Educational Toys – Do They Help?

Summary:
Most parents complain that their child does not concentrate on his/her academic pursuits, but instead whiles away the time, playing with toys. For such parents, and for all others, educational toys have come like a breath of fresh air and a ray of hope.

 

Most parents complain that their child does not concentrate on his/her academic pursuits, but instead whiles away the time, playing with toys. For such parents, and for all others, educational toys have come like a breath of fresh air and a ray of hope.

Purpose

As the name suggest, the purpose of educational toys, is to educate. They essentially make learning fun, and have helped many a child to grasp the basics of various subjects. Over a period of time, many teachers, education experts have also started prescribing the use of educational toys to increase the intellectual ability of the child.

Developing a child’s abilities

Educational toys are instrumental in developing the child, both emotionally, physically, as well as, intellectually. While buying an educational toy, you must take into consideration the age of the child.

For example, a baby needs an educational toy that will help it grasp concepts like stimulation and hand-eye coordination etc, toddlers might just enjoy toys that will help them indulge in various activities etc, older children need a different set of educational toys.

Target the area of development of a child, and buy a toy accordingly.

Stimulation of creativity

Educational toys also stimulate the creative pursuit of a child. There are many such toys available in the market that help a child learn the basic of drawing, crafts, or any other creative activity.

Look for toys that will give wings to the imagination of a child. In the modern world, be wary of toys that, in the guise of education, focus on the play, and not practical education. The best toys are those that make a child think and perform accordingly.

They get rid of stress

All toys de-stress children. However, these toys go one step further and not only entertain, but also mold the psychological tendencies of the child. This means that they positively affect the core of the stressful condition and try to eliminate it.

Again, at the same time, they assist the mental development of the child.

Enjoy the learning process

Such toys are getting increasingly popular because they are vibrant mix of entertainment and learning. Children get tired of studying and learning, more so, when they are forced to do the same.

With educational toys, children might never realize that they are actually gaining some valuable learning lessons from the use of educational toys. They will learn, but in a way that is natural and thus they will understand the concepts in a better way.

Educational toys make learning fun.

Building knowledge and interest

One of the most important benefits of using educational toys is that they increase the knowledge base of the children. More importantly there are various curriculum based educational toys that are specially designed to cater to particular subjects, such as science, mathematics, language etc.

If such educational toys are used at a very young age, they help in piquing the interest of the children in the subjects that they might study after a few years.

Increasing intelligence

As a general course of occurrence, educational toys also increase the general level of intelligence in a child. This is because they make a child think and then perform.

In most educational toys, there is a set of instructions that a child has to follow. This also teaches the child a certain level of discipline.

Cognition

Many of the educational toys cater to the needs of children, who have not yet started kindergarten, focus on developing their cognitive skills. There are toys that focus on the use of fine motor skills, in a child, before kindergarten.

This helps a child, to effectively help in learning how to hold a pencil and to write with it.

Helps specially challenged children

Educational toys help people with either physical or mental disability to grasp the basics of various day to day activities, which they might otherwise not be able to learn. Even at the classroom level, many teachers use educational toys to explain various subjects to disabled children.

Many a dyslexic child has learnt how to read and write through the use of various educational toys that are designed specially for their use.

Increases dexterity

Not only do they help in increasing mental dexterity, but physical dexterity as well. This is important for people who have learning difficulties or are suffering from conditions like autism etc.

Such toys, help in problem solving and at times, are so effective that even specially challenged children, learn to read better, get good test scores, and think faster then they would have done if traditional methods of teaching had been used.

Extensible toys

There are quite a few educational toys, available that have an extensible nature. Meaning, a child can use them through various stages of his/her development. Throughout this time, the toy does not lose its inherent educational value and the child can learn something new from it all the time.

All, this answers the question in our topic. Yes, educational toys are useful and will continue to be an integral part of the educational process of a child.

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After school program – recreational vs. educational

So, your child is beginning to get restless and make you restless. He has got more time than is good for him, and you are now considering after school programs – anything that will keep him busy for a few life-saving hours! Most after school activities can be broadly classified into three – recreational, educational and society-oriented. The last bit usually comes in when your child is already a bit grown up and can voice his own interests.

