My Child Is Going to College!

Are you looking for what to say and what to think as you send your child off to college? How is this as hard as sending your child to kindergarten?  Here are a few words that might help you.  Share it and check the links out as well.  This is a big move for your child going to college.  I have been there and my heart goes out to all you moms! ~Sandy

College is a Privilege

Sure, I expected you to go and, in turn, you expected nothing less from yourself. But this in no way takes away from the fact that spending these years learning, growing and focused almost exclusively on yourself is a gift like none other. Think through the sweep of human history and try to guess how many people were given this opportunity. Only after you have acknowledged just how rare and special this gift is, will you respect this opportunity.

Best Years of Your Life

You have heard adults say it a hundred times and it may be true, but it is not automatically so. Imbibe deeply of all that a university has to offer. Heap your plate with its academic, athletic, cultural and social offerings. Never again will life mix youth, freedom, opportunity and resources together in quite this heady combination. If these are to be the very best years, you must make them so.

College is a Time like None Other

Everyone will want to meet you and there will be none of the social awkwardness that usually accompanies rushing up and speaking to total strangers. Do not squander this short window of opportunity, it will never come around again.

Drinking Dilemma

You are now in a place where alcohol is both tacitly allowed and legally forbidden. The only thing that stands between you and a very bad experience is your own good judgment. But here is the tricky part. You need to exercise that good judgment at the very moment when it is already impaired by alcohol.

Being Friends in High School was Easy

You sat in the same classes or did the same activities as your high school friends. In college, maintaining friendships is a bit more work. After college it is a lot more work. Investing in friendships now pays dividends forever, truly forever.

Living With Those Who Love You

It is your good fortune to never have lived in a place where no one loved you or frankly cared about you. At the outset, college is that place. Despite everyone’s outward cheer in the first weeks of college you will have no real friends. Sure you will know some kids, but these are not true friends, yet. They are still just acquaintances you really like. It is better to live amongst those you love, but it takes time and only you can make this happen.

Do Not Fool Yourself, I Was 18

When you look at me you probably see “Mom” and “Old.” Do not fool yourself. Not one fiber of my being has forgotten how it feels to be 18. If you have a problem, talk to me. Few things you will say will shock me and there is every chance, though admittedly just a chance, that I might have a good suggestion. And while the law may recognize you as an adult, I promise you that you still have much to learn.

I have loved you every moment of your life. Even as you prepare to move out, I shock myself by loving you even more. This love comes without strings, but life does not. If there are things you want to achieve, knowledge you want to gain, friends you want to make it is now entirely up to you.

http://grownandflown.com/

New California Science Framework

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Invites Public Comment on Draft California Science Framework

            SACRAMENTO-California is taking a step forward in updating its science curriculum by gathering public comment on a new framework, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

            The Science Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (CA Science Framework) will provide guidance for teachers, administrators, and parents on how a curriculum based on content standards is implemented in the classroom. This new draft framework provides guidance on how to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (CA NGSS) and the California English Language Arts and Literacy Standards and the California English Language Development Standards in the science classroom. The CA Science Framework will provide direction for the development of instructional materials, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional learning.

            The draft CA Science Framework includes narrative course descriptions for transitional kindergarten through grade twelve as well as chapters on assessment, access and equity, and supporting high-quality science instruction. It provides direction to educators to implement state standards in the context of California’s diversity and helps them teach the critical thinking skills students will need for 21st century careers.

            The draft framework has been posted on the California Department of Education  Science Curriculum Frameworks Web page. Members of the public may send comments on the draft CA Science Framework directly by e-mail to scienceframework@cde.ca.gov. The current comment period will remain open until August 29, 2016. All public comments received during the field review survey will be presented to the Instructional Quality Commission and the State Board of Education for review and possible inclusion into the final CA Science Framework. The Board is scheduled to take final action on the document by November 2016.

            For more information on the development of the draft framework, visit the California Department of Education Science Curriculum Frameworks Web page.

 

You Are Supposed to Struggle

The butterfly is SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly.  As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.”

cocoon

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Think about the caterpillar morphing into the butterfly, a beautiful analogy for change in the spiritual sense. We all feel like a caterpillar at times, an ugly, undeveloped self (I personally don’t think caterpillars are ugly, I think they’re kinda cute in their pudgy way!). We all want to be the butterfly, the gorgeous finished product, flying about in grace and beauty, experiencing bliss everywhere we go. We all want to be seen as beautiful, respectable, and lovely. How do we get to that? It isn’t so easy, some would say.

We see people who have become the finished product, a successful, beautiful, powerful human being who has it all together. We all see people who we respect, admire and wish we were like, right? However, those people did not come into it without a lot of work on themselves spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.

We all want to be the butterfly, but do we really want to go through the process that it takes to become that? There is a molting period, a liquification of self that is part of that process of going from the form of caterpillar to butterfly. It doesn’t necessarily look like a pleasant process, morphing into another form. Literally there has to be a breakdown of the first form, a dissecting or dissolution process, and then there is room in reality for the new form to be born.

It is a death and birth process, and both of those processes tend to be messy, dramatic, and difficult in their own respects. When you do both together, it gets even messier and more difficult! Death and rebirth at the same time are a superb event indeed.

Think about what you see in yourself as the caterpillar, the undeveloped and “first form” type of self. You might be all caterpillar in your opinion, or some percentage of caterpillar versus a percentage of butterfly. Perhaps you’ve been working on yourself for quite a while and you already transformed some parts of yourself that were “ugly” or undeveloped before now. Perhaps you feel like you might even be getting close to being a butterfly. Just examine where you think you are in the morphing process of the death of the old self and the birth of the new self.

Truly, the new self was always there, just as the butterfly was always there in the caterpillar. It isn’t visible before the transformation, but the blueprint and the potential was always there and present. I think of the new self as the eternal, deeper self, the You that was always present, even as the idea of yourself as a human seemed to take precedence for a while in the first part of your life.

The eternal self that you are is the butterfly, and it was always there. It isn’t born or created, it is only the idea of being a human version of self as the sole identity, the caterpillar, that needed to be liquefied and disintegrated. Then the already present butterfly underneath the illusion can emerge from the cocoon of change.

What is your version of the cocoon? What is your version of the cauldron or catalyst for change? How is it that you are disintegrating the idea that you are just a human, mortal self with a specific name and identity? How are you molting into the new form, seeing yourself as immortal and eternal self? How are you becoming aware that you are consciousness dreaming itself to be a specific human with a certain collection of experiences? Your cocoon of change is unique to you, and you are inside it, searching, seeking, and spiritually growing.

I would encourage you to simply stop and be the butterfly that you already are. Stop all the figuring, strategizing, fixing of yourself, and all the searching. You are already what you want to become. All you have to do is literally “drop” the old form, the old ideas of self and step out of who you think you are for just a moment. It is only a matter of readjusting your perceptions of who you think you are in the journey between caterpillar to butterfly.

It doesn’t actually take work or effort on your part to become the new self. The caterpillar does not “work” to become the butterfly. It doesn’t “do” anything! It simply waits for the old form to drop away, being patient while the discomfort of dissolution happens, if it is uncomfortable at all. Maybe it’s not.

Maybe it is us who makes the morphing process so difficult. We are so mind focused as a species and it might well be ourselves who are interfering with how easy the process of letting go of the old form. We can simply let it fall away, but in our own minds we find that hard to be at ease with. We have to make it hard and uncomfortable, for some reason.

