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Personalized Education

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For the past few weeks (or months), you’ve probably heard the phrase “social distancing” often due to the outbreak of COVID-19. We have been asked to stay home, and to only leave the house when absolutely necessary. By this time, you’re probably running low on activity ideas for you and your student(s) outside of normal schoolwork. So, here are some new ideas to try! Hopefully, you and your family will find these ideas helpful.

07 Apr

New ideas to try while in quarantine

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06 Mar

Addressing Coronavirus Concerns

CMASAS is a global school and we value our global learning community. As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes more widespread, education of what the Coronavirus is and what we can do to help prevent its spread is a critical first step in protecting ourselves, our family and our community.

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21 Feb

Celebrating CMASAS Diversity

CMASAS is a global school, and we are proud of the fact that our students come from many different parts of the world. We were recently recognized by niche.com as one of the most diverse private high schools in the state of Oregon. 

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28 Jan

Honoring Christa McAuliffe 34 years after the Challenger Disaster

January 28th, 2020 marks 34 years since the space shuttle Challenger disaster. One of the seven crew members onboard the shuttle was Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher from New Hampshire. She was the first civilian teacher ever chosen for a space mission.

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16 Jan

Tips for Time Management

Now that we’re a few weeks into the new year, it’s a great time to reflect on time management. Are you making the most out of your day? Here are 10 tips to help students manage their time. Parents, you may find some benefit to these tips too!

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    23 Jul

    Why CMASAS?

    Choosing an online school is a commitment that should not be taken lightly. There are many online schools to choose from and they all have their strengths. So, what sets CMASAS apart from other schools?

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    Summer is officially here, and that means students may be taking a break from their courses. This is a great opportunity to try a new book! We recently hosted our summer assembly with guest speaker Elisabeth Dahl, author of the book Genie Wishes. It was a great way to end the school year!

    21 Jun

    Summer 2019 Reading Suggestions

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    14 Jun

    CMASAS Celebrates 10 Years

    For the past ten years, CMASAS has been dedicated to personalized education and fueled students' passion for learning. We've reached out to students and staff to share their favorite CMASAS memory.

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    As a virtual school, CMASAS takes online safety very seriously. One concern some parents have are internet challenges. These “challenges” have become popular and are often times dangerous. One challenge that has been in the headlines is the alleged “Momo challenge.” 

    08 Mar

    Discussing online safety while attending a virtual school

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    16 Oct

    Supporting students when they are struggling

    As a parent or guardian, watching your student struggle through a class or assignment isn’t easy. So, what are ways you can help your student when the times get tough?

    We reached out to our Personalized Education Coaches (PECs) and Course Instructors (CIs) for ways they encourage students to ask for help.

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    Talking about math and engaging with your student about numbers is important, true math is learned by doing. However, there are countless studies which show that talking about math and numbers can spark an early interest in math and can decrease anxiety around math. 

    13 Aug

    Talking to Your Student About Math

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    06 Mar

    Take Charge of Your Online Learning With These 7 Habits: Part I

    In our previous post, we talked about Sean Covey’s book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” and how these habits help teens live their highest aspirations. (You can read it here.) This book is so life-changing, we send it to our full-time students upon enrolling. Today, we’re digging into Habit #1 in Covey’s book: “Be Proactive”, and exploring seven practical tips on how to build this habit.

    Habit #1: Be Proactive.

    Covey calls being proactive “the first step toward achieving the private victory.” “Habit #1 says ‘I am the force. I am the captain of my life. I can choose my attitude. I’m responsible for my own happiness or unhappiness. I am in the driver’s seat of my destiny, not just a passenger.’”

    So what does being proactive LOOK like? First, it’s helpful to know there are two types of people: Proactive and Reactive. Proactive people take responsibility for their actions. They brainstorm solutions, think about their options, and know what is in their control (and what is not.) Reactive people blame the world for things gone wrong. They don’t take responsibility, wait for things to happen to them, and think of problems or barriers instead of solutions.

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    01 Mar

    Take Charge of Your Online Learning With These 7 Habits: Series

    Many people have heard of the book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Stephen Covey wrote it in 1989, when it quickly became a top best-seller. The “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” came many years later, penned by Stephen’s son, Sean Covey. Sean says he wrote the book to give teens a compass to navigate the messy jungle of a teen’s world.

    There are Seven Habits for Highly Effective Teens:

    Habit 1: Be Proactive. Take responsibility for your life.

    Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Define your mission and goals in life.

    Habit 3: Put First Things First. Prioritize and do the most important things first.

    Habit 4: Think Win-Win. Have an everyone-can-win attitude.

    Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Listen to people sincerely. Habit 6: Synergize. Work together to achieve more.

    Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Renew yourself regularly.

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    27 Feb

    Annual Depression Screening Now Mandated in Teens

    Being listless. Not caring about what used to bring joy. Feeling hopeless. It’s a daunting fact, but studies have shown cases of depression in Generation Z have risen dramatically. In light of the devastating consequences of what can happen when mental health isn’t addressed early on, The American Academy of Pediatricians has now mandated that teenagers receive annual depression screenings.

    “It’s a huge problem,” Dr. Rachel Zuckerbrot says, a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, and associate professor at Columbia University: "What we're endorsing is that everyone, 12 and up, be screened ... at least once a year."

    These screenings will typically consist of questionnaires teens fill out themselves, and can be done at annual check-ups, sports physicals, or in separate office visits. "Teenagers are often more honest when they're not looking somebody in the face," Zuckerbrot says, in regards to the negative stigma around mental health that keeps 50% of today’s depressed teens from being diagnosed. It’s hard to combat that kind of stigma face-to-face, but teens are more willing to answer questions about their mental health honestly in private.

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    23 Feb

    How To Best Utilize Your Online Instructor

    Whatever your reason for choosing online education, the best resource in any classroom – physical or virtual – is the teacher. Many students, however, need a bit of help adjusting to online instruction, especially when transitioning out of the brick-and-mortar setting. That’s why we reached out to our Personalized Education Coaches (PECs) for advice on how to best utilize an online instructor.

    Here’s what they had to say:

    Use a Partnership Mindset – A teacher’s job is all about supporting the students! They ensure the material is understood, communicate with the parents on expectations and learning tools, and make sure progress is smooth and steady.

    Sankalpa Bajpai - “Think of us as your teacher and your partner, because while we do teach, we’re also here to give you tips and tricks for how to get through the course efficiently and with high scores!”

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    21 Feb

    Using SMARTER Goals to Create an Olympic Mindset

    Lindsey Vonn is no stranger to injury. After winning Olympic Gold in the women’s downhill ski in 2010, she suffered a knee-injury that required surgery and tore her ACL shortly thereafter. Between the devastating tear in 2014 and her return to the Olympics in 2018, Vonn has fractured her ankle and her arm, gotten surgery again, had a concussion, and suffered “acute spinal dysfunction” at the 2017-2018 World Cup. And yet, just fourteen hours ago, Lindsey Vonn was back on that slope, winning the bronze medal for the U.S.

    How can athletes undergo so much, and still have such incredible success? According to former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing House and successful entrepreneur Michael Hyatt, knowing how to create SMARTER goals can take a dream and put it in reach.

    SMARTER goals, according to Hyatt, are defined as: “Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-keyed, Exciting, and Relevant.” In his article “When and How to Use Habits to Achieve Your Goals,” Hyatt explains how knowing how to create SMARTER habits can put seemingly far-off goals in reach.