Educational activities aim at furthering the knowledge of your child. His general awareness, his understanding and his memory are targeted and he is given various techniques that will help him improve one or all of these. Programs such as intensive memory training and speed mathematics are educational after school activities. There are academic programs that will go over your child’s homework and class work and help the child gain more in-depth knowledge in the various subjects. Thus academic programs have a definite edge over the fun and games, especially if parents feel that their child has a lot of catching up to do.

Recreational activities include sports and games, fine arts, painting etc. The main thrust here is to have fun. Of course, classes become more competitive as the child climbs up the ladder. Many sport events, competitions, stage performances etc are held to encourage the child.

When we compare the merits of the two kinds of activities, I believe that the recreational programs have more meat. Firstly, children do not enjoy learning unless they themselves feel curious about something. Most academic programs are standardized courses that are not too flexible. They have a general purpose and a well laid out methodology. After a number of hours at school, the child may feel bored. Further study may overwhelm him and make him feel frustrated. Burnout is very much a possibility here.

Recreational programs provide a welcome break from the monotony of learning and studies. The mental challenge and the physical exertion make the child feel a renewed zest and a pleasant sense of fulfillment. Group activity teaches him social skills, discipline and patience. It is a proven fact that children involved in extra curricular activities get better grades than others. Sometimes closing the textbooks and playing a game may be the best way to handle your studies.

Whatever program you choose for your child, regular evaluation is the key to success. You will have to measure the child’s progress. If progress is unsatisfactory, shift your child out of the program. The child should also have the freedom to reject an activity if and when he feels bored with it. Generally, programs that combine the educational with the recreational are best suited especially for younger children. This way, children can have fun while they learn.

Adult Continuing Education is Healthy for You.

Summary:
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Nonsense. Adults have many learning advantages over younger people. Read startling facts about the adult brain and memory. Who can learn a list of foreign names best – kids or adults? You might be surprised by the answer.

Keywords:
Adult continuing education, essay writing, CPD, Growth, Learning

Adult continuing education is very practical. Seniors have several advantages over children.

* Better memory (truly!)
* Experience
* Fewer distractions

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Better memory
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Doctors thought that you couldn’t grow new brain cells, so as old cells died you became more stupid. They now know that the more adult continuing education, the more new brain cells you get. You can even delay Alzheimer’s disease by keeping your brain active.

But old people keep forgetting things! That’s true, because what you remember best are startling, new, shocking things. To an old person it’s a case of “been there, done that”. Nothing is new or shocking.

However, you often have to learn boring things, and there you have an advantage. Seniors trounced the kids in a test of memorizing meaningless words. My book about exams will show you how to make your adult continuing education more exciting, which cuts kid’s advantage over your memory.

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Experience
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You learn from the known to the unknown. So it’s logical that the more experience you have, the more you can think “yes… that’s right… it’s just like…” I am 65 years old now and I can say that my adult continuing education keeps getting easier because there are always relevant things in my experience.

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Distractions
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You may have distractions at work still, but let’s face it, are they really as obsessive as your teenage interests? You aren’t going to have to choose between going out on a date and doing some study. You might have to choose between having a nap and study, but my book about exams shows a way round that problem. I’m using it right now!

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Exams
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Just as your three advantages apply to study, they apply to exams. Were you sick with nerves in your school exams? Your life-career depended on your performance. Now it would be nice to pass, but your experience tells you that you will survive failure, and land on your feet again…so less nerves.

Unless children have wealthy or helpful parents they can’t afford resources that you can afford. For instance, they can afford my free report on writing essays, but not my eBook about passing exams. If you live in a country with timed local phone calls, kids may not be able to do much research on the internet because it costs too much.

There are ways to become a lightning calculator and ways to develop a super memory, and you can afford them all. If you want to learn a language you can probably even afford to get a “superlearning” course that teaches you the language in only fifteen hours.

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Why Adult Continuing Education
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All right, you have advantages, but why should you bother with adult continuing education?
* Prevents brain deterioration
* Retraining for a new job
* Self employment

I’ve already covered the effect of study on the brain. You get new brain cells.

