This is a very common problem for parents – how can I get my child to do their homework? After all, school is school and home is home. After spending a seven hour day in their seats, the last thing kids want to do when they get home is more schoolwork.Continue Reading...
Archives For Paul McGuire
Tomorrow, November 6, 2012, is Election Day. Obama versus Romney for the presidency. 33 out of 100 US Senators will be elected tomorrow. Countless other state and local elections will be held across our nation. Our civic duty is to get out and vote. You’re probably thinking from the title of this post that I’m one of those telling you to boycott the election. Some political loudmouths tell us that there are no qualified candidates so why bother to vote. That’s not the direction in which I’m headed. My post today has a completely different angle…Continue Reading...
I have written on No Child Left Behind in the past. States now have the option to move out from under its provisions. Alabama, unfortunately, has yet to do so. No Child Left Behind has some good points but lately I’ve come to realize that it has an awful lot of bad points. Why? It’s because I’ve heard stories like the following from parentsContinue Reading...
It’s easy to overlook the small scholarships. Schools and organizations advertise these monster scholarships that will pay full tuition, housing, even stipends. And virtually every student that is even remotely eligible will apply. But the small scholarships are often overlooked because teens don’t think they’re worth the effort.
But kids and parents should definitely pay attention to these. These small scholarships, offered by civic organizations, churches, and so forth, may not have many applicants. They may also be limited to certain geography, membership, race or gender, which further limits the candidate pool.
These small scholarships add up, and the math is simple.Continue Reading...
Student loans have a much wider impact than you might expect. Even if you’re making your payments, you may find it tough to borrow more money. Even for a mortgage.
Imagine that you’re a newlywed couple. You’ve been married about eight months and life can’t be better. Both you and your spouse have steady work and a good income.Continue Reading...
Ever felt like you need to get something of your chest?
My Texas friend Trey Gibson and I host this weekly podcast dedicated to family and parenting topics. Check out the show at The Real Family Guys Podcast Episode 17.
Today’s topics include:
We have no prepared program today. Trey and I get a couple of things off our chest. Trey and I both want to be always growing and always getting better. What we’ve found is that unless we can admit our faults and problems then we don’t have a point to grow from. One thing includes the future of The Real Family Guys Podcast. Today Trey and I discuss:Continue Reading...
Who doesn’t like freebies? Especially ones that really have some value to them.
Over the weekend my son called and had been to the doctor. As I’ve talked about before he’s a college student so any unexpected expense can be a challenge. He had a couple of prescriptions and I happened to remember that Publix provides some free antibiotics. Turns out that one of his antibiotics was covered. While it wasn’t much, it was a freebie he could take advantage of when he needed it most.
My wife found this list of freebies from Kiplinger Magazine.Continue Reading...
Are you faced with trying to remember everything for those scholarship applications?
Having a hard time with names, dates, and places?
I found a neat article written by a high school senior in regards to her scholarship search. You can read the story by Chandler Buckingham here, where she chronicles her challenge of remembering everything she has participated in. I definitely remember those times; there was so much to keep track of. It can be a daunting task for any high school junior or senior to remember it all.
I can tell you about one tool that has helped me tremendously – Evernote.
Evernote’s simple tagline is “Remember Everything.” This elegant solution allows you to create a note, which gets saved to the cloud. A note is any piece of information, and as we’ll see later it can be in any number of formats. You can go back and update the note at anytime, delete the note, or share the note with others. Does that sound like it might be helpful to you in recording this information?
Because Evernote stores its data in the cloud, Evernote can be everywhere. You can install and use Evernote on your PC or Mac-based computers. All phone and tablet operating systems are supported, including the iPhone, Android devices, Blackberry, Windows phone and even HP’s WebOS. And, if you find yourself somewhere with only web access, Evernote has a browser version supported by Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome. With this flexibility, you can access all of the information you store in Evernote as long as you have an internet connection. No more misplaced notes.
Evernotecomes in a free version and in a premium version, but I think all that a student needs is the free version. The free version works great and can be an excellent option for storing static information. Each note can be given a URL that can be read and shared through any number of social media outlets.
The essence of Evernote is captured in the note. Notes can contain text, pictures, audio, video, PDFs, or just about any type of data. Your account in Evernote is limited to 100,000 notes, and with free accounts the maximum size of a note is 25 MB. Each note contains some very basic attributes – the creation date, the location expressed as GPS coordinates, the notebook where the note resides, and the URL of the web location if the note’s content was clipped from the web. The note editor allows for some simple formatting as well.
In Evernote, notes are stored within the notebook. Each account can have up to 250 notebooks defined. You can also use tags to categorize your notes. Tags work just like they do in pictures; just create your tags that you frequently use to describe the contents of your notes, tag your notes accordingly, and you have another way to search for notes related to those tags. Tags can be names of activities, people, whatever makes sense to you and will help you remember. You may define up to 10,000 tags in one single Evernote account, and your notes can have as many tags as you’d like to assign to them.
