How to Create the Perfect Homeschool Environment

Once parents decide to step out of the norm of a regular private or public school and take matters of educating their children into their own hands, they don’t readily realize the huge task in front of them of transforming their homes into an environment conducive for learning. While a home is an atmosphere that’s filled with love, comfort, and familiarity, it can also have a lot of distractions and chaos. This makes it a little bit challenging for both the parents and children to transition into a teaching and learning mode.It is necessary to switch gears and also transform it into a domain for studying lessons and taking in new educational experiences. For parents who wish to reach this goal, here are a few tips on how to get closer to creating a perfect homeschool environment.Motivation and EncouragementMotivating can be difficult enough in a regular school atmosphere, so it is expected to be tougher at home with the presence of familiar distractions and the absence of peers. The best way to encourage a child’s learning is to show that there are no solid boundaries in homeschooling, so there are numerous possibilities and fun ways of learning. Use books but don’t limit yourself to them, instead be open to using magazines, educational movies, the Internet, experiments, or even field trips to spark your child’s interest.It is also never a bad idea to reward your child for a job well done. Allow time for rest and fun activities and even the occasional treat or surprise present to show your appreciation. Always remember to give verbal encouragement and praise to further drive your beloved student to learn.Avoid StressTo maintain conducive and effective learning, it is vital not to force school work when the child or even the parent is in no condition for lessons or exercises. It is ideal for everyone involved to pause or take a breather when the task at hand is creating stress. If you notice that your child is having trouble comprehending a topic, make the lesson more manageable or put the books aside for a bit. Remember, the advantage of homeschooling is that it is flexible, meaning the parent or child should be able to adjust or work around the lesson to make it more suitable for both of them.Step OutsideAs stated earlier, homeschooling is very flexible, so step outside of your boundaries or better still, don’t create any. This doesn’t mean that organization shouldn’t be present, rather provide yourselves with a schedule to follow but at the same time make it interesting and permissive to changes. Plan outdoor activities or field trips, or go on spur of the moment drives to a nearby museum or zoo when the lesson calls for it. Always make sure to make it interesting for your child.The success of home education lies in the absence of one-track education and the ability to have both a program and room for change. So parents must take this advantage and use it to explore the countless methods they can use to fully fuel up their child’s mind and even their soul.

Fisher Price Smart Cycle

The Fisher Price Smart Cycle is one of the most innovative toys for your preschool age children. The Smart Cycle stands out from the rest of the toys marketed for preschool age children, in that it combines both physical exercise and fun learning in one toy. This is a stand alone toy that connects directly into your television or VCR, using standard RGB connections. No additional game controllers or computers required. The Smart Cycle contains programs that teach the important number and letter recognition skills, shape and color recognition, and matching games, that are so very important in early childhood development. So here is the really great part of this toy. The Fisher Price Smart Cycle is designed so that your child pedals away while he or she is watching and learning, making this an ideal toy for those cold, rainy afternoons when you really do not want your youngster outside playing.Your child also learns important hand/eye coordination skills by learning to steer the Smart Cycle while visiting Math Mountain, Shape Lake, Numbers Field and Letter Creek. The Smart Cycle also contains a preschool sized joy stick, to further improve that hand/eye skill sets. As a grandparent, I normally would not be endorsing a product that had my grandchildren watching television, but this toy requires that I make an exception. Like most adults today, I am concerned about the amount of time my grandkids and all children, spend in front of the TV or on the computer, destroying space aliens instead of learning or getting physical exercise. So when a product can combine learning and exercise I have to sing its praises. Last year at Christmas my grandson, Jakob, received a Fisher Price Smart Cycle.Jakob was three at the time, and was learning his letters, colors and counting. He was also just learning how to ride a tricycle. But he was having a minor problem. Jakob would forget that he had to pedal, and soon would be scooting along instead of pedaling. And to be honest, he had a minor problem with the steering thing also. A year later, Jakob is an expert at both pedaling and steering. I am sure that the furniture that he used to run into is also glad that he has mastered those skills! While I gladly endorse the Fisher Price Smart Cycle, more importantly Jakob also endorses it. The Smart Cycle is one of the only toys that he received last year that he still plays with today, a year later. Now, neither I nor his parents would ever tell him that he is learning and growing every time he uses the Smart Cycle.He thinks he is just playing, but we know better. Jakob started preschool this fall knowing all of his letters, numbers, colors and shapes and is a darn good tricycle rider thanks to the Smart Cycle. So the Fisher Price Smart Cycle is approved by Jakob, his parents and grandparents. What more could you want in a toy for your favorite preschooler?

Car Rental Company Guide

With so many car rental company options to choose from, learning about the leading rental agencies can save you some time and money. Depending on where you are traveling, you are likely to see service desks at your destination airport from a handful of the major players in the industry. Each has its own specialties, so understanding the similarities and differences in advance will make your rental decision easier.National Car Rental CompanyNational is a St. Louis based company with over 60 years of rental experience. They cater to individual and corporate travelers in North America, Latin America, and Asia, comprising the largest rental network currently in existence. They have a frequent-renter program called the Emerald Club, which allows customers to bypass lines and paperwork, expediting the rental process. Vehicle availability and rental terms can be accessed online, and reservations can be made online or over the phone 24 hours a day.ThriftyThrifty is a car rental company owned by the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, with more than 1000 locations worldwide. The company focuses on delivering the best value to the customer by providing rental options for travelers at airports, but also for local travel. The Blue Chip Express Rental Program offers loyal customers a more streamlined vehicle pickup and return procedure by keeping vehicle preferences on file. This car rental company has an agreement with Garmin allowing them to offer GPS navigation systems as a standard vehicle feature. Thrifty is joining the green movement by adding a number of hybrid vehicles to their fleet, so they are a great choice for the environmentally aware driver.BudgetBudget is owned by the same group as the Avis car rental company and both are aimed at the traveler working with a tight budget. The Budget service desk representatives tend to be the most friendly and cooperative, as they are trained to listen to your needs and develop a customized solution that appeals to you. The company has grown so large that they are now taking a more philanthropic approach to community involvement, which has allowed them to build great business relationships across the country. Of any car rental company, you will notice the most pride in the Budget employees – their vehicles are well maintained, and they are dedicated to the highest standards in customer service.Enterprise Rent-A-CarEnterprise started up in 1957 with a small fleet and a small business with hometown values. The car rental company was built on the foundation of hard work and customer satisfaction and has catapulted the company to become one of the top rental services in North America. The local presence continues today but on a larger scale – the extensive coverage places an Enterprise rental center within 15 miles of 90% of all US cities. The best part about Enterprises’ dedication to the local community is that they purchase new vehicles for their fleet from local dealerships, recycling some of their profit back into the community that they serve.These four companies have a great presence across the country and will go out of their way to make your rental experience a positive one. Hopefully by understanding the core values and practices of each business, you can give your support to the corporation that you feel the most comfortable with.

