July 1999, Volume 2.11
Strategic Studies e-News
Visit us at http://www.strategicstudies.com
Message from the President

A Tailor-Made Education: Home School

Summertime

Teaching Children The Importance of Saving

The Flag Goes By

July Links

Message from the President

The months continue to roll by more quickly than one can imagine. The staff here have been busy working on new programs and services that will benefit educators, parents and students. Watch for the launching of lessonpro.net, within the next few weeks. lessonpro.net is a free service that lets educators add an online component, to their classroom lessons, without knowing any html. E-Tutor II will debut in the Fall and will include many additional features to the very popular e-Tutor program. Keep an eye on all of our web pages, they will take on a new look in the weeks ahead.

summervac.gif (8102 bytes)This is the month when families and individuals traditionally get away for a few days, weeks and even months. When I was young we always looked forward to those times when all six of us would stuff ourselves into the old family station wagon and take off for a week of camping. We played, laughed, and, sometimes, argued and cried with one another. It was fun and different, because it was not at home and we weren’t bound by the schedules of our regular days.

So often, in these fast-paced times in which we live, we find it difficult to allow time for ourselves. It is often hard to break away from important work or activities that hold us in one place day after day, but a change of pace and space can be revitalizing. For some it is a day or two away at home or in town, for others it is an extended visit to far off places. What ever you choose to do, leave your work behind, enjoy the time away, and then come back refreshed and ready for the important daily work or activity you do. Have Fun!

M. Angulo

 

 

 

e-News Page 2
Message from the President

A Tailor-Made Education: Home School

Summertime

Teaching Children The Importance of Saving

The Flag Goes By

July Links

A Tailor-Made Education: Home School

The home schooling movement gained national attention in 1987 when Grant Colfax, a home school student from California, gained admission to Harvard University. Colfax and his three younger brothers had been home schooled throughout their lives. Colfax went on to become a Fulbright scholar, and also gained admission to Harvard Medical School. His siblings have attended Harvard, Yale, and Harvard Law School.

Home schooling is no longer considered a radical departure from education, the domain of religious fundamentalists and former hippies. Rather, it often proves to be an intelligent choice made by parents. In the wake of news stories about school violence, drug use and teen pregnancy, an increasing number of parents are turning to home schooling. A recent article about home schooling in the Washington Post quoted Patricia Lines, of the U.S. Department of Education,: "The idea of home schooling has become more regularized. It’s no longer treated as a strange thing… A very diverse group, now, is turning to home schooling."

After a 1993 court battle, home schooling became legal in all 50 states. Interest in the movement is growing, and the number of parents is increasing at the rate of 15% per year, according to the Home school Legal Defense Association. A 1998 Newsweek magazine article conservatively estimates home school students at one and a half million.

Parents choose home schooling for a variety of reasons. Some parents do not think public schools are adequate learning environments for their children. Home schooling allows the parent and child to take charge of their education and find the best educational materials that are also fun and interesting.

Other parents use home schooling to attend to the needs of their gifted child or their child with special needs. The flexibility of the home school schedule allows a special interest to be nurtured, and special needs to be attended to. Such one-on-one interaction between teacher and student is not often available or possible in schools.



 

e-News Page 3
Message from the President

A Tailor-Made Education: Home School

Summertime

Teaching Children The Importance of Saving

The Flag Goes By

July Links

Summertime

The summer is a great opportunity to do a lot of things: you have free time to explore your interests and enjoy the freedom that summer always seems to bring. Involve your children and students in your activities; make learning a year-round process.

Encourage your children and students to take advantage of their time during the summer. Any event can be turned into a learning activity: a trip to the pool can involve a lesson in measurement: how deep is three feet? How deep does water have to be to dive? A trip to a science-fiction movie can lead to a discussion of science: what are some scientific impossibilities that occur in the movie?

Enroll your child in a summer school class. Encourage them to pursue their interest: if your school does not offer art classes, perhaps oil painting is something they have always wanted to pursue. If you cannot find a school or community center that offers a course, look for someone who might want a summer apprentice. Perhaps a local artist would be willing to teach an eager student about the finer points of mixing oil paints.

Above all, talk to your child and discuss their summer plans. Ask them questions about their interests and things they wish they could do. Sparking their interests and giving them the opportunity to pursue their interests will let them love learning, not just year round, but lifelong.

