, fun activities can definitely help introduce them to the amazing universe that we all are a part of.

Tips to Concentrate on Your Homework

Homework is a task that needs all your concentration in order to be completed. However, the level of concentration differs from person to person. If you are amongst those who get distracted very easily, it’s time to change the way you do your homework. Read the following article to improve your concentration required for completing the homework in time.

Any task that is supposed to be completed at home can be termed as homework. There are a few students who are excellent in their classwork, but face difficulty while doing their homework. This is because of a lack of concentration which also includes distractions present in the house. There are a few adjustments to be done to improve your focus on homework and obtain good grades. Let us try to find out appropriate techniques to concentrate while doing homework in order to get it done faster.

What Not to Do

I believe once we have determined what not to do, it is easier to decide on what to do. Following are a few things you can avoid while doing homework.

  • Don’t sit anywhere near a television, computer or any other source of distraction. Even if they are switched off, you might just feel like switching on the television and watching it for sometime. So it’s better to keep them out of sight until you are done with your homework.
  • Don’t get distracted by a knock at the door; it can be attended by someone else.
  • Don’t ever procrastinate. It will make you even more tired and stressed out which is bad. Furthermore, you won’t like doing it at all and will end up wasting valuable time. Ultimately, you will regret not doing it when you had time for it.
  • Never save the difficult part of your homework till the end, finish it off as early as possible. It may require more time, hence you may not be able to finish it on time. On the other hand, even if you manage to do it, you are likely to make mistakes and run into a risk of bad grades. Likewise, never try to do the incomplete homework between two periods or lunch break, reason being the same that you might end up doing it incorrectly, which will again affect your grades.
  • Never copy stuff from others as you might get caught, and apart from that it is in no way beneficial to you.
  • Lastly, do not ponder too much looking for different ways to concentrate on homework; just get it done.

What TO Do

Now that you are sure about what not to do, focus on what you shall do to concentrate on your homework.

  • Firstly, find a quiet place free of distractions. It is said that nature increases your productivity and concentration, so arrange your desk at the side of a window that offers you the backyard view. However, make sure that there are no distractions outside.
  • Secondly, keep the required materials handy so that you won’t have to get up often and lose the link of whatever you are doing.
  • Your posture is very important while doing homework. You should sit upright in a chair with the desk in front to allow proper blood flow throughout the body. Avoid being too comfortable (like sitting on the bed or wearing a night suit) as you can feel sleepy.
  • Try to speak aloud if you are reciting anything. It will keep you focused and unaffected by the disturbance in the surroundings.
  • You should plan a homework schedule and follow it honestly. If you feel stressed-out at some point and want to take an unplanned break, make a note of it in your schedule. This will help you be along the time-table, however do not overdo it. Set deadlines which will help you complete not only the work at school or college level, but throughout life too.
  • Take a break in between for at least 10 minutes. This will refresh your mind and make you feel relaxed mentally as well as physically. Avoid watching television or playing games during the break, instead, listen to a few soothing music tracks. This will enhance your concentration level for the remaining homework activity.
  • Eat before you begin again. Eating healthy snacks during a task will give you energy and sharpen your memory.
  • Request your family members to give you privacy until the work is done.
  • Finally, do not hesitate to reward yourself after completing the work because rewards are meant for appreciation of good work and motivation to continue the effort. Either do things you were longing for during the work or treat yourself at your favorite restaurant.

Tips for Parents

Parents’ role comes into the picture when we consider children ranging from 1st to the 5th grade. These children need proper guidance in their homework because they are not yet capable of planning out their schedule. Apart from their ability, they live in a world of gadgets; they surf, play games, listen to music on their iPods, and what not. With so many potential distractions, it becomes difficult for children to get away and concentrate on homework. What can parents do to deal with such a situation? I am sure all parents have some or the other way to make their children focus, however, the ways sometimes can be too rigid and your child might get frustrated. He/she then won’t feel like doing the task anymore which might bring in complications regarding his/her academic progress. That is why here are a few tips that can be effective to make your child stay focused while doing not only homework but also any other task in life.

