This week's message comes from school co-founder, Chris Geis. Chris lives with his wife, Linda, in sunny San Diego and travels throughout the country to meet with CMASAS students and staff. The most frequent question I hear from parents thinking about enrolling their children in CMASAS is “what makes us different from other online schools?” The quick answer is simple - it's the people - our instructors, Personalized Education Coaches, Administrative team - that separates us from the rest. After all, it is the connections that students make during their school years that are most memorable - even for students at a distance based online school.
As teenagers go through a stage in life of exploration, self discovery and dreaming of the future, they'll look to many different sources to find ideas, validation, and support. Especially when it comes to deciding on and pursuing a career, teens frequently look to their parents. In fact, according to a study by Ferris State University, 78% of high school students say parents are their biggest career influence.
For the majority of our online school students, it’s back to school season! New school years and courses are an excellent time to start fresh, build good routines, practice great disciplines, and reignite passions for learning. Here are five back to school tips we’ve curated specifically for our online school students.
Our primary goal at CMASAS is to provide students with excellent online school courses that empower, inspire and prepare them to live remarkable lives. One of the ways we help set online high school students up for success is through career and technical education courses. These 27 different courses are cutting-edge, rigorous and extremely relevant to the landscape of today’s professional careers.
At CMASAS, we not only strive to give children the best online education possible but we also seek to fully empower and care for our students in every sphere of their lives. This doesn’t mean that we can ensure that our students eat healthy meals or have good relationships with their siblings, but we do structure our enrollment programs, courses, and class work in ways that empower and aid students under many different circumstances.
This week's Food For Thought comes from online school co-founder and designer behind the Personalized Education Group, Tamra Excell. As co-founder of CMASAS, it’s important to me that all students feel empowered when they begin at our school. One question we often ask students to think about then is "How do we define ourselves?"
Much more than simply an alternative to traditional classroom education, online school empowers students to think differently, dream bigger, and pursue futures of innovation and excellence. In a world that is becoming increasingly mobile, technologically based, and information heavy, our goal at CMASAS is not simply to help students keep up, but to push them to pave the way. One of the methods that this next generation is able to design a new way of living is through entrepreneurship. Here are three ways that online school empowers students to become entrepreneurs.
This week's Food For Thought comes from online school co-founder and designer behind the Personalized Education Group, Tamra Excell. She is currently at the annual Supporting Emotional Needs for the Gifted Conference. Last week I wrote that “When talking with parents about their hopes and dreams for their children, it usually boils down to two things: happiness, and self-sufficiency. ” In reflecting on happiness I noted the importance of teaching young people to define, pursue and share happiness throughout their life time. Now how about self-sufficiency? As before, I’m sharing some ideas here and look forward to hearing yours.
Ask any third grader what their favorite ice cream flavor is and they will surely have a definite answer. Or ask a handful of sixth graders who their favorite athletes are and you’ll receive a whole myriad of responses. Children learn from a young age how to differentiate preferences and pick favorites. It’s part of the process of developing into a unique individual. Though it’s easy to pick a favorite ice cream, it can often be challenging for young people to determine other more important preferences and “best fits.” How do I learn best? What are the proper motivators I can use? How do I prefer to communicate with others? At what pace can I push myself to learn and complete tasks? These are questions that children and teens are never taught to ask themselves and rarely do educators give young people the tools they need to determine these important preferences.
There is one fundamental fact that the majority of schools continually overlook, a fact that hinders these schools’ ability to succeed as wonderful educators. That fact is this: no one student is alike. Each young person has their own set of dreams, goals, interests and also challenges, inhibitions and restraints. Because of the limitations of traditional schools, most will be unable to properly serve each and every student. However, with personalized education systems that online school’s provide, no student is overlooked.
Nearly every child has a desire within them to slow down time and never grow old. It’s the Peter Pan in every youth that shies away from adult ways of life. As educators, it’s important to allow children to act as children throughout their studies, while also empowering them with the principles and tools they need to become thriving adults. The transition from youth into adulthood is a bit challenging for everyone, yet student’s of online schools are prepared for college and careers in unique and immense ways. Online school students are taught practical lessons that are easily applicable in work places and careers, such as the ability to think globally, to stay organized, to work in a variety of settings, and to use technology well. Here are three of the most prominent ways in which online school prepares students for careers.
Summer is in full swing, and at CMASAS, we know that our online high school students deserve a break from studying. We also know that our students are exceptional individuals on the path towards achieving excellence and that dreams and goals don't take a summer holiday. That's why we'll be sharing fun resources throughout the summer to help students keep their minds sharp and their hearts inspired. TED Talks are a fun, entertaining and easy way to learn new things and glean a different perspective from bright minds. Supplement Netflix marathons and binge-watching reruns with these hilarious, wise and witty talks. Neuroscientists, authors, comedians and models — these talented individuals can be your teachers this summer.
Unless you're a total bookworm, summer reading lists are probably not your absolute favorite. The lists are typically filled with a mix of classical literature, novels written in the previous century, and weighty volumes that teachers profess will be entertaining and applicable to your life but never truly are. But hopefully you've experienced the wonderful way in which one can get lost in the world of a book and how reading can be the very best tool for gaining knowledge. Eric Schmidt says, "I still believe that sitting down and reading a book is the very best way to really learn something."
While searching for the best educational option for their child, many parents and guardians may become confused about the differences between homeschooling and online school. Though there are many similarities between the two options like the student learning from the home and formulating their own schedule, there are also many key differences and benefits to online school. CMASAS strives to blend the homeschool philosophy of education with a private online school program, thus creating a truly unique learning experience not found in homeschooling or other online school options. Here are four ways that CMASAS is different from homeschooling.