Discomfort and difficulty might not be the nature of the process of transformation at all. Perhaps the period of transition from caterpillar to butterfly is not that difficult. Perhaps it is a state of bliss and relaxation for the caterpillar as it becomes the butterfly.

I encourage you to look at how you might be interfering with your own process of transformation from the old self to the new self. Perhaps it would be so much easier if you just rest your mind, don’t try to fix anything, and simply be present in the moment in a relaxed state of mind, patient with the process of the old falling away and the new showing up. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, and perhaps that is where much of your dissatisfaction with the process is coming from. You want the butterfly to be in full flight already, but there is a period of dissolution and resolution still happening. You can’t rush that process.

Be patient. The butterfly-you is present and already perfect, already formed. All you have to do is relax, drop the old stories and identities, and simply let your eternal nature emerge. It is actually very simple. Sure, some of your old caterpillar ways might reappear and assert themselves now and then, but you can always redirect your awareness back into the butterfly-you at any and all times.

You could think of the human condition as the caterpillar, and the eternal self that you are as the butterfly. Both exist, both have form in the same lifetime, and you are able to switch back and forth between both of those forms. The goal is to rest in the butterfly version of self more often than you might now, but that comes. It is a lifelong goal, a lifelong period of readjustment.

Be at peace. You do not have to fix everything in your personality. That all becomes “fixed” automatically when you shift your point of view into that of the eternal self rather than that of the struggling human. You do not have to find anything that you don’t know about already, it is all there inside you. It is innate knowing within you. All you must do is relax and let the butterfly come forth. It is already here, present and completely whole. Simply drop the old forms and ideas, the old ways of being, and the new you is already here, fully functional and present.

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7 types of ADHD – Dr. Amen

Do any of these sound like you or your children?  My son showed highly probable in 7 of the 7 at Dr. Amen’s Clinic.  Poor guy!  Below shows possible treatments. ~Sandy

Are There Really 7 Types of ADD?

Controversy surrounds Dr. Daniel Amen’s 7 types of ADD — each with its own unique ADHD symptoms, brain function, and neurotransmitter activity. What do you think of his theories and methodologies?

Classic ADD

This is the easiest type to spot of the 7 types of ADD: Primary symptoms are inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, disorganization, and impulsivity. Scans of the brain show normal brain activity at rest, and decreased activity, especially in the prefrontal cortex, during a concentration task. People with this type of ADD have decreased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum, and the basal ganglia, the last of which helps produce the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Treating Classic ADD

The goal here is to boost dopamine levels, which increases focus. I do it with either stimulating medications — Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, Concerta — or stimulating supplements like rhodiola, green tea, ginseng, and the amino acid L-tyrosine. Getting lots of physical activity also helps increase dopamine, as does taking fish oil that is higher in EPA than DHA.

Inattentive ADD

This type, as well as Classic ADD, have been described in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders since 1980. This type is associated with low activity in the prefrontal cortex and low dopamine levels. Symptoms are short attention span, distractibility, disorganization, procrastination. People with this type are not hyperactive or impulsive. They can be introverted and daydream a lot. Girls have this type as much as, or more than, boys.

Treating Inattentive ADD

Inattentive ADD is usually responsive to treatment. It is often possible to change the course of a person’s life if he or she is properly treated. The goal, as with Classic ADD, is to boost dopamine levels. I use the supplements like the amino acid L-tyrosine, which is a building block of dopamine. Take it on an empty stomach for maximum effect. I often prescribe a stimulant like Adderall, Vyvanse or Concerta. I put patients on a high-protein, lower-carbohydrate diet, and I have them exercise.

Over-Focused ADD

Patients with this type have all of the core ADD symptoms, plus great trouble shifting attention. They get stuck or locked into negative thought patterns or behaviors. There is a deficiency of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. When the brain is scanned, you see that there’s too much activity in the area called the anterior cingulate gyrus, which is the brain’s gear shifter. This overactivity makes it difficult to go from thought to thought, task to task, and to be flexible.

Over-Focused ADD

Patients with this type have all of the core ADD symptoms, plus great trouble shifting attention. They get stuck or locked into negative thought patterns or behaviors. There is a deficiency of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. When the brain is scanned, you see that there’s too much activity in the area called the anterior cingulate gyrus, which is the brain’s gear shifter. This overactivity makes it difficult to go from thought to thought, task to task, and to be flexible.

Temporal Lobe ADD

Of the 7 types of ADD, this type has core ADD symptoms along with temporal lobe (TL) symptoms. The TL, located underneath your temple, is involved with memory, learning, mood stability, and visual processing of objects. People with this type have learning, memory, and behavioral problems, such as quick anger, aggression, and mild paranoia. When the brain is scanned, there are abnormalities in the temporal lobes and decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex.

Treating Temporal Lobe ADD

I use the amino acid GABA (gamma-aminobutryic acid) to calm neuronal activity and inhibit nerve cells from overfiring or firing erratically. Taking magnesium—80 percent of the population are low in this mineral—helps with anxiety and irritability. Anticonvulsant medications are often prescribed to help with mood instability. For learning and memory problems, I use gingko or vinpocetine.

Limbic ADD

This type looks like a combination of dysthymia or chronic low-level sadness and ADD. Symptoms are moodiness, low energy, frequent feelings of helplessness or excessive guilt, and chronic low self-esteem. It is not depression. This type is caused by too much activity in the limbic part of the brain (the mood control center) and decreased prefrontal cortex activity, whether concentrating on a task or at rest.

Treating Limbic ADD

The supplements that work best for this type of ADD are DL-phenylalanine (DLPA), L-tryosine, and SAMe (s-adenosyl-methionine). Wellbutrin is my favorite medication for this type of ADD. Researchers think it works by increasing dopamine. Imipramine is another option for this type. Exercise, fish oil, and the right diet will help a person with Limbic ADD better manage symptoms.

Ring of Fire ADD

Patients with this type don’t have an underactive prefrontal cortex, as with Classic and Inattentive ADD. Their entire brain is overactive. There is too much activity across the cerebral cortex and many of the other parts of the brain. I call it “ADD plus.” Symptoms include sensitivity to noise, light, touch; periods of mean, nasty behavior; unpredictable behavior; talking fast; anxiety and fearfulness. In brain scans, it looks like a ring of hyperactivity around the brain.

Treating Ring of Fire ADD

Stimulants, by themselves, may make symptoms worse. I start out with an elimination diet, if I suspect an allergy is involved, and boost the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin through supplements and medication, if necessary. I prescribe GABA, 5-HTP, and L-tyrosine supplements. If I prescribe medication, I start with one of the anticonvulsants. The blood pressure medicines guanfacine and clonidine may be helpful, calming overall hyperactivity.

Anxious ADD

People with this type have hallmark ADD symptoms, and they are anxious, tense, have physical stress symptoms like headaches and stomachaches, predict the worst, and freeze in anxiety-provoking situations, especially where they may be judged. When the brain is scanned, there is high activity in the basal ganglia, large structures deep in the brain that help produce dopamine.This is the opposite of most types of ADD, where there is low activity in that region.

Treating Anxious ADD

The treatment goal is to promote relaxation and boost GABA and dopamine levels. ADD stimulants, taken alone, make patients more anxious. I first use a range of “calming” supplements—L-theanine, relora, magnesium, and holy basil. Depending on the patient, I prescribe the tricyclic antidepressants imipramine or desipramine to lower anxiety. Neurofeedback also works to decrease symptoms of anxiety, especially to calm the prefrontal cortex.

