Charter vs. Private Schools: 7 Key Differences You Need to Know

Making the right educational choice for your children can often prove to be a pivotal moment in their young lives. It is all too easy to get confused or misinterpret what each option is offering.

Although the benefits of charter schools are clear to see when you understand what makes them stand apart from private schools, it helps to appreciate the fundamental differences between the two options.

Here is what you need to know about the key differences so that you make an informed decision.

The way each school is funded offers a clear distinction

Funding is a critical component that helps illuminate the difference between a charter and private school.

Charter schools are public schools. This means they get their funding from state and federal government resources, whereas a private school has to be financed using grants, donations, and their main source of funding, tuition fees.

The cost of sending your child to a private or charter school

Another area where there is clear blue water between charter and private schools is tuition costs.

The bottom line is that charter schools do not charge tuition fees specifically. On the other hand, a private school will charge each pupil a tuition fee for each term.

Differences in admission criteria

In reality, private schools have more autonomy to set their own admission requirements. This means that certain schools have developed a reputation for being highly selective in their admissions process and qualify criteria.

Charter schools do not operate an admissions policy that is guided by economic or educational benchmarks. This creates a greater level of student diversity in charter schools, which can be viewed as a positive for enriching your child’s educational journey.

Accountability when it comes to educational standards

As you would expect for your child, the ability to measure how a school stacks up in terms of educational standards is an important point.

There is a clear distinction when it comes to educational standards and comparing charter and private schools. It should be noted that private schools do not come under the same scrutiny or legal requirements to meet certain educational standards/

A private school could be better or worse than a comparable charter school, but they don’t have standards imposed on them. Therefore, you have more of an idea what you are getting when your child attends a charter school.

Religious and political influences

These aspects of educational influences are more pronounced in private schools. Charter schools have a legal obligation to maintain an admissions policy that is free from any political or religious influential factors.

The quality of teaching staff

As you would expect, both charter and private schools aim to employ teaching staff with all the suitable accreditations and qualifications you would expect. However, it should be noted that private schools don’t have the same legal requirement to meet these standards as charter schools.

Diversity and demographics

It can be a key divider between a private and charter school when you analyze the student and teacher demographics.

Generally speaking, you can expect a charter school to be more diverse in this respect than a private school.

These are the main differences to be aware of when comparing charter and private schools. Knowing this information can help you to ask the right questions and make a more informed decision about where you send your child to school.

7 Ways for Parents to Support Their Kids’ Studies

Parents are responsible for teaching their kids about the importance of education. However, more than that, parents should teach children how learning can be a positive thing. School and grades don’t have to be a child’s only definition of success. Learning shouldn’t come through pressure and fear. It should be a natural process for a child as they are already curious and smart creatures. Finding the right approach to your kid’s learning will help them enjoy school and the lessons they receive. Hence, parents must find gentle ways to encourage their children to study. Here are seven of them.

1. Motivate your children

First of all, your child should have a clear understanding of why they need to learn. Personal motivation will greatly increase their chances of success while encouraging them to study. So, have a conversation with your child about their dreams and goals for life. Show them how being well-educated, articulate, and intelligent will improve their chances of success. Add some examples and describe them as a path from where they are to where they want to be in 10-20 years.

A child knows little about the world outside. It’s hard for them to connect the lessons in school with real-world practices. Yet, as a parent, you can explain how the school prepares children for the future. Of course, you better highlight that it’s not all about grades but also about self-discipline, responsibility, communication skills, and much more. Together, you can find a working motivation for a child that will get them through the hard times.

2. Treat them with rewards

How about showing your children when they’ve done a great job? After all, you don’t want your kid to think that good grades are all that is expected of them. As a parent, you want to encourage them to bring good results from school, not push them into doing so every time. So, a good reward system can help you release some pressure and teach a kid to work towards the goal.

Explain to your child that they will get a small celebration with each achievement. It can be anything from dining at their favorite place to a new toy or a weekend trip somewhere they like.