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    16 Feb

    PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING MODEL

    PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING MODEL

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    02 Feb

    7 Tips on How to Juggle School and Sports

    Some students are blessed to have a gift that manifests early in their life, sparking a fierce, lifelong passion. For students who excel at sports, working to balance school and their passion can be a struggle. This article by League Network lays out seven tips for young athletes trying to juggle school and sports. Today, we’d like to share those tips, and how attending an accredited online school can help alleviate a lot of the issues student athletes encounter.

    First, League Network says: Assess your priorities. This doesn’t mean prioritizing sports over school, but rather, studying your schedule much like you’d study a game tape. League Network suggests to look for subjects that come easily, and find the ones where you struggle. Having this information will shift your priorities when it’s time to study, as you’ll know where you need to spend more time. At Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences, our students own their schedules in a way unheard of in traditional schools. Since studies have shown that students excel when taking no more than 2-3 classes at a time, our students do just that. While working with a Personalized Education Coach, they’re able to assess how much time they’ll need to take each course, personalizing the length based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Great at math but struggle in science? Students may finish a math course in four to eight weeks, but map out twelve to wrap a science course, swapping a new course in once one is complete.

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    30 Jan

    Tackling Bullying Through Empathy

    There is a movement going around helping elementary-age students staunch bullying by exploring their own emotional intelligence. It’s called Roots of Empathy, and it’s taught by-- wait for it-- a baby. Baby Naomi helps teach nine and ten-year-olds how to use empathy to relate to others in an effort to stop bullying before it even begins. Along with her mother and Roots of Empathy instructor Kathy, baby Naomi attends class once a month to teach students about vulnerability, relatability, and cultivate a deeper understanding of human emotion.

    Kathy, Roots of Empathy instructor, explains what makes their program so effective: “We use a baby as a vehicle to help children find the vulnerability and humanity in this little baby, so that then they can flip it back and apply it to their own experiences.” Kathy says this works because Baby Naomi is so vulnerable, inspiring an unconscious need for students to observe and protect her. “She’s more vulnerable than they are,” Kathy says, “and we have many vulnerable children in our classrooms.” This invites them to work a little harder to understand what hurts or upsets her.

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    19 Jan

    What Parents Can Do If Your Child is Being Bullied: Nine Steps You Can Take

    Does your child avoid going to the bathroom at her school? Has he become listless, unexcited by activities that used to enthrall him? Has she become more isolated, engaging in negative self-talk? Does he get upset after receiving phone calls, texts, or using social media? If the warning bells are ringing, your child may be a victim of bullying. Bullying is a huge issue in traditional schools, and the reason many parents seek out online schools like Christa McAuliffe Academy of Arts and Sciences. For our community members who have dealt with or know someone who is dealing with bullying in any form, we’d like to offer nine steps you can take to help your child, as gleaned from Janet Lehman, parent of a bullied child and author of the article: “Is Your Child Being Bullied? Nine Steps You Can Take as a Parent”.

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    09 Jan

    High Achievers: Why You Don’t Have to Choose Between School and your Dream

    Many students who come to Christa McAuliffe Academy of Arts and Sciences do so because they have a dream that transcends want. This kind of high performer comes to our school for the flexibility, mobility, and personalization our program offers. He doesn’t just want to be in a band who tours throughout the country, he needs to be. She isn’t working to gain her high school diploma while simultaneously competing as a world-class gymnast because she wants to, she’s doing it because she feels deep within that she must. And both of these students are able to pursue their passions without halting or sacrificing their education because they found our personalized online program designed to fit any schedule, giving students and their families the flex time they need to travel, start careers…. and do it all before eighteen.

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    17 Nov

    Webinar: LET THE WORLD FEEL YOUR HEARTBEAT: HOW TO BUILD A LIFE WITH IMPACT

    Do you want to have global impact? Join Tim McDonald: Motivational Speaker and designer of No Kid Hungry, and learn the skills TODAY that will help you grow your community and create real impact on the world. Through this Webinar, you can expect to learn how to trust yourself, how to tell your story to touch and inspire others, and how to find unlikely partners in a digital world.

    Join us TODAY, Friday November 17th, at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST.

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    15 Nov

    You Matter

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    18 Oct

    WEBINAR: Turning Pro Before High School Graduation

    Do you have a passion you’d like to turn pro? Join Jason Richardson: Olympic Psychologist, World Champion, and Pan Am Games Gold Medalist, and learn the skills that will help you grow a champion’s mindset. Through this Webinar, you can expect to learn what beliefs hold you back, what kills your energy, what gives you energy, and how to talk yourself into winning. Join us Thursday October 19th at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST. We can’t wait to see you there!

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    03 Aug

    It’s Coming: A Rare Total Solar Eclipse

    Did you know Christa McAuliffe School of Arts and Sciences is named after an extraordinary astronaut? That’s why we’re jumping up and down over this rare event happening August 21st: a total solar eclipse! You may have seen a partial solar eclipse, or a more common lunar eclipse, but a complete solar eclipse? That is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we are giddy to share it with you! Here’s some information on what to expect.

    At the onset of the total eclipse, the afternoon sky will begin to darken rapidly. The wind will pick up and every hair on your body will stand on end as the temperature suddenly drops 10-15 degrees. Night-time insects will begin to croon, and stars and planets will pop into existence against the inky blue sky. (You can imagine the terror this event must have evoked in ancient times!) Once the moon has fully eclipsed the sun, eclipse2017.org says “it will look to you as though someone has painted the sky a deep blue-black, has cut an impossibly-black hole in it with a pair of scissors, and then smeared radiant, glowing, shimmering cotton candy around that hole.” This will be the first total solar eclipse in 38 years!

    What makes it different from a partial solar eclipse? The corona. Only during a full solar eclipse does the corona appear, misting around the black hole in the sky in gossamer white tendrils that wave into the air, ethereal as jellyfish tentacles. Solar flares can also appear, rippling through the air in multicolor hues. Red, green, yellow, no one knows what they’ll look like until they’re there, painting psychedelic brushstrokes into the sky.

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    24 Jul

    How Military Children Can Prepare for Switching to an Online School

    Switching to an online school can have a huge benefit for military children who relocate often. Having a school that moves with you wherever you go ensures that a student’s education, momentum, and connection to teachers and friends will continue uninterrupted. Here are five tips to help military children prepare for switching to an online school.

    Tip #1: Become a research sponge. Learn about your options, and take time to absorb them. As Military One Source points out, “The more you know, the less anxious you’ll feel.” A simple online search for “Best Online High Schools” will yield many options to explore. Traverse school websites to figure out how they compare to your old school, and what features you can look forward to. Most online schools have a strong social media presence, so you can also check out reviews by reading student and parent comments made on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

    Tip #2: Call Ahead. Changing schools can be overwhelming, and a real-time conversation with an enrollment counselor can help answer any questions, and offer a better overview of the school’s ethos and offerings. Calling also gives you a good opportunity to discuss in greater depth certain classes, military discounts, or clubs you may be interested in. If you’ve already chosen your new school, call ahead to see if there's anything specific you need to do to get ready.

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    20 Jul

    How Long Deployments Affect School-Age Children

    Serving in the military is one of the greatest honors one can choose to show their love for their country. As time goes on and the idea of starting a family comes into the picture, however, long deployments and constant travel can be very difficult, especially for children who yearn for consistency in their lives.

    Some military children adjust well, while others may not. This is why we chose to write this blog post. Note that the research we share here may come across as shocking and that our intention is to help share information that may benefit children who struggle to feel grounded when parents serve long deployments.

