Build Your Child’s Reading Skills This Summer!

Looking for ways to get your child to read when school’s not in session? iVillage has partnered with PBS Parents to bring you a free, four-week reading challenge that will help you make reading a fun, easy part of everyday life for your kids.  Sign up today and starting on Monday, July 5, you’ll get daily ideas to help you turn everyday activities with your kids into adventures that build reading skills.

What I really like about the site is that it also includes great reading guides:

Kid’s guide to reading fun
Great books for kids of all ages
10 ways to grow a bookworm

What are you waiting for?  Sign up and get reading!

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Education for free

My one take-away LSS from Avenue Q was Trekkie Monster’s mantra:  The internet is for porn.

While that may be true for most,  the internet has proven extremely useful for geeky SAHM moms like myself to keep up to date with the latest global issues and trends.   The internet has shrunk the world to the point where one need not travel thousands of miles to see Thomas Friedman expound on his theory that The World is Flat or learn from Kamal Meattle the exact number of plants needed to grow fresh air in an crowded office environment.

Thanks to the internet and the generosity of certain think-tanks and universities, lectures by global movers and shakers are now accessible to the public:  for FREE.

My favorite sites at the moment are the following:

1.  TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

TED is a small non-profit organization which hosts annual conferences in Long Beach and Oxford,  bringing together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers  who  are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).    Videos of these talks are available online at www.ted.com.   I love their mission – to build a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.     Topics range from the environment to art to what makes us happy.

Must view video:  Sir Ken Robinson’s talk about “how we are educating our kids out of their creative capacities.

2.  FORA.TV
Hot on the heels of TED is Fora.tv whose mission is to “gather the web’s largest collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates going on all the time at the world’s top universities, think tanks and conferences.   We present this provocative, big-idea content for anyone to watch, interact with, and share –when, where, and how they want”  Be sure to catch George Kembel’s lecture on Awakening Creativity.

3.  Academic Earth

There is a revolution happening in campuses around the world and this is being led by the edupunks who espouse a do-it-yourself philosophy with regards to education.   MIT was the first to lead the pack — posting videotaped lectures on  ocw.mit.edu.  Other Ivy League schools such as  UC Berkeley, Carnegie Melon and Yale have followed suit.

It was just a matter of time before someone had the brilliant idea of aggregating all these videos on to one website.  Academic Earth now allows you to audit classes from various universities in the comfort of your own home.

As Thomas Friedman said,  The World IS Flat.

Calling All Bloggers: Sign up for a FREE Personal and Practical Finance by Randell Tiongson, RFP

Blogging and Personal Finance.  These are subjects which don’t normally go hand-in-hand. =)

RT Seminar

 

Randell Tiongson, Director of the Registered Financial Planners Institute of the Philippines will conduct a free seminar for bloggers on personal and practical finance. Randell will be talking about the various financial instruments that you can invest on so that you can break out of the “rat race”.
All you have to do is to sign-up by either leaving a comment on Carlo Ople’s blog or by e-mailing oplecarlo@gmail.com. The event will be on June 27, 2PM-5PM at the Victory Center, Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan.
Slots are limited so sign-up now.

Btw,  if you would like to take your blog to the next level,  you may want to consider enrolling in  Anton Diaz’ webinars.  Go to http://antondiaz.com/mavensecrets/ for more details. 

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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What is School For?

A month ago,  Seth Godin posted a very interesting question:  What is School For? 

Here is his starter list:

  1. Become an informed citizen
  2. Be able to read for pleasure
  3. Be trained in the rudimentary skills necessary for employment
  4. Do well on standardized tests
  5. Homogenize society, at least a bit
  6. Pasteurize out the dangerous ideas
  7. Give kids something to do while parents work
  8. Teach future citizens how to conform
  9. Teach future consumers how to desire
  10.  Build a social fabric
  11. Create leaders who help us compete on a world stage
  12. Generate future scientists who will advance medicine and technology
  13. Learn for the sake of learning
  14. Help people become interesting and productive
  15. Defang the proletariat
  16. Establish a floor below which a typical person is unlikely to fall
  17. Find and celebrate prodigies, geniuses and the gifted
  18. Make sure kids learn to exercise, eat right and avoid common health problems
  19. Teach future citizens to obey authority
  20. Teach future employees to do the same
  21. Increase appreciation for art and culture
  22. Teach creativity and problem solving
  23. Minimize public spelling mistakes
  24. Increase emotional intelligence
  25. Decrease crime by teaching civics and ethics
  26. Increase understanding of a life well lived
  27. Make sure the sports teams have enough players

It is by no means exhaustive but provides starting points for very interesting conversations amongst parents and educators,  particularly when searching for that “perfect” primary or secondary school.   I personally would hate to place my son in a school whose principles were heavily skewed towards #4-8, at the expense of #2 & 22. 

Related post: Are Schools Educating Our Children Out of Their Creativity?

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Wow!!! New UC Irvine Law School Hopes To Attract Best & Brightest with Promise of Free Tuition

Education is big business.  Parents are prepared to do anything just to get their children to the “best” schools,  regardless of the cost.    A school’s reputation is priceless.  But what if the school does not have an established “rep” backed by a proven success record?  UC Irvine thinks it has the key:  it is offering three years of free tuition to their first class of students to the new law school set to open in fall 2009.  The goal?  To become a top-20 law school—the first time they are ranked.  In order to do this they are offering full scholarships to all 60 members of its inaugural 2009 class.   Take note:  They are looking for Ivy League-caliber students. 

 

UC Irvine Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky believes that free education, a public interest curriculum, and being part of the University of California education system (a system that boasts top schools such as Berkeley) will fill this first class and push his new law school to an A-grade.  Chemerinsky has already hired 19 law professors and administrators, including some who are abandoning jobs at prestigious universities. The school hopes to eventually enroll 600 students and employ 40 to 50 professors.

 

During a recession, offering free tuition is pretty smart.  I can’t help but ask…  What do you think of UC Irvine’s strategy?  Would you be willing to attend a new university if it was free?

For more information about the program, go to the following links:

UC Irvine School of Law 

Prospective students 

Apply Now

Costs & Financial Aid

Discussion with undergrads about the new law school

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Freebie picks of the week

I’ve come across some website gems which I’d like to share with everyone.

  1. Open Yale Courses – Lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses are made available to the public free of charge via the internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.
  2. Finetune – In addition to its web-based player,  Finetune has a fantasic desktop application which enables Mac and PC users to listen to both Finetune and iTunes playlists, as well as search by name for favorite artists as well as get a custom radio station of their work.  I’m hooked on the David Cook radio channel.  =)
  3. Cookstr – Starting this month,  a new website will showcase the recipes of star chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, as well as those of less-well-known but highly regarded cookbook writers.  According to the NYTimes,  visitors to Cookstr can search for recipes using a wide range of parameters, from the more obvious — ingredients, season, occasion — to more specialized criteria, like lactose-free, kid-friendly or requires-only-one-pot-to-cook. The site will start with 2,500 recipes, most likely to increase to 10,000 within a year.   Go and sign up to their newsletter now. 
  4. Hulu –  Hulu offers shows from nbc, Fox, pbs and other channels, including free full episodes of SNL, The Daily Show, The Office and other hits the TiVo-less masses often miss, plus films like Ghostbusters, The Fifth Element and Lost in Translation.  Note, Hulu’s video library currently can only be streamed from within the United States.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Open Yale Courses

This is way cool.  I just found out that Yale has made several of their courses free over the internet.

Taken from the Open Yale Courses FAQ:

  1. What is Open Yale Courses?

    Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.

  2. Why is Yale sharing some of its undergraduate courses free worldwide?

    While it has long upheld the principle that education is best built upon direct interactions among teachers, students, and staff, Yale also believes that leading universities can make an important contribution to expanding access to educational resources through the use of internet technology. The goals of the project also align with the University’s aim to increase its presence and strengthen its relationships internationally.

  3. What is included in these online courses?

    Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided.

If you have the time and would like to learn something new,  please do listen to the lectures.  ‘I’ve certainly learned a lot from the Financial Markets course.

Here are some of the courses:

Biomedical Engineering
Ancient Greek History
Game Theory
Financial Markets
Milton
The American Novel Since 1945
The Civil War and Reconstruction Era
France Since 1871

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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