For More Information:

Learn more about the 7 Types of ADD:

  • Listen to Dr. Amen’s podcast on the 7 Types of ADD

Trade School vs. College

Many realize that not everyone is created to go to college.  What are your talents? Gifts? Skills?  What is your passion?  Take that route! ~Sandy

Why You Should Consider Trade School Instead of College

For a lot of people, going to a four-year college seems like an automatic choice when they graduate from high school. The reason is obvious – higher income. According to theNational Center for Educational Statistics, a bachelor’s degree accounted for an average of $16,900 in additional income per year compared to a high school diploma ($30,000 versus $46,900).

Over a 30-year career in the workforce, that’s more than a $500,000 difference in earnings. These numbers may not paint the whole picture, however. Due to the increasingly high costs associated with a college education, as well as other drawbacks, more and more people have been considering trade school as an education alternative. If you’re one of them, you can actually search for a great trade school right here using the tool below:

Find Schools That Fit YouThree easy steps and we’ll connect you to our online education partner that matches your needs.

Sponsored schools

Trade School vs. College: Drawbacks to College Education

Length: Four (or More) Years vs. Two Years

For starters, a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years of study, which means that people who enter the workforce after receiving their bachelor’s degree aren’t doing so until age 22. That shaves some years off of a person’s career and can be considered an opportunity cost for experiencing the ‘real world’ hands on instead of being in a classroom. Plus, a four-year program usually makes you take classes outside of your major to fulfill credit requirements. Unless you enjoy spending time in a classroom, it may seem unnecessary to pay for extraneous credits and courses. Sure, that improv theater class was fun, but was it helpful for your chemistry major?

High Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree

Another drawback is the cost. Research conducted by the Idaho Department of Laborfound that the average bachelor’s degree in the United States costs $127,000! Not only that, but nearly 70% of students take out loans to help pay for school. According to the study, over 20% of students with loans owe more than $50,000, and 5.6% owe more than $100,000 at the end. Although some student loans are certainly better than others, the added cost of accruing interest makes the overall expense of receiving an education in the U.S. significantly higher for the average student than the already steep price tag suggests. The college lifestyle isn’t cheap either — dorming, paying for food, going out, and even doing your own laundry adds up!

Dropout Rate + Late Grads

A third drawback: Some people simply aren’t prepared for the rigors of a four-year college. For many students, college is their first experience away from home and, without an adequate plan, it’s easy to stray off course. In fact, the Institute of Education Statisticsestimates that 40% of attendees at a four-year college drop out before completing their degree. If you find yourself as a part of that 40%, not only have you incurred some of the expense of college, you left without receiving a degree. For the 60% that do complete their degree, a whopping 64% take longer than four years to graduate, costing themselves nearly $70,000 in lost wages and educational expenses per year, according toU.S. News. Most colleges don’t even require students to pick a major until the end of their sophomore year, creating a class of undecided students who may have wasted their time and credits on courses that they chose not to pursue.

Poor Economic Conditions

Finally: Job prospects for new graduates may not be as bright as they had expected. Although some college majors are faring better than others when it comes to labor market outcomes, a recent report released by the Economic Policy Institute states that overall, the unemployment (8.5%) and underemployment (16.8%) rates for college graduates under the age of 25 are nearly double what they were in 2007. Over the past five years, graduates have faced sluggish labor markets Young graduates are faced with limited job opportunities and difficulty paying off their student loans. College degrees are a career investment that require a considerable amount of both time and money, and the portion of grads who are unable to find desirable employment (or employment at all!) are seeing negative returns.

Trade School as an Alternative

My response to these statistics is that people approaching high school graduation should seriously consider trade school, particularly if they are not at the top of their class. A traditional four-year degree is not for everyone, and trade school offers a pretty compelling career path, especially when considering the factors associated with a college education outlined above. I’ll provide an overview of what a trade school education is, who it would be best for, and some of the advantages of trade school versus college.

What is a Trade School or Vocational School?

A trade school, also known as a technical or vocational school, is an educational institution that exists to teach skills related to a specific job. Trade schools are a more streamlined approach to education, with curricula focusing on developing a particular skillset and knowledge base for a career rather than receiving a general education. Trade schools typically take a lot less time to complete, have smaller class sizes, and the majority of the training is hands-on, which is an ideal environment for many types of learners. Vocational degrees can lead to well-paying jobs like electrician, mechanic, machinist, pharmacy technician, nuclear technician, and dental hygienist, with room for growth and managerial potential in each field.

Advantages to Trade Schools

Salaries for Trade School Jobs

For starters, salaries for trade school graduates aren’t that much of a drop-off compared to a four-year degree. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, technical and trade school jobs have a median annual salary of $35,720, though this figure varies heavily based on the particular industry and the experience level of the worker. The BLS predicted earnings for bachelor’s degree holders to be roughly $46,900, amounting to an annual difference of $11,180. This stat, of course, doesn’t factor in long term earnings growth.

However, because trade school only takes an average of two years to complete versus four, that amounts to an additional two years of income for the trade school graduate, or $71,440. Factor in another $70,000 in costs for the many students who take an extra year to graduate from college, and trade school grads can be over $140,000 ahead at the get-go, making up for over 12 years of difference in income.

Price of Education

The average trade school degree costs $33,000, which, compared to a $127,000 bachelor’s degree, means a savings of $94,000. But that’s not all! If you assume that students are fully financing their education with loans at 4% over 10 years, the bachelor’s degree will cost $154,000, while the trade school degree will cost only $40,000. That’s a savings of $114,000 just on the degree.

Of course, most students in both cases won’t fully finance their education. They’ll work and find other sources of income to help with the process, meaning the gap will be smaller in the average case. Research gathered in 2012 suggests that the average college student debt load is $29,900, and that number rises to $36,327 when factoring in interest. Conversely, the average debt load for students graduating from a two-year technical school is $10,000, roughly 70% less than the four-year graduate.

Job Security

Yet another advantage of technical trade school is that most of the jobs you’ll get are extremely difficult to export to another country. More and more jobs are being outsourced to places where labor is cheaper, making domestic employment in certain sectors difficult to get. It is much easier to export, say, computer programming work or other information economy work than it is to export carpentry or electrical work, as that requires a physical presence.

Not only that, but there’s a growing domestic demand for high-precision skills. According to Forbes, skilled trade workers are a disproportionately older population, and will only continue to get older, creating increased opportunities for young workers to fill their shoes.

Final Thoughts on Trade School vs. College

It should be noted that I’m not opposed to a four-year degree; instead, I’m simply making a strong case for an option that many people overlook when deciding what to do after high school. In lifetime earnings, a bachelor’s degree still pays off – don’t get me wrong. According to statistics, a person with a bachelor’s degree is projected to earn around $1.1 million, compared to the $393,000 projected earnings of an associate’s degree or trade school program graduate.

The advantages of a four-year degree are many: You’re going to earn much more later on in life and you also have the door wide open to continue your studies and earn substantially more with a masters degree or doctorate, however the cost/benefit equation to even higher education is changing every day.

Trade school graduates are very limited in opportunities to continue to bolster their education. That being said, a four-year degree is expensive, and not suited to everyone’s learning style and skill set. If you’re a hands-on learner, excited by the prospects of getting out of the classroom and starting to work immediately after high school, trade school is a relatively inexpensive alternative education that may work well for you. Take advantage of the search tool above to learn more about trade schools near you and what they offer.

