America’s Knowledge Crisis: A Survey on Civic Literacy

Washington, DC — A national survey commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) draws new attention to a crisis in civic understanding and the urgent need for renewed focus on civics education at the postsecondary level.

Some of the alarming results include:

  • 26% of respondents believe Brett Kavanaugh is the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and 14% of respondents selected Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.
    • 15% of the college graduates surveyed selected Brett Kavanaugh.
    • Fewer than half correctly identified John Roberts.
  • 18% of respondents identified Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a freshman member of the current Congress, as the author of the New Deal, a suite of public programs enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s.
    •  12% of the college graduates surveyed selected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • 63% did not know the term lengths of U.S. Senators and Representatives.
    • Fewer than half of the college graduates surveyed knew the correct answer.
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Avoid The Summer Slide- Fun Ways to Stimulate Your Brain

Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy time together with friends and family, but you don’t want to let your mind turn to mush during that time. According to the Northwest Evaluation Association’s research,  “summer learning loss was observed in math and reading across third to eighth grade, with students losing a greater proportion of their school year gains each year as they grow older – anywhere from 20 to 50 percent.” How do you keep your child from losing their learning or falling behind? Keep their minds active, keep them reading, and keep brains stimulated. No, Fortnight totally doesn’t count, sorry!

Got a little one? Start young and keep them active. There are some amazing books out there, and of course your local library will likely have summer reading programs you can do with your child no matter what age. There are also puzzles and educational games you can play with your child on technology and “real life” touchable options- we recommend a bit of both.

kids apps

We recently tried out these fun and “edu-taining” science based apps aimed at preschoolers, and found them both adorable and fun. My child didn’t even realize they were learning, they honestly enjoyed them. Even my 12 year old liked them- except the dress up app, but that’s pretty good for an age range in my opinion.

I’m a teacher by trade, and I love that there are these apps that let kids have fun while learning.  Since science is an area that is under-taught in many schools, the more ways a child can be exposed to it, the better.  Cosmic Cubs (www.cosmiccubs.com) help kids pre-k and up learn about ecology, the solar system, and just for fun, a space dress up game as well. These three apps are available for Android and IOS platforms, via the App store or Google Play.  The space cubs also teach kids about the importance of being environmentally responsible- reduce, reuse, and recycle – in their Cosmic Cubs Eco Puzzle App.

The website has lots of coloring pages you can download as well as information sheets in addition to the apps. The apps are technically free but cost $1.99 for full access. Kids will have access to puzzles, games, learning about the planets, asteroids, meteors, comets, problem solving, and more. They also teach new vocabulary words. Even the dress up game helps with dexterity and hand/eye coordination, as well as learning about colors and more. Not to mention, spark an interest in space.  The three apps available are the Cosmic Cubs Eco Puzzler, the Cosmic Cubs Dress Up, and Cosmic Cubs Space Puzzles. $1.99 for full access.
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3 Reasons to Get Your Kids Interested in History

History is one of those subjects in school that some of us loved, and that others just couldn’t help sleeping through.

Whether or not history seems exciting and interesting to a child will be affected by their temperament and innate interests, but also by the way in which the subject is taught. Endless lists of dates to memorise is unlikely to as fascinating as visiting a reenactment site or hearing an adventurous tale set in the past.

 

While kids generally enjoy fantasy games such as https://finalfantasyxvapp.com/#home, history can be no less exciting and engaging, not to mention educational and informative.

 

Here are some reasons why you should get your kids interested in history if possible, and nurture that interest when it arises.

 

History contains timeless lessons for the present and the future

 

History isn’t just a record of stuff that happened in the past, it is, to a large degree, also a record of the causes and effects of different events, as well as a series of lessons about the ways in which life can unfold and how to live it meaningfully and productively.

 

The events in history may have occurred a long time ago, society may have changed in various ways, and technology may have advanced more than anyone could ever have imagined, but people are fundamentally not very different, and the lessons which applied to the people of yesteryear will likely still apply to people living today.
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John Glenn Astronomy Park to share hero’s legacy with next generation

Forty miles southeast of Columbus in the secluded and tranquil woods of the Hocking Hills State Park, community members are setting their sights on the sky. Ohio’s Hocking Hills, known for its lack of light pollution and resulting clear night sky views, has always been a mecca for astronomy fanatics. Thus, members of the Friends of Hocking Hills State Park (FHHSP) has broken ground on for John Glenn Astronomy Park, which opens in early 2018. Named for one of America’s greatest heroes and an Ohio native, the park is made possible through generous donations and pledges from community members.

John Glenn Astronomy Park will not only allow visitors to explore the night sky, but will also offer daytime study, welcoming visitors to its Solar Plaza to study the Sun, Earth and the North Celestial Pole, among other celestial features. It is ideal for research, star parties, special events and general daily visitation. Designed by Ohio-based M&A Architects, the Astronomy Park includes:

  • An ideal elevation of 1,000 feet
  • An 80-foot in diameter Solar Plaza, which highlights the Sun’s orientation to the Earth as it changes throughout the year and is encircled by a low wall with notches that offer framed views of the Sun on key days
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How To Teach Children Emotional Intelligence

Children are exceptionally bright and often think they know everything by the time they reach ten. In fact by this age they will have developed many of the life skills they need, with a little help from you that means the ability to talk to others, self-confidence and emotional intelligence.

Part of this can involve choosing an early learning center such as the Star Academy Kids which will really believe in your child and help their inquisitive minds engage with the world round them. Choosing the right early learning centre is an important part of boosting their emotional intelligence. Here are some of the other measures you can do to teach emotional intelligence:

Empathy

It is important to understand that there are times when your child simply can’t deal with what has happened. You might feel frustrated by their inability but you need to emphasize with them.

A good example of this is dealing with a child that doesn’t want to do what you’ve told them to. Instead of just telling them that’s the way it is accept that they have an opinion. Let them know that you know and understand their perspective but that they need to do it how you’ve asked.
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It’s Never Too Late for a Little Self-Improvement!

When we reach a certain stage in our lives, it can be easy to slip into a routine. We get so used to our jobs, social circles and general lifestyle that we repeat the same things over and over again. Day in and day out. Week by week, month by month, year by year. It’s not surprising that things can quickly get dull. One of the main things that people tend to miss as they age is self-improvement. But it’s never too late to participate in this! Here are a couple of areas to consider that might suit you surprisingly well!

Higher Education

 

Higher education is a venture that people generally associate with individuals aged eighteen to twenty-five. We assume that anyone on a university campus over the age of thirty must be a lecturer, professor, or another member of staff. But you should always bear in mind that higher education is open to anyone. In fact, mature students tend to contribute significantly to the overall student population of any given institution. Now, individuals who are considering pursuing higher education at a later point in their life generally fall into one of two categories. There are those who simply want a qualification to add to their resume, and then there are those who want to continue their studies for the love of the subject. Either way, they are likely to immerse themselves in an experience that significantly expands their knowledge or understanding of their given area of study. So why not join their ranks? Not only will you leave with a certificate, but you will have a vast amount of knowledge that can be put to good use both in your day to day life and your chosen career. If you have concerns about fitting it around your lifestyle, don’t worry. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are plenty of online courses available, such as an online mba in accounting, which allow you to study around your job or other commitments. Alternatively, you could participate in a part-time course. Sure, it will take longer to graduate, but this is a less intense approach that you might like to consider!
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Tips for Making Music Part of Everyday Life

Making Music a Part of Daily Life

I grew up surrounded by music – between my time learning to play the piano, my developing love of singing, and the music my tone-deaf-but-enthusiastic mother played around the house, my life was built as much note by note, as it was day by day. You may have heard that involving a child in music on a regular basis helps a child improve their mental abilities, and those musical habits can reach far beyond just a weekly lesson. Here are some ideas for using the bonus listening tracks provided by Hoffman Academy for making music a part of your daily life.

Waking Up with Upbeat and Uptempo Selections

Use an upbeat, cheerful, or rhythmic selection to help your child gear up for facing the day. Spinning Song, Yankee Doodle, and When the Saints Go Marching In are great options from the Listening Tracks. You can also find selections on YouTube or Spotify-type apps such as Sousa marches, Wagner Ride of the Valkyries, or Mars from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. These songs will get you moving, up and at ‘em, and out the door with a hopeful attitude.

Build Music Skills AND Togetherness With Sing-Alongs

Singing is one of the best ways for children to begin to train their ears and develop musical skills that will carry them through the challenges of learning an instrument. And singing TOGETHER can build some fun feelings – especially when doing other chores or household tasks. Grinding Corn, Love Somebody, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Row Row Row Your Boat are some favorites with all ages!
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Great Tips for Traveling While Studying

Many of us dream of seeing the world. In truth, there is no better time to do it than while you are at college. You’re young enough to enjoy it, experience everything, and have no responsibilities at home, but old enough to appreciate all the world has to offer and be safe while you travel. Unfortunately, however, many students are put off traveling due to the rising costs of both travel and tuition, as well as the worries that they won’t be able to commit to their studies while they travel. This doesn’t have to be the case; if you want to travel while you are at school, you can. Here are some great tips to help you.

Study Online

There are some great options when it comes to online study. With so many courses now available, there is bound to be something that suits you. Degrees available include addiction studies online from the University of South Dakota. Courses such as this in growing industries could offer you a fantastic future career, but studying online gives you the opportunity to study flexibly, and on the move, while you travel.

Travel Out of Season

Avoiding the main holiday seasons is the easiest way to save money. You might be surprised to learn just how much you could save by moving your vacation dates by just a week or two. Traveling out of season also allows you a more relaxing time, and a better chance to experience local life.

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