  • Firstly, if you think your child is mature enough to understand the benefits of homework, go ahead and explain it to him. This will make your task easier and your child will do the task willingly.
  • Plan out a homework schedule for your child. The important thing in the schedule should be the time. Set rules for homework time to avoid disturbances during the task. Matters can be even worse in summer when other children begin their vacation at different times. It is better to be flexible in the planning, and adjust according to the changes.
  • Next important thing is to do away with the distractions. As I have said earlier, the distractions have enough potential to make the child lose focus on his/her task and spend time in other less important things. You should not allow the child to get distracted by television, computer, or video games. In fact, you can promise to play along once the homework is finished. However, you can allow him/her to listen to music because for some people, music is a good way to concentrate. Playing some instrumental or classical music tracks in the background can be effective.
  • A reward can make a lot of difference in motivating your child to concentrate on his homework. However, it should not turn into bribing because the child may get into the habit of expecting returns for every task, which is not at all a good thing. Try to avoid material rewards as they can easily turn into bribes. Instead, you can assure them of spending some quality time together. You can also make them come up with stuff they would like to do after completing their homework in the given time.
  • Motivation is another important factor that can do a lot to improve your child’s concentration, and praise will do the job of motivation for you. Appreciate even the smallest effort made by the child which will reinforce the motivational spirit.

These are some guidelines, which will help concentrate on your homework. Find ways to make your assignments more interesting. If you have a choice, select topics that interest you. For some more tips, you can always talk to your teacher, a counselor, or even your parents as they are capable of guiding and supporting you.

Helping Children Doing Homework them

There have been many research studies conducted that demonstrate the benefits of having children do homework, both to reinforce lessons learned in class and to encourage an interest in learning on their own. According to these studies, children who spend more time on meaningful, regular homework assignments do much better in school than those who do not. Because of the active and busy lifestyles of parents and children nowadays, sometimes, it seems as though children are given too much homework. But because scholastic abilities are more important than extracurricular ones when it comes to future career success, it is well worth it to help your child get the most out of completing his or her assignments regularly.

When planning your child’s schedule for activities outside school, such as sports, church, youth clubs, or social gatherings, you should assume that your child will have studying to do every weeknight. Be sure your child knows that you think homework is important, and you expect him to tackle it no matter how challenging or boring it may seem. If you are not home while your child is doing his homework, make sure he knows that you will be following up with him after you get home. Always ask to see his completed homework before going to bed, to be sure he has completed it.

Discuss his stuff and ask if he understood the assignments. If he’s having trouble completing something, you may want to sit with him and work a few examples together, helping him understand how to complete the assignment. Whatever you do, DON’T do your child’s homework for him. Instead, help him learn how to do it himself, and help him learn how to ask meaningful questions and do the research necessary to complete an assignment. Ask your kid to show you his completed work after it is returned by the teacher, so you can find out if there are any areas where he is having any trouble. This will also give you insight as to whether or not your child is meeting the teacher’s goals for learning.

Stay in touch with your child’s teachers, and be as involved in parent activities as your schedule allows. Ask teachers how you can support the curriculum they are teaching, and ask your school if they have any particular tips or guidelines for helping your child develop good study habits. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a teacher if your kid doesn’t understand an assignment, or if you feel an assignment is unwarranted or too difficult for your child. If your child is having trouble with homework, he or she may also be having trouble in class, so catching problems early will allow you and your child to overcome educational challenges, before they become insurmountable.

Do your best to encourage your child to look forward to homework and the challenges it presents. Help him learn to do it himself and take pride in his work. Make it a habit to praise him regularly for doing well. For a younger child, proudly display his best work. For an older child, reward accomplishments with special treats or allowing him to participate in an activity he enjoys. If he has trouble keeping track of long-term or weekly homework, help him learn to organize assignments by recording them on calendars or planners, along with due dates and dates turned in.

Remember, you and your child’s teachers have the same goal with homework―to help your child learn. Help support the teachers, and ultimately your child, by ensuring that he gets the most out of doing homework.