    There are many indications that a child may not be adjusting well. Perhaps you notice her eating and sleeping patterns shifting dramatically. Perhaps he begins to show uncharacteristic aggression toward himself or others. Perhaps your teenager becomes listless and stops caring about school, or your toddler suddenly clings tighter to you than a pair of kid’s pantyhose. If this carries on, it may mean your child is struggling to adjust.  

    So how can you tell if long deployments are what is causing your child stress? The US Department of Veteran Affairs tells us: “Children's reactions to a parent's deployment vary by child, and more broadly, by a child's developmental stage, age, and presence of any preexisting psychological or behavioral problems. Very young children may exhibit separation anxiety, temper tantrums, and changes in eating habits. School-age children may experience a decline in academic performance, and have mood changes or physical complaints. Adolescents may become angry and act out, or withdraw and show signs of apathy.”

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    06 Apr

    Exploring School Options

    Homeschooling. Online schooling. Private Schooling. Exploring different schooling options for your child can be stressful. Like Charlie-Brown-kicking-a-football kind of stressful. But before you throw your hands up and yell “Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!” we’ve put together a resource to help searching parents learn what their schooling options really are, and decide what is the best choice for their child.

    On April 25th, educational researcher and co-founder of CMASAS Tamra Excell will be hosting a free webinar to help questioning parents and students discover the world of personalized education.

    Through this webinar, you can expect to:

    • Discover the most important questions you need to ask first when considering your educational options

    • Explore what it really means to offer students a personalized education, and learn how to avoid bait-and-switch marketing tactics

    • Empower your child with the skills really needed to excel in our dynamic, modern world

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    17 Feb

    Withdrawing My Daughter From Public School

    Public school wasn't working for my daughter. Depression, sickness, missing more school than she was attending all because of the stress of public school – these reasons were what started my search for better schooling options for my daughter.

    At public school, she stayed up until 2 am to complete homework. Yes, she still got A's, but they were hard won.

    Perhaps my story isn't so different from your own. I don’t know your circumstance; maybe your child was or is being bullied in public school, maybe they need a flexible schedule due to a tight demands of acting auditions, or a grueling practice schedule due to their sports goals.

    Regardless, I'd like to share a few tips I learned when transitioning my daughter to CMASAS. Please consider passing these on to someone you know who could benefit from my message.

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    20 Jan

    Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator

    The term paper looms. Your computer sits open before you, the cursor blinking on your pristine white screen like a tiny black devil come to taunt you. On the corner of your screen, a notification pops up. Now you have a choice. You can either start writing the paper that’s due next week, or you can watch the latest YouTube video on Poodle-haircuts gone wrong.

    If you choose the Poodle, you’re not alone. Tim Urban’s hilariously entertaining TED Talk entitled “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator” has gotten over 10 million views and counting.

    Urban tells us, “Both brains have a rational decision maker in them, but the procrastinator’s brain also has an instant gratification monkey! Now, what does this mean for the procrastinator? Well, it means everything’s fine until this happens: So, the rational decision maker will make the rational decision to do something productive. But the monkey doesn’t like that plan. So he actually takes the wheel, and he says: ‘Actually, let’s read the entire wikipedia page of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding Scandal, ‘cause I just remembered that that happened!”

    If you’re siding with the monkey on this little anecdote, you likely live in what Urban refers to as “The Dark Playground.” This is a place where you’re constantly distracted by what is fun and easy, but although you’re on a playground, the guilt, shame, and anxiety of not earning that playtime colors the whole experience.

    Fortunately for those of you who can relate to this, there is the procrastinator’s guardian angel, which Tim Urban lovingly refers to as “The Panic Monster.” The Panic Monster shows up to scare the Monkey away when the Monkey has squandered the time away, and the deadline is immediate.

    Urban recounts his thought process when he was invited to participate in a lifelong dream: to be the speaker at a TED Talk.

    “But in the middle of all this excitement, the rational decision maker seemed to have something else on his mind. He said: ‘Are we clear on what we just accepted? Do we now get what’s going to be happening one day in the future? We need to sit down and work on this right now!’ And the monkey said: ‘Totally agree, but also, let’s just open Google Earth and zoom into the bottom of India, like, 200 feet above the ground, and we’re going to scroll up for two and half hours ‘til we get to the top of the country so we can get a better feel for India.’”

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    06 Dec

    Conflict as a Core of a Dramatic Plot

    Any good dramatic story always starts with a conflict. It is not necessarily to show it on the first page, but by the end of the first third of the narrative, it must be stated. Otherwise, the reader may simply get bored. How many times have you read books in which something is happening page after page, but it is still unclear why and for what purpose? It’s so because the conflict is not specified, and the reader can’t understand the essence of the events going on.

    I believe the conflict should include well-defined powers. That’s the best way to convey to the reader “who is who.” Both sides should have a specific goal, the achieving of each is vital.

    Let’s take an example:

    • Two couples with children go on two-day countryside party. In the evening, a poisonous snake bites the girl.  The father of the second family tries to help her, but the snake bites him too. The venom is deadly, but the man has an antidote. Two close-knit families at once become fierce enemies. Here the conflict appears.

    In this story, the heart of the conflict is the vial of antidote. It is very important to take something concrete as a core. As for the clash of extremes, the more contrast the opposing characters, the brighter the conflict. Don't forget that the parties should create barriers to each other. In no case, their confrontation should be lethargic! The farther they are willing to go, the more exciting the story.

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    18 Sep

    Teen Creates App to Stop Bullying

    Creativity and invention knows no age. It’s amazing what students can create if they believe they have a gift to offer the world, one that can make a difference.

    Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old teenager from California, did just that. She was attending a new school in seventh grade, and wound up eating lunch alone the entire year, because the thought of approaching a table of strangers and getting socially rejected was too intimidating. Five years later, at a new school where she was thriving, Natalie still remembered how ostracized she felt.

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    11 May

    Connected Community - How CMASAS Is Set Apart From The Rest

    Sometimes a mission just sits on a wall but CMASAS’s philosophy is embedded in multiple things. ~AdvancedEd Tamra Excell, co-founder of CMASAS and our program designer, recently returned from meetings where the school’s accreditation was reviewed and renewed, receiving wide support from the accreditation team AdvancedEd.

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    10 May

    Time Management: Become a Cyborg

    Ever fall into a rabbit hole online? Perhaps it was social media, or even reading an article with links to other articles, which in turn have links to other articles? Need help? Now there’s an app for that. Or several apps. With today’s technology, you can become a cyborg. Rescue Time is an app you install on your devices to track how you spend your time each day. You can also set alarms to let you know you’ve reached a self-imposed limit on an activity, or even create blocks. Start or pause the app any time you wish.

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    09 May

    8 Reasons Why One-On-One Instruction Benefits Students

    Far too many students sit in a classroom, surrounded by thirty other students, receiving no attention from their teacher. Too many students are unable to communicate with their instructors, falling behind in classes and failing to master materials. With online school’s one-on-one teacher and student interactions however, students are able to learn faster, master more material, remember their course work and truly love learning. One-on-one learning relationships empower students to take control over their studies, have the confidence to communicate what they need, and receive the personalized attention that will enable them to succeed.

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    04 May

    How Do You Define Success?

    What is success? How should one define it? Is it even necessary for us to define it? Researchers suggest that yes, it is essential for us to each define success, because the definition is what drives our motivations, actions, and path in life.