I’ll leave you with an anecdote. My wife’s cousin graduated from high school at roughly the same time my wife graduated. Her cousin went to electrician’s school, while my wife went to four-year university. Her cousin started working three years before my wife and incurred much less student loan debt. Today, though he makes a little bit less money than she does, the difference isn’t very significant, plus he had hardly any debt to pay off after school.

This past May, my nephew graduated from high school. He is now attending electrician’s school as well. I think it’s the wisest move he could have made in his situation.

If you are graduating from high school soon, or have a loved one who is approaching graduation, I recommend seriously considering trade school as an alternative option. If you’re still unsure about your academic future or you’re looking for more information and options, check out our education series.

Considering Trade School: An Infographic

Consider Trade School

Homelessness Increasing!

As we move across the USA on our trip, we are noticing a large number of homeless. So many men, women, and children laying on the street.  After researching, Mental Health Cuts seem to be the main culprit though the list below shares other reasons for homelessness. Check out the increase in children that are homeless. Also, look at the cuts by each state!  How many students not being educated in any format?  ~Sandy

“In 2004 the United States Conference of Mayors… surveyed the mayors of major cities on the extent and causes of urban homelessness and most of the mayors named the lack of affordable housing as a cause of homelessness…. The next three causes identified by mayors, in rank order, were mental illness or the lack of needed services, substance abuse and lack of needed services, and low-paying jobs. The lowest ranking cause, cited by five mayors, was prisoner reentry. Other causes cited were unemployment, domestic violence, and poverty.”

The major causes of homelessness include:

  • The failure of urban housing projects to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing to the poor.
  • The deinstitutionalization movement from the 1950s onwards in state mental health systems, to shift towards ‘community-based’ treatment of the mentally ill, as opposed to long-term commitment in institutions. There is disproportionally higher prevalence of mental disorders relative to other disease groups within homeless patient populations at both inpatient hospitals and hospital-based emergency departments.
  • The failure of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide effective mental health care and meaningful job training for many homeless veterans, particularly those of the Vietnam War.
  • Deprived of normal childhoods, nearly half of foster children in the United States become homeless when they are released from foster care at age 18.
  • Natural disasters that destroy homes: hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Places of employment are often destroyed too, causing unemployment and transience.
  • People who have served time in prison, have abused drugs and alcohol, or have a history of mental illness find it difficult to impossible to find employment for years at a time because of the use of computer background checks by potential employers.
  • According to the Institution of Housing in 2005, the U.S. Government has focused 42% more on foreign countries rather than homeless Americans, including homeless veterans.
  • People who are hiding in order to evade law enforcement.
  • Adults and children who flee domestic violence.
  • Teenagers who flee or are thrown out by parents who disapprove of their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Overly complex building code that makes it difficult for most people to build. Traditional huts, cars, and tents are illegal, classified as substandard and may be removed by government, even though the occupant may own the land. Land owner cannot live on the land cheaply, and so sells the land and becomes homeless.
  • Foreclosures of homes, including foreclosure of apartment complexes which displaces tenants renting there.
  • Evictions from rented property.
  • Individuals who prefer homelessness and wish to remain off the grid for political and ideological purposes. Often self-identified as Gutter Punks or Urban Survivalists. The Department of Housing and Urban Development rarely reports on this counter-cultural movement since Gutter Punks and similar individuals often refuse to participate in governmental studies and do not seek governmental assistance for ideological or political purposes.
  • Neoliberal reforms to the welfare state and the retrenchment of the social safety net.

“In 2013, a Central Florida Commission on Homelessness study indicated that the region spends $31,000 a year per homeless person to cover “salaries of law-enforcement officers to arrest and transport homeless individuals — largely for nonviolent offenses such as trespassing, public intoxication or sleeping in parks — as well as the cost of jail stays, emergency-room visits and hospitalization for medical and psychiatric issues. This did not include “money spent by nonprofit agencies to feed, clothe and sometimes shelter these individuals”. In contrast, the report estimated the cost of permanent supportive housing at “$10,051 per person per year” and concluded that “[housing even half of the region’s chronically homeless population would save taxpayers $149 million during the next decade — even allowing for 10 percent to end up back on the streets again.” This particular study followed 107 long-term-homeless residents living in Orange, Osceola or Seminole Counties. There are similar studies showing large financial savings in Charlotte and Southeastern Colorado from focusing on simply housing the homeless.”

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States

Etiquette and Manners are Important!

Have manners changed with new technology?  Are you a Poor Listener? Check the list to see! Did Robert Fulghum have it right that we learned it all in kindergarten? Are manners about being a good servant or a giver?

In order to display better manners in the workplace, in the fun places and with your own family, please check out the attached posters, articles and Tim McGraw’s song!  When we are not irritating each other, then real conversations can begin.  ~Sandy

Poor Listeners

things_learned_kindergarten25 Manners Kids Should Know

Helping your child master these simple rules of etiquette will get him noticed — for all the right reasons.  By David Lowry, Ph.D. from

Your child’s rude ‘tude isn’t always intentional. Sometimes kids just don’t realize it’s impolite to interrupt, pick their nose, or loudly observe that the lady walking in front of them has a large behind. And in the hustle and bustle of daily life, busy moms and dads don’t always have the time to focus on etiquette. But if you reinforce these 25 must-do manners, you’ll raise a polite, kind, well-liked child.

Manner #1 – When asking for something, say “Please.”

Manner #2 – When receiving something, say “Thank you.”

Manner #3 – Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.

Manner #4 – If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.

Manner #5 – When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.

Manner #6 – The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.

Manner #7 – Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them, which is always welcome.

Manner #8 – When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.

Manner #9 – When you have spent time at your friend’s house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.

Manner #10 – Knock on closed doors — and wait to see if there’s a response — before entering.

Manner #11 – When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.

Manner #12 – Be appreciative and say “thank you” for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.

Manner #13 – Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.

Manner #14 – Don’t call people mean names.

Manner #15 – Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.

Manner #16 – Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.

Manner #17 – If you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse me.”

Manner #18 – Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public

Manner #19 – As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.

Manner #20 – If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say “yes,” do so — you may learn something new.

Manner #21 – When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.

Manner #22- When someone helps you, say “thank you.” That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!

Manner #23 – Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.

Manner #24 – Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.

Manner #25 – Don’t reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

 

Etiquette Rules For Our Times

Rob Asghar/CONTRIBUTOR TO FORBES

“It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct,” Sigmund Freud said.

There’s always a tension between how much we should follow our instincts and how much we should yield to social conventions. But at times like ours, the tendency is to tilt too far toward our instincts, since the conventions are changing fast and there’s no consensus about them anyway. There’s a risk in that. You don’t know whom you might be offending or how you might be sabotaging your own success.

The original etiquette manuals of Western civilization were in fact success manuals. As author Steven Pinker notes, they taught knights and nobles how to conduct themselves in the court of the king—which is where we get the concepts of “courtly” and “courtesy.”

[See this related post for more on the history of manners, including Pinker’s provocative suggestion that the rise of manners at the dinner table helped bring about a steep decline in violence on the streets.]

I asked some tasteful and civilized friends and colleagues what an updated manual for 2014 would look like. Here are 27 rules to help you, whether at an office lunch, the company gym or the birthday party of your child’s schoolmate.