In modern times you can only expect to keep one job for a short time. You are going to need to retrain for your next job.

Self-employment. You can’t be sacked if you are self-employed, but you can go broke. It is best to develop your home business part-time until it is earning you twice as much as your job. Then if you are retrenched from your job you won’t care.

Then you won’t need to worry about adult continuing education any more will you? Oops… you will need to keep learning even more when you have your own business. For instance, you are going to have to learn book-keeping unless you can afford an accountant to do the work. If you have to employ people, you will need to learn the laws that apply.

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How should you learn?
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I prefer to use a correspondence course for my adult continuing education, but the big advantage of attending classes is that you can get your questions answered instantly.

My book about exams shows you how to find answers on the internet. You will probably find lots of eBooks about what you want to learn. But will I ever see what I buy on the internet? …you may ask.

Think about it. How much more does it cost an eBook vendor to supply 100 eBooks than it costs for one? That’s right… nothing! If it costs me nothing to supply an eBook, why should I try to rob you? I keep buying new eBooks myself and have never failed to get what I paid for. You can definitely get an adult continuing education online.

 

“Homeschooling Your Children In The US: The Basic Facts!”

Summary:
The basic facts about homeschooling and the common concerns relating to homeschool education.

Keywords:
Home, home school, homeschool, home schooling, homeschooling, schooling, schooled, home schooled, homeschooled, home educated, home education, school student, school, education, curriculum, children, home-educate, home educate, educate, religious, re

Article Body:
Copyright 2006 Matt Weight

Wikipedia states that “Home education, also called homeschooling or home school, is an educational alternative in which children are educated at home by their parents, in contrast to the compulsory attendance which takes place in an institution with a campus such as a public school or private school.”

Around the world Homeschooling has been increasing quite substantially over the last 4 years. In 2003, in the United States, approximately 1.1 million children were Home Schooled, up 29% from 850,000 in 1999. Recent figures show that Homeschooling in other Western Countries are also continuing to grow. For example, an estimated 50,000 children are considered “home-educated” in the United Kingdom; Australia – 26,500; and in Canada (as at 2001) it was estimated that 80,000 children were educated at home with the numbers continuing to increase.

Most home education advocates have individual motivations to home-educate. Academic and social results of home education are varied and are the source of vibrant debate. Some feel that they can more effectively tailor a student’s academic program to suit an individual strengths and weaknesses, especially children who are gifted or have learning disabilities. Others are religious parents who see non-religious education as contrary to their moral or religious systems. Still others feel that the negative social pressures of schools, such as bullying, drugs, school violence, and other school-related problems, are impacting negatively to a child’s development. Many parents simply like the idea of teaching their own children rather than letting someone else do so.

A common concern voiced about home-educated children is they lack the social interaction with students and society that a school environment provides. Many home-education families address these concerns by joining numerous organizations, including home-education cooperatives, independent study programs and specialized enrichment groups for physical education, art, music, and debate. Most are also active in community groups. Home-educated children generally socialize with other children the same way that school children do: outside of school, via personal visits and through sports teams, clubs, and religious groups.

The academic effectiveness of homeschooling is largely a settled issue. “Numerous studies have confirmed the academic integrity of home education programs, demonstrating that on average, home-educated students outperform their publicly-run school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects.” The performance gaps between minorities and gender that plague publicly-run schools are virtually non-existent amongst home-educated students.

Notable home-educated individuals
• Thomas Edison, United States, scientist and inventor
• Alexander Graham Bell, Scotland, Inventor (Telephone, Hydrofoil)
• Dakota Fanning, United States, actress
• Hilary Duff, United States, Actress/Singer
• Charles Evans Hughes, United States, Governor of New York, United States Secretary of State, and Chief Justice of the United States
• Frankie Muniz, United States, Actor
• Rosa Parks, United States, civil rights activist
• Susan La Flesche Picotte, United States, first American Indian woman physician
• Woodrow Wilson, United States, the only United States President to hold a Ph.D.
• George Washington, United States, First United States President
• Abraham Lincoln, United States, President during American Civil War