3. Help with organization

See your kid’s study routine and notice if they need any help. Organizational skills don’t come naturally to people. We build them slowly with time and experience. However, you can help your child speed up the process. Create a study plan and schedule that enhances their efficiency and productivity.

Your child will benefit from a little bit more structure in their life. So, start by waking them up and putting them to bed at the same time. See what time they are most energized and use it for learning. Leave some free time for fun activities as a reward.

4. Reduce their stresses

School can come with a lot of stress. It’s your job as a parent to teach your kids to cope with that stress. Try to notice any early signs of stress and take action immediately. Such urgency is necessary here. First, a stressed child does a worse job at studying. This is because they are too anxious to focus and learn new information. Secondly, if they don’t know how to deal with stress now, they will grow into anxious adults who will easily burn out at work or fail under pressure.

Lastly, chronic stress can be the first symptom of more serious mental health issues. So, don’t hesitate to intervene. Take your child for a walk. Teach them some calming breathing techniques. Perhaps, delegate their assignments to writers and spend a fun day off together in a park.

5. Focus on learning, not grading

Teach your kids to keep their priorities straight. School is not the place where you learn how to score the highest grade. It’s a place to learn, listen to new information, open your mind to facts and truth, as well as find your passions in life. Encouraging your kids to focus on grades will teach them the wrong lessons and reduce the meaning of the lessons they are there to learn. Your child should already feel good about each milestone they’ve achieved in a class, whether it’s about solving a new math formula or understanding a character’s motivation in the book. They don’t need to wait for external approval to show them right.

6. Listen to your child’s concerns

Sometimes, the best way to support your child’s studying is by listening to them. If your child is old enough to be in school, they are old enough to express their concerns, hardships, and worries about studying. Listen to them. Get to the roots of each problem. Find solutions together. Your child should know that you have their back no matter what.

7. Provide them with all necessities

Make your kids’ lives as easy as possible at home. Now, it doesn’t include canceling all their chores or other domestic and family lessons. Yet, it means taking good care of them when they prepare for and return from school. Such care includes providing them with nutritious food, controlling their sleep and rest, as well as spending some fun time afterward learning. All these are the necessities to raising a happy, smart, and successful child.

How to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Parents always want to do what is best for their children. They don’t like seeing their kids struggle or fail. That’s why parents go out of their way to help their children in school. Here are five non-invasive ways you can do it.

Motivate your child

Strong motivation can get your child far in their school performance. You just need to find the right words and discover inspiring goals. Sometimes, students start to drag behind due to a lack of motivation. They don’t see the reason to work harder than they already do. It’s not their fault exactly. Children know little about the world, how it operates, and what is expected of them to succeed.

It’s your job as a parent to explain to children the importance of education. However, take a personal approach here. Don’t just tell them to bring good grades home without telling them why. Show them where good grades can bring them. Discuss various professions and careers they may find interesting. Explain how education can make them better, more interesting, and intellectual people.

Seeing the big picture will open their eyes to the world outside school walls. It will transform their idea of education. So, they will stop seeing good grades as the final goal but rather as the tool to make their dreams come true.

Help getting organized

Children lack organizational or time management skills. They rather rely on their mood than a schedule. Fortunately, you can help them build a healthy routine. Sit together and discuss their available time. Create a schedule with strict hours for homework, sports practices, and other activities. Don’t forget to leave enough room for free time and some fun activities.

After all, your child shouldn’t feel trapped in the schedule you’ve created. If they start lacking time for things they like doing, they will take it from other time slots meant for school. Thus, don’t try to trick them into doing more. Rather, show them how to complete all their tasks in the most efficient way so they can enjoy the rest of the day stress-free.

Reward them for good work

Your child should grow up thinking good grades, and excellent performance is expected of them at all time. Parents often think that such a mindset should lead their children to greatness when, in reality, it only puts too much unnecessary pressure on them. You don’t

want your child to feel like they’ve disappointed you after not getting an A. This way, they study to deserve your approval instead of being engaged into the process itself and take joy in learning.