You’ll notice a common denominator in all of them: Think about other people’s feelings first because it’s not all about maximizing your personal convenience.

1. Texting “Hey, I’m running 20 minutes late” is not as acceptable as making the effort to be on time.

2. If you can’t attend an event that you’re formally invited to, don’t think that not RSVPing is the same as declining. And don’t RSVP at the last minute for an event that involves real planning by the host.

3. Show some decency around the office refrigerator: If you didn’t put the food in, don’t eat it. And take your leftovers home or throw them out before they morph into some radioactive nightmare.

4. Don’t bellow on your cell phone. Just because you can’t hear the other person well doesn’t mean the other person can’t hear you well.

5. Turn off the phone at a dinner party, and be in the moment. You’re annoying at least one person who thinks you have no social skills. At bare minimum, turn off the ringer so you can text and conspire in relative stealth.

6. Remember that if you feel a need to respond immediately to every incoming text, you’ll lose more in the eyes of the person who’s in front of you than you’ll gain from the unseen people who are benefiting from your efficiency.

7. When you get to the front of the line at Starbucks, don’t tell the barista to wait while you wrap up your phone discussion. The barista hates you, and so does everyone behind you. They are hoping the barista spits in your latte.

8. If you come late to an exercise class, don’t think you’re entitled to barge your way to your favorite spot in the front.  And don’t block others from weight racks or other equipment—just step back three feet and make everyone happy.

9. Keep personal conversations and arguments off social networking sites. The dramatic airing of grievances is best done through SMS .

10. Moderate your use of cameras and video at events. Enjoy your time with colleagues, friends and family in the present and preserve only a memento for the future, rather than recording the entire thing to “relive” later in some “free” time that you’ll never actually have.

11. Remember how easily e-gossip can be forwarded along to the wrong person.

12. Just because you’re wearing headphones doesn’t mean you can tune out from social courtesies. For example, if you accidentally cross someone’s personal space, apologize graciously.

13. Don’t lend someone a book or item unless they specifically ask for it. They’re probably too busy to ever get around to it. They’ll feel guilty about that, and you’ll be annoyed that they didn’t appreciate it or even get around to returning it.

14. Don’t RSVP for an event, then not show. Now you’re not just being rude, but you’re costing the host money, and you’ve probably kept a lonely soul from being invited as a backup.

15. Don’t be the first or second person to talk on your cell phone in a public space (like a bus or train). If everyone’s doing it, you’re allowed some slack here.

16. Don’t show up at a party empty-handed, unless you’ve been instructed to — and sometimes not even then. Bring wine or dessert or a plant.

17. Use your turn signal at least 50% more than you use your middle finger.

18. Don’t make your dietary requirements everyone else’s dilemma. As one friend reminds me, “People who can eat dairy don’t just keep coconut oil-based butter around.”

19. If your children are invited to a friend’s house to play, they (and you) should also feel invited to help with the cleanup.

20. Don’t break up with someone by text. And don’t announce a death in the family by text. There are still times when phones or face-to-face are the best way to go.

21. Don’t take photos for posting on the People of Walmart page.

22. Don’t discuss sensitive personal issues on Facebook, especially if you’ve friended coworkers.

23. Your dog is cute, but he or she doesn’t have a pass to go anywhere. “I’m a huge dog lover,” says one colleague, “but don’t assume it’s okay to bring along your dog to my house. I can barely stand what my own dogs do to my house … I also don’t like people who bring their animals to Petco. Seriously, do you think your dog likes to shop? It’s just you seeking attention. You probably don’t even need anything at Petco… you’re just there because you can bring your dog in, and you think it’s cool to bring a dog out in public. Dogs don’t shop. They would rather be sniffing the pee on that trashcan outside by the front door than walking on slippery retail flooring.”

24. Double-check that your headphones are plugged-in before streaming your favorite Spotify station.

25. Don’t say, “I’m having a party. Bring your own food and drink.” That’s not a party.

26. If you’ve been invited to an event, be reluctant to ask for an upper ceiling on how many friends and relatives you can bring.

27. And finally, all the classics still apply. One working mother offers a quick review here:

Chew with your mouth closed; don’t talk with food in your mouth; keep your elbows off of the table while eating; wash your hands after going to the restroom. My children know better—so why do I see adults exhibiting such poor behavior? If you bump into someone, say excuse me. Don’t reach across someone’s face. Don’t board a plane when they’re loading group A and you are in group D. Don’t stay behind the crosswalk when you are making a left turn and thus prevent anyone else behind you from turning. Don’t let your kids act like wild monkeys in a restaurant. Don’t touch someone’s belly when she’s pregnant–or even when she isn’t. Don’t leave cupboard doors and drawers open—someone can get hurt. And don’t pull up to the exit gate in a parking lot without your ticket handy.”

That may seem like a lot, and to some it may seem like an uptight way to live. But just remember the basic success principle underlying all manners: Think about other people’s feelings first because it’s still not all about you.

31 ETIQUETTE RULES ALL MEN SHOULD FOLLOW – BY JACK ARCHER
Part of being both charming and just a good human being is having the right set of manners. Here’s a few reminders…

1.) Never push someone into a pool or off the dock.

2.) When going out to eat, always offer the seat that has the better view.

3.) If someone asks you for the salt or pepper, always hand them both.

4.) If you’re staying with a friend, never wake up after them.

5.) As a dinner guest, never salt your food before you taste it.

6.) Never get more drunk than the hosts of the party.

7.) Meet your date at your door, not in your car.

8.) At a sporting event, don’t take your seat in the middle of play.

9.) When a lady comes back from the bathroom while out to eat, stand up until she takes her seat. Tom Ford approves of this one.

10.) Never wear sunglasses inside unless you’re Jack Nicholson.

11.) Hold the door open for a woman. It’s old fashioned, sure, but classy.

12.) Always stand when shaking someones hand.

13.) When meeting someone for the first time, never fist-pound.

14.) In a crowded area, never take a seat. Let someone have it who needs it more.
15.) Write hand-written thank you notes after receiving gifts.

16.) Always bring something for the host, even if it’s just a bottle of wine or a 12-pack.

17.) Celebrate with grace, but don’t “humblebrag.”

18.) Place your knife and fork in the 4:20 (clock) position when you’re finished eating. That lets the host or server know you’re finished.

19.) Never check texts, emails, or Instagram when dining with someone.

20.) When introducing someone at work, always introduce the person with higher “rank” first. “Mr. CEO, this is Mark from marketing.”

21.) If you use the last of something, always replace it. Last cup of coffee, toilet paper, etc.

22.) When on speakerphone in a public area, always let the person you’re chatting with know that you are on speakerphone.

23.) When staying with someone, make your bed each morning.

24.) Never say something through the internet that you wouldn’t say to someones face.

25.) Never “one-up” a conversation.

26.) When telling a story, keep it short and sweet.

27.) Don’t give an opinion on a book or movie unless you’ve seen or read it.

28.) Check in with old friends regularly.

29.) Be liberal with your group texts.

30.) When borrowing a car from a friend, always return it with a full tank of gas.

31.) Whether you’re driving with a guest or in the passenger seat, never stay on the phone for longer than a minute. It’s rude to the other person who can’t listen to music and has to hear one-half of a conversation.

 

Graduating? Need a GAP YEAR?