School can be stressful, especially if the school’s curriculum, classes and programs do not match each student’s learning style, goals, interests, and personalized needs. At CMASAS, we strive to create stress-free, personalized education that empowers each student. Here are four reasons why online school can help minimize a student’s stress.
Last week we posted a blog about how parents can help empower their children and prevent cyberbullying. As important as it is to know how to prevent bullying, it is equally important to also know how to heal from a bullying experience. Students who have been bullied should know that they are not alone and that they can find freedom from their current situation. Here are 10 tips for healing after a cyberbullying attack:
Technology is morally neutral. Computers, cell phones, websites and social media applications — they can all be used for immense good or in ways that do others great harm. Cyberbullying is not a new phenomenon but rather is a growing and alarming occurrence in the lives of young people today. As parents and as educators, it is important to know how to empower children to use technology (especially social media) in healthy and wise ways. Though social media is nothing to fear, it is estimated that nearly 30% of students in the U.S. are involved in bullying online — as victims, perpetrators or both. Be empowered to take some time to talk with your children about cyberbullying and how to safely use technology while still having fun.
As the popularity of online school programs rise and increasing numbers of students choose virtual learning options, it is important for educators, parents and students to be aware of the changing landscape of educational programs and the benefits as well as dangers of online learning.
Albert Einstein once said, “If you judge a fish by his ability to climb a tree, he’ll spend his whole life believing he’s an idiot.” For many students, this is what traditional school systems feel like. Take for instance the young man who knows he is destined to play basketball professionally and spends every free moment training, practicing and perfecting his skills. His coach believes the young athlete is talented, his parents encourage his love for sports, and he is well on his way towards playing at a collegiate level. However, his math score is too low based on school accreditation standards, thus he will not be able to move from the 11th grade to the 12th grade.
Stress can affect the best of people and even the most successful of students. Between test scores, grades, college admissions and career goals, students are often overwhelmed with the pressure of succeeding. However, with the freedom of a personalized education system, a few tools and the knowledge that stress is manageable, students can easily get on track and alleviate their worries.
Are labels useful or harmful? This is a question posed to me after a recent panel on neurodiversity. It’s a commonly-asked one and, I think, an important one. Having a name for an orientation, condition, or preference can give a sense that one isn’t alone. A sense of belonging. If there is a name for it, then that could mean there are others who are similar. It can be affirming, giving a reason for certain challenges, and hopefully highlighting the benefits too. This same label can provide something to search for on Google, to read up on in the research, or to locate meet-ups or groups with others who wear this same label. It gives a place to start.
Labels Good or Bad
How much control do you feel over your own life? Are you in the driver’s seat, or do you feel like you are being taken for a ride? A recent conversation with a student who graduated from CMASAS touched my heart. He said that his only regret is that he didn’t find the school sooner because he feels that he would have been even farther in life. He wasn’t talking about academics – he’s solid there – but in feeling in control over his life. He’s ahead of the game compared to most, and gratefully contributes much of this to his time at CMASAS because he has at least the foundation to build upon.
A Student's Only Regret
Young would-be entrepreneurs struggle with frustrations. People and systems stand in their way. No one listens to them or appreciates what they try to do. Their great strength lies in their absolute self-confidence, and it seems to them no one shares their convictions. And, the traditional education system becomes their number one enemy.
Education has changed over the last couple of decades to include more and more online parameters for learning. While the traditional static model of a set number of school days with in person class room instruction has remained, more opportunities for online learning have moved to the forefront of education. This is perfect for those parents who have very active students, especially young performers, athletes and professional musicians. Online line primary and secondary education are a golden opportunity for those situations and more, it is also vital that the education meet quality standards and accreditation standards for post high school universities or colleges. Of course, the very fact that online schools exist, make discovering if their standards adhere to accepted accreditation also easy.
When transferring to a new online high school, one of the most important factors is to make sure all of the student’s transcripts are transferred. Luckily, at CMA-SAS, it's incredibly easy for students to transfer mid-semester because transcripts make it easy to slide into session. It happens all the time.
As parents, we all want the best for our children, regardless of their circumstances. If all children were the same, determining what "the best" is wouldn't be difficult to ascertain. However, for children who have disabilities or for those who are gifted, finding an educational path for them can be extremely challenging. Fortunately, with the ever expanding nature of the internet and with the educational opportunities available today, having children attend an online high school to complete their secondary educations.
These terms are often used inter-changeably. If you become proficient or competent in multiplication of numbers 1-10, you are saying that you are able to perform the task of multiplication, and likely with accuracy and little to no struggle. You could also say that you have mastered your multiplication tables 1-10.
In curriculum and instructional design, think of a “Big Idea” as the “big picture” of what students need to know about. What’s the main point, or what is the most important thing that students should understand years later?
What’s the Big Idea?
You know that whole back-and-forth exchange where a student thinks that a teacher “gives” grades, and the teacher responds that the student actually earns the grade? Unfortunately, in many cases the student’s perception might be closer to the truth. Not in your classroom, you say? Well, let’s hope so, but humor me a moment and let’s take a closer look. Have you ever taken off points for work being turned in late? How about grant extra credit points? What about deducting points for grammar on an assignment that was for a topic other than writing?
Do Teachers “Give” Grades?
Watching a video in which a teacher at an onsite schools explains the importance of Napoleon’s foreign policies in the context of European history can make one wonder, “how do I know what is important? It all sounds boring, I’d rather not be here at all”. No matter how creative or entertaining the teacher is, it is difficult to get excited about centuries-old events that have no immediate effect on the present. As a result, the facts become meshed with the “fluff” of the stories, making it almost impossible for the intimidated student to understand and process.