Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

How to Pick the Right Boarding School

Having a great education sets the foundation for success. Statistics show that those who receive a great education, on average do much better in just about all measures of life.

There are many approaches parents take to ensure their children receive a great education. Some choose home schooling which allows them to control every aspect of their child’s education from curriculum to the amount of hours spent every day on school work. Some parents choose to put their kids in a formalized learning environment controlled by educators who have a track record for getting great results.

Both of these approaches can work well depending upon the child. But what is certain, is that children do better academically when they have few distractions and are literally living in an environment built to support learning.

This is perhaps why boarding schools consistently graduate the world’s top students. They offer a completely planned out education strategy and a setting that is proven to create high performing students.

But like everything in life, not all boarding schools are created equal and parents interested in sending a child to a boarding school needs to study their options and have a checklist for deciding on the right school. Here are some of the items to include on your checklist:

Educational Credentials

At the heart of any great school is its academic track record, so you will want to examine the education credentials of each boarding school you are considering. It should reveal a school that has top tier teaching curriculum, highly credentialed teachers and a large percentage of the student body that is excelling in classes.

For those who are not excelling in their classes, there should a support system in place that gets to the bottom of why and corrects these deficiencies in a very systematic and deliberate manner.

Further you should find that students are being accepted in high numbers at the top universities and there should be a number of alumni that have gone on to have standout careers in their chosen fields. All of this information should be made available by the school either as an introduction to their approach and accomplishments in this area or upon your request.

Recognized Leaders in Their Specialty Areas

Many boarding schools specialize in a particular subject or subjects. There are schools that are renowned for graduating future politicians and others that excel at creating future business leaders. There are boarding schools with performing arts programs that are the industry standard, and others who graduate top scientists. Make sure if you are interviewing a school that has a particular specialty area, that they have a great reputation for graduating successful professionals in that industry.

A Large Number of Students are Boarders

Practically every boarding school also has students that are day students, meaning those that go home in the afternoons and are not on the school campus during the weekends. So you want to make sure that there is a large enough amount of students that actually stay at the school to ensure that your child will have company during the evenings and weekends. Being far away from home with no one around can be extremely taxing and disorienting on young people. Without lots of other kids boarding, there will be fewer activities available for them to partake in, and fewer friends for them to make. So ask the school about the number of students who are boarders.

Appropriate Values and Traditions

Many boarding schools have been around for decades and some for hundreds of years. During their time in existence they develop an ethos or set of characteristics that come to define the school. Some schools are regarded as very tough and stringent regarding academics, others have a strong record of compassion, while others have a reputation for developing creative skills in students. You should understand this ethos and decide if it fits with what you want for your child.

Focus on Extra-curricular Activities

When your child is not in class or studying there will be considerable free time. Boarding schools try and fill this time with productive activities. You need to be sure that there are enough of the type of activities that will appeal to your child, going on all year long at the school.

Most boarding schools have excellent facilities for music, sports and other types of activities on campus. The school should offer all sorts of group activities built around these facilities. This means singing and music groups, sports teams, drama productions, debate groups, and others, and students should be strongly encouraged to join.

There is also an opportunity to work within the community around the school as a volunteer. These types of activities give students the chance to meet new people and make new friends and develop character. They also build student’s character and school record, which will be looked on positively by universities.

Deciding where to send your child to school is a big challenge. When you add the need to ensure they are also cared for well while they learn, it complicates things even more. Do your homework and you will learn information that will help you make a good choice.

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3 Tips for Making Money on the Side

Feel at times as if you do not have enough money coming in to keep you comfortable?

Well, if you have that feeling, you would not be alone.

Despite how hard many work, there’s not enough money to make them feel good about their situations. As such, they scratch and claw their way through their bills each month.

If you’ve gotten to the point where you need some more money coming in, what options do you have?

Get to Work on More Income

In doing all you can to bring in added income, consider these three tips:

1. More income at work – The most logical choice would be to see if you can get more income through your current job. Now, you may have some trepidation about going to your boss and asking for a raise. That said it is important that you are getting paid for what you are worth. When the time seems to be right, sit down with your boss and discuss your current compensation. If the answer to a raise is no, do not immediately move ahead with the mindset you need out of this job. It may be a case of the money is not there at the present time to give you more funds. If you like your job, it would not be wise to quit. This is especially true if you have nothing else lined up at the moment. Sit tight and see if you could find some other ways to get the extra cash you need.

2. Cutting down your debt – Are you in a position now where it seems like debt is coming at you from various angles? If so; you need to do your best to trim the debt where you can. First, look to see if credit card debt is choking you. In the event it is, you might want to find another card to transfer to with zero interest. If that does not work, talk to your current credit card company to see if they will work with you. Often, companies would rather work with a customer than lose them altogether. If you are spending too much money on gas for your car, entertainment and more, once again see if trimming is doable. Consumers will often discover that they have been wasting money on stuff they did not need.

3. Selling some items – Last, what about holding the occasional garage or yard sale? That is one way to not only make some extra money, but also clean out your home at the same time. If that is not something you want to do, you may opt to get cash for scrap metal. Instead of throwing such materials away, why not get paid for it? From an old car to other scrap metal, make some money off of the items you no longer need in your life.

When you’re sweating each month how you are going to get by, don’t you think it is time to do something about your situation?

Although many people are struggling to get by, you do not have to be one of them.

Take some time to think about your current finances and how you can better them.

When you do, you’re going to lose a little less sleep and have some more money in your wallet or purse.

Planning a Fun Family Day Out

When was the last time your family had a fun day out?

For many families, it can be hard to schedule quality time together.

With work, school and appointments, getting everyone together is not always easy.

That said you need quality time together as a family. Without it, the group can get caught up in their own business and tend to drift away over time.

So, are you planning a fun family day out?

Some Options on the Plate

In the event you want to have a fun day together, here are only a few of the options:

  1. Day at the beach – What family doesn’t enjoy a day at the beach? Sure, there may be one or more in your group who are not too keen on sitting in the sand and soaking up the rays for a day. That said there are many ways to make this day a fun one. First, get an umbrella or two so those not wanting direct sun have some cover. Second, take enough food to keep everyone happy. You also want to think about some sports like volleyball, throwing a Frisbee and more. Of course going to the beach also means hopping in the water to get your feet wet or taking a swim. Unless someone is adamant that they do not like the sun or being around crowds, the beach should be a great getaway.
  2. Whale watching – Take it a step further and think whale watching in Newport Beach or another spot. Whale watching can be both informative and fun at the same time. Getting to see these large mammals right in front of your eyes will give you a better education of how they live. As they migrate up and down the coast, you get quite an experience. When you have kids, look at the amazement in their eyes as they see these creatures up close for the first time.
  3. Heading out for a hike – There are not too many better ways to get exercise and have fun at the same time. Going out for a family hike is one of them. Pick a trail near your home or an hour or two away. Once there, map your course so you do not have trouble getting back to your starting point. Take water, a backpack with some first aid items, a comfortable pair of shoes, and of course sunscreen. If you are on a trail that offers plants, trees, animals and more, have your camera ready to snap different shots.
  4. Going to your local park – You may not have to travel too far to find fun and relaxation. If you haven’t up to now, check out your local park. Parks can be a great place to go to relax and forget about the daily grind for a few hours. From games to sitting there and taking in all the people watching, you will likely be back again for a visit.

No matter where you go as a family for the day, make sure you have fun and forget your troubles.