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    02 May

    Breaking Routines and Cultivating Spontaneous Joy

    Last week on the blog we talked about the benefits of building schedules and creating routines. Healthy habits and routines help us to work efficiently, to learn material quickly and to produce great results in our daily lives. If routines are practiced too regularly however, we are at risk of becoming robots, sacrificing spontaneous joys for an imagined need to stick to the plan.

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    29 Apr

    The Benefits of Building Schedules and Creating Routines

    Some people are what we often call “creatures of habit” and are the ones who thrive off of routine and structure. Others are sometimes deemed “free spirits” and are the people who cringe at to-do lists and feel stifled by schedules. No matter the personality type, upbringing, or work ethic, some level of routine is beneficial for everyone.

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    20 Apr

    Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in Online School Students

    Something most parents and educators all agree on is the desire to nurture young people into being holistically healthy, happy and prepared individuals. We not only want students to gain intellectual intelligence, but to also have healthy bodies, balanced lifestyles, and a sustainable emotional life. Over the last decade or so, researchers, educators and parents have realized and placed greater importance on the emotional intelligence of children. It is important to teach children how to understand and manage their emotions, as researchers now correlate emotional intelligence to future success in life.

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    11 Apr

    How a New Club is Helping Online Elementary School Students Connect

    There’s one element to a student’s education and development that we take very seriously at CMASAS, and go to great lengths to encourage and serve - socialization. Apart from mastering core knowledge of the arts and sciences, developing an understanding of oneself, and becoming prepared for higher education or a future career, our students are given opportunities to develop socially by building relationships with their peers and teachers. Though it’s often difficult to encourage social growth in an online setting, we have developed many opportunities to help students connect and thrive.

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    The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. — Saint Augustine Have you heard? A group of CMASAS students are in Havana, Cuba this week! We launched a new program this year where students embark on national (USA) and international trips with their teachers and peers. Get a glimpse into what our students areexperiencing on their 9-day exploration of Cuba, witnessing the nation’s culture, conservation efforts, and vibrant art.

    08 Apr

    4 Reasons Why Every Online School Student Should Travel

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    25 Mar

    Meet the Staff: Assistant Director of Curriculum & Technology Tami Warnick

    Hi Tami! Tell us a little bit about yourself. Just wanted to introduce myself to you. I live in Northern Utah in an area called Cache Valley. I am in the Mountain Time zone. I have been teaching online for over 14 years and love the opportunities it provides for me and my students. I enjoy gardening and spending time with my family. I have three kids of my own, a boy (16), and two girls (9 & 11)

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    What a beautiful thing it is when students are celebrated for their individuality and are given opportunities to advance in their education in truly personal ways. Online school is one of the few unique environments in life where students, regardless of personality type, can step into their strengths. In online school, extroverts are not considered too assertive and introverts aren’t deemed as too shy. With personalized education platforms, extroverts can find stimulation through immediate interaction while introverts can simultaneously find solace in careful reflection.

    16 Mar

    Personality Type and the Level Playing Field of Online School

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    Feeling alone sometimes seems like a problem that needs to be solved. Young people and children are growing up in a world where solitude is a rarity and connection is key. Though being alone is often not fun, and loneliness is a tragic emotional burden, researchers, educators and parents are realizing the need for solitude in children’s lives. If we don’t teach our children how to be alone, they will only know how to be lonely.

    07 Mar

    The Importance of Solitude - Emotionally Healthy Online School Students

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    Does technology make us feel alone? Does it inhibit us from being our true selves? Since the development of the Internet, smartphones, social networking sites and texting, many have debated whether these tools for connection actually connect people or rather separate them. Many sociologists, psychologists, and even neurobiologists agree that technology decreases intimacy, inhibits genuine connection, and even causes social anxiety and stress.

    26 Feb

    Hiding Behind Technology and How Online School Is Different

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    01 Feb

    Eclectic Schooling: Building a Personalized Learning Model

    Many students and families begin online school for specific reasons and with specific goals in mind. They want to escape from traditional school systems in order to have more time, freedom, personalization, and flexibility to pursue dreams and create great educational results. Sadly weeks, months, or perhaps even years later, those same students and parents find that their “school at home” model is emulating the very system from which they were originally seeking to escape. Yes the student is now allowed to hit the snooze button a few more times in the morning and begin schoolwork in their pajamas, but their learning model, educational experience and daily routine haven’t changed much.

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    20 Jan

    Test Out Our System Upgrade: Buzz at CMASAS

    At CMASAS, we recognize that an exceptional online education is more than just great curriculum and passionate instructors; an innovative learning management system using current technology makes all the difference! Our former system was innovative when we opened in 2009, but technology has advanced over the past 6 years. As of 2016, we’re giving our system a makeover.

    Read More
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    Ask yourself these questions and ponder what they mean to you: What is school for? What does it mean to know oneself? How can we each end comparison and instead offer equality to each other? These are questions that educators have been pondering for years. Their answers are what drive the institutions, philosophies, commitments, biases, and methods for educating.

    18 Dec

    Personalized Education: On Enhancing Human Potential and Creating Equality

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    Can you believe it? December is half way through and the holidays are upon us. For many, the holiday season is a time of vibrant celebration filled with meaningful traditions. Though this season can often be stressful, lonely and tiresome, it also brings fellowship with friends and family, intentional times of reflection and gratitude, and extra events or activities of fun and adventure.

    13 Dec

    Holiday Traditions - Celebrating our Multicultural Community

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    This week's Food For Thought comes from Tamra Excell. Tamra is the co-founder of CMASAS and Personalized Education Group. Sign up for her upcoming webinar on Homeschooling 101 by clicking here. “I’m not using the words ‘Personalized Learning’ after this session,” said Adam Garry, speaker of the iNacol presentation titled The Possibilities of Personalized Learning. With that title, you can see why he was kind of stuck using the words for at least another hour.

    09 Dec

    Food For Thought - Personalized Education No More?

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    One of our values at CMASAS is to come alongside families on the journey that is educating their children. Because circumstances change, children grow and life continues to throw us curve balls, educating our kids truly is a journey. That’s why we are inviting parents to join CMASAS co-founder Tamra Excell in a live webinar, as she presents practical tips and resources that can help parents navigate through their own personal homeschooling journey.

    06 Dec

    Navigating the Homeschool Journey: Join Us for a Webinar

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    Thanksgiving is upon us, a time for intentionally celebrating everything we have to be grateful for. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to collectively pause and express our thankfulness. Practicing gratefulness is not always easy, and often in our daily lives we lose sight of what we have to be thankful for. Yet what if every day were like Thanksgiving — what if we intentionally put effort into living a thankful lifestyle? The world would be a beautiful place.

    23 Nov

    Cultivating a Thankful Lifestyle

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    Ask any one of the instructors, administrators or staff of CMASAS why they are passionate about online school education and they’ll probably tell you a personal story, a story of how online school impacted their lives. Hi! My name is Kimberly and I write blog posts for CMASAS and help with social media. It is such a privilege interacting with all of you, this online family. Online school deeply impacted my life, and I wanted to share my story with you. I was homeschooled from kindergarten through ninth grade and was enrolled in a couple different online schools and virtual learning programs over the years. My time as an online school student was unforgettable and I learned so many lessons that have helped me pursue a remarkable life.