Marijuana And Your Property Investment

Huge Drug Crops in Property Investment RentalsIt is the same in most western developed countries where police have urged landlords to be aware of illegal drug set-ups in their property investment rentals. Rental properties are being used en mass by individuals and syndicates to grow marijuana of high quality and in abundance, often harvesting crops every 12 weeks.During a large drug bust in Australia in late 2010, police executed 74 search warrants across the state of Victoria, seizing more than 9000 cannabis plants. A large number of people were charged with drug-related offences as a result of the raids.Although stating the obvious, police said that 58 of the 68 residences raided were rentals. When landlords were contacted, the police found most of them were unaware of the illegal activity going on at their property. Most homeowners were found to be naive and had advertised for tenants via newspaper adverts and in shop windows. Consequently, their property investment rental agreements were more often than not, a piece of paper, handwritten and of little legal stature, despite full legal documentation being readily available on the internet.Rental investment property in these cases are leased for the expressed purpose of growing ‘dope’ and sometimes every room in the house has hydroponic growing equipment, including reflective sheeting on the walls, a full lighting set up, watering system and air conditioning and an exhaust system to diffuse the heavy smell of maturing buds.’Crop sitters’ can be paid thousands of dollars a week to tend the crops and tenants were known to offer months and months of rent in advance and would pay each rent amount due, on time, Unfortunately when the tenant leaves, home owners would often find a house with carpet missing, new walls, water damage and a tampered with electrical system.In every property investment rental, landlords need to formalise rental agreements and ask why they were offered such a large sum of money in advance.Operation Entity, as the Victorian drug operation was called, was responsible for 30 people facing the judge on various criminal and drug related charges, but take note that in one house south of the city, police found more than 400 dope plants, growing in 11 rooms in a two story home! Is Your Property Investment Rental A Drug House? After reading an article highlighting this property investment rental problem, it got me thinking. Firstly it got me thinking of one of the properties I purchased and also of the potential of buying more ‘drug houses’. If you own a drug house, then that’s another problem and I hope you get out of it inexpensively and quickly, but one of the first houses I added to my property investment portfolio was an ex-hydroponic dope house.The owners were at their wits’ end and decided to sell rather than spend the money required to fix the house. The house was a mess, inside and out, especially since the guard dog had eaten parts of the side fence and the main window frames right down to the glass. It must have been devastating for the owners to see what was their family home at one time, reduced to the state it was in, just before I bought it. For me, this was an opportunity to add value to my property investment portfolio. Benefits of Buying A Dope House As A Property Investment 

The immediate benefit of a property of this nature that’s for sale, is the price.
The second is the motivation of the vendor, who is often at the end of their tether.
The third is that the alterations made by the dope growers can be easily rectified, such as with many renovations.
The fourth is, the houses often look far worse than they are.
Lastly, the social stigma of the property’s sordid past can drive potential buyers away.
 Dangers of Buying a Dope House As a Property Investment Walls – sometimes additions have been made and can be constructed out of any material, including asbestos, so be sure to check the nature of the walls. Most often they can be removed easily, but there could be cases where that extra room is perfect to add value, so assess the benefit as well as the professionalism of the workmanship. If you are going to remove any wall, just check it’s not load bearing.Plumbing – have a qualified plumber check your pipes and the mains. Often water had been diverted to the crop rooms and the main had been modified to register a lower reading.Electrics – have a qualified electrician do a thorough pre purchase check and quote on the work required to re wire the house back to normal. All professional hydroponic setups have adjusted the wiring, often with amateur and dangerous results.Ceilings & Roof Cavity – as per wiring, check the upper ceiling space carefully. Ceilings will have holes drilled into them for extra water pipes and for heavy-duty hooks to carry the weight of the hydroponic lights, so expect some plastering work. This applies also to how the growers have attached any reflective sheeting to the walls.Police – if they are not aware already, notify them that you have bought the house and what you intend to do with it over what time period. You don’t want an unexpected visit from the drug squad in the future, especially not an armed one. What I Found In My Property Investment Dope House I think I may have got out of the worst of the problems associated with buying property investment dope houses, but each one really needs to be assessed on its merits, like any other purchase. You just need to be aware beforehand of the probability of certain problems associated with drug crops. Please note though, I am discussing marijuana growing and not drug laboratories. I have only one thing to say about houses that were meth labs and that’s “Don’t Go There!”What I found were live wires in the roof cavity, power re configured at the meter box, water pipes through the ceiling and roof, the water main had been tampered with, ceilings full of holes and some walls that needed to be re-plastered. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a stash of either dope or money hidden away in any roof or underground cavity. I looked! The thought of some whacked out ‘doper’ leaving behind $50k stashed under the floorboards was on my mind for the first 3 weeks of the reno!Property Investment Buyers’ EthosI remember a chap describing his theory on due diligence for his property investment portfolio and that was ” There are plenty of ways to skin a cat” and although that saying may be a little outdated, the premise and meaning behind it remains.