A very large study concluded last year is common sense to some, makes some of our politically-oriented colleagues see red, but provides much-needed validation to the rest of us.
The study’s title is: “The Long-Term Teacher Impacts: The Value-Added Outcomes of Teachers in Adulthood: The study was conducted by John Friedman and Raj Chetty of Harvard University and Columbia University’s Jonah E. Rockoff. The study tracked two and a half million students over twenty years from grade four to adulthood.
Although the whole “value-added” topic is where civil conversation can begin to unravel, I hope you’ll stay with me for the larger point of this post. Value-added, of course, refers to using average test-score gain as the measure of teacher quality. (Nothing controversial there, right?)
At my work at our Adult Learning Center, I get so many questions about homeschooling that in this post, I’ll try to shine some light on a sometímes controversial topic. Homeschooling is no longer a fad or trend that parents are merely trying out. In fact, there are a lot of parents who are seriously considering taking on homeschooling for their own children.
This is because of the fact that a lot of homeschooled children actually often outperform their peers from both public and private schools. This can be attributed to the fact that the child receives undivided attention from his parent/teacher. This is not something public or private schools can fully promise.
During our college days, veteran psychologist Guy Wolfkill often raised his index finger in a solemn admonition which came to make a lot of common sense to us. “If you want to live the fullest life for the longest time,” Dr. Wolfkill warned, “you must learn to sacrifice present pleasures for future benefits.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it isn’t, at all. In fact, your daily habits are almost sacred to you, and your appetite is usually the most sacred of all.
Said less cleverly: If you are determined to have a genuinely happy life, you must pay the price. it is not expensive in dollars, but it is in sense. It comes only by self-control, not by luck or special blessing, except as you may have long-lived ancestors whose heritage of health may give you some advantage. And the better an ancestor you are–if you can look ahead that far–the more grateful your descendants will be for their heritage of health.
Wouldn’t it be great if science could discover a magic pill which would bring health to everyone! Or would it? We agree that our society would be in a much worse situation than it is if scientific discoveries had not added twenty years to our lives.
Yet medical science is baffled by new diseases it can neither explain nor cure. And it has made more than a few errors: drugs which have backfired with serious side effects and treatments which have killed more than cured. Would you welcome insights on some fundamentals of health which were given to man a long time ago, not only to remedy disease but also to prevent it–and early death?
Suppose you find that you can stop the knock in your car’s motor by either reducing its compression or buying a higher octane gasoline instead of your current brand. Which would you choose?
Inspired by Lexie Lane’s post for her birthday, I decided to talk about what I think of my life right now. I decided to do this because while I thought writing about myself would shed some light on who I am, the topics seemed out of left field for me. My posts are about motherhood, healthy eating, and getting my body back in shape.
I would rather share bits about myself a little at a time, and when I truly feel inspired, not just basing the posts on some random prompts–Nothing against NaBoPoMo, it would just seem out of character for THIS blog. Moving on!
Lexie Lane of Voiceboks is celebrating her 35th birthday by sharing a recap of her life and describing it as Perfect, so why don’t you go over there and wish her a Happy Birthday! She asked the question, “What word would you describe your life at this very moment?” and my word is Appreciation.
Thanksgiving for our family for the past 8 years has looked like this: Thanksgiving Day, we go to my families.
Just my immediate family: My Mom, Dad, Sister & her Husband (along with way too many dogs); but my extended family always gets together out at my parents’ house the Friday after Thanksgiving for a fun-filled day of food, games (The Family Thanksgiving Olympics), bonfires, etc.
We’re always missing it though, because we are usually headed to Disney World with my in-laws.
See, to say my kids have been spoiled in how many times they’ve gotten to experience the magical world of Disney would be an understatement.
My son, Buddy: who’s 6 (7 at the end of next month) has been to Disney world 6 times. And my daughter, Sissy: who’s 5 has been there 6 times. I guess those are the perks of having a Grandma and Grandpa who are Disney Vacation Club Members.
It’s funny where the inspiration for these posts sometimes comes from, and this one comes from my decision to listen to an old George Michael cd the other day! In case you haven’t heard of him, George was a hugely successful singer mainly in the 80’s and 90’s. One of the albums he made and the one I chose to listen to yesterday was called: Listen Without Prejudice.
It was a really great album and one of the few albums from the 90’s that I re-visit with any regularity. It’s an album where his fabulous voice, his genius songwriting skills and his love of truly great music shine through.
Sadly, he brought out albums in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that were, in my opinion, bland and forgettable, I guess most artists get into this situation eventually and then gradually get forgotten. Last year, on December 25, George died but until then he kept on making the headlines, but usually for all the wrong reasons.
George’s claim to fame in those days was for getting stoned and driving into lamp posts and shop windows! Not pretty! George made so much money, (he is said to be worth around £100 million) he never had to work again. But was he happy? Err obviously, not.
I am. so. tired. The last few days have just been…crazy. I’m the kind of tired that coffee’s not even touching, you know? So, because I’m tired and also quite lazy, I’m gonna post about random things and use bullets. Because bullets are fun!
There are a lot of bugs here at our new house. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re “out in the country”, but we’re much more rural than we’ve ever been before, and with rural comes bugs. Lots and lots of bugs. The mosquitoes are especially relentless; I have twenty-six bites between my two feet alone. Julia’s are more angry welts than bites and they’re downright painful to look at.
I’ve always felt that a disadvantage to having Julia at home with me is that she’s missing out on the structure and social interaction a daycare setting provides. I am grateful beyond words that I’m able to stay at home with my children and although being a stay-at-home mother is hard – damn hard, sometimes – it is without question the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Yet there are things I feel are integral for children to have and experience that I simply cannot give Julia here at home; structure and social interaction top the list. I’ve done my best to ensure that Julia interacts with other kids her age as much as possible and I try to offer her as much structure and routine as I can here at home even if I am every day busy with my GED prep that I take on the Best GED Classes website.
It’s difficult, though, to balance both Julia and Oliver’s day-to-day routines, which are almost never in sync, and offer a three-year-old a structured day when I’ve got a one-year-old and a house to take care of, too. Continue reading →
It’s bright and early on Saturday morning – well, it’s about 9:30, so maybe not all that early, but it sure is bright! I’m tricking myself into thinking that it’s gorgeous out, since it’s so sunny, but as I sit here listening to the heat feverishly rising into the radiators, I can pretty much surmise that it’s probably a good twenty degrees outside, IF that.
I’m still sleepy – yesterday, my husband and I both left work early because we had our home inspection. We met up at the house with our realtor, the inspector, and my parents. My mom and I scurried around the house, measuring all of the windows for curtains and blinds, and we giggled over where we would put things, what we needed, and how it would look when we’re done, as my husband and dad followed the inspector around – my dad translated to Aaron, since he is not fluent in “house speak.” Continue reading →