    25 Oct

    What I Learned From Online School

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    Survivor. Advocate. Student. Friend. Maude Gorman is doing big things with her life. The twenty-one year old Stonehill College junior identifies herself in many ways and this year she holds the title of Miss Massachusetts World America. Maude’s days are now filled with pageant participation, volunteer work and professional advocacy, not to mention college courses. She dreams of joining the Peace Corps after college, putting to use her degrees in Communications and Anthropology. Her future is promising and bright, but she hasn’t always felt that way.

    10 Oct

    Online School Helped Her Survive

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    This week's message comes from school co-founder Christopher Geis. Christopher lives in sunny San Diego and travels throughout the country to meet with CMASAS students and staff. While you will mostly hear about successful and positive outcomes from CMASAS students, one outcome has bothered me for the past month and I would like to share it with you and hear your thoughts and comments.

    07 Oct

    Effective Communication in an Online School

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    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 courses give online school students insight and in-depth training into numerous careers and skilled trades. In a series of blog posts we’ll be taking a look at several of these Career and Technical Education Courses, seeking to inspire students to take some these remarkable courses.

    20 Sep

    Course Highlight: Learn Web Design Skills and Practice Creativity

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    This week's Food For Thought comes from online school co-founder, Tamra Excell. Read more about Tamra and her mission to create a personalized education for all students on her website here. 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?

    16 Sep

    The Respect We Give to Students

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    At CMASAS, we strive to touch the future by serving students in ways that encourage them to live remarkable lives. We believe that today, especially in the modern Western world, that children are the most overlooked and under-appreciated members of our society. Which is sad because children contain within them so much hope, imagination, kindness, tolerance, and optimism. With all of these natural qualities, children only need a bit of good direction and encouragement to make large positive impacts on the world around them.

    13 Sep

    Helping Kids Change the World

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    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.

    09 Sep

    The Human-Centered Approach to Learning

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    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.

    01 Sep

    Tips For Parents on Career Coaching Their Teens

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    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.

    25 Aug

    5 Tips for Back to Online School Success

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    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.

    23 Aug

    Career and Technical Education Courses - Empowering Tomorrow's Work Force

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    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.

    15 Aug

    New Enrollment Option for Students With Medical Needs

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    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?"

    12 Aug

    Food For Thought - How Should We Define Identity & Use Labels?

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    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.

    09 Aug

    Online School Teaches Students Entrepreneurship

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    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.

    05 Aug

    Food For Thought - Educating Children to Have Personal Agency

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    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.

    25 Jul

    How Online School Instructors Help Students Discover Their Learning Style

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    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.

    11 Jul

    How Part Time Enrollment Empowers Students

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    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.

    05 Jul

    How Online School Prepares Students for Future Careers

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    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.

    28 Jun

    10 TED Talks to Watch This Summer

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    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."

    20 Jun

    10 Books to Read This Summer - That You Probably Wouldn't At A Traditional School

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    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.

    12 Jun

    4 Ways That Online School Differs From Homeschool

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    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.

    07 Jun

    4 Ways Online School Can Help Stressed-Out Students

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    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:

    01 Jun

    10 Tips for Healing After a Cyberbully Attack

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    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.

    26 May

    How To Empower Your Child and Prevent Cyberbullying

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    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.

    21 May

    The Integrity of Online School: How To Identify Fake Education Systems

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    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.

    17 May

    How Online School Can Help Students Find Their Genius

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    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.

    08 May

    Online School and Anxiety - 4 Tips to Better Manage Stress

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    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.

    02 Mar

    Labels Good or Bad

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    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.

    02 Feb

    A Student's Only Regret

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    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.

    01 Nov

    How Online High School Helps Young Entrepreneurs

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    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.

    19 Oct

    Three Ways to Validate an Online School

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    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.

    19 Oct

    5 Simple Steps to Transfer a Transcript to another Online High School

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    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.

    19 Oct

    How to Tell an Accredited Online High School

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    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.

    19 Oct

    Proficiency, Competency, & Mastery

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    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?

    16 Oct

    What’s the Big Idea?

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    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?

    11 Oct

    Do Teachers “Give” Grades?

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    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.

    28 Sep

    A Breakdown of Note-Taking: 5 Tips All Students Should Know

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    “What do you mean due dates?” Maria was confused by the report saying her son was behind in a class. The school said it was self-paced, so when the family went out of town for a funeral last week, she didn’t worry about him missing school. He should just be able to get back into the flow when they returned, right?

    10 Sep

    Self-Paced vs. Flexible Paced in an Online School

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    Mindfulness is both necessary and hard to achieve in an era ruled by short attention spans. Pulled in so many directions by so many distractions, people find it difficult to stay fully in the moment. But, with students benefiting from techniques of mindful learning, there is value in learning how online school helps build a student's mindfulness.

    10 Sep

    Mindful Learning: How Online School Helps Build a Student's Mindfulness

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    There's a reason that Dr. Seuss has enjoyed enduring popularity for decades. His stories resonate with kids giving them a lifelong love of learning and reading. What is the reason for this lasting legacy that keeps his books firmly on the shelves of every childhood bedroom? It's quite simple: Dr. Seuss thinks like a child. He is creative, filled with life, and his imagination knows no bounds, just like children. The vivid landscape he paints with the pleasing cadence of his rhymes creates a world that children wholeheartedly identify with and enjoy. It's a world without limits and restraints, a world where anything is possible. A world where students in a high quality online school get to play and create.

    10 Sep

    Thinking like Dr. Seuss: 5 Ways Online School Boosts Students' Creativity

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    Aug 1, 2014 3:27:32 PM

    This CMA-SAS #touchthefuture blog post takes a look at a question we received from a parent interested in our personalized online school: To ask your own question, click here to take this survey.

    10 Sep

    2014-09-10 11:52:16 -0700

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    Disclaimer: At CMA-SAS, we like to feature of the voice of our students, so this blog post carries a bit more heat than usual all while creating an effective message that we just couldn’t hold back. 

    This CMA-SAS #touchthefuture blog post takes a look at a question we received from a parent interested in our personalized online school: To ask your own question, click here to take this survey.

    10 Sep

    How Online High School Helps Inspire Young Entrepreneurs

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    Jul 24, 2014 6:30:00 AM

    This CMA-SAS #touchthefuture blog post takes a look at a question we received from a parent interested in our personalized online school: To ask your own question, click here to take this survey.

    10 Sep

    5 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Sending Your Child to Online School

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    Once upon a time, the United States Congress mandated that a college conduct over half of its instruction in physical classrooms to be eligible for federal financial aid. The law unfairly discriminated against people who participated in online schooling. Residents of rural areas, working adults and military members were especially hurt by the law. Thankfully, Congress removed the 50 percent classroom instruction threshold in 2006 and financial aid became available to all eligible online students. Today there are numerous ways to obtain financial aid and scholarships for online classes.

    10 Sep

    How to Apply for Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online School Plus 4 Takeaway Tips

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    Martha is a small town librarian, the single mother of 15-year old Sarah. Her daughter, Sarah, is an accomplished classical pianist, but she and her mother are frustrated and disappointed with her progress in public high school.

    10 Sep

    Preparing Students for The Future of Work (The Perks of Online High School)

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    Tommy is getting ready to start the 9th grade at the CMA-SAS online high school. Although he's excited about the new opportunity, he's also determined to be more mindful when it comes to keeping track of all of his homework assignments. In the past, he was notorious for losing important papers or turning them in late because he'd misplaced them. His bookbag looked like a junkyard, full of once crisp looseleaf now shredded.

    10 Sep

    What Happens When You Lose Assignments? Not a Problem w/ Online High School

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    With the summer time heat now in full steam, this blog post takes a look at a list of summer books that will entice the multicultural online school student.

