Archive for Education

Alcoholism Awareness Education

For most people, drinking is a fun, harmless experience. For others, it can be devastating. Alcoholism takes a tremendous toll on the alcoholic’s physical and mental health. It can also have a devastating effect on those around them

When it comes to dealing with alcoholism, education is extremely important. While education itself cannot treat the problem of alcoholism in our society, it is an essential component. It can help reduce harm, and also give friends and family members of alcoholics some of the tools they need in order to understand how to confront an alcoholic and get them the help they need.

Educational programs designed to reduce risk of alcoholism need to be targeted at at-risk populations.  At the same time, efforts also need to be made to spread awareness through the general population.  While most alcoholics are aware of the benefits of quitting alcohol, most will continue to deny that their behavior has a negative effect on their life and the lives of those around them.  When it comes to drinking, our society also has to closely examine the fact that many negative incidences arise out of binge drinking – an ever popular pass-time amongst youth.

Educational messages are currently being delivered as mass media campaigns.  While mass media has been successful in reshaping society’s view of drinking and driving, it has had much less success in terms of dealing with alcoholism.  Perhaps a school based educational program about alcohol is one step forward towards change.  Surprisingly, many school boards still don’t have a focused alcohol awareness program.

Local municipalities and community organizations must also target their efforts to wards at-risk populations, such as troubled youth, those arrested for drunk driving, as well as families where family members report the dangerous drinking behaviors of a loved one.

While a single method alone may have little impact, a combination of several alcoholism awareness initiatives will have a positive effect on the problem over time.


Homeschooling In Texas

It appears that Texas is one of the best states for homeschooling. Their stance is that if your school doesn’t take state money, the state can’t tell you what to do — and here, a home school is considered a private school for those purposes. In the late 80s, the court ruled on a Texas standard for homeschools — they need to meet 3 criteria:

There needs to be 1. Bona Fide learning going on with a 2. Curriculum in 3. the Required Subjects.

What are the required subjects? Reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.

Good citizenship! I’m sort of charmed by that. When I was in the 4th grade, we took a tour of the Capitol building, and I got to sit in Gov. Sununu’s chair. [It was a nice chair.]


Math Curriculum / Calculators

I stumbled across this post today [via Joanne Jacobs] on how widespread early calculator use affects later academic performance. [Hint: it’s not good.] My post-partum memory is fuzzy, but I seem to recall not using calculators regularly until my college statistics class. In fact, I still have my trusty TI-36X from that class and still use it. [I’ve since sold the TI-81 that I used in calculus.] I always enjoyed calculating in my head — I remember working at San Francisco Street Bakery in college, and I’d keep running tabs for folks as they picked out their items and would announce their total to them before I even got to the cash register. Cheap fun. Heh.

I’ve been reviewing different math curricula lately — there’s a fairly wide variety of approaches out there, but my gut tells me that tried-and-true like Saxon or Singapore Math is what most effectively teaches math competence. [The girls who babysit for us — and who are homeschooled — use Saxon.] One thing I like about them is that they discourage calculator use.