Monthly Archives: September 2017

Unemployed Students

Many financial institutions specialize in instant loans, just like payday ones. These have an approval time ranging from 24 – 48 hours, and are very popular with the student population. Another reason they need financial assistance is when they want to get that all important car for their transportation needs. Car loans are also offered by many lending institutions as these are secured. Let us take a look at the different options available for them in the market today.

Cash Loans

Every student at one time or the other goes through a situation where an emergency cash requirement props up. The reason and the amount required can vary from person to person, but the need remains the same. With the traditional sources of acquiring loans requiring income proof and good credit rating, the option available for many of them is taking a cash loan. These are the equivalent of payday loans and have a high-interest rate.

These are made available by lending organizations by filling up an online application form. The creditor will perform a background check before giving one. Credit history (if any), the applicant’s identity, and background will be checked; academic background might be checked by some lenders. In some cases, a guarantor will be required for the approval of the same.

Personal Loans

Being an unemployed student with financial needs is a very difficult situation to be in, because there is little or no financial help available. Nowadays, however, there are lending institutions that provide personal loans to such individuals. These are mostly secured and are for a lesser duration; usually, the principal amount can be repaid in 1 – 6 months.

Generally, one can pick the repayment plan, which is restricted to less than six months in most cases. To get such a loan, the lender might ask you to come up with collateral, like jewelry or car. The rate of interest is also calculated according to the amount granted, the value of the collateral, and the duration of the term.

Car Loans

Almost every student dreams of owning a car and these loans are making this dream come true for many of them. Most lenders give them out because, in case of non-payment of the amount, they can repossess the car and sell it to recover the amount. Some lending institutions will ask for a cosigner who has a good credit rating; students generally use a family member. The interest rate is not that high, and it is a good option for those looking to get their own set of wheels. Contacting the car manufacturer or dealer for availing the same is a much better option than getting one from a private lender.

Homeschooling Laws

Quick Fact
In the year 2011-2102, the parents of 91% of the homeschooled pupils said that their dissatisfaction with the public school environment was the primary reason for switching their children to home schools, instead.
Homeschooling is a concept fast becoming popular in the U.S., with many families preferring to teach their children at home, instead of sending them to a more formal educational institution. The reasons for this vary―parents wish to be associated more closely with their child’s development, or they feel dissatisfied with the public school system, or they are worried about their child’s safety when at school, or their child has special needs, or even if the child is gifted in music or sport and needs more time to practice that art.
Yes, the reasons definitely vary. What remains universal is the fact that parents believe they can make their child a better individual if he/she is schooled at home, either by them, or a tutor. However, it may not be very easy to switch to or decide on homeschooling, in some states. Fortunately, the law in Texas is friendlier on parents, and allows them to switch to homeschooling quite easily. Before you make the decision of schooling your child at home, do make sure to get well acquainted with all your legal rights.
Homeschooling Laws in Texas
Homeschools in Texas are considered to be private schools by law, and hence, children are exempted from compulsory attendance to public schools if they are being schooled at home. An excerpt from the Texas Education Code, Chapter 25, Section 25.086. states that, “A child is exempt from the requirements of compulsory school attendance if the child:
(1) attends a private or parochial school that includes in its course a study of good citizenship;”

For legal homeschooling in Texas, the law requires parents to follow three basic requirements:
The curriculum must include five mandatory subjects―spelling, grammar, mathematics, reading, and a study of good citizenship (i.e., civics).
The curriculum must be in visual form―either books, computers, or a combination of both.
The instruction must be bona fide, which means that it must be completely genuine, and not a sham.
Many families have found that their children have highly benefited from homeschooling, have gone on to university after completing 18 years of age, and have become successful, accomplished adults.
Homeschooling in Texas: All That You Should Know
Texas is a “free” state when it comes to homeschooling, meaning, the law is easier on parents than homeschooling laws in other states in the US. There are a few general requirements for legitimate homeschooling in Texas, which are fairly easy for parents to understand and follow.
Age
The age requirement for schooling is six years as of September that year, till the time the child turns 18 and has graduated high school. This requirement applies to both public as well as private schools, and since homeschools fall under the private school category, this age requirement applies to homeschool pupils, too.
Attendance
According to the Texas Education Code, public schools must have 180 working days in a year, out of which students must attend a minimum of 170 working days, unless subject to exemptions mentioned in the Education Code. However, since homeschools are private schools in Texas, there is no specific number of working days mentioned by the law. The school (or in this case, the parent) can decide the number of days their child has to be homeschooled in a year.

