SAT, GED, HSEE??? Making sense of the educational alphabet soup

Educational AcronymsWith school now underway, parents are frequently bombarded with acronyms. And, keeping track can be challenging. Here to help is our Top 10 list of the most common acronyms that parents may encounter:

  1. ACT is a college readiness assessment standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the United States produced by ACT, Inc. It was first administered in 1959 by Everett Franklin Lindquist as a competitor to the College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude Test, now the SAT Reasoning Test.
  2. ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.
  3. ASVAB or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a multiple choice test, administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command, used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces. It is often offered to American high school students when they are in the 10th, 11th and 12th grade, though anyone eligible for enlistment may take it.
  4. ELLs or English-language learners are students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn effectively in English, who often come from non-English-speaking homes and backgrounds, and who typically require specialized or modified instruction in both the English language and in their academic courses.
  5. GED or General Educational Development tests are a group of five subject tests which, when passed, certify that the taker has American or Canadian high school-level academic skills. Although GED is frequently mistaken as meaning “general education degree” or “general education diploma,” the American Council on Education, which owns the GED® trademark, coined GED to identify “tests of general educational development” that measure proficiency in science, mathematics, social studies, reading, and writing.
  6. GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test is a computer adaptive test which assesses a person’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in standard written English in preparation for being admitted into a graduate management program, such as an MBA. More than 5,400 programs offered by more than 1,500 universities and institutions in 83 countries use the GMAT exam as part of the selection criteria for their programs site. Business schools use the test as a criterion for admission into a wide range of graduate management programs, including MBA, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs.
  7. GRE or Graduate Record Examinations is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States, in other English-speaking countries, and for English-taught graduate and business programs world-wide. Created and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) in 1949, the exam measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills acquired over a long period of time, but are not related to any specific field of study.
  8. PRAXIS I is one of a series of American teacher certification exams written and administered by the Educational Testing Service required before, during, and after teacher training courses in the U.S. The Praxis I, or Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), consists of three exams: reading, writing, and mathematics. In most colleges and universities, a passing score must be earned for admission to teacher education. In most states, a passing score must be earned before the teacher education graduate can apply for his or her teaching license or certificate.
  9. PRAXIS II is one of a series of American teacher certification exams written and administered by the Educational Testing Service required before, during, and after teacher training courses in the U.S. The Praxis II assessments cover many different subject areas. Each education major requires a different combination of Praxis II exams. In many states, these include a content knowledge and curriculum and instruction exam. In some states, students must pass these exams before being accepted into the student teaching component of the program. Many states use the Praxis II tests as a way to determine highly qualified status under the No Child Left Behind Act. The Praxis II School Counseling specialty exam is used by some states as a licensure requirement to practice professional school counseling.
  10. SAT is a standardized test for most college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a nonprofit organization in the United States. It was formerly developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service, which still administers the exam. The test is intended to assess a student’s readiness for college.

For even more (yes, there are more!) frequently used acronyms in education, visit Great Schools.

About Back to Basics Private School

Back to Basics Private School in Wilmington, Delaware offers a unique school environment for students in grades K-12 and a focus unlike any other school in the state. With a cap of 15 students, Back to Basics Private School provides students with customized, 1-on-1 instruction and self-esteem building by experienced, degreed instructors.

At Back to Basics Private School, we create a personalized team to tailor an integrated curriculum to the specific needs and abilities of your child. The teaching staff is dedicated to the growth and development of your child academically, socially, mentally and emotionally.

To learn more about whether Back to Basics K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware is right for your student, call 302-594-0685.

Last weeks of summer vacation? There’s still time for a fun-filled, educational family field trip!

family field trips that are educational AND fun!Although summer is almost over, there’s still time for one last family road trip!

According to “The Educational Value of Field Trips” (EducatioNEXT), “enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture.”

So, for the last weekend of summer, the question is… where should you go?

Many children have already visited local attractions on school trips, scouting adventures, and family excursions, so driving just a bit further can provide a wealth of new options. And, savvy parents know that combining a fun trip with an educational experience is a double win!

Below are several destinations in the tri-state region that are sure to please kids and parents alike:

Indian Echo Caverns
If you’ve never visited a natural cavern, this summer is the ideal time to try spelunking! Indian Echo Caverns, located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is one of the most visited attractions in the eastern United States – and it’s easy to see why. Sparkling crystal clear lakes, dazzling calcium deposits, and stunning limestone “rooms” will inspire the budding geologist in your family. A 45 minute tour explores the 440 million year old site, which was originally discovered by the Susquehannock Indians and later by French fur trappers in the 17th century.

