Help Your Children Become Confident Readers

Help Your Children Become Confident Readers

Kids and Teens

Parents play an important role in supporting the reading development of their children which begins when the children are very small. If we make sure that reading is valued in the family, we increase our chances of ensuring that our children grow up as forever readers for both learning and pleasure. We need to know the strategies that will support confident reading throughout the child's life.


We should set an example for our children beginning in infancy and progressing with the child's developmental level. Children need to see that their parents value reading and will learn this when they see parents reading books and magazines around the house. Simple cloth and board books which can't be destroyed can be used with infants and young children. First, we read to them, let them help hold the book and point to pictures. Next, we can add books with simple stories. Children will begin to point to pictures, then begin to help fill in some of the words. Parents will be well-served by making reading part of everyday which will help support the idea that reading is a good thing which also gets praise from parents.


All children need frequent opportunities to develop their reading skills and parents provide the appropriate environment for children to become confident readers. School alone can't do this for children. When children see the adult's reading materials in the house, they often want their own special place to keep their books.

Trust that children will know what books they have and where to find them on their book shelf. Time should be made each day to read to your little one, and sometimes, older children. Parents will find that the children will often choose a book to read and, for awhile, it may be the same book repetitively. An important event in a child's life is the day they are able to get their own library card. When we expose children early in life to the things a library can offer and then make sure they get a card, it is likely that they might use the library throughout their lives.

One thing children do not like is to feel like reading is simply a distasteful chore that has to be done. Parents need to know that their children will have to do their share of required academic reading. We want to stress the positives by talking to them about what they read, introduce them to bookstores that have books appropriate for their ages. There are also children's magazines that are great and children love to get something in the mail for them to read.

We want to make sure that our children know that we value their thoughts about what they are reading. We also calmly redirect any reading mistakes they might make. Online searches can yield other ideas about helping children become readers who are confident and competent.

Kids and Teens

10 Things Kids Parties Mums Should Remember

10 Things Kids Parties Mums Should Remember

10 Things Kids Parties Mums Should Remember

Planning a party for your kid can be daunting, but with a few precautions it can be done without too much sweat and heartache. As long as you know how to plan the entire party, you won't have to worry that much. The following tips will help get you through your kid's party while also pleasing every guest you invite.

1) Have a Checklist

First off, have a checklist of all the things you'll need for the party. These things should include the party favours, decorations, food, drinks, games, and so forth. Be prepared, and it will not be so stressful.

2) Plan Ahead

Most people tend to cram and stress out way too much when the actual party is there, so consider planning at least 2 weeks ahead so that you can get your mind sorted out properly.

3) Venue Hunting

If you can't have the party at your place, be sure to find a venue that is perfect for the party you want to throw. Avoid venues that have too little space, and always be sure to book ahead to ensure that you'll have the party there.

4) Choose the Right Food

In addition, be sure to find out whether or not any of your guests are allergic to anything just so that you don't serve the wrong dishes.

5) Pick a Party Theme

If you want the party to be even more enjoyable, consider to create a theme party... one that is circled around your child's favourite superhero or cartoon character.

6) Goodie Bags

Goodie bags are certainly going to please the kids, but just make sure that you properly choose the right candies and toys that are perfect for both boys and girls.

7) Create Fun Games

Games will make any party super fun, but not all kids enjoy them. So be sure to choose the right ones like pin the tail on the pony or charades.

8) Extra Activities

If the party is getting boring, be sure to always have a backup plan like extra activities the kids could do. These things can include face painting, storytelling, or even cookie decorating.

9) Know Who to Invite

If you're on a budget and you don't want to invite too much people, always consult your kid on who they want to invite so that they will really enjoy their party.
10) Have Fun

Lastly, just have fun when planning your child's party and don't worry too much about every detail. The process can be really tiring, but once it's all over, it will all pay off.
Kids Parties Melbourne

Kids and Teens

6 Ways to Build Character In Youth

Kids and Teens

 6 Ways to Build Character In Youth

As a spiritual teacher and an artist, I cross paths regularly with many clients who are in the process of "finding themselves". I've crossed paths with retirees who are on a quest to find their purpose, to find their calling, their place in life. Many of my clients are just learning the importance of self expression. They've missed multiple opportunities in life because they weren't able to effectively communicate their needs, wants and desires to others.

While I know, like I know that everything happens in its own perfect timing, I can't help but wonder what could have been done during these adults formative years to instill a knowledge of self within. Many times "self knowledge" is limited to studying one's history and while it is important to have a sense of culture pride, knowing about those who came before us doesn't always bring about the clarity of who we are: as an individual.

So the question of the moment is, what can we do as parents to instill character and self knowledge in our youth?

Give Your Children Options.

 Making decisions is imperative to the process of 'growing up'. Children must learn, preferably under our guidance, that each decision has benefits for them to reap or consequences to suffer. While our natural instinct is to protect our children, we also must face the fact that our babies are adults far longer than they are children. Society is not taking it easy on youth today! We have to bring our children to a place where they can make split second decisions without us. They don't have time to pick up the phone and ask you if its cool to skip school, pop a molly or enjoy a little lovemaking.

When options are presented to them, they must be well equipped and confident in their ability to make a choice and stand in it. For younger children its as simple as picking out 10 outfits and letting them choose what they are going to wear each day. For older children it benefits them to choose what afterschool activities they want to engage in as well as what they want to do career wise. When we present our children with choices, we introduce them to self awareness and personal responsibility.

Teach them!

 Share your wisdom with your children. Any skill that you've learned whether barbering, sewing, accounting, writing, website building, etc. your child should be able to do at least on a beginner level. That's not to say you should encourage them to follow your footsteps but they should definitely have your skills under their belt. Every child should leave home with a money making skill that was passed down from their parents. In addition to your skills, share childhood and early adulthood stories with your children. During my formative years my grandmother told me countless stories and while I don't remember each story, I do have the morale of the story.

Even now in my 30s my mom shares stories of when she was growing up. Its something about seeing your parents, not as the "know it all" but as a human being that makes you want to share your experiences with them. If you're too 'perfect' your children will attempt to hide everything which means you can't guide them properly. Be human! Tell a story and share what you learned from you. Even you will benefit from those memories and seeing how far you've come in life.

Allow them to lead grace, prayer and/or meditation.

 I do realize that for most adults when it comes to prayer we recite rather than coming from the heart. While I don't discourage learning and reciting scripted prayers, I am a lover of hearing children lead prayers. Have you ever experienced a child lead meditation? It's one of those things better experienced than heard about. Children are naturals when it comes to speaking and listening to Spirit. They aren't weighed down by expectations, they aren't carrying around years of suffering. They bring a sense of hopefulness, innocence and love to our spiritual environment. Just don't be surprised if you end up on a remote island with crystal clear sand, sky blue water and a dolphin that happily takes you on a ride to live for! Oh the places youthful minds will take you, if you allow them to do so.

Encourage Self Expression.

 Communication rules the nation! Yet when it comes to youth, they are encouraged to "stay in a child's place". At times it seems regardless of what they say and how they say it, they're wrong. It is our responsibility to teach our children how to express their feelings and we must learn to listen. Children learn how to respect others by the respect that we as parents give to them. We should never be too busy to listen. We should be the first to let them know how valuable and important it is for their voice to be heard. Youth who lack communication skills follow the footsteps of other youth who do, wouldn't you rather your child be a leader? The voice of their peers? The voice of their generation? Encourage them to speak, write, draw, dance or sing their feelings for the world to experience.

Encourage them to ask questions.

 Yeah, I said it! Closed mouths don't get fed. Allow them to ask as many questions as they like. This assists them in mastering self express and it also gives you insight to where your child's head is, what their interests are and the direction they are headed. Followers never ask questions, they just do as they are told! When they don't understand something in class, let them know its okay to raise their hands to get help. If they disagree with you, let them know its okay to ask questions respectfully.