Effective Reading Lesson Plans

The history of guided reading plans started in New Zealand around 1960. It was developed by two educators – Myrtle Simpson (inspector of school) and Ruth Trevor (National Adviser on Reading). This idea was then incorporated by Tom Wright in the United States who secured the rights to the sunshine series of leveled books from New Zealand. Slowly, the guided plans started gaining momentum and spread across the globe bringing benefits to teachers and students.

Steps to Improve Reading Skills

Guided reading lesson plans are developed with an aim to improve the reading skills of students by use of strategies. Usually teachers start by working in small homogeneous groups where teachers analyze and work on the weak areas of students. According to literary educators, guided plans are followed in the steps outlined below.

Advocating Students to Read Loudly
Firstly, the teacher needs to assess the background of the student by providing a mini lesson for reading. The teacher then works on the student’s reading skill by helping the student to pronounce difficult words and correcting his/her mistakes. Here, activity like connecting the dots is a great idea where the teacher relates the lesson to the student’s personal experience so as to inculcate interest in reading. Explaining the text in easy to understand language is done so that the student can get the crux of the story, which in turn helps him/her to work on the unique words and phonics.

Encouraging Silent Reading
Through silent reading, the student can understand inferences, locate information pertaining to the story and set the purpose by reading the text. A teacher should encourage students to see the picture and decode the meaning of the text. Also, by encouraging students to ask questions, the teacher can get a brief idea of the student’s thinking ability. The teacher should ask questions about the story, which will help the child to strengthen his/her weak areas. Like in many kindergarten schools, a story is broken down and students are encouraged to draw the story into pictures and express their thoughts.

Rereading for Improving Fluency
Teachers motivate students to reread the story so as to improve the vocabulary and foster rhythmic reading. The idea is to relate minor details to the big picture. Through this approach, a teacher can monitor the problems faced by the student in pronouncing difficult words. This is a widely practiced option, which enables the teacher to get the clear picture. The teacher can also progress to a more challenging text, if the students show progress in their current level.

Round Robin Reading Strategy

Pop-Corns!!
Popcorn reading is another oral reading practice, where the teacher reads a few lines, before uttering the word ‘popcorn’, followed by the student’s name who should do the reading job after her.
All teachers have this power to create a bunch of intellectuals. But the task is demanding and requires several ways to motivate and make the students inclined towards learning. As they rightly say, it is easier to take a horse to the pond, but it is not easy to make it drink water from the pond. Likewise, it is easier to gather the students for the class, but it is no easy job to inspire them to learn.

Therefore, several strategies are used by the teachers to pursue their teaching talent, apart from using the long chiding sessions and the stick-trick with their pupils. Well, coming back to the point, one of the most practiced strategy is the Round Robin Reading Strategy. We shall call it the RRRS henceforth in the rest of this article. The name is potent, agreed. But what is the strategy and how to apply it in the teaching process, what are its merits and demerits, if any. These are some of the questions whose answers we will seek in this article.

To begin with, let’s specify that the term generally hinges on the phenomenon of repetition. For a while we are transported back in the time of history, when we used to be in schools and had tough times in the company of those really strict teachers. But have we ever experienced RRRS ourselves? I am sure, at least once in our lifetime, we have all been exposed to this practice.
History of Round Robin Reading Strategy (RRRS)
Now before delving into the borders of its advantages and disadvantages, let us first find out, what exactly is RRRS? It is nothing but the practice of allotting each and every student in the classroom to read from chapters which is a new chapter.

So, no one has any idea about the content of the chapter. While s/he does the reading, the rest of the class listens, waiting for their turn to come; or rather hoping that the class gets dismissed for the day, before they become the next easy prey to this unique practice! Well, the practice is also famous as ‘popcorn reading’.

Well, the origin of the term is dicey, many sources say that there were times when in navy, there were complaints lodged against the higher authority, which were undersigned by the members who complained. In order to keep themselves safe from bearing the blame of initiation of the complaint, the signatories signed in a ’round’ pattern on the paper, thus, successfully hiding the initiator of the complaint.