Kids will also enjoy an afternoon at Gem Mill Junction, located on the site, where they can become official prospectors searching for gemstones, chunks of amethyst, jasper, calcite, or agate. For more information, visit Indian Echo Caverns

Maryland Science Center
The Maryland Science Center offers so much, it’s almost impossible to see everything in one day. Located in Baltimore’s scenic Inner Harbor, this trip could easily become a destination weekend.

Exciting, interactive exhibits run the gamut from Dinosaur Mysteries, where children can dig for dinosaur bones, to SpaceLink which allows kids to become part of Mission Control, to Newton’s Alley in which the museum’s youngest visitors can manipulate a kinetic, energetic, hands-on exhibit.

A planetarium and IMAX theatre round out this thrilling day of science for kids of all ages – and just may inspire the next Albert Einstein or Madame Curie! For more information, visit the Maryland Science Center.

Delaware Agriculture Museum
If your children believe that milk comes from the grocery store and not a cow, if they think that John Deere only manufactures lawn mowers, or that farming is the “simple life,” they’ve never been to the Delaware Agriculture Museum in Kent Country, Delaware!

The Delaware Agriculture Museum offers a wonderful education in all things farming-related. The Main Exhibit Hall is chock full of technological advances – from blacksmiths to tractors. Loockerman Landing Village, a representation of a rural 1890’s village, allows children to catch a glimpse of farm life at the turn of the century, and includes a country store, schoolhouse, church, and more.

Guided tours are 1 to 1 ½ hours long, or families can explore the museum at their leisure. For more information, visit the Delaware Agriculture Museum.

About Back to Basics Private School

Back to Basics Private School in Wilmington, Delaware offers a unique school environment for students in grades K-12 and a focus unlike any other school in the state. With a cap of 15 students, Back to Basics Private School provides students with customized, 1-on-1 instruction and self-esteem building by experienced, degreed instructors.

At Back to Basics Private School, we create a personalized team to tailor an integrated curriculum to the specific needs and abilities of your child. The teaching staff is dedicated to the growth and development of your child academically, socially, mentally and emotionally.

To learn more about whether Back to Basics K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware is right for your student, call 302-594-0685.

5 simple tips to get kids back to sleep in time for back-to-school!

As stated by Dr. Sara Lappe in her recent U.S. News & World Report article, “The start of school is a critical time to get kids adjusted to a consistent sleep schedule. Most children become used to staying up a little later and sleeping in more frequently during the summer, but as school approaches it’s important to move bedtime up and get back into a routine.”

Of course, adequate sleep is essential for learning. And, sleep deprivation often results in inattentiveness, behavioral issues, poor grades and even depression.

The importance of a solid sleep schedule and adequate sleep simply can’t be overstated. According to WedMD, “Sleep is no less important than food, drink, or safety in the lives of children. Although this may seem apparent many of us actually do not allow our children to get the critical sleep they need to develop and function properly.” Scary words for parents everywhere!

But, what exactly is “enough” sleep for kids? The National Sleep Foundation guidelines suggest that requirements vary significantly by age:

  • Preschoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night
  • Children aged six to 13 need 9-11 hours of sleep
  • Most teens need about 8½ to more than 9 hours

With school just around the corner, the need for adequate sleep is even more important. So, how to best get kids of all ages to sleep?

Here are five easy-to-implement back to sleep tips:

  1. Adjust the schedule gradually (start two weeks before the 1stday of school)
  2. Cut down on electronics (particularly before bedtime)
  3. Trick the brain with light (add room darkening curtains or shades)
  4. Limit sugar and caffeine intake
  5. Implement a wind down routine each evening

Follow these guidelines and soon your child will be… sleeping like a baby!

About Back to Basics Private School

Back to Basics Private School in Wilmington, Delaware offers a unique school environment for students in grades K-12 and a focus unlike any other school in the state. With a cap of 15 students, Back to Basics Private School provides students with customized, 1-on-1 instruction and self-esteem building by experienced, degreed instructors.

At Back to Basics Private School, we create a personalized team to tailor an integrated curriculum to the specific needs and abilities of your child. The teaching staff is dedicated to the growth and development of your child academically, socially, mentally and emotionally.

To learn more about whether Back to Basics K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware is right for your student, call 302-594-0685.

Photo by photostock courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Top reasons why children struggle in a traditional classroom and how parents can HELP!

Why kids struggle in a traditional classroom and how parents can helpAs parents, we all want the best for our children. So, when we see our child struggling at school, it’s real cause for concern. Often, parents will say, “If you just try harder, you will do better.” But, this type of vague advice is rarely helpful.

Finding the underlying cause for academic issues is essential.

