College Success Secret: Accentuate the Positive

24 11 2008

Homeschooling or not, how well are you as thinking parents preparing your kids to interact beneficially with college faculty? Think about it.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
From the issue dated November 28, 2008
Studies Examine Major Influences on Freshmen’s Academic Success
By PETER SCHMIDT

Three new studies of college freshmen suggest that even the most promising among them can run into academic difficulties as a long-term consequence of experiences like attending a violence-plagued high school or being raised by parents who never went to college.

. . .Taken together, the reports not only challenge many of the assumptions colleges make in admitting and educating freshmen, but could also influence discussions of how to improve the nation’s high schools to promote college preparation.

So let’s discuss it. Say Thinking Homeschoolers applied these finding to home education college prep. No violence would seem like a no-brainer. Home as the learning environment should feel safe and comfortable and stable, not threatening and scary and painful. Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy: an insecure child can’t care about academics until his basic human needs get met.

But what about “being raised by parents who never went to college” — why does that matter, according to the research? Read the rest of this entry »

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Newest Ranger’s Apprentice Book Goes Religious-Political?

24 11 2008

We ordered Book 8 of John Flanagan’s series from a bookshop in Sydney, Australia. It cost more to ship than the price of the book, so the total was about $37 but it’s worth it to Young Son. His dad and I read and enjoy the series, too, which adds to HIS enjoyment.

We’re just grateful they aren’t embargoed worldwide like the Harry Potter books were. Here in the US, publishers are only up to Book 5, and according to their projected schedule we’d have to wait years — until he starts community college classes!? — if we weren’t um, taking the initiative through the Internet, to participate in the global economy.

If you go to the links above, you can see a fascinating difference in the book covers, from culture to culture. I think I like the British covers best, with one tiny human figure in stark shadow on a distant ridge, with the full-color, elegant arrows of his trade dominating every foreground. (Shoutout to COD: tell Breck there’s plenty of swordplay too, not just archery. Shoutout to NotJC: tell Simon to read these books and then write his own!)

Holland and Sweden use the same look. These covers promise stories made of mystery, medieval mood, the times and tools of transporting adventure in a whole world to explore, rather than a small-set soap opera of larger than life fee-ee-lings to explore.

Which I’ll bet appeals more to boys (in any culture) than the tender, fine-featured, floppy-haired boy and girl characters filling the frame on every Australian cover? Relationships, ugh! 😉

The American covers actually are of the young good-guy characters too, but Read the rest of this entry »