As a student that has worked your way through your high school diploma, do you wonder what is next?  Did you look into colleges and feel you weren’t quite ready?  Did you look at Trade Schools and wonder what trade am I really intrigued by?  Did you think you were done with school forever and then realize that your parents won’t let you hang out on the couch watching tv or playing games, eat out of their refrigerator or prepare food for you the rest of your life?  Maybe it’s time to consider a GAP YEAR.

What IS a gap year?  It is a British term referring to a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between secondary school and higher education.

If that sounds like a great plan for you, look further into this article of all the possibilities. ~ Sandy

The USA Gap Year Fairs profile a broad range of Gap Year programs.

All the programs listed below are Keystone Programs; that is, they are registered to participate in the majority of our fairs across the country.

Below you will find a profile of each Gap Year program and a link to its full website. If there is a specific program you are interested in or a question you have regarding these programs, please feel free to contact them directly!


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Dynamy

Dynamy Internship Year is the oldest and only residential internship program in the country. Our mission is to offer young people, ages 17-22, a transformational gap year (or semester) opportunity. Located in Worceste…

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Thinking Beyond Borders

Thinking Beyond Borders’ gap year programs are specifically designed for students who are passionate about learning and are eager to create meaningful social change in the world. We combine deep cultural immersion, worki…

aspire

API Abroad

API Abroad is dedicated to providing comprehensive gap year and gap semester programs in Argentina, Chile, France, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. API’s language and cultural immersion programs provide students with oppo…

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Gapforce

Students from the USA, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia and more all come together as a Gapforce team to share their adventure. Over 15,000 global students have all participated on our professionally led gap year and study …

Grace

Venture Semester

Venture Semester provides young adults with life-changing experiences in food, farming and leadership in the Green Mountains of Vermont. As a program of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, corps members live, lea…

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Outward Bound

Over one million students in the U.S. have benefited from Outward Bound’s unparalleled approach to “learning by doing.” Outward Bound in the U.S. traces its roots to 1962 when courses were developed to prepare young peop…

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Cross-Cultural Solutions

Expand your horizons through immersive service-based experiences with Cross-Cultural Solutions. With CCS, the possibilities are endless.  We operate year-round in 10 exciting destinations across Africa, Asia, and Latin …

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The Experiment in International Living

The Experiment in International Living provides summer abroad programs for high school students who want to connect deeply and engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of another country. Participants explo…

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EF International Language Centers

Invest in your dreams on the ultimate study abroad experience. Achieve fluency, see the world, expand your international network – and launch your global future. Study for 6, 9 or 11 months and start in April, June, Se…

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Academy at Watkinson

The Academy at Watkinson offers a pre-college year designed by YOU. While strengthening your transcript at a historic preparatory school, you can participate in intriguing internships, travel opportunities to amazing pla…

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Carpe Diem Education

Carpe Diem programs are designed to safely challenge every student. Through service, travel, community and cultural exchange – our students receive a unique and personal insight into themselves and the cultures they live…

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Youth For Understanding (YFU)

YFU advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 60 dif…

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Youth International

Since 1997, Youth International has been providing many people with the most exciting, fulfilling and educational experience of their life. Youth International is an experiential learning program that combines rugged int…

Summit

Summit Adventure

Summit Adventure is a nonprofit organization that uses experiential education, adventure, service and cross-cultural immersion as tools to move individuals and groups out of their comfort zone and into more reliance on G…

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RIDGE Mountain Academy

RIDGE Mountain Academy is a campus-based gap year enrichment program that revolves around mountain sports. Located in Whitefish, Montana, RIDGE is designed for male and female student athletes ages 17 to 20 that are inte…

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Sea|mester

Sea|mester offers a range of unique gap-year adventures where our students live full-time aboard either S/Y Ocean Star or S/Y Argo sailing from island to island, country to country or continent to continent in any number…

Eastman-Immersion

Eastman Immersion

If you’re passionate about music – if you can’t wait to get home from school so that you can practice, if the highlight of your week is an orchestra rehearsal, if you scour the web for recordings or videos of your …

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LEAPNOW: Transforming Education

LEAPNOW runs LEAPYEAR, the only gap year program that is a full academic year in length, focuses equally on international travel and your inner journey and features a fully integrated and accredited year of college and r…

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Visitoz

Visitoz – visit Australia – is the only organisation in Australia that guarantees jobs for young people coming to our country on a Work and Holiday Visa. The visa is for people between the ages of 18 and 30, but most pa…

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Irish Gap Year

Ceid Mile Failte! A hundred thousand welcomes to Ireland! At Irish Gap Year, our pristine beaches, forests and mountains are your classroom. You’ll truly immerse yourself Irish culture, history and nature through trave…

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ARCC Gap

ARCC Programs has been offering programs for young adults since 1983. ARCC Gap Semester programs are an opportunity to live and learn in some of the greatest classrooms on earth. Our Semester programs take students on a …

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MEI Academy

Imagine studying Buddhism in the temples of Angkor Wat, examining communism in the Silk Market of Beijing, or observing efforts in ecological sustainability while scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Learning about th…

CIP

Center for Interim Programs

Founded in 1980, the Center for Interim Programs is the first independent gap-year counseling organization in the United States. For 35 years, Interim has been developing an extensive database of vetted programs and plac…

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Amigos de las Americas

AMIGOS offers Gap Year and Gap Semester opportunities in Nicaragua, Colombia, and Brazil with the goal of empowering youth leaders and promoting community development throughout the Americas. Gap volunteers intern wit…

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FrontierGap

An overseas volunteer or internship placement is a great way to get experience of working in a team and overcoming challenges while having a great time in a beautiful location.  You can also earn qualifications includin…

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The High Mountain Institute (HMI) Gap

The HMI Gap is a semester of rock climbing, exploration, and conservation in the rugged American West and wild Patagonia.HMI Gap is for 18-22 year olds looking to discover more about the world and themselves through out…

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The Leap

Every program delivers a unique and varied experience. In all our program, you’ll get to travel to different locations and work on a range of different projects.  One week you could be teaching local kids whilst livi…

artabroad

Art History Abroad

Study art, architecture and European culture in Italy, Paris and London. Our carefully structured programs last for 12 weeks in the fall, or 6 weeks at other times. We also offer shorter summer courses. Learn about t…

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Where There Be Dragons

In the days before the world had been fully charted, mapmakers would draw dragons to represent lands that were still unknown. Bold explorers who ventured beyond the map’s edge were said to go “where there be dragons….