Hopefully you’ve seen the power of Evernote to help you collect and organize all of that scholarship search and college application information. It’s free, easy and really addictive as well. If you get started in high school, you’ll find so many more uses for it in college and later in life. Let Affluent Student show you how to leverage this and other technology for your scholarship search. Check out my Services page to find out more.
Discussion Question – How have you used Evernote successfully as a student or parent? Do you have other tips for capturing this kind of information?
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Does the free distribution of disease-preventing measures encourage sexual activity?
My Texas friend Trey Gibson and I host this weekly podcast dedicated to family and parenting topics. Check out the show at The Real Family Guys Podcast Episode 16. You’ll find a new episode of us there every Friday.
Today’s topics include:
There has been an ongoing debate for years about condom distribution. Should we do it? Does it lead to increased sexual activity among teens? In the last few years the HPV vaccine has also been under the same scrutiny. In short, if we do these things to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, do teens see it as a green light for all sexual activity? Today Trey and I discuss:
- We briefly look at two articles which study these topics
- We take a look at whether sexual activity is on the rise among teens
- We talk about when parents should talk with their kids about sex
- We dive into what signals are sent when parents give out contraceptives
- The physical versus emotional impacts of sex
- What kind of language we should use with our kids about sex
- How much we should tell them about sex (hint – we often don’t go far enough)
- The behaviors that lead to early sexual activity
- How to tell our kids that they can say no with confidence
References mentioned in this post:
But most of all, let us know what you want us to talk about! It can be an issue that you’re having, a news story that you’ve seen, a personal story about your family, and more. Simply use my Contact form or call 205-538-3234to leave a message for me 24 hours a day.
Hopefully your child is back in the swing of things at school now. Your patterns are in place at home and your child knows what to expect and when. They are making new friends, getting their work done, and learning how to relate to their teacher. You haven’t really had the need to approach your kid’s teacher. If that’s the case, you’re in pretty good shape.
But what do you do when your child complains about their teacher? I would guess that a significant percentage of parents face this each year. In our home, we’re currently facing this challenge, so I wanted to talk about possible solutions. I believe there are better ways to approach your kid’s teacher than the ones we may think of at first glance.
I had written a different post for today that relates to some of the challenges that I’m hearing about from different parents. I looked back at it and saw the negative tones throughout the post. I wrote this, though, after hearing only one side of the story. I asked how I might feel if I were a school principal or teacher and saw this post without having heard from the parents. So I decided to shelve that post for now and write today about strategies to approach your kid’s teacher with confidence and enthusiasm.
I have talked about the parent-teacher-student relationship many times in the past. In keeping with those principles, I have the following five tips that you can use to approach your kid’s teacher.
- Back away from the keyboard. For most of us, the thought of a confrontational conversation terrifies us. So we resort to technology to do the confronting for us. We put our words on an email, text, or note to the teacher. When we do this, it becomes a one-way conversation where tone, inflection, and body language are lost in the electronic domain. If you want to write down some notes that’s fine, but resist the urge to click Send. Instead, take these notes to a face-to-face conference with your child’s teacher.
- Go behind closed doors. Usually one parent hears about the school situation from their child, then shares it with the other parent. If this is the case in your home, do that behind closed doors away from your child. This respects the position of the teacher without openly talking about it in front of your children.
- Skip the gossip column. Your child may be experiencing issues that other children are facing, or maybe theirs are unique. It’s tempting to reach out to other parents to discuss your concerns about the teacher. Resist this temptation. These discussions do nothing to change the behavior of the teacher. If other parents have concerns, then they need to speak up as well.
- Seek first to understand. This is habit number five from Stephen Covey’s famous book “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People.” You’ve heard your child’s side of the story; now, go get the teacher’s perspective. As you take your notes into the classroom, simply ask questions to find out more information then stop and wait for a response. Avoid phrases like “My child said…” or “I heard that…” and focus on the question that you want answered. It may take some rehearsal to do this, but it sends the message to the teacher that you’re interested in their point of view. This will almost certainly break down any barrier of confrontation and earn you some respect from the teacher.
- Look for win-win solutions. This is also one of Covey’s habits. Once you have heard from the teacher, think about the ways that you can work together to accomplish the teacher’s goals and make the situation better for your child.
Most teachers are willing to listen and be accommodating to children and parents. Remember that they have a tough job to do and have objectives that they have to meet throughout the school year. By using these techniques to approach your kid’s teacher with respect, you will almost certainly find a middle ground that you, your child, and their teacher can all stand upon.
Discussion Question – How have you approached your child’s teacher successfully?