An individualized education plan is commonly referred to as an IEP. This is a legal document for students with special needs. IEPs are often twenty to forty pages or even longer. There is a lot of important information included in an IEP. Knowing what to look for ahead of time will help you better determine the accuracy and potential effectiveness of the document. There are three main sections to an IEP; the assessments and student’s needs, the goals and objectives to meet those needs, and the service delivery and support services to meet the goals and objectives.Formal and/or informal assessments are completed and the data is compiled for every IEP meeting. This data is used to help the team assess where your child is in comparison to other children his/her age and grade level. This information is used to create a list of educational needs for your child. Your child may have needs in only one area such as speech or in many areas depending on their educational profile and their disability.After the needs have been determined by the team annual goals with specific, measurable objectives are created that outline what your child will be taught with the expected level of mastery by the ending date of the IEP. IEP goals are based on core content standards that apply to all children in public schools. IEP objectives should state specific skills within the goal that will be met, how progress will be measured and the level of progress that is expected and/or considered acceptable for your child.The final section of the IEP lays out who will provide what services to your child and how often this will occur. This will include whether the service delivery will take place within the general education setting, a special education setting or a therapists office. This is also, where you will find information concerning a behavior plan or communication plan if either of those documents is necessary. This section includes all of the accommodations and modifications your child needs in order to gain educational benefit both in and out of the general education setting. Additionally there will be information about district, state and federal testing.As you can see, the IEP is a complex legal document that is a binding agreement between you and the school district. IEPs are formatted based on state and federal laws. It is important for you to understand what should be included in an IEP so that your child receives the assistance he/she needs in order to gain as much educational benefit as possible.
Why Parents Choose a Home School EducationAn increasing number of children today are receiving a home school education. The reasons for making the choice to home school their kids varies from family to family but there are three main reasons why parents are removing their children from the public school system and giving them a home school education.The first reason is that the public education system in the United States is struggling to provide a proper education for the nation’s children with out of date text books, run down school buildings and inadequate equipment. Provision of a home school education enables the parents to have control over the quality of the educational materials used by their children and the general conditions in which they are educated.The second reason is that parents wish to assume more control over the influences their children will be exposed to. This is often on the basis of religious grounds but, very often, it is simply because a home school education will ensure the child learns the values upheld by the family and is taught from an early age what behavior is appropriate. Unfortunately, many public schools have a poor reputation for instilling good discipline in students. This often results in badly behaved children disrupting lessons and preventing their peers from getting the full benefit of classes. Discipline and the upholding of proper standards of behavior is an important part of a home school education.The third reason many parents choose to give their children a home school education is fear for their safety. Violence is on the increase everywhere and the public school system has not escaped this trend. Violence in the public education system is getting worse and the individual acts of violence are more serious. Since the shocking events at Columbine High School there have been further tragedies involving firearms where teachers and students have been injured or killed. A home school education ensures the safety of children who would otherwise be seriously at risk of harm.The Disadvantages of Opting For HomeschoolingProviding a home school education is not simply a matter of parental choice. In most cases the state education board of the state in which the family resides will have to approve a decision to give a child a home school education. The person taking on the responsibility of homeschooling must be certified to be a home teacher, the curriculum must follow the state curriculum, and the text books and other educational materials to be used must be approved by the state. Although this might seen like undue interference in what is a matter of personal choice, the state has a responsibility to ensure that all children receive an adequate standard of education and checks will be made to ensure that any child being kept away from public school is being properly educated.A home school education might mean that a child is deprived of certain opportunities which would have been available within the public school system. There could be difficulties in providing facilities for athletic children to realize their potential. Musically talented children could be similarly disadvantaged. In some states there is provision for children receiving a home school education to take part in amenities such as being able to attend sports lessons and join after-school clubs. However, the level of assistance provided to homeschooling parents is not uniform and varies a lot from state to state.The final potential disadvantage to affect children receiving a home school education is that they will not develop the social skills which will be important as they grow up. Social interaction with their peers and with adults outside the family is essential if a child is going to grow up with a properly balance personality and a reasonable level of social skills. These developmental issues can be fairly easily overcome if the child lives in a state where homeschooling parents are given support and the child receiving a home school education is accepted into classes and extra-curricular activities.The decision to keep a child out of the public education system is not one any parent would make lightly and any weighing up of the pros and cons must take into account the level of support the state will provide. However, if the public school system continues to deteriorate, the number of children receiving a home school education is bound to increase.
Before fancy electronic equipment and computer chip generated toys, kids toys were crafted using simple shapes, materials and mechanisms which taught children how to use their hands and thus learn through playing. Though many children want and covet the new, high-tech toys of today; plenty of educational toys for kids are available which combine the benefits of old fashion craftsmanship with learning. The best kids toys are those which entertain, keep a child engaged and teach at the same time. Though not all toys can do all three things at once, those that do quickly become a child’s favorite and all of the non-educational toys seem to get routinely passed over as children naturally crave to learn new tasks, movements, ideas and experiences. You can use this natural ability and desire to become educated when choosing toys for kids by opting for those with a learning aspect to the toy itself.Older toys from the past, such as simple stacking blocks and building sets not only provided for hours of entertainment, they were also beneficial in helping children learn how to create things with their hands and solve problems by making pieces fir together. This also explains why toys such as blocks, puzzles, construction sets and balls have been longtime favorites of parents and kids alike. Not only does a child learn how to work with their hands, they learn basic and advanced critical thinking skills while playing. This type of learning through play has proven to be beneficial, so much so that even schools use play as a form of educating.Educational toys for kids are available for young babies and toddlers all the way through to preteen age children who typically want something a bit more challenging. Babies can benefit by playing with toys which help teach hand and eye coordination, problem solving skills and basic sounds and speech. Older children benefit by using toys which help hone and diversify their knowledge of strategy and logical thinking. In fact, some of the best educational toys for children are so much fun for a child that they actually do not even realize that playing with the toys is beneficial to them.Kids toys, though ultimately deemed fun by the child playing with the toys, is something that can be useful when you need to provide something entertaining for a child to do. Though kids sometimes prefer high-tech toys which allow for the child to simply play and not think, the educational toys for children which are fun and engaging bring about a renewed sense of energy as the child becomes thoroughly engaged while playing. The right toys for children are those which are age appropriate, built well and give the child something to do which grabs and keeps their attention for an extended period of time. In choosing toys for your children, or to give as gifts, you need to make sure the toys allow for the child to learn and grow through the experience of playing with the toys. When this happens, the child has fun and benefits from playing and the parents and caregivers get a good feeling of providing an educational experience for the child which is fun as well.