So, instead of taking good drugs as the only accepted norm, try the reward system. Praise them every time your child brings home good results. Encouraging a child with praises and rewards will positively affect their study experience and encourage them to try their best. After all, you don’t want a child who is deeply afraid of failure. These kinds won’t take assignments they aren’t sure about. Of course, they can always read things like a myassignmenthelp review and find help online. But you’d rather have them test their strengths first, wouldn’t you?

Attend school meetings and conferences

To help your child succeed, you need to stay in the loop. So, parents need to know what’s going on in the school, what teachers have to say, and whether there are any changes in the school programs or teaching approaches. Speaking of teachers, it will be wise to use this opportunity to find out as much as you can to help your child succeed in school. At a time when many schools and states like Texas are recording teacher shortages, it’s best to leverage the moment for the best outcomes. Although the Texas teacher shortage is also a reflection of burnout in the field, you can only hope that the remaining teachers who are still at post are willing to engage you as a parent. Doing this takes a conscious effort and patience to ensure you build a cordial relationship with your kids’ teachers so you can identify any potential challenges early enough.

Hear them out

Sometimes, the best helping tactic can be listening to what your child has to say. They can give you an idea or say directly what they need from you. Such an approach does several things at once. First, you validate their feelings and needs. You listen to your child instead of telling them what they should do. Second, you teach them responsibility and encourage individualism. You won’t always be there to help them with their life. So, it’s best to start teaching them more responsibilities early on. Who knows? Perhaps, given a chance, they will surprise you with their intelligence and discipline.

Finally, you receive clear directions on where you should focus your energy. Maybe, they want your help with writing assignments. You can read a scamfighter review on unemployed professors together and see what professional writing should look like. Or you can work on creativity and writing skills. Maybe your child has social insecurities. That’s why they have troubles in school. They are too timid to talk in front of classmates. Overall, listening to your child’s vision of why they may struggle in school will give you a better idea of how to help them.

Finally, maybe your child doesn’t want your help at all. They manage everything at their own pace and manner and don’t need any interventions. In truth, it can be a dream of every parent. Yet, it can also be hard to accept. So, the best you can do in such a situation is to stay beside them, observe their actions, and maybe slightly guide them on their path.

Archer and Olive Review

Disclosure: I received samples to facilitate this review. The opinions are my own.

I have always been the creative type. Even as a child I always loved writing and making up stories, journaling, and drawing (although my drawing talent leaves a lot to be desired).  So it should come as no surprise that I love journals, notebooks, and planners. The other day I received some samples from Archer and Olive

They sell awesome, high quality journaling supplies. The covers are nice looking and very thick and durable, making them great for personal use or gift giving.

I received a lined notebooks and a dot grid notebook.  These feature 160 GSM Ultra Thick Paper.  They are perfect for using with markers, fountain pens, and even paint with no ghosting or bleeding through!

With the back to school season in full swing this a great time to try Archer and Olive. Their products are great for planners for homeschool moms and for your favorite student, and they are also perfect for all you writers and artists out there!


An Easy Way to Create Unique Graduation Announcements

Over the last year my husband and I have found ourselves in a unique position.  A few months ago we were sending out announcements about the birth of our son, and right now we are sending out high school graduation announcements for my stepson.

With so much of our lives being shared online, including thousands of photos on the cloud, it is refreshing for me to be able to actually print photos and cards every now and then.  I’ve personally always been a traditional person.  I enjoy traditions like the family Christmas card and hand written invitations and thank you cards, but I believe even some of my favorite traditions can be brought up to date.  Last fall I asked my husband about ordering graduation announcements for my stepson. He wasn’t really interested simply because we don’t have a large circle of family and friends to them out to, and therefore, it wouldn’t be worth the money.  I figured he had a point, so I didn’t give it much more thought, but as graduation has gotten closer and closer, I’ve been thinking we should send out some type of graduation announcement.  Enter Basic Invite.

Basic Invite sells a number of unique cards and stationary, including photo graduation party invitations, graduation announcements, and thank you cards.  They make it easy for you to create your  announcements and invitations using your own photos and information.  You can even adjust colors and fonts to create the unique look you are going for.