    10 Sep

    Top Ten Summer Reading List for Online High School Students

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    Many parents are finding a personalized online high school curriculum via the distance-learning alternative a compelling advantage. A virtual education provides more choices in where you attend and how your child learns; however, the ability to learn without the normal classroom structure, and overcoming student procrastination are both crucial factors.Thats's where personalized education comes in.

    10 Sep

    The Top 3 Questions All Parents Need to Ask the Online High School Before Enrolling Their Child

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    Student voice is an incredibly important value in my life. Not only is it beneficial to myself, but it is also beneficial to the world around me. Oftentimes people tend to be unheard or their thoughts trivialized- whether they’re a student, a worker, or a child. Students not having a voice seems to be incredibly prevalent in today’s society. People assume that I am too young or too inexperienced to know what’s good for me or for others. If you speak to others my age, you realize that this is a common hardship we all share.

    10 Sep

    Student Voice: The Power of Empathy and Compassion

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    When you look at a picture like this, what is your first thought? Pretty? Funny? Happy? Maybe some other nice adjective? I can tell you one thing for sure. Those words never went through my head when I was younger. Whether looking at a picture of myself like the one above or just seeing myself in the mirror, the words that always traveled through my head were things like ugly, worthless, small, stupid and crazy.

    10 Sep

    Student Voice: Learning Empathy Through Personalized Education

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    Around this time of the year, our students from all over the world begin to plan summer vacation. "What to do" is the question many ask. This blog post helps students take a look at travel as a learning experience instead of vacations. Don't get us wrong, sometimes we all need a vacation and a break away from studying can serve us well. Sometimes, however, we can dig deep into our travel to enhance our lives beyond what vacationing can offer.

    10 Sep

    The Difference Between Student Travel Over Vacationing (The Perks of Being an Online High School Student)

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    Josh is sophomore enrolled in online high school. He's a budding cellist who finds the e-learning curriculum to be more in tune with his demanding practice schedules for the local youth symphony than a traditional academic institution. Although he's looking forward to the end of another semester, there's also a burning desire to temporarily get away from the familiar and explore new territory.

    10 Sep

    5 Benefits of Student Travel (The Perks of Being an Online High School Student)

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    We care deeply about personalized education. Why? Because 1:1 education is possible today like never before and your child deserves personal attention. Let’s keep in mind that we all learn at an individualized pace. To dig deep into what exactly “personalized education” means, we recently asked CMA-SAS staff a few questions about personalized education. Here are their responses:

    10 Sep

    So...What is Personalized Education Exactly?

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    Lately, we've had quite a few questions about what exactly defines a "personalized education". Here's a bit of information to clearly line up how we define it at CMA-SAS.

    10 Sep

    5 Pillars of Personalized Education

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    Are you at all like me? Do you ever feel that you have no words to express what you are feeling or what you say will come out wrong? That’s an everyday occurrence when you have dyslexia.

    10 Sep

    Student Voice: My Ancestors Live in Me

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    Hi! My name is Zenya and I am seventeen years old. My dream is to become a professional ballet dancer. My mom took me to my first ballet class when I was four years old. When I took my first class I knew that this was what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Many people laughed at me and asked how a four year old could know what career they want. But so far I have still kept striving toward this dream that I wanted since I was four.

    10 Sep

    Student Voice: What's it like as a First Year Student at Online School? Just ask Zenya

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    Your voice as a student, a member of society, and and individual doesn’t just mean the ability to make choices or to speak, it also means self expression in general. A voice doesn’t have to be one that is audible, it can be a story or message in the form of paint on canvas, written and shown on posters or billboards, shown through dance or music, and written in books and poetry. Of course it can also be spoken, as well, for those that prefer speaking. Once you find your preferred way, or ways, of voice you can try to configure that in your dream career, use it to open possible activities or dreams for the future, and can open your mind to how you can better express yourself in your life.

    10 Sep

    How to Find your Voice and Use it in Daily Life: personalized learning at its finest.

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    At CMA-SAS, we care deeply about providing students with helpful information 24/7. That's one benefit we love about not being restricted to a bell schedule or classroom walls. This blog post offers students a few tips to write an incredible research paper, which many students are working on now.

    10 Sep

    5 Tips to Write Your Research Paper

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    At CMA-SAS, we believe in personalized learning which means giving students a multitude of tools to achieve their dreams in the global economy. Here's a blog post that focuses on working in the cloud with a sharp focus on what Google can offer.

    10 Sep

    Not Every School Prepares Students to Work in the Cloud.

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    We often hear from parents that traditional schooling doesn't prepare children well for the current economy. This blog post takes a look at how online school helps build entrepreneurial students and prepares them to build a successful and meaningful life-long career.

    10 Sep

    Teaching Digital Literacy: Preparing Students for Entrepreneurship

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    I was once in a college literature class where the professor confidently said, “I assume we are all of Judeo-Christian background here, so…” She then went on to apply this filter to the analysis of the stories and poems we had recently read, and she was coming up with interpretations that differed from my own. Do you think I raised my hand to let her know that her assumption meant I was left in the dark about all the analogies she was now using to teach me? Today I would have, but not then. Raised in a militant-atheist household, I had only started learning about various religions, and I felt instantly stupid. In retrospect, I probably had something unique to contribute, especially in interpreting the works by authors who were also not of Judeo-Christian backgrounds. Instead, I struggled silently, and this was just another case where a teacher was telling students what to think.

    10 Sep

    Careful Questioning: Nurture Student Voice and Unlimited Learning

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    Music is a passion that is often realized when a person is extremely young. Parents who allow their children to embrace music as a child, encourage them to take lessons and pursue their goals. Children with exceptional talent and a love of classical music, often aspire to being first chair in an orchestra. In rare cases, when their talent is honed early on, the choice may have to be made as to what best serves their needs.

    10 Sep

    What it Take to Make First Chair: 4 Benefits for the Scholar Musician

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    John dreaded writing his research paper on local history. He read a few encyclopedia entries at the library, checked out a few books and wrote his paper writing as many of the facts he could logically fit in, in an organized and very readable format. The truth? John's paper was boring to write and boring to read.

    10 Sep

    5 Tips to Become a Master Writer: An Online School Student's Quest to Write a Stellar Paper

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    We are seeing education across all grade levels take to the Internet, and for good reason. There are a lot of tried and true benefits to learning in an online environment. When students learn online, they are exposed to learning in the digital age. For those entering the workforce, chances are they are going to have to know how to communicate effectively online with people around the world. Going through an online education program in high school and beyond will teach the skills necessary to succeed from a rhetorical standpoint.

    10 Sep

    3 Ways Online High School Builds Empathy

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    While entrepreneurship is indeed booming in certain areas of the United States, especially in tech hubs like San Francisco, Miami, Austin, and Boston, there is still a distinct lack of entrepreneurship and leadership classes and teaching methods in most schools. When newspapers relate test scores to the success of the school, there's little school leaders and teachers can do to boost students' entrepreneurial skills.

    10 Sep

    How Teacher Mentors Build Entrepreneurial Students

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    We have had several decades of reassessment about the best approaches to educating our children. New technologies have delivered a plethora of options and abilities that that have given parents new options for educating their children. We have been offered the unique opportunity to become educated as global citizen's in today's quickly changing landscape, which requires this cross-cultural reality check.