Helen Nam

usflag.jpg (4115 bytes) The Flag Goes By

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Henry Holcomb Bennett

 

e-News Page 4
Message from the President

A Tailor-Made Education: Home School

Summertime

Teaching Children The Importance of Saving

The Flag Goes By

July Links

Teaching Children The Importance of Saving

piggy.gif (1930 bytes)Traditionally, children store all their savings in a piggy bank, shaking out money as they need it. However, you can use a piggy bank to teach your child the importance and value of saving money.

Instead of having a single piggy bank, try setting up four piggy banks. For example, the banks could be jars, ranging in size from a jam jar, a mason jar, a quart jar and a gallon jar. They should be different sizes because each jar serves a different purpose.

The smallest jar would be similarly to an ATM: money can be withdrawn at any time. Children can use this petty cash to buy an after school snack, a magazine or any small item that they want. There would be no set amount for this jar; the child can remove or add money at will.

The second jar would serve as a short-term saving fund: money for a new baseball glove or a new outfit for school. The money saved in this jar would be redeemed in a few months, so the savings amount could be set at twenty-five or fifty dollars.

The third jar would be a long-term saving fund: money for a new bike, a laptop computer or something similar. The money saved in this jar would be redeemed in a few years. The amount of money set for this would be at least a hundred dollars, and could range for up to a thousand dollars.

The last jar would be a planning fund: a new car or tuition for college. There would be no amount of money set for this jar: car costs vary widely, as do college costs. This jar would emphasize the large cost of these items and the importance of long term goals.

It may seem somewhat ridiculous to ask a seven-year-old to start planning for something so far off in the future, but it may prove to be a wise investment. Annual tuition for public schools currently cost around $10,000, and private schools cost more than twice as much. According to the federal reserve, the average amount financed on a new car loan was over $18,000.

However, there is one caveat to this savings plan: if your child decides to save towards a college education, you will want to carefully examine where that money will go. If your child seeks financial aid for college, current financial aid formulas ask the student to contribute up to thirty-five percent of their income, whereas the parent is asked to contribute only five or six percent. If you and your child decide to take the jars to a bank and set up separate accounts, it may be to your advantage to set up the account in your name rather than your child’s.

 

e-News Page 5
Message from the President

A Tailor-Made Education: Home School

Summertime

Teaching Children The Importance of Saving

The Flag Goes By

July Links

Label each jar, and include a picture and price of the desired item, so the child is reminded of what he is saving for and how much money he needs to save. Encourage the child to keep track of his deposits, recording the date and amount. This familiarizes the child with record keeping, a lesson that can be applied when he opens his own checking account.

Money can be earned through an allowance, or through performing chores. As the child grows older, she can contribute her summer job or after-school job earning to the jars. Allowance can be given in a lump sum, which allows the child to split the money any way he or she sees fit. A lump sum encourages a child to budget: if she wants a new toy, she must calculate how much and how long she must save in order to purchase the toy.

Although it may seem like insignificant amounts to the child, over a series of years, it will add up. As the jars fill and the child grows order, the jars can be adapted to include various other banking terms and conditions.

When the child reaches twelve to fourteen years of age, you may want to teach the value of interest by assigning a modest rate of interest to each jar. As in real life, the long-term savings have a higher rate of interest, and the short term has a lower rate of interest. As the money outgrows the gar, bring the money to a bank and set up an account for the child.

In the high school years, you may want to teach the rewards of investing: money could be withdrawn from the long-term planning fund and be invested into a stock that interests him or her. The child can track the stock market and the growth of their funds. However, because of the separate jars, the child is somewhat protected from a stock failure.

money_bill.gif (20692 bytes)If you are uncomfortable with the idea of your child having easy access to money, or do not feel that they are ready for the responsibility, use play money. As your child earns money through chores or receives their allowance, pay them play money. When they do decide to purchase an item, they must ask you to redeem their play money for real money. You can decide whether their purchase is appropriate and responsible before redeeming the play money.

 

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Message from the President

A Tailor-Made Education: Home School

Summertime

Teaching Children The Importance of Saving

The Flag Goes By

July Links

Regardless, strict rules must be set for each jar: money can only move from a smaller jar to a larger jar, and it can never move down. A college fund cannot be eliminated to pay for a leather jacket – this exercise is intended to teach the rewards of long-term planning as well as a sound financial strategy.

Most importantly, it is important for the parent to resist the urge to bail the child out. If she does not have enough money to buy a new basketball, she must find a solution. Although this may seem harsh, this long-term lesson will hopefully turn into lifelong learning.

Have a Happy 4th of July

July Links

Copyright 1999 Strategic Studies (http://www.strategicstudies.com)