At times we forget how few years our children have been on this planet and that they've only have a few personal experiences to pull from. I'm noticing that many parents get irate when their children ask questions they can't answer, when in fact we should be thankful that our seed just presented us with an opportunity to expand our horizons. Teach them through our willingness to continue learning, that "I don't know" isn't an acceptable answer. If you don't know, find out! Lead by example.

Have Fun!

 Allow childhood to be fun again. I've seen children with more hectic schedules than mine, they're parents are cramming everything they felt they didn't get to experience into the child's life while conveniently forgetting all the fun times they had as a child. Sometimes in our efforts to make our children's lives so much better than ours, we end up doing even worse damage. I'm even noticing a trend with parents making their children "exercise".

How does walking on a treadmill instill healthy living habits in children? Healthy living comes from happiness! Create ways for your child to experience happiness with you. Take a bike ride, challenge them to a game of basketball or tennis, have a coloring contest, have a bake off. Find games and activities that you both enjoy so when they 'grow up', they can tell wonderful stories about how they used to wear you out on the chess, checker, monopoly board.

This discussion doesn't end where this article closes, I'd love to hear from you! What are you doing in your household to assist your children in building character and having a healthy knowledge of self? It still takes a village to raise a child.

Mystic Philosopher and healing artist Dina Deon is available for individual Akashic Records Readings as well as Reiki Healing. Dina Deon is devoted to assisting her clients in walking their own spiritual path, living on purpose and healing on a soul level. For more information about Dina Deon's healing services please visit

Kids and Teens


How to Effectively Use Tangible Rewards to Motivate Children

Kids and Teens

How to Effectively Use Tangible Rewards to Motivate Children

Before we begin, you need to understand that there are two types of rewards: tangible and verbal. Tangible rewards are those that children can hold or feel. They could be anything like stickers, candies, toys, stationary, awards and certificates or money. Verbal rewards, on the other hand, are those that are spoken such as praise and feedback.
This article addresses the use of tangible rewards. You may have wondered why tangible rewards sometimes work while at other times they don't work at all. The answer is that to be able to motivate, tangible rewards must be expected, task-dependent, performance-related and appropriate to the desired behaviour.
1. Children must expect to get the reward
You must tell children that there will be a reward given for a specific task or desired behaviour. This is done before the task or behavior. If it is given after then it has no value. The deed would have already been done and no amount of reward would change that. This point might seem obvious but some parents and teachers often forget this and as an afterthought would tell children, "Oh by the way, you did great on this so you can get that."
2. It is task-dependent
Task dependent rewards depend on children involving themselves on a specific task/behaviour. If you want your children to read then you would give the reward for reading and not for doing homework or tidying up.
3. It is given for performing at a high level
Children must do well or reach a certain level in a set task/behaviour to be able to receive it. It must not be given for just doing or completing the task. You want to cultivate a job well done mentality not one where children would rush through just to get it done.
4. The reward is related to the desired behavior
If you want to encourage a particular behavior then the reward has to be related to that behaviour. For example, if you want your children to read more, you would give a bookmark and not a toy. In the long-term, you want them to be engaged in reading and not to rush through just to get the reward. By giving a bookmark, or something related to it, you encourage children to do more of it.
Before you give children a tangible reward, ask yourself:
1. Have I told the children about the reward?
2. Will they get the reward for the specific task/behaviour I set for them?
3. Have I set the reward for performing the specific task/behaviour at a high level?
4. Is the reward related to the specific task/behaviour?
Get started today - I want to help you to get your children to love learning. You'll get a home study course 'Motivated Learning: How to Get Children to Love Learning'. Grab yours by visiting

Why Do They Think Cutting Gym Class and Recess Is The Answer?

Kids and Teens

 Why Do They Think Cutting Gym Class and Recess Is The Answer?

Kids need to burn off energy in order to concentrate on their studies. If you take that away from them and you're going to have some very unhappy teachers and unruly children. We have an obesity epidemic in America already, why do we want to contribute to that?

2 of our boys hate school. What they hate is sitting in class all day long. They don't have any medical problems, they are just boys and they like to play outside. Even at home these 2 are outside the majority of the day. They don't care to watch a movie or play a board game. They want to play football, trucks, ride 4 wheelers and dirt bikes etc...

I've noticed that if I allow the kids to play as soon as they get home from school and tackle their homework at night, they do it without any complaints and they finish it without getting up from the table. You need to burn all the energy out of their arms and legs before you'll get them to use their brains for learning.

Cutting gym class and recess is not the answer. Besides helping the kids concentrate better and work harder on their school work, it gives them much needed exercise. Some of these kids do not get this exercise at home. If you were to cut out gym and recess, you are taking away their only chance at a healthy childhood.

So I say no to ever cutting out these 2 very important periods in school. If anything I'd make them have gym class every day. If you would add up all of the minutes the teacher spends getting the class to settle down and be quiet, you could easily put that towards another gym class.

How about we stop spending so much time on testing theses students so the schools can get their money from the state? I remember testing 1 maybe 2 times a year when I was in school. It seems like the kids are always taking standardized tests. Whatever happened to teaching my kids? There are so many tests and new ways to do things, it takes away from the most important thing. Teaching!

I'm not a big fan of the new common core curriculum either. We all turned out just fine with the way we were taught reading, writing and arithmetic. Now somebody was bored and needed a job, so they came up with all these new ways to achieve the same results.

That's for another article, but the point is they keep adding more "stuff" to the classroom and the kids can only physically and mentally do so much! Just like we need a coffee break sometimes, these kids need a recess break! Say YES to recess and gym class.

If you are as passionate about kids having fun the old fashioned way, please visit me over at

Kids and Teens ( How To Avoid Cyber Abuse )

Kids and Teens ( How To Avoid Cyber Abuse )

How To Avoid Cyber Abuse

Chat room sites are a great place for people to find others to abuse. In these sites, people think they can hide behind the Internet and not have to worry about being found out. However, people always tend to slip up and give out some type of personal information. When people are able to avoid these chat room sites, they are able to avoid the bullies and know that they are going to be safe from the bully picking on them.

- Sometimes a chat room site is helpful. For example a home repair forum may have a live chat room available. This is a helpful site and will teach people about home repair. However, if a bully is present on these sites it is easy to report them to a moderator who will remove the bully from the site. Something else is these helpful chat rooms tend to be all about helping other people in completing a project and are not going to be full of bullies like a general chat room.

Talk Only To Friends Who Are Well Known

Chatting online is okay and something that a lot of people do. However, people need to realize if they want to avoid cyber abuse they should chat with people they know online for a long time or friends they know offline. By doing this people are going to be talking to people who they already know or have been friends with online long enough to avoid any type of situation in which they are going to be bullied. Without knowing the people for a long period of time and chatting with them right away, it is easy for people to give out too much information and this can easily lead to them being bullied by the person.

Do Not Post Information That Can Harm Yourself

Posting information is what a lot of people do on the social media websites. This is common and acceptable. However, people should be cautious what they are posting since this could easily lead to them being bullied by other people. However, by taking the time to read what is being posted people can easily avoid the issue of posting something personal and not be picked on about this. Also when people are posting information they need to make sure they are using the right website for what they want to have posted. For example, people need to post updates to the social networking sites, but when doing different searches use the search engines since these are meant for that purpose.

Avoid Any Problematic Websites

Problematic websites are a major issue for a lot of people. Sometimes these sites are identified by the search engines as being a known site for this type of problem, but other times they are not shown as being in this manner. However, people will want to be cautious when they are looking at these websites and figure out which of the websites they want to use and know that these are going to be the best website for them to use and not have to be concerned about the website causing them any problems that are common with the abusive or problematic websites.