    10 Sep

    Building the Global Citizen in Online School

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    It takes hard work to become a professional surfer; you already know that. Your dedication to excelling at the sport can cost you a lot in terms of your personal life. It doesn’t have to, though. If you’re working on getting sponsored, you can still do all the stuff that other kids your age are doing, including attending and graduating from high school. In fact, you can get a better education.

    10 Sep

    3 Reasons Online School Helps Surfers Get Sponsored

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    Expression and communication are key components of any education and these tips will help you to create an awesome video to help you communicate through the lens of our digital culture. One of the many perks of online school and a personalized learning curriculum.

    09 Sep

    Student Productivity 106: Digital Literacy and 5 Steps to Make Viral Video

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    n today's digital world, part of this system involves learning the little tools and tricks native to online web applications, as well as the traditional methods of time management and effective communication with peers. These management tips for online students are well suited to help any student participating in a personalized learning program develop the skills necessary to succeed.

    09 Sep

    Student Productivity 104: 5 Project Management Tips for Online Students

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    Through the course of a personalized learning program, you may find that you need to give a presentation or two on what you've learned. For online presentations, it's important to use programs that give a sense of visual movement while still communicating your ideas effectively: for those things, we recommend Prezi, along with the standby of Keynote or Powerpoint (when used effectively). For those who don't know, Prezi is a system that allows online students to create a presentation that provides a great amount of visual stimuli and allows you to pan towards and away from information very easily. But just using the right software isn't all you need in order to create a dynamite presentation: follow these tips to make sure that the next presentation you give is astounding.

    09 Sep

    Student Productivity 105: 5 Tips to Make an Awesome Online Presentation. #5 is crucial!

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    A lot of students, whether in the classroom or utilizing online personalized school lessons, can have trouble staying on task while studying or doing homework. Whether your child is learning at home or at school, you want him/her to make the most of their work time. That's where the Pomodoro technique comes into play.

    09 Sep

    Student Productivity 103: 5 Easy Steps to Help Online Students Learn Using the Pomodoro Method. You're going to love #4.

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    Meet Kari - As a student she travels the world utilizing a personalized education. It’s a great experience. With easy access to teachers who mentor and mold, students interact in diverse roles to increase their knowledge base and learn to adapt to free-willed thinking scenarios. Being able to virtually connect to a classroom has left her with a sense of belonging, not only because she has participated in an engaging learning environment without ever stepping into a classroom, but is also included into a venue where her ideas are challenged and embraced as she learns. This comes as a result of having fantastic teacher mentors.

    09 Sep

    Great Teachers Make Great Online Schools: 3 Quality Traits to Look For

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    When it's time to sign on to online school, do you find yourself wanting to go get a snack in the kitchen, check your Facebook account, or go pet the cat? These are sure signs of getting distracted from the more important task at hand - completing your online personalized education. Here are 5 tips to stay focused and productive.

    09 Sep

    Student Productivity 102: 5 Tips to Say No To Distraction

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    Everything in education is changing. Information is moving faster. Instructors have access to an ever-growing array of resources. And almost every school in the country is offering online courses. Even the tradition-rich American Bar Association, which has a reputation for being a bit stodgy, has approved an online J.D. program.

    09 Sep

    Student Productivity 101: Become a Note-taking Ninja

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    Kari is a student that travels the world but utilizes the personalized education options CMASAS online personalized school. It’s a great experience. With easy access to teachers who mentor and mold, students interact in diverse roles to increase their knowledge base and learn to adapt to free-willed thinking scenarios. Being able to virtually connect to a classroom has left her with a sense of belonging, not only because she has participated in an engaging learning environment without ever stepping into a classroom, but is also included into a venue where her ideas are challenged and embraced as she learns. That’s the magic of online high school.

    09 Sep

    What Makes a Great Teacher in an Online School? 3 Quality Traits to Look For

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    Rory is a math whiz who enjoys helping his friends complete difficult equations on their homework assignments. His sharp thinking and happy-go-lucky nature also helps him in his role as a young swimmer. Since he takes his sportsmanship seriously and trains everyday, Rory's parents decided to enroll him in an online high school that will focus on his personalized education as he completes the rest of his studies.

    09 Sep

    Personalized Education - Top 5 Apps to Improve Online Students' Vocabulary

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    High school is a tumultuous time. Everything seems to be in flux all of the time. It's a time of rapid growth, both physically and emotionally, and for some, it is a time of great stress as they try to decide just what they want to do with their life.

    09 Sep

    7 Tips for Setting Goals as an Online High School Student

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    Imagine graduating from high school, yet still struggling to read well. That may seem like an impossible scenario, yet literacy continues to be a problem for on-site and online high school students alike. Dr. Terry Salinger is an educational expert who serves in multiple roles as the Senior Advisor to the National High School Center, as well as the Managing Director and Chief Scientist for Reading at the American Institutes for Research. Her research and statistics from the National Adult Literacy Survey showed that over the past 15 years, over 15 million high school students have graduated barely proficient in reading at the fifth grade level. Another statistic revealed that 19 percent of high school dropout students "are only able to perform at basic or below-basic levels..."

    09 Sep

    Top 5 Reading Comprehension Apps for Online High School Students

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    Karen is entering her junior year in online high school at CMA-SAS. Besides being a budding violinist with aspirations of joining the symphony one day, she also wants to be a professional song writer. Her parents support her career decision and encouraged her to double her workload by taking several AP advanced courses during her first two years of high school in order to develop her analytical and writing skills. She's also joined a local poet's society and sought the help of an after-school writing tutor to help her polish her essay-writing and grammatical style. Although her schedule is extremely demanding, Karen never doubts that she'll have to work hard and sacrifice in order to get the life she wants after graduation.

    09 Sep

    5 Writing Tips for Online High School Students

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    We have all heard the adage, 'Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life'. While many may argue the validity of this statement, no one could argue the sentiment. The path to a fulfilling and happy life may well be to follow your passion The problem lies in finding out just what your passion is.

    09 Sep

    Meet Emily and Her 3 Keys to Find Your Passion in Online High School

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    Shane was in his first year of high school and his mother watched her normally easy-going son become more and more depressed. While he was capable of getting high grades, his first quarter grades saw him failing almost every class and those he did pass, he just squeaked by. When he came home each day, he went straight to his room. She had figured he was simply getting used to the added workload of being in high school, but his grades didn't indicate he'd been working at all.

    09 Sep

    How Online High School Can Save the Bullied Child

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    The traditional high school classroom can hold many students back. With one teacher presenting material to a large group on a set schedule, the pace is rarely right for anyone. The brightest or most prepared students in the room lose interest quickly; those who encounter obstacles may be left behind and have great difficulty catching up. Time is wasted, and many—if not most—students are bored. Fortunately, there is an alternative: online high school may offer a solution to each of those problems, along with other perks that may not have occurred to most parents.

    09 Sep

    The Perks of Being an Online High School Student

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    Meet Jared and Jill. The two leisurely wake up on a Monday morning around 8:30. No, it's not a holiday. They attend high school online.

    09 Sep

    5 Best Study Habits for Online High School Students

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    Don't underestimate the positive influence that online high schools can have on today's youth. With state-of-the-art systems and qualified teachers, students can still enjoy participating in the activities they love while working to become tomorrow's leaders.

    08 Sep

    Let Your Creativity Flourish with Online High School

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    Carol is a gifted gymnast who's starting her junior year in online high school soon. Although a little nervous about the rising academic pressures, her hopes of graduating as soon as possible to pursue her career in gymnastics full time outweigh her graduating early jitters. She and her mother decided to consult with several staff members from CMA-SAS online school to discuss the possibilities of an early graduation so Carol can prepare for one of the biggest competitions in her budding career. Fortunately, her exceptional academic performance and good report with her former instructors has increased Carol's chances of getting her diploma sooner than she may think.

    08 Sep

    5 Reasons to Graduate Online High School Early

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    Tony and Sue are excited to begin their study abroad program in Europe. They've already received their passports, made flight arrangements, and have been actively researching the cultural aspects of the town they'll live in. Both understand how fortunate they are to have the opportunity to see other parts of the world at such a young age. The contacts in their community are equally honored to see them pursue studies elsewhere and are eager to see how they'll be able to bring what they learn back to their hometown.

    08 Sep

    4 Advantages of World Travel for Online High School Students

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    Many creative people who have a knack for thinking outside the box can relate to the benefits of a liberal arts education. However, some of them don't end up following through out of fear that this educational route is unrealistic and leads to an uncertain future. This type of thinking couldn't be farther from the truth. Check out how studying liberal arts can prove to be a rewarding journey.

    08 Sep

    5 Advantages of a Liberal Arts Education

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    A personalized education motivates students to learn and succeed by making the curriculum relevant and interesting for them. Here are four different ways that personalized education motivates students in our online school, Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences.

    08 Sep

    How can a Personalized Education Motivate Students' Learning?

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    Who could have imagined, even 20 years ago, that education would change so drastically by the 21st century? Today's options for education, from kindergarten through graduate school, are significantly different than they were two to three decades ago.

    08 Sep

    Global Education and Online Schooling

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    A growing number of international students are choosing to study in the USA via online virtual schools. Populous countries such as China and India have so many students that not all can get into universities in their native country. To illustrate just how important it is to earn international qualifications in secondary school, consider the following story.

    08 Sep

    5 Reasons an American Accredited High School Diploma Helps International Students

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    We're living in unprecedented times. For the first time ever in history, everyone owns their own media channel and the ability to spread a message (click to tweet). Students growing up today will no longer need a lot of money to have the clout of mass media names like BBC, FOX, or CNN. They just need to know how to tweet, market a Facebook page, and write a meaningful blog post.

    08 Sep

    3 Reasons to Teach Social Media in the Online High School

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    Meet Irie Her family owns a store titled The Bell Jar - and yes, the name is a reference to the late poet Sylvia Plath. Irie's enthusiasm as a young entrepreneur empowers her dreams for making an impact in the fashion industry.

    08 Sep

    3 Ways Online High School Empowers the Entrepreneur

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    Parents of professional teens understand how nerve wracking it can be as they attempt to juggle their teen’s education with their growing professional responsibilities to their sports endeavor. So whether their gifted child is an up-and-coming musician, an athlete or a skilled surfer - obtaining a quality education is a challenge. Enter personalized education and online school. With the advantage of online high school your professional teen can benefit in the best of both worlds.

    08 Sep

    3 Ways Professional Teen Athletes Benefit from Online High School

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    A Day in the Life of a Bullied Teen A tall, shy boy with braces enters his history class on the first day of school. He's just moved to the area, and he's nervous about what the new experience will bring. As a sophomore in high school, he's intelligent with strong musical skills and feels capable of taking on the workload. However, he's still wary of leaving behind the only friends he's known since elementary school and befriending strangers.

    08 Sep

    4 Reasons Online High School Helps the Bullied Child

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    The traditional classroom has been much like The Pit on Wall Street. The atmosphere created by the traditional school system creates a culture much like this. Instead of jumping up and down and/or yelling, students still need to raise their hand to share their idea and no matter how hard a teacher works to create a safe culture, introverts have learned that if they raise their hand and say something strange, silly, or wrong, the class gawks at them. Feeling awkward never becomes fun. By the time high school or college rolls around, introverts have learned to stay quiet in their shell.

    08 Sep

    3 Ways Online High School Empowers the Introvert

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    One of the greatest pleasures in working in education involves helping students grow from year to year. The greatest gift? An email or visit from a former student who has grown into a remarkable adult. The flip side of this though is that in the traditional school structure, some students slip through the cracks because it's too difficult to personalize education. Too difficult to bring struggling 9th graders up to speed.

    08 Sep

    Will Online High School Save Alexis?

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    “What about socialization?” is possibly the most often-asked question when parents are considering enrolling their child into an online high school. What many do not realize is that the institutionalized approach of most site-based public schools can undermine a student both socially and academically.

    08 Sep

    What About Socialization in Online High School?

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    Today's question: How can online high school curriculum best gear students for the modern world they grow up in? (tweet this!) I love when students read the brilliant article called Nacirema.

    08 Sep

    Personalized Education: Online High School Around Your Schedule

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    Take a look in my office, my kitchen, and my living room and you'll notice bookshelves lining the walls, aged paper-texts stacked tightly filling the shelves. So, when it came time to take a look at online reading, I stood last in line and let others cut ahead. Then I saw my students read from the smartphone, Kindle, Nook, and laptop, and began to notice the incredible benefit online reading has to struggling learners.

    08 Sep

    3 Reasons Online Reading Trumps The Paperback. Digital Literacy in the Online High School

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    As a  graduate of Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences, I feel like I’ve learned a great deal of how to cope with the ultimate freedom CMASAS provided us by assigning a no-deadline curriculum. Undoubtedly, it’s the best thing a school can give since we could work our minds off thoroughly on our assignments without being forced, while keeping up with our extra-curricular activities.

    08 Sep

    Top Tips for Staying on Track in Online High School

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    Rachel's parents had bigger smiles of pride than they ever wore before, but their smiles paled to the smile that graced their only daughter's face. In her hand she held the paper that announced her biggest achievement to date, her graduation from high school. For many young adults, this is a normal part of growing up, but Rachel's parents weren't sure they would ever see this day. Rachel was born with autism. Rachel had always tried hard to do her best, but traditional schools became exceedingly difficult as she grew older. Those schools thwarted the one aspect of her personality that shown above the rest. She was an incredibly creative soul who needed to do things her way. One day, after yet another bad day that saw Rachel in tears and her parents frustrated, someone in their support group suggested they look into a top quality online school that focuses a personalized education.

    05 Sep

    Bringing to Light the Beautiful Creativity in Autistic Students (The Perks of Online High School)

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    Marcus was a precocious child, even as a toddler. He put on shows to entertain the neighborhood kids. He was cast in child roles at the local repertoire theater and sang in summer stock musicals. By the time he was old enough for middle school, he put his 10-year old foot down. Marcus refused to go to junior high because he wanted to go into "show biz."

    14 Jul

    How to Research When Choosing an Online School

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    Nobody can settle for ordinary anymore. You have to stand out. You have to go the extra mile. The only way to do this is to find your passion. An online high school personalized for your creativity helps you go that extra mile.

    23 Oct

    Find your Passion with Online High School then Start Dancing

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    Every spring, online high school students receive acceptance letters and mothers and fathers gleefully tell friends and family about young Timmy's launch into college then career stardom over a delicious bar-b-que party.

    20 Oct

    You've Graduated from Online High School. Now What? Take This Advice.

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    There's a reason athletes eat the way they do - because it gets them to the finish line fast. Food for performance makes sense. Just consider why Wheaties' entire marketing campaign relies on having the strongest Olympic athletes on the cover of the box.

    30 Aug

    Online High School Students Choose Healthy Brainfoods: Academic Fuel for Performance