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National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)

For nearly 50 years, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) has been the leader in wilderness education. More than 221,000 students have learned and mastered outdoor skills, developed leadership, and studied envir…

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Expedition Education Institute

Expedition Education Institute Do you want to be an Ecological Leader, to become deeply rooted in the natural world and in your own power to make change and create a better, more resilient world? Organized as the e…

About Global Impact (1)

International Studies Abroad

ISA Gap programs range anywhere from one month to a full year in length, and include courses that cover virtually every academic discipline: Language, Science, Humanities, and more. Students will take classes at prestigi…

TREK_YMCARockies

YMCA of the Rockies

TREK is a working Christian gap program designed for 18 to 24 year olds seeking personal and spiritual growth while working in a seasonal job at Snow Mountain Ranch. The 2016-2017 TREK @Snow Mountain Ranch (TREK @SMR) w…

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Winterline Global Skills Program

9 months. 10 countries. 100 skills. Are you ready to travel? Gain practical life skills that you didn’t get in high school and won’t get in college? Develop friendships that will last a lifetime? Then come join us…

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International School for Earth Studies

The International School for Earth Studies (ISES) is a private, interdisciplinary institution specializing in earth-based studies.  We seek students who wish to pursue interests related to responsible and sustainable en…

EnRoute

Enroute Consulting

EnRoute Consulting creates customized itineraries for students who are looking for a meaningful, rewarding gap year. Director Julia Rogers offers a personalized, supportive approach in connecting young people with vetted…

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University of Navarra

International Foundation Program Enrolling in the International Foundation Program at the University of Navarra will be an adventure you will remember for the rest of your life. Experience a total language and cultura…

CIEE

CIEE

CIEE offers recent high school graduates a unique way to explore the world. While on a gap year with CIEE, participants establish and hone skills needed to excel in a globally interdependent world gaining greater appreci…

Oyster Worldwide

Oyster Worldwide

Oyster Worldwide is a gap year and responsible travel company with over fifteen years of experience. Our unique projects are demanding, but worthwhile, offering the opportunity to experience life overseas first-hand. …

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Rustic Pathways

A global leader in community service, experiential education, and international adventures for young adults, Rustic Pathways facilitates incredibly unique and powerful Gap Year programs. While emphasizing safety, positiv…

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Keep Kids Brains Active Through Summer!

25 Activities to Keep Kids’ Brains Active in Summer

As students set out on summer adventures, send their parents a much-needed “life preserver” — a list of 25 activities to share and enjoy with their children. These fun activities cover all subjects and grades; there truly is something for everyone. And, if you have your own summer adventurers at home, this list can rescue your kids from the boredom and blahs of rainy summer days. This year, do more than amuse and entertain your kids and hope for the best for your students, keep their minds working all summer long! Included: Twenty-five activities to fight summer boredom and build thinking skills.

It’s summer — that time of year when teachers bid farewell to students, hoping their gleefully escaping charges don’t forget everything they’ve learned during the school year. It’s also the time of year when nervous parents take on the challenge of keeping their children physically busy and mentally active during long summer days. To help those efforts, Education World offers 25 ideas that not only reinforce skills taught during the year, but also to entertain students through the summer months. Share these resources with parents to help them and their children make the most of the lazy, hazy days to come!

Many of these activities link to online resources. In most cases, however, the activities can be completed even by those without Internet access. The activities that do require Internet access can be printed and distributed to students before school ends or accessed and printed by parents at most public libraries.

  1. Fill in summer’s special days and events on the Education World Coloring Calendar for June, July, or August. Or help children use pencils, drawing paper, and rulers to create, decorate, and fill in their own summer calendars.
  2. Teach kids to cook with the step-by-step lessons and recipes at Cooking With Kids. The site also includes measurement reminders, safety tips, and suggestions for involving kids in the cooking process. Or check out your local library or book store for one of the recommended Heritage Cooking for Kids: Taste History books and try out recipes from Colonial days, the Civil War, and the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  3. Make homemade Bubble Solution and experiment with such unique Bubble-Blowing Tools as strings, milk containers, and garbage can lids.
  4. Read aloud The Paper Crane by Molly Bang. Then introduce the art of paper folding by printing and following the instructions for How to Make an Origami Crane.
  5. Go on a Light Walk, an outing designed to teach kids the properties of light and facts about the sun. Bob Miller of the Exploratorium explains it all. Can’t take an online tour? Do your own image walk by printing the directions and template found at the site.
  6. Create musical instruments from materials found around the house. Need help? Enchanted Learning provides instructions for such Musical Instruments as a rattle, box guitar, maraca, and rain stick.
  7. Cool down by making Ice Cream in a Bag. The simple technique produces delicious ice cream in about 5 minutes. What ice cream varieties will you and your child concoct?
  8. Read aloud a selection from Candlelight Storybooks or your own favorite myths or fairy tales. Discuss the stories with your child. Then invite your child to choose a favorite story, and together make a diorama depicting a pivotal moment in the tale.
  9. Catch a firefly and then go to The Firefly Files online, or read a book, such as Fireflies by Sally M. Walker, to help your child learn more about them. Then invite your child to complete the Education World Firefly Facts work sheet. Firefly Facts Answers:
    • Fireflies are really beetles because they have four wings; true flies only have two wings.
    • Most fireflies like warm, humid areas.
    • In the United States, glowing fireflies are found east of the middle of Kansas.
    • Firefly larvae feed mostly on earthworms, snails, and slugs.
    • Scientists believe fireflies use their ability to flash as a warning signal to predators and to attract mates.
  10. Print a grid of dots from Connect the Dots by Math Cats and invite your child to make an original tessellation.
  11. Staple together pieces of plain paper or use a notebook to help your child make a cartoon flip book. Kids draw a sequence of cartoons and simulate motion as they “flip” through the pages. (Note that the first image in the series should be at the bottom of the stack of pages, and the illustrations should progress from bottom to top.) How to Draw Cartoons or The Complete Cartooning Course by Steve Edgell, Brad Brooks, and Tim Pilcher, offer simple instructions for drawing cartoon figures.
  12. Learn about national parks from the comfort of your own home, and encourage your child to complete online activities and become a Web Ranger. Materials are grouped by age and include cool awards and a membership card.
  13. Start a rock collection. Collecting Rocks, a Web site by the U. S. Geological Survey, offers advice to help the novice collector gather, identify, and store neat rock specimens. The Audubon Society Pocket Guide Familiar Rocks and Minerals North America will help children identify and label the rocks and minerals they find.
  14. Plan with your child a family activity day. Decide how much money to spend, and help your child research events and activities in your area and choose an affordable activity the whole family can enjoy. Remind your child to be sure to allow enough time for the activity, and to remember to include food in the day’s plan. (The online Planning a Party guide will help.) Don’t forget to bring a camera and take lots of pictures. Your child can mount and label each photo and create a family scrapbook of your special day. You might provide the questions below to help guide your child’s thoughts as they plan this special day.
    • Describe the event or activity your family will attend.
    • Will everyone in the family enjoy this activity? Why do you think so?
    • What do you need to arrange ahead of time? Will you need to purchase tickets? Pack a lunch? Make reservations?
    • What supplies or materials will you need?
    • What costs will be involved?
  15. Take a virtual CampusTour of colleges and universities your high school student might be considering. Tour the schools’ grounds, look at maps, view videos and photos, and request information about those institutions of higher learning. If you don’t have Internet access at home, take your tour at the local library.
  16. Have your child follow instructions to Build the Best Paper Airplane in the World. Then ask your child to design an original paper airplane and diagram the steps for constructing it, so another family member can recreate it!
  17. Start a family or neighborhood book club. Even a parent and child can form a book club, by reading the same book and chatting about it. For larger groups, check out some online hints for starting a book club.
  18. Hang a white sheet outside at night and shine a light on it. Observe the variety of insects it draws. To identify some of those nighttime visitors, see The Orders and Selected Families of Insects or read the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders.
  19. Kids rarely have the opportunity to design their own rooms to best suit their individual needs. Invite your child to devote some thought to ways to improve his or her living space. Explore with your child Kids’ Room Decorating Ideas to find ways your child might individualize his or her room without spending a great deal of money. Then have the child draw the layout of their “new” room. The following questions might guide kids as they consider the possibilities:
    • Other than sleeping, what do you do most often in your room? Play games? Work on a computer? Listen to music? Do homework? Entertain guests?
    • What furniture or other items do you use most often? What do you use least often?
    • What kind of storage do you need? A dresser? A bookcase? A clothes hamper? A desk?
    • What do you like best about your room? What do you like least?
    • How do you want to change your room?
  20. Help your child make a set of tangrams with instructions found at the Math Forum’s Constructing Your Own Set of Tangrams. Trace the designs on a piece of paper, mix up the tangram pieces, and use them to create jigsaw puzzles.
  21. Create a thing of beauty from a lump of coal! With a few common ingredients, you and your child can grow a “Magic Crystal Garden” with pieces of coal. Instructions for the crystal garden can be found at Joey Green’s Mad Scientist Experiments.
  22. Soar into space (the space in your bedroom, kitchen, or dining room) by constructing Science Bob’s Balloon Rocket. This simple science experiment using a balloon, string, straw, and tape, illustrates the use of air pressure to produce movement.
  23. Turn plain white carnations or fresh-picked Queen Anne’s Lace into dramatic colored creations by Coloring Flowers. Using just food coloring and water, flowers can be changed from white to any tint, usually in just one day. Colors deepen over time, and kids will enjoy modifying the experiment to see what unique combinations they can make.
  24. Invite your child to play a Math game and record his or her scores on a sheet set up like the illustration below. Choose a probability game, a timed flashcard activity, an online game from a site such as FunBrain, or another favorite math activity. Then have your child graph the results of the Game Challenge chart. Celebrate your child’s effort with a special treat.Game Title: _________________________________
    Round Kind of Game Level of Difficulty Score
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5