If Abuse Is Present Report It To A Moderator Or Adult

Sometimes when people are online they will start to be abused because of the website they are on or a variety of other reasons. When this starts to happen, people need to realize they can report this to an adult or a site moderator. These people are going to be able to contact the proper authorities to get the abuse taken care of, but also if any violent threats are made towards people get the abuser put in jail or another location to avoid them from being able to abuse people again.

- Moderators are going to be able to take care of the problem immediately because they are right on the site. However, sometimes a moderator may not be on the site right away. When they are not online, it is important to leave them a message in their inbox since they will get the information when they sign on. When they do sign on they are able to take care of the problem for people on the website end.

- Contacting an adult is a great idea as well because they can help take care of the problem by digging down more and contacting the moderators themselves or the site administrators. These individuals are able to handle the problems that people are giving others by removing the accounts or even better reporting the abuser to the proper authorities if the abuse is so bad that it could be deemed a crime.

When Abuse Does Happen People Need To Keep The Evidence

Often the abuser is able to get away with what they did because the victim tends to delete what they did. However, this is a mistake that people should avoid since it is going to let the abuser continue to get away with the action. To avoid this problem people need to keep the evidence so they can turn it in as proof against the abuser to the proper authorities.

- When storing the evidence of the abuse, people need to make sure they have a separate text file saved with the date and what the abuse was. By having this saved properly, people can easily find the information as to what the abuser did and how it affected them. However, people will also have this file available should the website need to get the information to prove the abuse really did happen.

Cyber abuse is something that a lot of people have started to report quite a bit often. The problem that a lot of people have is they are not sure how they can stop this abuse or avoid the abuse because they are constantly on the Internet. However, most of the time people will never even realize they are being abused on the Internet because of what is going on. This is when people should know how to avoid cyber abuse and how it can be handled when it does happen to them. Once people have this information, it is going to be easy for them to feel good about what they are doing online and know they will not be injured or abused when they are online and trying to get some work completed.
How To Avoid Cyber Abuse

Kids and Teens ( Discover Internet Abuse Laws )

Kids and Teens ( Discover Internet Abuse Laws )

Discover Internet Abuse Laws


In the beginning, internet abuse laws were drafted to protect internet users from fraud and other types of cyber crime. Laws and policies designed to protect internet users are drafted and enforced by the FCC, or Federal Communications Commission.

As the internet gained popularity, the number of reported cyber bullying cases increased dramatically. When the first cases began to appear, there was little law enforcement officers could do to punish the offender or protect the victim.

In the case of Megan Meier, no charges were ever filed against the bullies who harassed her. The mother and daughter who initiated the ruse created a fictitious MySpace profile for a young man. They convinced Megan that "Josh" liked her and wanted to be her boyfriend. After a few weeks,Megan was told that Josh no longer wanted to talk to her.

The constant barrage of negative comments and veiled threats, pushed Megan over the edge. Two weeks short of her 14th birthday, committed suicide. The two perpetrator's new that Megan struggled with depression and took medication to control her condition.
Internet Abuse Laws

According to law enforcement officers who investigated the incident, for whatever crime they committed, could not be charged because there was no documented charge on the books that for what they had done. No charge existed that fit the description of what they had done. That eventually changed when the Cyberbullying Protection Law was drafted into legislation.

The Cyberbullying Protection Law made it a crime to harass, stalk and bully another person, over the internet. Other pieces of legislation soon followed. Cyberstalking laws were drafted and enacted in every state of the union. Federal legislation was also enacted to protect internet users from being stalked and harassed. Special laws were also passed that were designed to specifically protect minors. Each state was responsible for drafting, approving and enforcing their own versions of the federal Internet laws.

Various Types of Internet Abuse
Internet abuse takes many forms. With the introduction of new forms of technology, the number of fraud and identity theft cases skyrocketed in a few short years. In addition to major financial crimes, the internet created the perfect medium for the production and sale of child pornography. The inclusion of the internet into public schools taught children how to navigate the world wide web.

As students became more proficient in the use of computers, bullies began to use the internet to stalk and harass their victims. For a bully, the internet was the perfect medium in which to operate. They could come and go as they pleased without leaving any physical evidence. The best part to them was that they could remain completely anonymous.

Internet Abuse Laws: Cyber Bullying
Internet abuse laws designed to deal with cyberbullying, must be drafted in great detail to be effective. In Megan Meier's case, the legislation came too late. However, the Foundation that bears Megan's name continues to push for new and improved legislation that will hold cyberbullies accountable for their actions. Members of the foundation have been advocates of change to make sure with each law that gets passed, no more victims will fall through the cracks. It is their goal that for every victim has the guarantee that their bully will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Cyberbullying laws cover a variety of activities that are now considered to be illegal. The following activities are included in many pieces of legislation:
  • Stalking using any type of communications device
  • Sending threatening texts or emails over cell phones, texts, instant messaging, etc.
  • Harassing an individual with repeated attempts at contact either through phone calls or texts, emails, instant messaging, etc.
  • Soliciting sexual favors
  • Sending or receiving pornographic images of minors
  • Interacting with a minor in a sexual manner using any type of device governed by the FCC
Cyberbullying has become one of the fastest growing crimes in history. Before the internet, a bully could only harass those that were close to their location. Now with the internet as a starting point, they can threaten, harass and stalk individuals who are half a world away. There are few boundaries they can't cross and they can do it all from the security of their own home.
Individuals who are technologically savvy can hide their tracks fairly well leaving behind few traces for investigators to follow. Those who are exceptionally skilled at hacking and programming can create shields and firewalls that are difficult to crack, even with the advanced systems law enforcement agencies have access to.
Internet Abuse Statistics
Statistics that detail how extensive cyberbullying really is create an incredible picture of just how wide spread the problem is. Internet stalking and harassment reports increase daily and from the looks of the numbers, there is no end in sight.
  • Over 80 percent of students think that cyberbullies choose to use the internet because they can remain anonymous and it is much easier for them to get away with the crime
  • Over two thirds of the teens surveyed believe that cyberbullying is becoming a serious problems that needed to be investigated further
  • Over 40 percent of students admit to having been bullied at least once and out of those numbers at least 1 in 4 claim that it has happened more than once
  • Statistics have proven that girls are targeted by cyberbullies twice as often as boys
  • The majority of girls who are stalked on line are white
  • Statistics state that a person who is bullied online is 9 times more likely to contemplate suicide than individuals who aren't bullied
  • Statistics show that only 1 out of every 10 children who are bullied online will report the incident to a parent, teacher or other person in a position of authority.
  • Cell phones are increasingly common among middle and high school students. It is estimated that almost 80 percent of students use a cell phone or other electronic device on a daily basis
  • Statistics shown that almost 90 percent of teens have seen or experienced bullying on a social media site such as Facebook and Twitter
Internet abuse laws target individuals who attempt to use the internet as their own personal playground. Cyberbullying and internet stalking have reached epidemic proportions, causing schools, libraries and other public places to implement anti-bullying programs to raise awareness about the dangers of surfing the internet without taking adequate precautions.
Anti-bullying programs attempt to teach both parents and children safe ways to navigate the internet without becoming vulnerable to predators and cyberbullies who are capable of hacking into personal computers and other electronic devices. Programs designed to help students remain safe while surfing the web offer tips to the public to help them learn what types of online behavior is acceptable and what should be avoided.
Anti-virus programs are designed to prevent hackers from installing spyware and malware on computers. Hackers attach files to emails and websites so that when a person opens the attachment or clicks on the website the malicious software is downloaded directly to their computer. These programs can take over manual operations of a laptops camera or install keyloggers that track the users every move. This allows the hacker to retrieve passwords, codes, confidential banking information as well as a variety of other types of private and personal information.

Kids and Teens ( Bullying Curriculum )

Kids and Teens ( Bullying Curriculum )

Bullying Curriculum

Designing a bullying curriculum could be a great way to keep many kids informed about the way the system should be used. This could be a worthwhile consideration for educators who want to make the most out of these systems. It may be worthwhile for educational staff to host a meeting about the different types of content that will be included for the bully curriculum. This may depend on a few different types of factors as well. Educators should try to balance these goals when they design the curriculum. Above all else, they should try to make sure that it will create a worthwhile experience for some of the students.

Many schools will need to first decide on how much time they want to dedicate to the actual course. There are some districts that actually mandate a set amount of instructional hours when it comes time to dealing with these different types of issues. It may be helpful for people to identify some of the unique aspects of how the curriculum itself will be structured. Educators will need to cover some core components associated with bullying and how it is dealt with in the school system. Having a time frame in mind can make this process go much more smoothly.

There are some educators who are starting to look for ways that they can create an anti bullying curriculum middle school students can use. Anti bullyiing curriculum middle school teachers create will need to include several core components. They may want to introduce the concept broadly and even include another word for bully. This can help the concept resonate with these students, which will be a valuable consideration for many people out there. It may be helpful for students to identify what options they may have at their disposal during this process. This could actually help students understand what they should do about bullying as well.
It is important to note that the nature of bullying has changed over the course of the past few years.

Many students are now reporting being bullied in a few distinct ways. This could actually help people learn more about the unique challenges that they may face during this process. Identifying another word for bullying could be a major step for these students to take. This could be a worthwhile asset for educators to consider, since they will undoubtedly appreciate the chance to convey useful information for students.

The bulk of modern bullying tends to revolve around the internet, which has proven to chance some different aspects of these services. Many people will be interested to see how a bullying curriculum could be changed to feature these different types of components. It could be helpful to view the curriculum and learn more about how students can provide their input as well. Teachers may want to get a consultation on how cyber bullying has affected the way that many students tend to deal with these different types of issues over time.

They can often form groups with members of the community to learn more about this phenomenon as well.
Teachers should schedule time within the curriculum to get student input. This could encourage more active participation and help people learn more about these issues. Some students may be willing to share different experiences that they have had with these problems. This could actually put a human component to the classroom session, which will be an important consideration for many people to keep in mind. Teachers will invariably appreciate the chance to actually learn more about bullying itself, which is a worthwhile consideration for people to keep in mind.

Some districts will require that teachers incorporate different types of learning outcomes in to their curriculum design. This could be a major challenge for teachers, since the lengths of the courses themselves may vary over time. Most people will want to learn more about the different types of curriculum designs that they can get through this project as well. Teachers should try to include quizzes or different types of tests that are designed to test the knowledge of students. These could actually incorporate a few different types of formats, so long as they are made to include bullying curriculum design.

Of course, teachers should feel free to be fairly open ended with some of the curriculum. They may want to consider incorporating different types of bullying curriculum designs through this program. The can include stats on bullying and different types of graphs that will help students visualize how this could work. People will invariably appreciate the opportunity to learn more about how this system can work. Teachers may need to submit their curriculum for approval, so they should try to work with this system in advance. Teachers will also need to revise the curriculum from time to time to make sure that it is factually up to date.

There are times when teachers may need to teach special training classes for many parents out on the market. This could be a worthwhile consideration for parents who need to cope with the effects of bullying on their children. Teachers may need to customize the material and make sure that it will suit the unique needs of these parents. They can also spend some time to allow for a group discussion on these different types of issues to occur. This could help parents cope with these issues as well, which is a worthwhile consideration for many.

Finally, teachers may want to encourage people to take proactive steps when it comes to preventing bullying. They can help students develop their own support groups, which will be a valuable asset for many to consider. This could also help students deal with a wide range of different issues over time. For their part, students can even create an anti-bullying campaign to effectuate throughout the school. This could spread awareness and even get other people interested in the different types of issues that people may face along the way. Teachers should take pride knowing that these efforts will likely create a safer learning environment in the long run.

Kids and Teens ( Anti Bullying Facts )

Kids and Teens ( Anti Bullying Facts )

Anti Bullying Facts

Over the years bullying has become worse, and more evolved. Twenty years ago, bullying usually only occurred on the playground at school, on the school bus, or at the neighborhood park. Since technology has given us the internet, social networking, and Smartphones, bullying has become much more serious, and much more dangerous.

Studies have shown that over 3.2 million students are victims of either traditional bullying or cyberbullying every year. When this bullying occurs, one in four teachers do not even see it. Of those who do see what is going on, they will intervene only 4% of the time. These statistics are frightening. It is important to understand anti bullying facts to change these statistics.

When a child or a teen is bullied, it can have a huge effect on their life. Most children feel ashamed, and will not want to tell anyone. It is important that parents and educators know the warning signs that a child is getting bullied.

  • Becoming withdrawn: When a child is being bullied, often times they become withdrawn. If you notice that your child is no longer doing things that they normally enjoyed doing, especially if it is a group activity, chances are they are being bullied, and are afraid to do these activities.

  • Finding reasons to miss school: When a child or teen is being bullied, they are likely to find excuses to miss school. They may pretend that they are too sick to go, or in serious cases, they will refuse to go with no explanation why. It is also not uncommon for a child who is being bullied to skip school without their parent's knowledge.

  • Accidents: When younger children are being bullied, particularly in kindergarten and first grade, they may regress and being wetting their pants. This is major warning sign for parents and educations and should not be ignored.

  • Social networks: If your child or teen spent a great deal of their time on various social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, and suddenly stops communicating and posting on these sites, chances are they are being cyberbullied by another user or a group of users on these sites.

  • Physical injuries: If your child is coming home with cuts, scrapes, and bruises often, and either does not want to tell you how the injury occurred, or comes up with less than plausible excuses as to how they occurred, they are most likely being bullied.

  • Possessions mysteriously go missing: If your child comes home and claim that they lost their jacket, their new sneakers, and even school supplies, there is a chance that they are being bullied. Also, if your child is coming home hungry everyday, claiming that they lost their lunch money, there is a good chance that there is a bully stealing their lunch money.

  • Refusal to ride the bus: If your child suddenly refuses to ride the school bus, when they normally have no problem, they are likely being bullied on the bus ride to school.

  • Change in sleep habits: If your child is having nightmares often, or is having difficulty sleeping, these are signs that they could be getting bullied.

  • Grades begin dropping: If your child is normally a good student, and suddenly you notice a significant drop in their grades, it is a good sign that they are being bullied.

  • Talk of suicide: If your child expresses feelings of helplessness, or talks about suicide, they are likely being bullied. These signs should be taken very seriously. There have been many cases where a child is being bullied or cyberbullied, and attempts suicide. It is important to intervene immediately in these serious cases.
Years ago, parents and educations had a "kids will be kids" attitude when it came to bullying. This is a very irresponsible reaction to bullying. It is important for the child's mental and physical well being that something is done as soon as bullying is suspected or confirmed.
  • Contact the school or parents: If you are a teacher who suspects bullying, you should contact the student's parents immediately. You should also report the problem to your superior. If you are a parent who suspects that your child is being bullied, you should contact the school immediately so that the problem can be handled.

  • Contact the police: If the bullying is serious enough to have adverse effects on your child's mental or physical health, you should contact the police. It is never a good idea to contact the parents of the child who is doing the bullying. You cannot be sure how the parents are going to react, and it can make the problem worse. It is best to leave the problem up to the police for your safety, and the safety of your child.

  • Get your child to talk: If you suspect that your child is being bullied, it is important to get your child to open up, and tell you what is going on. If you cannot get your child to talk, you can turn to a sibling, or another family member who the child trusts to try to get them to open up.

  • Get professional help: If you are having trouble getting your child to open up, and family and friends have failed also, taking your child to see a therapist is a good idea. A therapist who specializes in bullying has an excellent chance of getting through to your child. If your child has opened up about what is going on, it is still a good idea to have them see a therapist. A professional may be able to allow them to see that the bullying is not their fault, and will have tools to help your child get past the trauma of the bullying.

  • Log onto their computer/tablet/Smartphone: If you suspect that your child is being bullied, it is a good idea to check their social network sites. Chances are, if they are being bullied, or cyberbullied, there will be evidence on their social networking pages. If you do find that there is bullying going on, the information that you obtained may be of use to to school or police if they are forced to intervene.
How to Prevent Bullying
As a parent, there is not much that you can do to prevent your child from ever being bullied. You cannot keep your child locked up to keep them safe. In order to prevent bullying, it is up to parents, educators, and even the media as a group. To keep your child from being bullied, it takes a group effort.
  • Awareness: It is important for children, teens, and parents to be aware that bullying is going on. Recently, the media has been doing their part in awareness with various anti-bullying campaigns.

  • Have policies set in place: It is important for schools to have zero tolerance anti-bullying policies set in place. The school should make sure that students understand what bullying is, what it does to a person, and what the consequences are of bullying another student.

  • School Assemblies: Many schools these days are having anti-bullying assemblies. Students attend these assemblies during school and listen to speeches. Many schools have the police come in, and explain the legal consequences of bullying. Schools can also bring in therapists, to discuss the emotional issues that being bullied can lead to, and also to offer support to students being bullied after the assembly is over. Many schools will bring in students who have been bullied, or who were bullies so that they can tell their story, and how bullying effected their life. Giving students a chance to have all outlets available at once can be very helpful.

  • Proactive parenting: Talking with your children often about being bullied, or being a bully is important. A child's morals start at home. When parents begin talking to their children at a young age about bullying, and how it is not tolerated, the child will be less likely to be a bully, and may feel comfortable opening up if they are bullied.

  • Monitor internet use: Cyberbullying is very common these days. If parents monitor their child's internet use, they can prevent their child from bullying another, or recognize that their child is the one being bullied. They can then, take the necessary steps to put it to an end.
Bullying and cyberbullying is a very big problem in the world today. It is up to the children, parents, educators, health professionals, and the media to all work together so that no more children will suffer the mental and physical effects of bullying. The old saying goes, "it takes a village to raise a child". In the case of bullying and cyberbullyingbullying, this saying makes more sense than ever

Kids and Teens ( Tips for Buying a Good Learner Laptop for Your Kids! )

Kids and Teens ( Tips for Buying a Good Learner Laptop for Your Kids! )
Tips for Buying a Good Learner Laptop for Your Kids

These day's markets are flooded with swanky toys including laptops made especially for children. As parents, you may wonder as to why your kids need to be exposed to so much technology at such a young age. This is where you need to correct yourself. After all, we are heading towards a tech savvy era where computers are going to dominate a large part of our life and even children are adapting to technology faster than assumed. Contrary to popular belief, technology is not all that bad for your kids. If used properly, it can actually help children broaden their thinking horizons and improve their capabilities to learn and the kid's laptop is able to do that perfectly.

Combining a host of interesting concepts like alphabets, sounds, etc. with an equally entertaining mix of games, the English learner laptop helps your kid learn while he or she is playing. This automatically makes the learning less stressful and more effective. For parents who are planning to buy such learner laptops for their children, here are a few important things to keep in mind before you make the purchase:

- Your kid better be old enough!

Such kids' laptops are ideal for being used by children in the age group of three years to five years.

However, the important thing to remember is that these learner laptops can't be operated by infants so don't buy them as soon as your kid is born. Wait for the right age to come so that your kid can enjoy using the laptop as well as learning from it.

- Know what you are buying
The ultimate motive behind buying a learner laptop is to help your kid learn therefore ensure that you choose a model accordingly. Don't fall prey to false reviews and end up choosing a complicated toy else your kid is never going to use it for learning.

- It should be easy to use
There are plenty of learner laptops available in the market. Invest a little time and research to opt for models that are easy to use and interactively designed according to the playtime requirements of your children. This will ensure that your kid loves what you buy.

- Take your kids opinion into consideration
Whilst buying the learner laptop toy, ensure that you give your kid a chance to voice his or her opinion. We are not asking you to give them the toy to explore even before you buy it. But, you can take them to toyshop and just observe their reactions as the showroom owner gives you the demo. This will help you understand a lot of things.

Lastly, remember even after buying the learner laptop, you have to patiently teach your kid to use it so that you can gain maximum benefits from the multiple features of this toy.

To know more about chota bheem online games or English learner laptop for kids, please check our website.

Kids and Teens ( Musical Motivators: How I Use Fun and Pride to Motivate My Flute Students )

Kids and Teens ( Musical Motivators: How I Use Fun and Pride to Motivate My Flute Students )

Musical Motivators: How I Use Fun and Pride to Motivate My Flute Students 

I always vowed that I would have a flute studio one day like the one I wished I had belonged to as a child. This is the concept I keep in mind in creating motivation for my flute students today. I take various approaches and hope that some of them will pay off with big dividends.

Let's face it. We live in a rather materialistic society and many kids love to get physical prizes for their efforts. I capitalize on this by keeping hat boxes full of "Oriental Trading" and "Forever 21" prizes. My students can earn flute stamps for anything from learning a scale to bumping up their practice time. I have a cute ink flute stamp I use to stamp their practice books. With these stamps, they can "buy" prizes worth 2 or 4 stamps. I have bigger prizes available as well like Madame Alexander and American Girl dolls they can earn for 50 or more stamps earned over time. When Beanie Babies were all the rage, I gave them out for learning all major and minor scales. Prizes excite the students and I hope they will transfer that excitement to the learning process.

Another motivating tool is "Student of the Month". If a student goes above and beyond what is asked or is especially creative or wins a competition or chair placement, I take the student's photo and place it in a holder under which I describe their great accomplishment. I believe this nurtures the self esteem of the honored student and drives the other students desirous of similar acknowledgement.

A further offering is my student Christmas ensemble. Every year, we form a group or groups to rehearse holiday music once a week in addition to regular lessons. I work hard to find venues in December for the kids to play in. We have played for Nutcracker tea parties, Christmas tree lightings, Holiday parties, at malls, at retirement homes, etc. Whether they play duets, trios, or quartets, I make sure everyone gets to play first part at some point. I think this is part of developing self pride and self esteem. At the end of the season, students are given music note trophies with the student's name inscribed to commemorate the enriching experience.

There are so many ways to motivate students to work hard at their flute studies. I believe a reward process that builds self esteem and enjoyment, above all else, works wonders!

Kids and Teens ( Bullying Incidents )

Kids and Teens ( Bullying Incidents )

 Bullying Incidents

One State Takes Action
In the year 2013 alone, the state of Indiana had a total of 9,396 bullying incidents reported in the public school system. The state, which ranks third in bullying incidents on school grounds (according to the Centers for Disease Control), has a serious problem with school bullies. Statistics show that 1 in 4 children in Indiana are bullied in some fashion, with 20% of those students skipping school due to fear of confrontation by bullies.

While only 21% of reported bullying incidents in Indiana were physical and 44% were verbal, Indiana took the problem seriously enough to pass a law that year requiring schools to record bullying incidents. That law interprets bullying as the creation of a hostile school environment in which repeated unwanted acts or gestures place students in fear of harm or affect their school performance or mental health. Steps have also been taken to facilitate peer-to-peer conflict mediation and to train teachers in anti-bullying techniques. Incidents are reported to school administration, to state authorities, and to parents.

In the last few years, two tragic cases of school bullying have struck a chord with parents everywhere.

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover
On April 6, 2009, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was found hanging by an extension cord by his mother in their Springfield Massachusetts home. After weeks of being tormented by classmates, with no substantive action from school administrators, the 11-year-old 6th grader took an unthinkable step to escape the torture. Carl's mother, Sirdeaner Walker, had reported the threats and bullying to school authorities, but the cruelty toward her son persisted.

A bright student who was active in athletics, Carl apparently became a target for other children at the school who called him "gay" and said he acted like a girl. Though his mother tried to resolve the matter through the proper channels, the appropriate actions were not forthcoming and the harassment continued. In desperation over the relentless torment, Carl ended his own life to avoid his persecutors. There was an outcry and some anti-bullying measures were put into place, but no one was held accountable, and it wouldn't be enough to stop the bullies in another nearby town.

Phoebe Prince
Like Carl Walker-Hoover, Phoebe Prince, a young girl from Ireland who had moved to the U.S. and was attending South Hadley High School in South Hadley, Massachusetts, had been enduring harassment and bullying from her classmates. The 15-year-old had dated a couple of older boys from her school who began to harass her, enlisting other students to join in the persecution of the young girl. At school she was hounded, as her tormentors carried on a campaign of verbal intimidation combined with threats of physical assault. In January of 2010, young Phoebe cracked under the pressure of her classmates' cruelty and hanged herself.
The boys who had harassed Phoebe, together with other students who had participated in the persecution, were held accountable and appeared in court to answer charges ranging from felony criminal actions to misdemeanors. Most of the defendants were given probation and community service. But this incident, coming so soon on the heels of the Walker-Hoover event, helped to draw attention to the serious problem of bullying and harassment present in the schools of Massachusetts. Legislators were motivated to propose anti-bullying measures and schools and parents were put on notice that bullies would be held accountable for their actions.

Since the inception of My Space, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, bullies have found a new outlet for their sadistic tendencies, the Internet. The advantage of the Internet for these tormentors is that they have a wider audience. Bullies can now spread their venom with the rapid-fire speed of a few keystrokes. The object of torment really has little choice but to bear the brunt of the cruel taunts and insults or leave the Internet in humiliation. For some, it is too much to bear, and instances of suicide brought on by the vicious ridicule and derision of Internet trolls have been reported. There have even been instances of parents of children who committed suicide being taunted by cyberbullies. There seems to be no limit to the lengths to which these predators will go to hunt down their prey.

What Can You Do?
In the face of this onslaught of physical, mental, and cyber harassment, what can parents do to prevent their children from becoming the victims of those whose lack the conscience to prevent them from tormenting others to the point of suicide? One way is to help your child feel free to confide in you and to recognize bullying, either when they are approached to participate in it, or when they become the object. Reporting this harassment in its early stages is important, before a child feels that they are pushed to the limit and there is no way out for them. An open line of communication between parent and child is the only way to help a child feel he or she has options and that they don't have to endure this by themselves.

When children feel the pull of peer pressure and are tempted to participate in bullying, parents must let them know in no uncertain terms that this is unacceptable behavior and they must stand up and refuse to be a part of it. If your child does participate in bullying, do not cover for them or make excuses. Don't try to lay the blame on someone else, or worse, on the victim. Accept that you will have to work with your child and with the school and the parents of the bullied child to resolve the matter, If necessary, seek family therapy; and if some of the blame reverts to you, accept it and try to remedy the problem, then move on. Don't go into denial. That won't help your child or the situation. But be supportive of your child; he or she may need your help in breaking the bad habits that have led to this point. Don't condemn.

Above all, try to understand that this is not a judgment on you as a parent. All parents try to do the best they can under varying circumstances. The only choice is to try to redirect our children's anger and impulses in a more positive direction so that more young people do not fall prey to this terrible cycle.

Kids and Teens ( Say Thank You to People and Show Them That You Really Mean It! )

Kids and Teens ( Say Thank You to People and Show Them That You Really Mean It! )

Say Thank You to People and Show Them That You Really Mean It!

Has genuine thankfulness become a lost art of the past? Today, should we be happy to even get a "Thank You" from people we help? Hmm...

Now I know that the sun does not shine every day. However, gloomy weather does not keep me from expecting that the sun will shine again someday. And the lack of a common courtesy Thank You has not caused me to lose hope yet that someday others will be thankful when I do something to help them, and really mean it!

However, in the meantime, I'm not just sitting back and waiting for others to do what they're supposed to do. Instead, I'm taking charge and leading by example... Maybe you can follow me...

The first thing we're going to do is to make sure that WE don't forget to say, "Thank You." and really mean it! How do we do that? Well, by really meaning it of course! In addition, we also have to use our body to show it through eye contact, smiling, shaking hands, a light touch, and a little something extra in our voice.

If we do this, people will be amazed because we have just made them believe that there are still some good people out there who have not forgotten how to say thank you. Furthermore, not only will these other people be happy, but we will feel great, too!

But wait... There's more... Observers of this rare, but genuine act of thankfulness and gratefulness will also feel great. Us humans can't help it. When we see something that is good and kind, it makes us feel better and then want to replicate it. It's like a domino effect where one act of kindness, such as a thank you, can cause a chain reaction that can spread all the way across our world.

Well, this article began by making you think that other people should be thankful and grateful to you, but the real magic is learning that you have to take the first step in being thankful and grateful to others.

Your mind influences your body, and your body influences your mind. Do those things I mentioned above with your body and I guarantee that your mind will find it easy to be thankful. And soon you'll be living a happier, richer, fuller life with doors opening that you didn't even know existed.

Now teens and even tweens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Don't forget to thank people and really mean it. And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do and all that you will do.

Award-Winning Author, Speaker, and Educator-Daniel Blanchard wants you to take the first step in making this world a better place by saying thank you to people and then showing them that you really mean it. If you do this not only will our world be better, but so will you! For more great teen leadership tips be sure to visit Dan's website and blog/vlog at: kids to teens

Kids and Teens ( Top Tips for Kids' Birthday Party on a Budget )

Kids and Teens ( Top Tips for Kids' Birthday Party on a Budget )

Top Tips for Kids' Birthday Party on a Budget


Arranging a party for kids can be fun, daunting and expensive too. Kids these days want big scale parties which have led to ballooning budgets. So what do you do when you want to arrange a fun and exciting birthday bash for your little one - on a budget? Here are some excellent tips and ideas for parents who want to arrange an exciting and engaging party for their kids:

1. A cheap spot - the ideal spot for a party is your backyard; it's free because there is no rental involved. Plus, you can keep the party going for as long as you want, no time restrictions either! However, you may also look for venues that have low rental fees; your local park can be a great option. Parks have sitting areas, swings and some even have portions for cookouts.

2. Skip the physical invitation cards - in the fast moving world today, everyone and everything is online. Use the social media power to invite guests to your birthday party instead of sending print outs (saves you printing and mailing cost). You can receive quick RSVPs; this allows you to get a heads up on the number of guests you should expect and should make arrangements for.

3. Engage the kids - kids are definitely more creative, and once you ask them for different activity ideas; they are sure to fill you up with too many. This can be a good brainstorming session for you as you may as well pick some and think of cheaper ways to implement the activities and have a fun game at the party.

4. Go clever with the theme - it takes some creativity to pull together a themed party on a budget without actual theme decorations. Whether it's Spiderman or Frozen, you don't really need supplies of the particular one to decorate. Use the theme color and work the decorations and arrangements around it. You may pick blue and purple plates, balloons and hats for the Frozen theme. The key is to have it all look cohesive and tied together.

5. Entertainment Activities - party inflatables such as bounce houses, obstacle courses, waterslides, etc. are big hit these days amongst kids for parties. These inflatable toys are super engaging, fun and give the children some thrill for a few hours. The best thing about renting them is that you may not have to arrange for too many other activities because the kids wouldn't want to get off the fluffy toy!