While there are many diverse reasons why individual students struggle in the traditional classroom setting, there are a few situations that occur frequently:

  • Pupils sit at individual desks, often in rows and listen to a teacher lecture. There is very little interaction this way and for hand-on learners, it can be frustrating.
  • When students are asked questions by the teacher, the same kids tend to raise their hands, leaving others excluded.
  • It is very rare that students ask questions on their own. So, while they may be lost, they won’t let the teacher (or their peers) know.
  • When non-lecture work time is allotted, interaction between students is often not related to the current work.
  • Some students will finish lessons early and engage in non-school activities while others will struggle to even finish the assignment given.

How parents can help students struggling in school

While it may be tempting to panic, try to relax. According to author Adina Soclof of Parenting Simply, “Parents have a vested interest in their child’s school performance. If their child fails they think they have failed as parents. They also feel it is a direct reflection on their parenting abilities. They blame themselves and confront their child in anger. A child then feels the pressure of having disappointed their parents.”

First, instead of playing the blame game or getting angry, find the root cause of the problem. A teacher conference to compare notes on your child’s academic performance and atttitude is a must. Your child’s teacher has daily interaction with your student and will be able to offer suggestions based not only on direct observation, but also on years of experience.

Next, testing may be necessary to determine if a learning disability exists. Using the most sophisticated measures available, licensed, clinical psychologists can help maximize a student’s success by analyzing the style in which he or she learns, his or her strengths and non-strengths as well as any learning differences. Recommendations are made regarding the best teaching methods and educational environment needed for the student to reach his or her full potential. Tests include:

  • I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient)
  • Academic Achievement Levels (by grade level and age level)
  • Visual-Motor
  • Learning Disability 
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Screening
  • Visual and Auditory Perception

Finally, it may be time to look at a completely different educational option. For some students, the actions, interactions and the tumult of a traditional classroom make learning difficult or even impossible. 1-on-1 learning may be the academic solution for your child.

To learn more about Back to Basics Private School, Delaware’s only Department of Education-approved, 1-on-1 private school, CLICK HERE.

Photo by stockimages and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How much screen time is too much for kids?

How much screen time is too much for kidsThe American Academy of Pediatrics recently met to discuss new children’s health recommendations for 2017. And, an estimated 10,000 pediatricians were particularly interested in one of the most crucial issues parents face — screen time for children. 

Screen time, including television, the Internet and mobile phones can be entertaining and educational. And, the information they provide can open up whole new worlds for kids, giving them a chance to travel the globe, learn about different cultures, and gain access to ideas they may never encounter in their own community.

But, screen time in excess can be damaging. 

So, what are the guidelines for parents? How much screen time is too much? Each child is different, but with summer in full swing and extra free time stretching far into August, parents should take precautions against overindulging kids.

Previously the Academy set a general screen time limit: no more than two hours in front of the TV for kids over the age of 2. Unfortunately, even that amount may be too much for some kids. Yet, the amount of screen time allowed by parents only appears to be growing!

According to Child Trends, “Television is available to nearly all children ages eight to 18 (99% in 2009), and most of these children have a television in their bedroom (71% in 2009). Conventional television viewing has decreased over the past twenty years. But, when one includes TV content displayed on computers, and handheld media devices, such as iPods or cell phones, viewing actually increased by 38 minutes per day from 1999 to 2009, according to a national study. The average amount of television 8- to 18-year-olds watch is four-and-a-half hours per day.”

If your child is typical, TV, the Internet and mobile devices play a very big role in his or her life. Following are some research findings to keep in mind as you decide what kind of role you want screen time to play within your family:

• Screen time is probably replacing activities in your child’s life that you would rather have them do such as things playing with friends, being physically active, getting fresh air, reading, playing imaginatively, doing homework and doing chores.
• Kids who spend more time watching TV or on the Internet spend less time interacting with family members.
• Excessive screen time can contribute to poor grades, sleep problems, behavior problems, and obesity.
• Advertisers target kids, and on average, children see tens of thousands of TV commercials and ads per year. This includes ads for unhealthy snacks and drinks.

How can parents limit the amount of time spent watching TV, on the Internet or on mobile devices?

• Make very specific rules about when children can and cannot watch television or use the Internet. For example, do not allow TV during meals, homework or when parents are not around.
• American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines recommend that parents limit their children’s scree time to one to two hours per day at most.
• If your child is doing poorly in school limit screen time to half an hour each day, or entirely eliminate it, except for limited time on the weekends.
• Make it a rule that children must finish homework and chores first.

About Back to Basics Private School

Back to Basics Private School in Wilmington, Delaware offers a unique school environment for students in grades K-12 and a focus unlike any other school in the state. With a cap of 15 students, Back to Basics Private School provides students with customized, 1-on-1 instruction and self-esteem building by experienced, degreed instructors.

At Back to Basics Private School, we create a personalized team to tailor an integrated curriculum to the specific needs and abilities of your child. The teaching staff is dedicated to the growth and development of your child academically, socially, mentally and emotionally.

To learn more about whether Back to Basics K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware is right for your student, call 302-594-0685.

