Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Summer School Program: Does Your Teen Need One? - Linda Hinkle

A Summer School Program: Does Your Teen Need One?
By: Linda Hinkle

As each school year comes to a close in the spring, most parents of teens experience mixed feelings about the upcoming summer months. There is usually some little voice back there somewhere wondering if some kind of summer school program should be considered. But parents also want to enjoy some relief from the constant battle to make sure homework is done, grades are good, and all is well in the academic world.

Eventually, most parents come to realize that the looming summer vacation from school should be more than just ‘fun in the sun’ for teens. Statistics show that the summer months are a more dangerous time for teens with regard to drugs, alcohol, and getting in trouble. And those same statistics tell us that a significant amount of learning is lost if teens don’t stay mentally active.

Did you know that when school starts back in the fall each year, teachers typically spend up to six weeks teaching lessons that were taught the previous year? It’s true, and it happens because of a phenomenon known as the “summer brain drain” or the “summer slide.” Those terms refer to the loss of learning that students suffer during the summer due to not participating in educational activities.

Suffice it to say that a good amount of research has been done on this loss of learning that occurs during the hiatus from school. Some sources say that students average 2.6 months of math learning loss over the summer. That equals almost one third of the school year! A slightly lesser amount of reading loss occurs. As a teacher of high school mathematics for many years, I can attest to the reality of these statistics.

What’s the best solution that a parent can offer in helping their teen stay educationally “fit” during the summer months? Start by making the decision to promote some kind of learning, whether it is a structured summer school program or something a bit more relaxed.

While taking a summer class or two in a good school sponsored program is an excellent way to exercise the brain, learning can also occur by utilizing other local resources such as museums, the zoo, and the library. Keeping a journal about some of these types of activities will utilize important writing skills. Some informal tutoring sessions in an identified weak area might be considered. Reading is vitally important to all disciplines and should be highly encouraged during the summer. Any reading that a teen does during this time will be extremely beneficial in battling the “brain drain.”

So does your teen need a summer learning program? The answer is definitely yes, but as I’ve pointed out, the nature of the program can take many forms. The most important thing is to incorporate some learning into your teen’s summer schedule. Anything that keeps that bright young mind active, thinking, and engaged will reap big rewards when school resumes in the fall.

Article by:


Linda Hinkle is an educator and advocate for parents of high school students. Learn more about how to keep your teen safe, active, and engaged during the summer by visiting www.parentsguidetohighschool.com/Teen_Summer.html

Monday, March 31, 2008

How To Design A Customer Postcard Printing Project - Colleen Davis

A postcard printing project is a very popular marketing medium among business owners especially those who doesn’t have too big a budget for the more glamorized marketing campaign. The postcards are not only cheaper to produce, they are also very flexible to distribute and send to your target clients.

When designing your postcard printing project, there’s a word in design technique that you need to abide in: symmetry. Symmetry should be seen in all aspects of your postcard printing project. In fact, symmetry is what creates the balance in the design of your postcard printing piece.

Symmetry is the combination of the text and graphic images in your postcard printing project that provides the balance in your design. The balance then creates the smooth flow or transition for your target readers’ eyes to travel the surface of your postcard printing project. A good design further directs both the balance and movement to allow your target readers to read and react to your postcard printing project even subconsciously.

To create symmetry in your postcard printing design, here are a few tips you can consider next time you do your postcard printing project:

Suggestion 1: Creating a rough layout for your postcard printing design will help smooth things out on your final design.

It’s not good to see elements for correction or even you would want changes be made to your postcard printing design when you’re supposed to be in the final stages of your postcard printing project. It only adds to the schedule and at the same time, your costs to correct again and redo your postcard printing design. In fact, it’s downright stupid to do so at the end of your postcard printing design.

To save on costs and time, better to sketch a rough draft of your postcard printing design so you could already make changes even before you send your postcard printing project to your printer. Ask your postcard printing company for suggestions on the dimension and format for an even easier time.

Suggestion 2: A picture is worth a thousand words.

Graphic images and pictures are valuable elements to use in your postcard printing project. Think of your postcard printing project as your marketing medium to your target readers who are always on the go. They would be hard put to keep your postcard printing pieces if you want them to read more words than they can handle at a very short time. Try to keep your postcard printing text to a minimum and use your graphics and illustrations to tell your story.

Suggestion 3: Use neutral colors for your background.

It won’t do you any good to use a background that would only clash with your images and text. It is also not advisable to use a background that takes the limelight out of what is really important – your postcard printing message.

Don’t distract your target readers with flashy background that takes your target readers’ eyes from your postcard printing images and text. Use neutral colors and be consistent with your shades.

Suggestion 4: Use easy-to-read text fonts and size.

The size and font type of your text are very important elements in your postcard printing project. Make sure that your target readers are able to read your postcard printing message with ease. Although many would be attracted and delighted with different dynamic fonts, it doesn’t mean that they would be able to read it, too.

Stop distracting your target readers from what is important. Let them read and understand your postcard printing message without having to sift through all the glitter and glamour of your elements. Your postcard printing piece need to stand out; but don’t overdo it.

The rule of thumb when designing your postcard printing project: make it attractive and yet still able to communicate effectively your postcard printing message to your target readers. That’s what counts in the end.

Article by:


For more information, you can visit this page on Postcard Printing



Menu Plan Monday - March 31


It's the end of the month...again. We focus on meeting and exceeding our monthly income goal every day, for the store. This month I was less stressed since we've been working on it daily - with lots of enthusiasm. And you know what - we did it again. That makes 6 months in a row. Whoopee!

Marcus had to get up very early this morning to make a 8am call for his Nevada High School Proficiency Exam. His Christian Youth Group prayed for him last night. This morning he mentioned that he felt some pressure from everyone so I prayed alone. We'll wait for the grades in the mail.

Now onto the menu plan. Thank you to Organizing Junkie.

Steak with Garlic, Salad and Green Beans

Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Salad

Rosemary Pork Chops, Roasted Acorn Squash, Salad

Greek Chicken and Vegetable Salad with Warm Pitas

Fish, Roasted Veggies and Salad

Leftovers

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