What do you think are other budget friendly tips for kids' birthdays? Join your heads together with your family and loved ones to come up with exciting ideas to save a penny from here or there. Let's not let a low budget steal the fun from your little one's party. In fact, it's a great way to think of new and creative ways to make a birthday bash successful and fun on a budget.

Stephen Roshy is currently researching on Inflatable Party Rentals Dallas TX. Follow him to read all his work and researches on latest trends related small industries.

Kids and Teens ( The Benefits of Educational Sites For Children )

Kids and Teens ( The Benefits of Educational Sites For Children )

The Benefits of Educational Sites For Children 

Educational websites are key in helping both parents and teachers to build early academic foundations in children. Research demonstrates the earlier you begin to work with your child academically-- the better!
Worksheets can be a great introduction to a child's academic journey.

 These worksheets are meant to prepare students for kindergarten and beyond. It is not only worksheets, but crafts and activities that are aimed at introducing various concepts that reinforce color recognition, improving motor skills and will also introduce numbers and letters. These hands-on activities are crafted to enhance a child's skills and also help introduce basic concepts in a fun, engaging manner.

Also these sites have a great collection of Toddler, Preschool and Kindergarten activities and materials that are carefully designed to help a child. These activities introduce concepts that need to be mastered prior to entering Kindergarten. All are designed in a way that will help develop a child's learning skills and build a strong educational foundation.

Age appropriate story books help introduce your child to Reading. Story Books introduce your child to the fundamentals of reading:

Books are to be read from front to back,
Pictures should be right side up,
Words should be read from left to the right,
Words have different sounds,
Stories have a beginning, middle and the end.

Preschoolers who are introduced to story books are more likely to have advanced literacy skills than their peers who were NOT introduced to such books. As a parent you should encourage further literacy development. Read a loud daily to your child. Choose different types of books and find the type your child is interested in. This will help build a child's vocabulary. Also, a child will understand that the letters in the book make words. These words make sentences, and these sentences create a story. When a child understands the beginning stages of Reading, it creates the cornerstone for all future reading.

Educational websites are a great supplement to any Toddler, Preschool or Kindergarten curriculum program. The best part, these products are readily available and also very affordable for parents.

Limit television and video play daily. Instead, download an activity or craft. Have your child complete the assignment and go over it with them. Once it is completed and checked, place a sticker to reward your child's effort. In this way, your child will want to continue working on these skill building activities and receive a reward. My best advice is--Have Fun!

Beth Costanzo has been educating children for over 20 years and is the former owner of two highly successful childcare centers located in Gloucester, MA. Beth's love of children and learning prompted her to create The Adventures of Scuba Jack as an educational resource for teachers and parents.
The Benefits of Educational Sites For Children

Kids and Teens ( Competition for Expat English Education in Global Cities Heats Up )

Kids and Teens ( Competition for Expat English Education in Global Cities Heats Up ) 

Competition for Expat English Education in Global Cities Heats Up

For expat workers with families, suitable education can be one of the most costly and frustrating hurdles to navigate when transferring to a foreign assignment. To insure that children are able to transition back into their home system at the end of the assignment, move on to a top university or to another international assignment it is preferable for them to have been following an international school curriculum with English language instruction.

For comparison we'll look at the cost and some of the considerations in finding an international school in two popular expat destinations: Zurich and Hong Kong.

Cost of Living and Cost of Education Don't Always Match
As a baseline we'll use a London, England private international school such as the ACS International School in Egham or Kings College Wimbledon and compare that to both Hong Kong and Zurich.

While overall Zurich and Hong Kong (HK) both rank in the top 10 most expensive cities for expats while London sits well back at #17, education is a different story. It provides a relative bargain for private international education with school fees 7.7% lower than London while Zurich area international schools are more than 20% higher. If you had school aged children then taking an assignment to Hong Kong over Zurich would seem like the cost conscious choice but fees don't paint the whole picture.

Hong Kong
Since the establishment of the English Schools Foundation (ESF) in 1967 for the education of expat children, there has been a strong international school presence here. There are over 100 international schools, mostly teaching in English but the increasing popularity of international schools among permanent residents, the HK equivalent of citizen, has created on overwhelming demand.

While Hong Kong recognizes both English and Cantonese as official languages and officially at least, English is an important component of government run schools, the reality is different. Even if you are a parent who would like your child to experience a "local" education in this city, a recent survey by the Native English Speaking Teacher's Association in HK found that even though government policy allows public schools that teach in Cantonese to accept English-only speaking children, they do not.

In addition to demand, several other factors are putting upward pressure on international school fees in Hong Kong. The 20 schools that are operated by the ESF have lost their subsidy established under the original 1967 government ordinance. Starting with the students entering kindergarten in 2014, the subsidy has been eliminated. In the past year ESF has already raised their fees more than 5%
At the same time its education bureau is trying to expand educational options by making a handful of development sites and two empty schools available by bid to interested international schools. Among the interested schools is the prestigious British boarding school, Malvern which is looking to open a campus catering to elementary level education. They plan to reserve 90% of their available placements for students that hold foreign passports. While private international schools do not receive subsidies from the Hong Kong government, they are offered preferential lease terms and access to a designated green space.

Still, the lack of space in the city makes it extremely difficult to open new international schools so the demand for spots at the existing schools continues to grow. The Hong Kong education bureau estimates waiting lists for most international schools are several years long forcing parents to consider other options.

In 2011 the education department for canton Zurich moved to bar permanent residents from attending international schools in the area. Residents of Zurich must put their children in German speaking public school unless they can prove they are only temporary residents or that their child will complete their education in a non-German speaking jurisdiction. Widely viewed as a regressive policy, the stated aim was to better integrate foreigners living in Zurich permanently or over the long term into the local community. So far this has been the only Swiss canton to implement this kind of policy but the move highlights some of the difficulties surrounding the availability of an international curriculum with English language instruction.

While it would seem that this move would increase the number of spots open to temporary expats it also puts the responsibility on parents putting their children in school for the first time to prove that they intend to move at some point in the future or that their children will complete their schooling elsewhere. The rule does not distinguish based on the passport that a child holds or their mother tongue.

Competition Spawns an Industry
The complexity of finding an appropriate school and increased competition for spots at English language schools has even spawned its own consultancy industry. People like Ruth Benny head of Top Schools Hong Kong and Alice Jungclaus of Global Wise Parenting in Zurich, have leveraged their personal experience as expat parents and professional experience as educators to assist other parents struggling with finding the right school for their children. Both offer one on one consulting for expat parents struggling to find the right solution for their school age children in a hyper competitive environment.

Xpatulator provides school fee data for comparable schools in more than 700 cities worldwide. In Hong Kong, they collect enrollment fee data from schools such as the Hong Kong International, American International and King George V Schools and in Zurich from the Zurich International and Swiss International School.

Steven McManus is a Remuneration and Benefits Consultant and founder of where employers and employees can calculate how much you need to earn in another location to have a similar spending power.

Calculators include Salary Purchasing Power Parity (recommended if you are an organization planning to relocate an employee to an international location, or an individual with a job offer in another country), International Assignment Management (recommended for the calculation of the compensation and benefits for a typical expatriate assignment of six months up to five years duration using your choice of home and host location), Cost of Living Allowance (recommended for calculating a cost of living allowance for short-term assignments and a detailed cost of living comparison basket by basket) and Cost of Living Index (recommended for the calculation of 3 or more host location cost of living indexes using your choice of home base city).
 Competition for Expat English Education in Global Cities Heats Up

Kids and Teens ( What Teens Today Should Not Forget )

Kids and Teens ( What Teens Today Should Not Forget )

What Teens Today Should Not Forget


Last June, I met the designer of the Intel i7. He is a 28 year old Filipino, and what made me be proud more is not that he is young but we belong to the same generation - the Generation Y. According to many articles, they are those who were born in the 80's through mid or late 90's. Besides him, there are many more from the same generation that had and are contributing in the grand ascension to technological glory of the world's diverse industries. My generation has helped shape the technology driven world that we have today. Many of today's government, top industries and corporations have excellent knowledge workers who are from the Gen Y. The internet of everything which is being promoted and envisioned by technology companies is happening today, and they have workers that is largely comprised by the GenY's who are at the prime of their life.

Recently, an art
icle about the generation Z (Those who were born from 1995 to present) was published online and I was surprised at how the author highly regarded the generation that are raised today. It featured young people and teens who became famous because of their scientific discoveries and significant contributions in the society. At such a young age, they have become a symbol of great hope for the coming generation. In the article, the generation Z was highlighted that they might be the ones who will save the earth and humanity from its deterioration.

However, it's also a bit surprising that this is not what I observe with the young people that I deal with every day at work, in the streets, at the church and at the school. While the western continent has this perception, I don't observe it as a prevalent mental inclination among the youth even in the urban cities of the Philippines. Many of the teens today as I observe it are "self" people - self-absorbed, self-centered and self-serving, seeking only to satisfy themselves. This, if I am right might be because of the change in parenting practices, improved economic conditions of families and technological advances.

Nevertheless, I still remain positive. Even some foreign financial firms have encouraging forecasts about the economic growth of the Philippines putting us in the top 10 and top 20 of their rankings in the next decades. But whatever is behind that positive outlook, what will happen in the coming years depends on how the teens behave today.
In the last eight years of teaching college, I have observed patterns and behaviours that distinguishes those who failed from those who succeeded. From these, there are five things I believe that teens today should not miss and forget, and parents as well should instill and build in their children.

What teens should not Forget:

1. Decide early what and where they want to be. As early as adolescence, we must help them decide what they want and where they want to be. Deciding it earlier will give them more time to prepare, train and build themselves. Those who are at the top of their career and excellent in their professions have undergone years of training that started when they were yet teenagers dreaming of what they will become. The more time of preparation gives greater chance of achievement. Most of the people I knew who are struggling and not happy with their careers were typically those who had no clear direction in their life when they were younger. They have let the quickness of time overrun them undecided and unprepared until it was too late. And worst, many companies or employment institutions today choose the younger talents over the older ones.

2. Discover and develop their skills. Some of the employment problems that our nation faces today are unemployment, underemployment and employment of workers that doesn't have the right skill set or qualification. Apparently, many are working on jobs that they are not trained for while some are forced to settle on jobs that they're more than trained for.

As early as now, we must help them discover their natural skills and develop it. According to a research, a person's natural talent may become evident as early as the adolescent years. As they discover at an earlier time what they are gifted with, there will be a longer time for them to be trained, as well as to focus on doing things that will add value to their skill and enhance their capabilities. The same applies, even to those who believes that natural talent is a myth. A young person who has a talent (Or wants to learn) in culinary can start training himself to become a great chef. He can start reading books about food and cooking, learn how to cook various meals and expose himself to activities that has something to do with culinary. Sadly, many teens today are hooked on many things that does not actually prepare them for their dream. They spend their time and resources on things that will only make them feel good and on improving their self-image. Many use technology, the internet and other potential learning and knowledge resources for entertainment and fun. I do not intend or recommend to prohibit teens from having fun, but to encourage them to give importance and priority to more important things.

Researches show that teens have needs such as Identity and acceptance that drives them to do what they do, and sadly for this reason, they tend to find it in unlikely places and peers that drives them away from reaching their potentials and from being a productive citizen in the society. However, I believe that with the right time and guidance, they can be taught. If we want to preserve the world we live in, we must rear the young people in the way they should go, teach them and protect them from learning the corrupt ways that's been creeping from generations.
3. Abstain from sexual activity.
Researches again reveal the alarming inclusion of many married and unmarried teenagers in the list of those who; are infected with sexually transmitted infections and diseases, have unwanted pregnancies, and are engaging in pre-marital sex. Each year at the university, there are some who stops and drops out from college because they got pregnant. Though some still continue attending the university despite their bulging bellies, they obviously are having a hard time.
I was invited once to talk to college students about making wise choices, and when I asked them to raise their hands to signify their choice between PMS without condom or PMS with condom or Abstinence, there were more hands who agreed with PMS with condom, few chose abstinence while majority were undecided. I was a bit surprised for I was expecting that Pinoys in Palawan are more conservative, but if I were to interpret their answers, they seem to have been influenced with the western culture which I think is heavily present in the environment and media that they are exposed to.

So why should they abstain:

1. Sex is for married couple.
2. Pre-marital sex brings a lot of risks to health and emotion that distracts focus, and puts down self-value.
3. Pre-marital sex affects their future married life and relationship with their spouse. Many divorcees have past unsuccessful romance and relationships
I believe that young people has the ability to choose and reason. Just as how a person decides to brush his teeth to protect it from plaque and bad breath, anyone can also choose not to engage in risky behaviours and pre-marital sex. Nevertheless, many still believe that sex is a need that has to be fulfilled. They stand behind the reason that young people has no control to these desires and that "boys will always be boys". To them, for a teenager to have sex is inevitable. Others further justify that sex is for unmarried couples too. According to them, sex is an expression of love, and is a normal thing to do between couples who love each other regardless of being married or not - this obviously is morally wrong. However, there are many persons I know who have gone through these "seemingly-uncontrollable" stage who remained virgin, pure and unstained until marriage. They just held on to what they believe is right and was able to successfully withstand the test of lust.

That is why the youth needs guidance. We must expose them to things that will really help them achieve their dreams and maximum potential, help them understand that not all that they want to do is beneficial and that there is a time for everything. Here is a link of Pinoy celebrities who vowed no sex until marriage. ( )
4. Honor and Love their parents.
Another important thing every teenager must not neglect, is to honor and love their parents. Many broken dreams, distorted perception about life, failures of students, and increase of juvenile delinquents is attributed to dysfunctional families.
It is important to restore harmonious family relationships and it will happen when we love and honor our parents. Parents became the means in order for every child to see the light of the world. Our mom carried us in their womb for nine long months while our father toiled at work to sustain our needs and care for our mom. When we were born, they fed, loved and raised us.

On the other hand, many parents are irresponsible making their kids hate them. More likely, those kind of parents didn't honor their parents because their parents too were irresponsible. They can only give what has been given to them. However this cycle need not to continue. It can be stopped, and the cycle will be broken if we choose to start it. We can still honor and love our parents without compromising the truth, values and moral regardless of how they are. If we start honoring and loving them now, the society we've been longing for, where peace and harmony exists will happen soon.

5. Fear and honor God.

Above all, the most important thing that every young person must develop in his life is to fear and honor God.
I believe that the Bible is the ultimate source of guidance on how a person can be connected to His creator.
One of the greatest questions a person will ask is, why on earth is he here? What's his purpose? I believe that in order to understand the purpose of our existence, we must go back to God and relate with Him. We must Know Him, and only in knowing Him that we will realize the meaning of Life. A piece of art can only be interpreted well by the artist who created it and a machine's use can only best be told by its inventor. In the same way, God - who gave us our life is the only one who can tell us how to live. We may see others who are living their dreams even without involving God, but they're not truly happy or are not fulfilled. But when our dreams align with God's dream for us, it will result to true peace and contentment that surpasses all understanding and into something more than we have imagined.

Before us, is a world of uncertainty, possible deterioration and bleak hope. Behind us, are young people that are hooked on things that thwarts their eyes away from thinking and looking ahead. Apathy should have no place for such a time as this, let us all help put back into their hearts the right moral and values, passion for fellow men, love for God and altitudinal fervor to make the world a better place.
What Teens Today Should Not Forget