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything learnt in school” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role Of The Individualized Education Program Team

Summary:
The fastest growing diagnosis within the disability of Pervasive Developmental Disorders is Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are from all socioeconomic groups, as well as cultural, racial, and ethnic populations. More students with Autism Spectrum Disorder will be found in every community and neighborhood due to the increased identification of the disorder. Estimated annual cost of educating and caring for individuals with Autism S…

Keywords:
Autism, Spectrum, Disorder, Education, Learning, Research, Teaching, Planing.

he fastest growing diagnosis within the disability of Pervasive Developmental Disorders is Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are from all socioeconomic groups, as well as cultural, racial, and ethnic populations. More students with Autism Spectrum Disorder will be found in every community and neighborhood due to the increased identification of the disorder. Estimated annual cost of educating and caring for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder is to be around 90 billion dollars according to the Autism Society of America. Early diagnosis and intervention is a key factor in reducing treatment costs by two-thirds.

There are five related developmental disorders placed under the umbrella category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders. They include:

1.Autism Spectrum Disorder
2.Asperger’s Syndrome
3.Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
4.Rett’s
5.Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified

Specific Aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorder

•Autism Spectrum Disorder affects the neurodevelopment system. The results are distinct learning and behavior characteristics
•Autism Spectrum Disorder has an underlying biological/genetic cause that produces organic and/or physical changes during brain development. This results in atypical cognitive and social development and behaviors
•Autism Spectrum Disorder affects individuals uniquely
•Autism Spectrum Disorder does not result from poor parenting
•Autism Spectrum Disorder affects the individual’s ability to integrate sensory information and regulate their emotions

There are five deficit areas to consider as diagnostic criteria for identifying individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, they are:

1.Communication
2.Socialization/Social skills
3.Restricted interests
4.Sensory integration
5.Behavior

Individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder exhibit varying degrees of difficulties in these five areas.

Recent research shows students with Autism Spectrum Disorder exhibit the same early symptoms that include:

•Lack of eye contact
•Lack of joint attention (attention to the same item or topic as another person)
•Atypical sensory/motor processing

Goals and Objectives for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The general education teacher must ensure that students with Autism Spectrum Disorder have goals and objectives designed to promote the development of independent living, academic skills, and appropriate social behaviors and skills.

It is essential that these goals be introduced early and addressed annually in the individualized education program. If these goals are not addressed until the child reaches secondary school, there is a higher potential for many students with Autism Spectrum Disorder leaving school not able to live independently, succeed academically or be gainfully employed.

In order to help provide a smooth transition to a post-high school setting, the responsibilities of the IEP (individualized education program) team may include:

•Developing goals and short-term objectives that promote self-monitoring and independent living skills

Secondary individualized education program teams have the responsibility to identify the long-term supports these students will require for academic, economic and social independence. They must ensure students with Autism Spectrum Disorder have long-term goals that specify the need for explicit instruction in the essential social skills necessary for all post-secondary academic, social, and/or vocational settings. Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder must be given multiple opportunities in a variety of social, academic, and vocational contexts to practice these skills.

Of highest priority is ensuring that students with Autism Spectrum Disorder acquire the essential social and daily living skills they need for a responsible integration into the community.

Transition Goals and Objectives of the Individualized Education Program team may include:

•Providing students with Autism Spectrum Disorder vocational and career exploration
•Experiences to assist them with learning which careers or college majors can accommodate their uneven academic and/or social development while at the same time utilizing their unique abilities and interests
•Opportunities to acquire vocational and/or work-related behaviors and skills required for successful employment and/or educational settings

Source: The Autism Society of America

Get A Degree Level Education At An Online University

Keywords:
Online college, Online university, Online degree

Are you a working professional who would like to pursue a degree but don’t have enough time to devote to attending classes? Are you a person who would like to pursue higher education but you do not have the funds required for the courses? Then an online degree from a recognized university is the right choice for you. There are many universities all around the world who offer online degrees to individuals in various fields such as management, architectural courses, hospitality, health, medicine, transcription etc. These colleges provide the courses to students in addition to the classroom courses that they offer. However there are many universities that carry on business solely through online courses or distance education courses.