What I love about the site is the simplicity of it.  With just a few clicks and information, you can create a custom announcement that looks clean, sleek, and professional.  The customization options also allow you to put in all the information you want.  Just add your child’s name, and graduation date and location, if you want to create an invitation.  Some of the samples also show that you can add your child’s college of choice and major to the announcement.

It’s a great way to make an invitation that’s both original and unique with a personal touch of flair, and it is also a more affordable option, which I love!

Visit Basic Invite today to learn more about how to create your own custom holiday cards, invitations, and grad thank yousRight now you can get 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51


3 Benefits of Cosigning Your Kid’s Loan

At some point in your child’s life, they’re going to need a loan.

It will probably be right around the time they begin considering college.

As you’re most likely well aware, the application process comes to an end once the borrower signs their name. This is also when you can benefit from becoming a cosigner on your kid’s loan.

3 Reasons You Should Be the Cosigner on Your Kid’s Loan

Obviously, cosigning your kid’s loan will mean taking on a certain amount of responsibility.

At the same time, there are three really good reasons you should still consider going through with it.

1. Ensuring They Get a Better Rate

The main benefit of providing your signature is that cosigners lead to better rates. After all, you’re giving the lender an extra layer of assurance that they will eventually receive the amount they’re owed.

That improved rate is especially important to students who have a number of other financial priorities to juggle but don’t necessarily have the income required to manage everything. If they can save for other goals instead of working during college to pay off their loans upon graduation, they’ll enter “the real world” with a lot more opportunities.

2. Showing Them What to Watch Out For

Unfortunately, a bad rate may be the least of their worries.

Many lenders prey on young people knowing full well that they’ve never taken out a loan before and won’t know what to expect. Some of these lenders are actually perfectly above-board when dealing with more experienced adults, so researching their reputation may not expose their less-respectable practices.

As a cosigner, you’ll have every reason to look over the loan before providing your signature, so you’ll be able to catch any irregularities before they become a fixture in your kid’s finances.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t catch any issues, though. Just knowing an experienced cosigner is involved will scare away any lender with bad intentions.

3. Improving Their Career Prospects

Your kid is going to college to get the degree they need to pursue a rewarding career. Unfortunately, if they can’t get the student loan they need, they may have to choose another option. This is also true if your child has plans to pursue a post-graduate degree. For example, the cost of medical school is beyond what most students could ever afford, even with the help of a loan. If they don’t qualify for enough federal funding, their only option will be a private lender.

Finding the best route back into education as a parent

Many parents return to college to earn a degree that allows work in their chosen profession, to earn a degree that leads to higher wages, and to earn a degree that facilitates career advancement. Long past the time of toga parties and football games, parents who are students find pursuing a college degree intimidating because it requires juggling parental responsibilities and a full-time job, in addition to budgeting for a college education. However, today’s parents have many options as institutions have become increasingly flexible in their efforts to meet student demand. For today’s parents, the best route to completing a college education and earning a degree can be made much simpler with planning. There are several options available to you and you need to grab them. Many programs are flexible so that you can work and study. You can also look into online courses, such as an online social work degree and many others. Just be sure you pick what works for your current situation.

Before even entering a program of study, parents returning to school should plan for their career goals. Issues to consider include:

  •  Time management—Parents find they have few very hours left available when the working day is over. Raising a family while working full or part time consumes quite a bit of an individual’s time. Completing any educational program requires allocating time during the day just to study. Furthermore, college counselors advise students spend at least two hours per every credit hour studying or working on coursework to be successful in their coursework, making time management a priority an important issue parents must consider when returning to school.
  • Educational Plan—Someone returning to school might consider creating an educational plan. Many parents return to school for a variety of reasons, as stated in the beginning of this article, but students with clear, defined goals are more successful in their academic endeavors if they go into their education with an academic plan that clearly lists the required courses needed to enter a profession.
  • Skills—Knowing the skills needed for a particular career is essential to college success. In fact, some prospective students might find they already have some of the skills necessary to function in the program. If a parent has earned credits toward a degree, for example, getting a transcript evaluation can assess the requisite courses needed for any program. Before this can happen, though, the student should seek counsel from an academic advisor at their chosen institution.
  • Budget—Equally important in pre-planning for college is developing a budgeting for an education. Cost of books and tuition can be quite expensive today. Knowing what type of financial assistance in the form of grants, loans and work-study programs can help parents budget for a college.
  • Preparing for the Classroom—Today’s classroom is a much different place than in year’s past. Dusty chalkboards and dry erase markers have been replaced by learning management systems (LMS) and other technology in the classroom. Many instructors do not give handouts, as many of the lectures are housed online. Prepare by becoming familiar with current computer technology and the current LMS the institution may be using.

Once developing a plan, the step between enrolling for the first class and earning the degree is not so unachievable.

Conversely, many institutions have done their part in making college more accessible for parents. Many traditional programs offer alternative schedules, including online classes. As well as evening classes, some schools offer weekend classes that are Friday evening or Saturday morning. Several programs offer condensed classes that last anywhere between six-eight weeks, so students could, in theory, accelerate their program within a single semester. Also, students who struggle with childcare issues may find many online programs more manageable. Some of the programs are accelerated, so a person can finish a class in as little as just one month. For example, Maryville’s doctorate in education online comprehensive program of study takes as little as 32 months to complete. A plethora of options exist for parents who might find managing an education and a family life intimidating.

When parents return to school, children usually benefit, so the sacrifice in terms of time and money is always worth the effort. Before even attending the first day of class, prepare children for by assigning them responsibilities. If children are old enough, show them how to cook simple meals or how to wash their own clothes, in addition to helping out with other chores in the house. Children will rise to the challenge if they are made to follow a routine that includes free time as well. All of this requires

organizational skills, but when set in place, parents make the challenge of becoming full or part time students less daunting and much more enjoyable for both parent and child.

Thoughts and Tips for Summer Reading: Part 2

Thoughts and Tips for Summer Reading

Yesterday I posted some thoughts and tips to help your kids with summer reading, and today I am continuing with this topic.  In particular, I’m giving some basic advice on handling writing assignments and study questions. [Read more…]

Thoughts and Tips for Summer Reading: Part 1

Thoughts and Tips for Summer Reading

In just under a month our son will be going back to school. (And once again I am reminded of how time flies!)  Aside from paying necessary school fees, and purchasing school supplies and clothes, our son is preparing for the new school year by doing his summer assignments, in particular, his summer reading for English class.  Even for the best of students, summer reading can often be a grueling and daunting task.

And I think it’s almost as hard on the parents. If you are a parent who’s unfamiliar with the work your child is reading, you feel bad because there’s nothing you can do to help, and if they tell you they don’t like the book or don’t understand the book, you can’t say, “I know how you feel.”  On the other hand, if you ARE familiar with the work, you feel torn in regards to whether you should help with the assignment, and if so, how much should you help.  As someone who majored in English, this is especially difficult for me.  I love advising and helping others edit their papers and develop their ideas, but with our son, I have to hold back, because I know it’s important for him to do his own work, and my husband and I don’t want for him to be dependent on someone else to assist him on things that he is capable of doing by himself.

So in the last couple of years, I’ve mostly taken a hands off approach, and we’ve let him pass or fail on his own.  Today I’m going to share a few tips and ideas for you to pass along to your kids and ideas to help you get your child through their summer reading and assignments.  As it’s a topic that I know all too well, and because I’m currently dealing with it, I have a lot of ideas to share, so this will be a two-part post! [Read more…]

Back to School Must-Haves Review & Giveaway

Back to School Giveaway

We went back to school a few weeks ago, but we’re still getting settled in to the new school year routine. How about you?  If your kids are still out for the summer, or if they’re back in school, but you’re still trying to “get with it” then perhaps a few goodies could help you.  Today I’m highlighting a few products for moms to kids of all ages, and I’ve also got a prize pack for you! [Read more…]