Photo by patrisyu and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

National Moon Day is July 20. Young space enthusiasts can explore the final frontier with Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation!

Monn Day, space enthusiats DelawareNational Moon Day is observed annually on July 20 and commemorates the day man first walked on the moon in 1969 representing, according to NASA, “…the single greatest technological achievement of all time.”

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed the first humans, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the moon.  Armstrong stepped first onto the lunar surface, six hours after landing and spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft.  Aldrin spent slightly less time but together they collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material to bring back to Earth.  Michael Collins piloted Apollo 11 and remained alone in orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned.

Watched by millions, the event was broadcast on live TV to a world-wide audience and all witnessed as Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface and described the event as “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Encouraging future astronauts… in Delaware!

Founded in 1989, the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation (DASEF), an independent non-profit education organization which implements successful programs to motivate, engage, educate and inspire people from diverse background and communities in Delaware. This innovative organization operates with a vision to link contemporary aeronautic, space, and engineering themes with traditional school subjects to increase interest in science and technology.

DASEF offers early childhood experiences that create an exceptional learning environment inspiring children and their families with a sense of appreciation for the earth and its place in the universe. The DASEF vision is driven by the belief that “Wisdom Begins with Wonder.”

For more information about DASEF’s many events and activities, please visit the DASEF calendar.

Photo by siraphat and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Back to Basics Private School 2017-2018 Calendar is LIVE

The 2016-2017 Back to Basics Private School Calendar is now available by clicking this link.  School starts September 6, 2017.  Special event planning is still underway for some dates and will be posted live as they are finalized, so be sure to check back. 

We look forward to welcoming our teachers and students back for another great year at Back to Basics Private School!

About Back to Basics Private School

Back to Basics Private School in Wilmington, Delaware offers a unique school environment for students in grades K-12 and a focus unlike any other school in the state. With a cap of 15 students, Back to Basics Private School provides students with customized, 1-on-1 instruction and self-esteem building by experienced, degreed instructors.

At Back to Basics Private School, we create a personalized team to tailor an integrated curriculum to the specific needs and abilities of your child. The teaching staff is dedicated to the growth and development of your child academically, socially, mentally and emotionally.

To learn more about whether Back to Basics K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware is right for your student, call 302-594-0685.

In it for the long haul… the benefits of reading aloud to older kids

It’s no secret that reading aloud benefits young children, preschoolers, and even newborns. According to Catherine Pearson at The Huffington Post, “…researchers have hard evidence that reading aloud activates the parts of preschoolers’ brains that help with mental imagery and understanding narrative — both of which are key for the development of language and literacy.”

But, did you know that reading aloud shouldn’t stop when kids can read on their own?

Reading aloud to older children influences their attitudes and behaviors about reading books for fun. In the Kids and Family Reading Report, published by Scholastic earlier this year, the frequency with which parents read aloud drops significantly after age 5 — and drops even further after age 8.

Liza Baker, the executive editorial director at Scholastic, explains, “As they become independent readers, we tend to let them go, but even kids in older demographics love nothing more than that time with their parents. We’re blown away that kids time and again said the most special time they recall spending with a parent is reading together.”

How to make read aloud time fun for older kids

Let them choose. 89% of kids ages 6 to 17 surveyed for the Kids and Family Report agree that the favorite books “are the ones that I have picked out myself.”

Read UP! A child’s reading level typically doesn’t catch up to his listening level until eighth grade. By reading above the child’s reading level, you challenge their intellect and imagination, as well as provide motivation to read increasingly complex texts.

It’s storytime. Reading aloud allows older children to appreciate a great story without the chore of reading for meaning. What better way to keep kids hooked on reading?!

10 outstanding books to read aloud to older kids

Need some book suggestions to get started? Here are 10 of our personal faves:

  1. Danny the Champion of the Worldby Roald Dahl 
  2. The Mouse and the Motorcycleby Beverly Cleary 
  3. City of Emberby Jeanne DuPrau
  4. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyleby Avi
  5. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
  6. My Side of the Mountainby Jean Craighead George
  7. Peter and the Star Catchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
  8. Summer of the Monkeysby Wilson Rawls
  9. Wonderby R.J. Palacio
  10. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier

About Back to Basics K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware

Back to Basics Private School in Wilmington, Delaware offers a unique school environment for students in grades K-12 and a focus unlike any other school in the state. With a cap of 15 students, Back to Basics Private School provides students with customized, 1-on-1 instruction and self-esteem building by experienced, degreed instructors.

At Back to Basics Private School, we create a personalized team to tailor an integrated curriculum to the specific needs and abilities of your child. The teaching staff is dedicated to the growth and development of your child academically, socially, mentally and emotionally.

To learn more about Delaware’s only Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 private school, call us at 302-594- 0685.