The major advantage of pursuing an online university course is that it proves to be a cheaper option in comparison to courses that are offered in the classroom. Moreover the student can pursue the course of a university that is situated at the other side of the globe. The student can complete the course and appear for exams from the comforts of his home. The course is completed by the student in the form of online tutorials, online lectures, performance support systems and much more. Also, in many cases video conferencing is possible where professors give lectures online in a classroom. Topics can be discussed with the professors in real time and queries solved.

Online degree courses prove to be beneficial to the students as they provide more knowledge to the students and also give the students a degree to add to their resume. Online degree courses from reputable institutions are said to increase the career and job prospects of the students pursuing the courses. Also study material can be sent to the student’s home in the form of interactive CDRoms and ebooks. Online degree courses can also be conducted in a Wide Area Network today known as WAN. Students in a city are required to attend the lectures conducted thorough video conferencing using collaborative and classroom management software. Thus, e-learning proves to be effective for the student as the student can carry all his material around wherever he wants on his PDA or his laptop.

Despite all the pros that I have discussed above for getting an online degree, it certainly has its cons. People argue that the presence of a physical classroom where the teacher and the students interact with each other is removed. Also online degree courses assume less importance in comparison to full time university degrees. Student’s queries are not solved in a short time as the presence of the teacher is missing. However, as mentioned before, online lectures are made possible through video conferencing where the students can indeed interact with their professors. The advanced use of technology has made online degrees possible.

In spite of the cons, online degrees are being pursued by thousands of students all over the world due to lower costs and flexibility in the timings of the lectures and examinations. Online discussion boards are also set up for students and professors where the students can get their queries solved and also discuss a variety of topics relevant to the degree.

In summary, we see that an online degree reduces a distance of 1000 miles or more between a student and the university to just 5 minutes with the help of advanced technology and the internet. It saves costs by potentially thousands of dollars. It saves on your time of traveling to a university and attending classes and also provides you flexible timings to pursue your studies. It provides a workable schedule to further your education which normally would be impossible. Obviously the increasing popularity of online degree courses admissions all around the world are enough proof that the pros far outweigh the cons. Are you missing out?

Status of Education in Developing Countries

Primary keyword: Education, developing, countries, knowledge

Secondary keyword: teaching, imparting, practical, social, mental, abilities, skills, gender, inequality, exposure, fundamental, government, UNESCO

What is Education?

Education is the process of acquiring knowledge from teachers through their teaching. It is the learning that one gets in schools. It mainly involves activities like imparting knowledge by the teachers in classrooms, presentation of study materials by faculty members, practical training in workshop by the instructor with the aim to train the student in any particular subject matter and to give them practical exposure on the practical aspects of real time situations, imparting him with the necessary technical skills required to face the practical situations.

What is the need for Education?

Education is basic fundamental and an important ingredient required for development of any society. Education of a person improves his social status, his mental status, his knowledge, and his abilities to develop his skills to face practical lie situations. Education is the only weapon with which one can kill ignorance and fight with unawareness. An educated person can perceive things in a better way because he ahs a broad mind with which he can see the things differently. He has a broadened mind with which he is able to understand all the faces of any problem and then he will be able to handle the situation in a better way.

Status of education is high in developed countries but if we talk about developing countries the scene is just opposite. The literacy rate in developing countries like India is very low. Though continuous efforts are being made by the government to achieve the higher literacy rate but still the target is far to achieve and it will take years to achieve the targets that are being set by the UNESCO and the government of these countries.

But why is this so? Why the literacy rate is not up to desired mark despite of continuous efforts? What are the major barriers which prevent spread of education? The reasons can be best described as:

Lack of Education and Infrastructure facilities which prevent the literacy rate from being reaching up to desired mark, poverty in a major segment of population which prevents the parents from sending their children to schools, Gender inequality that means female are not given the same preference as the male which should not be and the traditional caste practices which also plays a major role in preventing the education to reach the light of education to reach all the doors.

If people from developing countries are able to overcome these barriers the education level will definitely rise in these developing countries.