     

  25. Put old wallpaper and magazine scraps to good use by using them to create Recycled Paper Beads. This easy activity requires very few common materials and keeps kids very busy on rainy days. When they’re finished, children can string their beads and give them as gifts or wear them for fun.

Article by Cara Bafile
Education World®
Copyright © 2009 Education World

– See more at: http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/profdev073.shtml#sthash.WxC0j1nK.dpuf

Binge Eating Disorder – BED

Several eating disorders exist.  Learning about them is important when dealing with children.  A student may not be functioning well in a classroom to do a disorder.  Staying informed helps you help them. ~Sandy

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating. Binge eating disorder is a severe, life-threatening and treatable eating disorder. Common aspects of BED include functional impairment, suicide risk and a high frequency of co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States, affecting 3.5% of women, 2% of men,1 and up to 1.6% of adolescents.2

The DSM-5, released in May 2013, lists binge eating disorder as a diagnosable eating disorder. Binge eating disorder had previously been listed as a subcategory of Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) in the DSM-IV, released in 1994. Full recognition of BED as an eating disorder diagnosis is significant, as some insurance companies will not cover an individual’s eating disorder treatment without a DSM diagnosis.

BED Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria
The DSM-5, published in 2013, lists the diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder:

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
    • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).
  2. The binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
    • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
  3. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
  4. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
  5. The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

Characteristics of BED
In addition to the diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder, individuals with BED may display some of the behavioral, emotional and physical characteristics below. Not every person suffering from BED will display all of the associated characteristics, and not every person displaying these characteristics is suffering from BED, but these can be used as a reference point to understand BED predispositions and behaviors.

Behavioral Characteristics

  • Evidence of binge eating, including the disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food.
  • Secretive food behaviors, including eating secretly (e.g., eating alone or in the car, hiding wrappers) and stealing, hiding, or hoarding food.
  • Disruption in normal eating behaviors, including eating throughout the day with no planned mealtimes; skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals; engaging in sporadic fasting or repetitive dieting; and developing food rituals (e.g., eating only a particular food or food group [e.g., condiments], excessive chewing, not allowing foods to touch).
  • Can involve extreme restriction and rigidity with food and periodic dieting and/or fasting.
  • Has periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling uncomfortably full, but does not purge.
  • Creating lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge sessions.

Emotional and Mental Characteristics

  • Experiencing feelings of anger, anxiety, worthlessness, or shame preceding binges. Initiating the binge is a means of relieving tension or numbing negative feelings.
  • Co-occurring conditions such as depression may be present. Those with BED may also experience social isolation, moodiness, and irritability.
  • Feeling disgust about one’s body size. Those with BED may have been teased about their body while growing up.
  • Avoiding conflict; trying to “keep the peace.”
  • Certain thought patterns and personality types are associated with binge eating disorder. These include:
    • Rigid and inflexible “all or nothing” thinking
    • A strong need to be in control
    • Difficulty expressing feelings and needs
    • Perfectionistic tendencies
    • Working hard to please others

Physical Characteristics

  • Body weight varies from normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity.
  • Weight gain may or may not be associated with BED. It is important to note that while there is a correlation between BED and weight gain, not everyone who is overweight binges or has BED.

BED Population and Demographics
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States; it is estimated to affect 1-5% of the general population.1 BED affects 3.5% of women, 2% of men,1 and up to 1.6% of adolescents.2

Demographic Information

  • Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men—estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female and 40% are male.
  • In women, binge eating disorder is most common in early adulthood. In men, binge eating disorder is more common in midlife.
  • Binge eating disorder affects people of all demographics across cultures.

Physical and Psychological Effects of BED
Binge eating disorder has strong associations with depression, anxiety, guilt and shame. Those suffering from BED may also experience comorbid conditions, either due to the effects of the disorder or due to another root cause. Comorbid conditions can be both physical and/or psychological.

Physical Effects

  • Most obese people do not have binge eating disorder. However, of individuals with BED, up to two-thirds are obese; people who struggle with binge eating disorder tend to be of normal or heavier-than-average weight.
  • The health risks of BED are most commonly those associated with clinical obesity. Some of the potential health consequences of binge eating disorder include:
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol levels
    • Heart disease
    • Type II diabetes
    • Gallbladder disease
    • Fatigue
    • Joint pain
    • Sleep apnea

Psychological Effects

  • People struggling with binge eating disorder often express distress, shame and guilt over their eating behaviors.
  • People with binge eating disorder report a lower quality of life than those without binge eating disorder.
  • Binge eating disorder is often associated with symptoms of depression.
  • Compared with normal weight or obese control groups, people with BED have higher levels of anxiety and both current and lifetime major depression.

BED Treatment
Effective evidence-based treatments are available for binge eating disorder, including specific forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and pharmacotherapy.

All treatments should be evaluated in the matrix of risks, benefits, and alternatives. Decisions regarding treatments should be made after consulting with a trained medical professional and eating disorder specialist.

To find a treatment provider who specializes in binge eating disorder, please visit NEDA’s Treatment Options database.

Social Stigma of BED
Many people suffering from binge eating disorder report that it is a stigmatized and frequently misunderstood disease. Greater public awareness that BED is a real diagnosis—and should not be conflated with occasional overeating—is needed in order to ensure that every person suffering from BED has the opportunity to access resources, treatment, and support for recovery.

NEDA’s shareable binge eating disorder infographic offers an easy way to spread the word about BED. It is important to underscore that BED is not a choice; it’s an illness that requires recognition and treatment.

Sources
1. Hudson, J.I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H.G. et al. (2007)The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol.Psychiatry, 61, 348–358.
2. Swanson SA, Crow SJ, Le Grange D, Swendsen J, Merikangas KR. Prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in adolescents. Results from the national comorbidity survey replication adolescent supplement. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2011;68(7):714–723

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder