How Parents Can Help Their Kids Create a Concrete Educational Plan Reply

In today’s society, people are required to attend some kind of continuing education in order to have fulfilling careers. This means that achieving academic success is crucial at every stage along the way. Building and following a concrete educational plan is an essential component. Parents with children of all ages, the tips suggested in this article will help you assist your kids in creating and following educational plans that will ensure academic success and instill an efficient work ethic to last a lifetime.

Lists, Schedules, and Calendars

Regardless of whether your kids prefer the digital or old school hand written approach, every component of the educational plan needs to be visible. Buy a journal, planner, and calendar. Or, open up the notes or reminder app on your smart phone or tablet. Start by making a list of your kids’ goals, both short and long term. Motivation depends on having an end goal, such as a dream job. Productivity depends on breaking that large goal into smaller goals, such as improve math grade, participate in extracurricular activities, graduate with honors, earn a scholarship, and get into college. Next, turn those goals into immediate to-do lists.

What can you and your kids do each day to get the process into motion? Set reasonable time lines for each item. Physically check off each item when completed for the motivating sense of completion. Finally, keep a schedule and calendar. Use different colors for different categories of obligations, tasks, and activities. This prevents you and your kids from overbooking them and missing items.

Learning Styles

Get to know your kids’ learning styles. Do they learn best by seeing, hearing, or doing? Do your kids work best right after school or in the evening? Do they work best in a silent environment or one with background noise? Are they more independent workers, or do they need the structure of a tutoring or after school program? Explore each of these areas together until you find the answers, and then work that into the educational plans.

Online Public School

As you and your kids answer the above questions, you may find that traditional learning environments do not support their learning styles or your family structure. For this reason, many online schools in Arkansas programs are now available. Kids can complete their entire education online, or they can attend brick and mortar schools and take advantage of supplemental online programs. Use this helpful guide to explore options and choose the best ones for your kids.

Some Work and Some Play

When creating your kids’ goals, lists, and activities, they are the voice and you are the guide. When they have a choice of elective classes and extracurricular activities, let them pick what they are passionate about. This will help them stay motivated to work harder on the core subjects they struggle with. This is a built in reward for hard work. Create an external reward system, as well. Perhaps your kids get one point for each item checked off the to-do list and one point for each passing grade on an assignment. When they accumulate a set number of points, they get a reward that you both agree on. Make sure to add breaks and fun time into the schedules.

Creating concrete educational plans is crucial yet challenging. It is common for parents and kids to either put it off or discontinue its use. Following the suggestions provided in this article will help you get your kids started on a plan they will stick to! Once the plan is in motion, find fun and creative ways to make it their own.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook@RachelleWilber

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.

MCAT Prep: How to Rock Your Exam 2

The MCAT or the Medical College Admission Test is a computer-based, multiple-choice, standardized examination which all medical school applicants have to take in order to get into medical school.

If you’re currently trying to get into the med school of your choice, it is your responsibility to score as high as possible. The evaluation is the most important method for college committees to evaluate whether or not to accept someone into med school.

Scoring a 31 or higher on the MCAT may seem difficult to attain, but with the right MCAT prep, you’ll be rocking the MCAT in no time.

Study with an MCAT Prep Book

Surely you’ve seen those ridiculously thick prep books at your University bookstore. Most are printed by companies like Kaplan and Princeton Review. These prep books generally are a bit more explanatory than textbooks, containing practice tests as well as real-life applications.

Use Internet Resources

The internet takes MCAT prep to the next level. It’s refreshing to know that every subject that the MCAT covered is written about in detail somewhere in a video or a website on the internet.

However, at times is difficult to locate the correct information, making you waste hours of precious studying time looking for the right materials. It is best to go to a trustworthy source that you know has clear information for your studying needs.

Enroll in an MCAT Prep Class

MCAT prep classes generally meet once a week and offer you a chance to learn the material in a classroom setting. With the benefit of a proficient instructor, interested classmates, and a consistent schedule, your MCAT studies will be enriched by taking a prep course from Altius MCAT Prep or a similar provider.

Find an MCAT Coach

A personal MCAT coach or tutor can help you work through the harder topics as you study. Perhaps you keep scoring 10s at Verbal Reasoning and Biological Science, but have a solid 6 in Physical Sciences. An MCAT physical sciences coach will help you bring up your score on that subject.

However you prepare for your MCAT, it is up to you to get the highest score possible. Taking time to invest in your preparation will set you miles ahead when test day arrives. Dig in now and study harder by getting prep books, utilizing internet resources, enrolling in study classes, and investing a coach.

While the preparation process can be costly and challenging, it will all be worth it the day you receive your medical school acceptance letter.

About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.

Can A Career in Engineering Be Fun? 5 Interesting Jobs for Graduates Reply

When it comes to “fun” college majors, degrees in art, PE or theatre often tend to come to mind—but not usually engineering. Engineers are often portrayed as serious men and women squinting at blueprints and crunching numbers. However, engineering encompasses many different fields, and some people are surprised to learn that engineers can actually find extremely interesting work and have enviably fulfilling careers.

On top of the possibilities for exciting work, engineering can be a stable and lucrative career path, offering graduates the best of both worlds. Overall, engineering employment is expected to grow by approximately 4% from 2014 to 2024—with some engineering specialties growing much faster than this. If you’ve ever thought about a career in engineering, here are 4 interesting jobs engineering students can pursue after finishing their degrees.

1. Roller Coaster Engineer

Ever wonder who creates those stunning roller coasters at Disneyland or Six Flags? These machines are truly a feat of engineering, and they require a great deal of precision to ensure their safety as well as the thrill factor.

There are several types of engineers that work on amusement park rides, but ride engineers (a specialty within the mechanical engineering field) are responsible for working with designers to ensure that the rides are built to be functional and safe. For specialty theme-based rides, this can take engineers as long as 3 to 5 years to complete a single ride.

Fun Fact: Roller coaster engineers who work for Disneyland are known as Imagineers, and their jobs are about as creative as you can get in this in-demand STEM field.

What’s required: Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, licensure

Average Salary: $88,190

2. Bioengineer

You don’t have to engineer buildings or machines as an engineer; you can engineer plants and animals instead. Bioengineers are responsible for advances in fields like food production and healthcare. Growing new skin and organs, creating genetically engineered plants to be safe for human consumption, and designing artificial joints are all projects bioengineers have been responsible for. This exciting and innovative career path is a great option for people with natural curiosity and a scientific mind.

What’s required: Bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering, or engineering with study in Biology; advanced degrees helpful

Average Salary: $91,760

3. Civil Engineer

“Civil engineering” may sound like one of the most boring jobs in the world, but it doesn’t have to be. Not only are civil engineers essential to global infrastructure, they often get to work on exciting and interesting projects. For example, some of the biggest civil engineering projects in the world have been lavish airports built on artificial islands. The Kansai International Airport in Japan contains a 40 foot seawall and cost $31.9 billion to build.

Civil engineers also work on projects like highways, bridges, and other essential projects that allow us to travel, work, and live. It’s one of the most important jobs to our economy, and demand for civil engineers continues to grow.

What’s required: A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering

Average salary: $89,730

4. Aerospace Engineer

Just about every kid has big dreams of becoming an astronaut, but what most 8-year-olds don’t recognize is how many smart and talented people are needed to support those astronauts in getting them out of Earth’s atmosphere and into space. Space engineers work with the latest, most expensive technology, and are responsible for astronauts’ and public safety while trying to unlock the mysteries of the universe. A knowledge of physics and mathematics are some of the most important skills in a space engineer’s toolkit, and they have to be extremely precise to be successful in the field.

What’s required: Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, physics, or other related field, master’s degree in astronautical engineering or similar, PhD helpful

Average salary: $107,000

Find Your Calling

No matter what your interests, you’re likely to find an interesting career path within the broad field of engineering. However, becoming an engineer requires dedication and rigorous coursework, so you should think carefully about what subjects interest you before you decide to pursue a career in engineering—it’s a long haul through the coursework if you don’t enjoy what you’re studying. If you find your calling, however, you might be able to make an excellent salary while doing fulfilling work. What could be better?

Ryan Ayers has been a consultant for over five years within multiple industries including information technology, medical devices and logistics. Many clients call him the BizTech Guru. He is a freelance writer on the side and lover of all things related to business, technology, innovation and the LA Clippers. Read more from Ryan: @TheBizTechGuru

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.

4 Ways Small Colleges Can Attract More Diverse Applicants 1

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While every school strives to have as much enrollment as they reasonably can, that goes double for small colleges. Large universities attract a greater percentage of state and federal funding, forcing many smaller colleges to rely more heavily on tuition and fees to make up the difference. In a perfect world, this would mean a diverse student body with people from all walks of life, but it does exclude people that are socioeconomically disadvantaged by its very nature.

For that reason, it can be difficult to attract applicants to a smaller school that are truly diverse, but far from impossible. Here are four ways small colleges can embrace diversity and create a more eclectic student body.

Offer Scholarships of Different Kinds

As Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid.” Everyone has a talent to offer, no matter what background they come from, so by creating scholarships for potential students from all walks of life, you attract students from every background.

You could give a scholarship to people majoring in a very specific field, or offer one to those who have gone through an ESL program, such as those at the Interactive College Of Technology, and passed the TOEFL exam, for starters.

Conduct Community Outreach

For many students, an education at a small college may seem out of reach due to the perception of high fees and strict admission requirements. As a result, some may feel that they simply are not “good enough” to be a member of a smaller school. By creating programs that bring the college to the students, even as young as elementary school, you create an attachment within the child that makes them grow up wanting to attend your college.

Offer Something for Free

When Texas A&M University—Commerce in Commerce, TX wanted to boost enrollment in their graduate courses, they did something that many schools would frown upon: offer free tuition. This wasn’t open to everyone—just those who were primary and secondary teachers—but enough people took them up on it that it shifted the demographics of the classes dramatically, creating a new crop of students from all over the area eager to learn, and many of whom graduated.

Change the Local Culture

With the advent of social media, everyone is becoming more conscious of their reputation, colleges included. Use this to your advantage by creating a distinct culture that appeals to a wide variety of students, such as “going green” or offering unusual extracurricular activities. You may not have the powerhouse football team in a larger school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an identity that attracts people from all over the place.

It’s easy for a smaller school to feel intimidated by the massive enrollment numbers and varied student body of larger, division one colleges, but there’s nothing besides the numbers that a smaller school can’t emulate. By capitalizing on your assets and bringing the experience to students’ doorsteps, you can generate a steady flow of students from every corner of the world that are eager to join your ranks.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can follow her on twitter and LinkedIn.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.

Opting out of Public School: Non-Traditional K-12 Education Options Reply

Public school is not always the right fit for every student. When looking into alternatives, families want to know which style of education will best suit their child. Whether leaving the public school system or never entering it at all, there are many options when it comes to non-traditional K-12 schooling.


Homeschooling is when a child is educated primarily by their parent at home. Homeschooling has come a long way in recent years as more and more parents have sought out alternatives to public school and were unhappy with their local private school options.

Many homeschoolers follow a set curriculum and others piecemeal their studies, pulling from different resources. Homeschooling allows the family to learn together and work on projects as a team, allowing the student to feel supported and assume a leadership role in a safe environment.

It is an incorrect and unfortunate stereotype that homeschoolers never leave home and are woefully un-socialized. Most homeschool families take part in classes, clubs, groups, co-ops and the like to give the homeschooled student a well-rounded education. Many states even have homeschool sports teams and gym classes.

Online Schooling

Accessibility to technology and the internet has allowed for a rise in children being educated at home through an online school program. Many homeschool parents choose to augment their curriculums with an online program such as Connections Academy.

Online programs are taught by experienced teachers who follow a curriculum. They teach lessons, interact with their students, give tests and quizzes and keep records of the students’ grades. The services that online schools provide is extremely helpful when it comes to taking some of the pressure off of the homeschool parents’ shoulders.


When a parent wishes to erase the influences of the public school system, time spent unschooling may be the ideal option. Unschooling does not involve any set curriculum or standards. It allows students to freely follow their interests without the constraints of assignments, grades and schedules.

Private Education

Private education is most commonly found at religious academies. Families who are seeking out a more faith-based education may find their schooling match with a private religious school. Parents of non-religious students considering religious education should be aware that the religion themes run strong and will be prevalent throughout the student’s educational career while studying there.

While far less common, there are some secular private schools scattered throughout the country. Sometimes going under the names of Democratic schools, Waldorf Schools or Montessori Schools, they all offer a unique approach to non-public education. With an emphasis placed on nature studies, independence and creativity, secular private schools attract many non-traditional students and families.

Military School

Military school used to be the thing of threats made by parents to misbehaving youth. Now, it is a viable education option for students looking for high-quality academics and post-graduation opportunities.

Military schools have a low dropout rate compared to that of public schools. They also boast excellent sports teams and the chance to learn independence and respect. Many military schools are boarding schools where the students live on the school’s campus, but others may offer schooling services to local students without requiring that they live on campus.

Non-traditional educational routes are gaining in popularity every year. Public schools are traditionally under-funded and over-crowded, which results in many parents looking for alternatives for their child. With so many quality options available, there is bound to be one that will provide the ideal educational environment for your student.

About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.

Five Ways to Increase Your Job Prospects While in College Reply

Most college students get out of college to face the harsh reality that getting a job isn’t as easy as they had thought.

Contrary to the notion they’ve been brought up with — to “go to college, get good grades and get a job” — they realize the hard way that it isn’t so easy, and that they need to do more than just get good grades in college to get a job. Don’t despair, though. Doing the following five things will significantly increase your job prospects as a college student:

Brush Up on Your Interpersonal Skills: Many college students, especially in this social media age, lack interpersonal skills. Interestingly, though, research shows that 60 percent of employers aren’t hiring applicants due to lack of interpersonal skills. Add not making a good first impression to the mix and most college job applications are dead on arrival.

If you are offered communication classes in college, especially nonverbal communication classes, be sure to enrol in them. Join groups that allow you to be more social. It’ll help you in the very near future.

Gather Job Experience While in College: Many college students are familiar with the catch-22 situation of getting a job after college: As a fresh graduate you apply to companies expressing your interest in getting a job. They ask you how many years of job experience you have. You tell them you have none and they say they need at least a year or two of job experience to hire you. You can’t get hired with no job experience, yet you need job experience to get hired.

The solution to this is simple: while still in college, start to build up on your job experience. Doing part-time jobs, volunteer jobs, etc, slowly and gradually build up experience. When you get out of college and you are able to boast of two years of job experience you slowly accumulated, you just significantly increasedphase out your prospects of getting hired.

Identify Job Trends and Align Your College Education Accordingly: For some college students, by the time they are out of college their job prospects would have diminished significantly. This is because jobs related to what they studied have been phased out. For example, while many jobs have already been replaced by computers, even more will be soon — these include: insurance underwriters, bank tellers, financial analysts and even construction workers. On the other hand, some jobs in some fields (e.g. IT) are struggling to get people and will be available for a considerable long time. According to this compilation of cyber security statistics, for example, there will be an estimated 3.5 million unfilled cyber security jobs by 2021 — up from about 1 million in 2016. In other words, if your college education aligns with cyber security, your employment is pretty much automatic.

Try to Get a Certification: Being certified will significantly increase your job prospects as well as your potential compensation. This especially applies in certain fields. For example, in the accounting field getting a CPA will automatically make you more appealing to prospective employers. It will increase your potential compensation, too. Same goes for getting an MBA in the business field. While having just a degree can still help you get hired, getting a certification will double your chances.

Work Towards an Advanced Degree: Getting a Masters or a PhD will certainly require some extra time, but it is well worth its weight in gold. You can’t get into a lot of management level positions without having an advanced degree. At the same time, a lot of entry level jobs now require you to have at least a Master’s degree before they hire you. Now, what many college students don’t know is that if you want to get an advanced degree, work starts in college. If your grades are consistently poor in college, you could kill your chances of getting an advanced degree. If your grades are consistently good, however, you could get a scholarship.

John Stevens is the founder and CEO of Hosting Facts.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.

Learning About Finance 101: 15 Lessons Every Student Needs to Know 1

People say that money makes the world go ‘round and with good reason. But that also makes finances one of the most troublesome topics out there. A “rule of thumb” is that you learn about finances as you go, meaning that you learn by growing up and making mistakes that you might regret making in the first place. That’s why nobody really bothers to give you heads up. However, the sooner you learn about finances the better. Therefore, here are a few lessons every 20-year-old needs to know about finances.

Create a budget plan

Having a budget plan is the essential basic when learning about finance. It gives you insight on how much money you actually own, which you later break down on how much you have to spend and where. That way, you’ll be able to spend your budget accordingly and cover all the essentials, maybe even have a little saved up at the end of the month.

Try to cut costs

Every 20-something is careless, especially when it comes to finances. If you try to cut costs as much as possible, you will be able to save that money for something more important. Ask yourself, do you really have to buy frivolous things just to stay trendy or can you spend that money more wisely and buy things that you actually do need?

Avoid debt

Debt is one of the worst enemies of your financial plans. Young adults that get their hands on credit cards don’t really care where they swipe them and or why, as long as they pay the monthly minimum, everything will be fine. It won’t, actually. What you may not know is that the longer it takes to pay off your debt the more money you’ll waste on interest rates that feed the banks. If you can’t avoid debt altogether, then at least try to regulate your spending and pay it off as soon as you can.

Credit score

A lot of adults don’t know much about the personal credit score, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be either. A credit score determines your creditworthiness. That means that lenders take your credit score into consideration when you’re looking for a loan. A bad credit score results in loans being denied or being charged extra-high interest rates by the lenders.

Read your credit report

Learning about finance means that you’re aware of your financial status. You could be paying your bills on time, making sure there’s no outstanding debt on your credit cards and still have a bad credit score because of a simple mistake in your credit report. That’s why you need read it regularly, because that way, you can spot if there is in fact a mistake or if someone else is using your social security number making you a victim of an identity theft.

Personal insurance

Insurance is one of the key elements in finance. Everything you have built up until now or everything you’re trying to build could be compromised by a simple accident. Investing in personal insurance is always a good way to protect yourself, as well as your assets in case something goes terribly wrong. That’s why you should always consider insurance as part of your financial planning.

Insurance bonds

Understanding surety bonds is also one of the important financial elements. You may ask what is a surety bond? Simply put, it’s an insurance bond that guarantees that all agreed upon obligations will be met. For example, if you’re in the construction business and you promise to build a house under certain standards in the agreed-upon amount of time; if you fail to deliver on your promise, then claims can be made against you.

This is important to know because if you’re planning on starting your own business then you may be obligated to obtain a surety bond by the government. On the other hand, you need to know about bonds if you procure services from such companies and make sure you can recover your losses if they fail to deliver as promised.

Retirement plans

Here’s the kicker: you need to start saving now if you want to have enough money to spend when you’re old and retired. The irony may bring tears to your eyes, but the reality is what it is. Nevertheless, understanding retirement plans is essential when you’re learning about finance, because social security won’t be enough to secure a good retirement and you’ll need either an individual retirement account (IRA) or an employer sponsored plan 401(k) to get you settled.


If you save enough money, you might consider investing it in some way to turn a profit. Understanding how and where to invest is important if you want to have stable finances. For instance, you may choose to invest in the stock market and buy a few shares of some company. Each year you will be paid dividends on the company’s shares you own which you can allocate to your savings account or reinvest them on same terms to grow your profits, which is called a compound interest or compounding.

Understanding the risk

It’s important to know that each investment is a risk. How risky will your investments be depends on you, but you’re always at risk of losing all of your assets. For example, a bank goes bankrupt and you lose your savings, a company goes bankrupt and you lose your shares and so on and so forth.


Another important aspect of investments is understanding liquidity. Liquidity is how fast you can turn your asset into money. How liquid are your assets depends on what you’ve invested in. Therefore, if you invested in a piece of real estate, such as a house, it will take time before you liquefy a property into cash. Only cash, gold and stocks are liquid on their own.


Money loses value over time, because as the population grows, more money is printed and it essentially loses value. Just remember that your parents bought a house when they were young, for a significantly smaller price than you’d have to pay for the same house today. What you have now, may be worth less tomorrow.

Have an emergency fund

Emergency funds are essential to have outside your regular finance plan. You never know if something may go bad and being prepared just in case, puts you one step ahead of the danger. Emergency funds come in handy if you’re between jobs or if you need to access the money right away.

Understand taxes

Taxes are those pesky fees you simply have to pay unless you want to get stuck in a perpetual cycle of debt for the rest of your life. Education doesn’t teach us about taxation in most cases, but don’t let that stop you from learning about it as soon as possible. After all, it’s sometimes about 40% of your overall income that goes to taxes and that’s not an amount you can neglect.

Always have a long term plan

This may be the most important lesson you need to learn. Having a long term plan for the future will give you an opportunity to prepare accordingly. As a 20-year-old, you may not think that planning is relevant at your age. However, it’s never too early to formulate a plan. Planning for college, family, buying a car or a property will give you time to prepare, so you won’t have to improvise once you’ve made a decision.

Finance can be a dull and difficult topic but, be that as it may, it’s still very important and you can’t really avoid it. It’s better to learn early on, than it’s to find yourself in a difficult position with no knowledge on how to sort it out.

Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focus is digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog and a mother of two.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.

Tech for Teaching: 5 Awesome Electronic Tools for Educators Reply

Learning is often an unpleasant experience for kids, from elementary school right up through high school graduation. Traditional classroom instruction is tedious. Ironically, this is even truer for gifted students. But today’s generation of students identifies more than any previous generation with technology. Odds are that half your class by junior high school will have their own smartphone and selection of apps. You can make classes more interesting for students by introducing useful tools for educators. At the same time, you’ll make the teaching experience easier on yourself.

Project Management

You can start treating homework or class assignments as formalized projects. Depending on the age of your students, productivity software like spreadsheets, desktop publishing, graphics programs, video editing, file sharing, and more can help them become more engaged. Some of these programs are available via the cloud, or offered as special student editions at low cost or for free. The hands-on nature of using apps is an immersive experience that encourages participation and so makes classroom management easier.

Printing 3D Objects

A 3D printer is now available as affordable desktop devices. While the high temperatures involved make them inappropriate for young children, they are endlessly fascinating for older kids. The printers utilize various 3D design programs to create digital files that the printer software translates into 3D objects, usually by fusing together layers of plastic filament. You can create anything from historical landmarks to molecules at scale. It gives kids a chance to explore such concepts as computer-aided drawing, design and review processes, and real-life STEM applications, not to mention history, art, biology, and anything else you can prepare models for. The fun and fascination of creating solid objects enables them to better understand and retain what you’re trying to teach.

Website Portals

You might also consider setting up a classroom page of your own. This can be done as cheaply as a few dollars a month. Students can access it to stay informed and become more engaged. For example, you could post test results, upcoming exams, lessons, current study assignments, and other topics related to your curriculum or the school in general. Making important information available online will free you from answering a lot of questions and repeating notices and instructions. Kids and parents can login from home to check homework assignments, prepare for the next day’s lesson, get feedback, and more.

Teach Typing

Handwriting may be dead, but keyboards aren’t. Children who are expert at texting will find that actual typing is important to good communication skills in an adult world of emails, reports, proposals, and other demands for the written word. Learning to type at an early age will become a life-long habit. With software and the internet, typing can be a part of learning English. There are a number of applications for teaching typing to children by making it fun. When they learn to type, you can start asking for digital files via email rather than paperwork. This will save you from the clutter and filing chores of hard copies.


There are any number of online training courses on many subjects for children of every age. E-learning modules can incorporate gamification or technologies like VR (virtual reality) or AR (augmented reality) to make lessons interactive. Kids can learn at their own pace, save their progress, and log in again the next day to continue from the same point. Automated testing can also enable you to evaluate their learning progress in real time and tabulate individual or classroom scores on a variety of subjects. With each student immersed in their own online lessons, you’ll have more time on your hands and a lot more peace and quiet.

Any technology that illustrates or demonstrates classroom lessons is an invaluable teaching aid. It also allows children to gain real-life experiences and skills. Best of all, project and productivity tools can help to document and streamline your own management efforts.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.

7 Tips for Building Your Learning Strategy the Right Way Reply


When you begin your college studies, you need a clear plan of development. Otherwise, you’ll lose yourself somewhere along all those options and opportunities.

From the moment you set a clear direction, you’ll be able to develop a learning strategy that lets you go through your studies as quickly and as effectively as possible. When should you do this? From the very first day of your studies.

According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, many university students fail to use common learning strategies even when they know how effective those methods are. The researchers identified the need for training on different learning strategies, so each student could identify a method that works for them.

Let’s do some of that training today, shall we? We’ll give you 7 effective tips for building your learning strategy the right way.

1.     Start with Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

So you have a paper to write or exams to take, and you focus on those goals. That’s great. But how are those goals aligned with your overall strategy? Are you taking the right classes?

It’s important to make a plan that leads you to a certain big goal. According to that plan, you can start planning for the year, the term, the month, and the day. When you’re focused on your big long-term goals, you will start taking the right courses and learning the right skills. Your entire educational journey will gain purpose.

2.     Set Progressive Milestones

A certain goal, such as “get an A in philosophy” is too general. How exactly will you get there? You’ll have few milestones along the way: you’ll go to classes, complete projects, become part of discussions, learn progressively, and take exams. You must specify all progressive milestones that get you to a goal.

For example, start making lists of all books, articles, and studies you have to read for your major. Turn them into milestones. Include all papers you have to write for different courses in your calendar. Turn them into milestones. Then, set smaller milestones for each of those papers: research, planning, writing, proofreading.


3.     Explore Better Learning Techniques

Are you used to the good-old style of reading and trying to remember everything you read just before an exam? This approach may get you a passing grade, but it’s not effective. You usually forget most of the things you thought you knew. Instead of learning, you’re just memorizing.

It’s time to start exploring better ways for analyzing and understanding the material. Understanding is the key. Some of the most effective methods include distributed practice, concept mapping, self-testing, summarization, and collaborative learning. Concept mapping, for example, enables you to connect your previous knowledge with the concepts you’re currently mastering. That’s a good way to keep information in your long-term memory.

Experiment with different learning techniques and find the one that works for you the most. Reading and memorizing is definitely not the right choice.

4.     Identify Your Weak Spots

When you determine your weaknesses, you’ll know where to start from in order to improve your learning strategy. Are you bad at note-taking? Do you lack memory skills? Is writing or critical thinking your weakness? Whatever the weak spot is, you have to identify it and make a plan for improving that aspect of studying.

If necessary, take an online course or get a tutor to help you overcome that challenge.

5.     Ask Away!

You’re not a superhuman. You can’t understand every single concept from a single class. Whenever you have questions about something your professor is talking about, ask away. That’s what the professor is there for: to clarify all issues for their students.

How will this help you with your learning strategy? Well, it’s the most effective way to get information and explanations that help you learn the concepts. You won’t have to go through online resources and do a lot of learning to understand; you’ll just ask the professor.

6.     Master the Art of Time Management

Marion Livingston, a professional tutor at AU BestEssays, explains: “Students have more time than they realize. However, most of them are used to wasting it. They don’t bother attending all classes. They don’t start working on their projects soon enough. They don’t start studying early enough. They waste all this time, and all of the sudden they find themselves burning the midnight oil and not achieving the results they expect. With proper time management, they can make their lives easier.”

How do you learn the skill of proper time management? Just use your Google Calendar. You have 24 hours a day, just like the most successful students in your class do. Will you waste them or will you use them effectively? Plan how to get the most out of every day you have.

7.     Be a Proactive Student

College is not only about studying. It’s also about various student activities, which help you reveal new interests and contribute towards the campus community. Be a proactive student! Get involved in campus activities and meet more people. They will motivate you to grow your learning strategy in the right direction.

Are you ready to start defining your reasons for learning and growing towards a specific goal? It’s time to develop a learning strategy. Such an approach will make you a really successful student!

Lynn Adamsen is a freelance writer and editor from Edinburgh who has helped individuals and businesses with their writing challenges for almost a decade now. Now she is taking full advantage of the web copywriting course. Feel free to get in touch with her at @lynn_adamsen.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.


Main Issues Students Face When Changing School Reply

A lot of families often change their locations for a living, especially if it concerns the military families who depend on the father’s redeployment. You might think it is easy and fun because changes can only bring the good for the family, however, there is one issue that is especially hard for the kid when s/he changes the living place – the school. Changing schools is never a good experience, and this article is going to consider some of the main issues students face when changing the educational institution.

Making New Friends

Making new friends is not an easy thing to do especially if the child is an introvert. Usually, any child becomes attached to the old friends s/he used to have and to part with them is a whole tragedy. Breaking this link can lead to the new acquaintances and new experiences, however, what if not? What if he is going to be bullied in the new educational institution and would never find his/her best friend? Your kid might find some kids who s/he will be happy to spend time with, but can they be called real friends? The 2014 report by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement in Georgia showed that schools with the high percentage of mobile students had fewer kids in gifted education programs.

Adapting to New Teachers

School problems do not end on changing the educational institution itself, but the teachers as well. The kid is lucky if the school transfer happens at the beginning of the year so that s/he can get ready emotionally for it. But what if it takes place in the middle of the year? Your kid is used to the teachers s/he had, and now s/he has to get acquainted with all of them again? It is an absolutely horrendous experience unless your kid is a true extrovert. There is a unique degree of trust that appears between the student and the teacher, but if the student changes the schools often, s/he will never be able to get it.

Adapting to New Classes

Classes may differ from school to school: if the child makes a change of school in the middle of the year, it may become a whole catastrophe for him/her. Is s/he supposed to continue what s/he has studied in the previous educational institution? This is another tough question in terms of changing the educational institution. And the best way out for the kid would be if s/he can continue studying what he started in the previous school. Otherwise, s/he is going to have education problems. The University of Chicago made a research on 13,000 students that showed that the kids who changed their schools more than five times by sixth grade would be a year behind their peers.

Adapting to New Cultural Aspects

Of course, it does not concern situations when the family moves to the neighboring state, but if it used to live in the extreme West and now it is moving to the extreme South, there might appear some cultural differences. And for the kid who is experiencing stress anyway, it will be just another matter of being depressed. It can be little things like slight differences in food, or it can be major things like differences in language: what if the kid moved to a Spanish-speaking area? S/he will not understand a single word in Spanish that is why this can become another barrier to assimilation.

Passive Attitude to the After-School Life

It is amazing if the child is active and takes part in the after-school life. But what if he does not feel like participating in the sports matches or even going to the school parties? The depression in college students can appear for no reason, let alone if s/he changes the educational institution. Trying to make him/her more active may become useless if s/he does not feel like doing it. That is why the only way out is to find out what the problem is, try to solve it and expect the child get back to life again. The study that was made in 1990 made an experiment on 10,000 students, and the study showed that mobile kids are 35% more likely to have bad grades and 77% – to have behavioral problems.


Working as a freelance writer for for less than a year, Nicole Cowart managed to become one of the best writers on the website. Her secret is simple: she just takes all the projects and does them perfectly well, no matter if it is a case study in Nursing or a PowerPoint presentation for mathematics. She is the best in everything she does, and the clients adore her.

All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of or its parent company Nelnet.