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Holiday Cheer and Gift Giving Or Is It Just Materialism?


The holidays are fast approaching and Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 are around the corner. The weather is becoming colder and colder. People are getting pretty excited. Shops now start decorating their stores with holiday stuff for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. People start writing down the names of the people who they will buy gifts for. They start preparing for the celebrations to come. But what are holidays all about?

Holidays and Commercialism

Since the 1930s holidays have been equated to shopping and gift giving. Though is nothing wrong with giving gifts to your loved ones, many people have used this to turn family days into commercial days where marketing, advertising and profits are given much more importance.

Giant companies conduct market researches in order for them get into the mind of the shoppers. They have researched on children what they would want. They would put up colorful and beautiful display in the stores to push sales.

Many people have now changed and think that without material things on their holidays, they feel lost and empty. They feel at a loss when they have no new clothes, gadgets and other stuff on Christmas morning.

Benefits of Commercialism

Commercialism is not all that bad. Many people find jobs during the holidays because of additional staff needed during these days. Aside from that many stores put up good sales discounts so that they can complete with their competitors. This gives the consumer a better deal.

Big sale days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday give huge discounts to people so that the things that people cannot normally buy or afford like clothes and good groceries and food are much cheaper for the weekend.  Amazon used to be the main shop for this but there are many.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping used to be a tradition only found in the states but now its in the UK too and other nations as well.

Very old TVs can be replaced because electronics cost much less on this days. People can buy enough clothes for a year at a much lower rate than buying per season.

Christmas sales are everywhere right after Thanksgiving allowing people to pick up gifts at a cheaper prices than what they normally cost. Companies give to charities so that they can be more popular. Their intent maybe for advertising and popularity, but they still give which is what is important

How to Celebrate The Holidays From the Heart

heart photoHolidays are about family, love and kindness. They are about reconnecting to the people we love and care for the most. The gifts are just add-ons though they do give a material representation of our love.

1. Teach children the true meaning of the holidays – Don’t let them just focus on gifts. Let them know that many people are suffering around the world ask them what they can do or give to the world for the holidays. They can make a small donation. They can drop some money in the donation box at the mall. They need to know the value of sharing.

2. Don’t sacrifice time with your family just to shop – Many people cut their Thanksgiving dinner because they want to shop on Black Friday. Remember that spending time with your family is more important. You can always shop online on Cyber Monday or catch up on Saturday after Thanksgiving. People will forget gifts but they will never forget good memories you shared.

3. Share your blessings – Try to be a good Samaritan even for once a year. Give food to homeless people who don’t have anything for the holidays. Volunteer in soup kitchens. Be kind to others. Don’t push in the mall. Simple things count.

4. Give handmade gifts – They may take time and effort to make but they do represent the love that comes from your heart. If you buy gifts try to make them more personal, write a card with a heartfelt message that is more than one line only. Tell the people in you letter how much they mean to you.  If you don’t know what to make why not consider chocolates they are quite easy to make?

5. Rest – Many people equate the holidays with stress, but it should not be. These days are normally official non working holidays which means you should rest and relax. Order take out if you don’t realy feel like cooking and just have a happy banter with the family. Watch old movies on TV and just chill.

The holidays and material things now already go hand in hand but this does not mean that we should lose our values. It only means that we can share our love more. But remember that your presence is more important than any gift you can ever buy.

How to Survive a Terror Teacher?

Terror teachers are part and parcel of a normal life in school. From elementary school until college, you’ll encounter different sorts of teachers that may scare your or even fail you. But how can you survive school if you ever find yourself with a terror teacher.

What to Do?

When you want to survive a terror teacher, you need to be cunning and wise. You need to have patience, courage and even have some wit to do so. Terror teachers are terror for a reason. But if you know how to handle them, they can stop making your life hell.

1. Suck up to the teacher – If you want to get on the good side of a terror teacher you have to be able to give him a reason not to terrorize you. You can give him food, or help him carry his books or volunteer to help him check the papers. You can do things for you teacher so he does not get mad at you.

2. Participate in Class – Teachers love students who are participate. They want students who are eager to learn. So be ready! Read even a bit and prepare for your classes. Recite and class and don’t just sit there.

3. Avoid sleeping – Terror teachers don’t like students who are lazy and sleep all day. Don’t sleep in class. Drink lots of coffee if you must or glue your eyelids open.

4. Pray – Pray and pray that your teacher will not pick on you. Pray that he does not call you to recite. Pray that you don’t pee in his class. Pray for mercy!

You Can Do It

Even the teacher that you have is the scariest and meanest person in the world, you’ll be able to survive it. You’ll face more daunting people in the future so do not fear this sort of teacher. You need to picture your dream and be willing to do anything, even going to class to face a terror teacher everyday.

Are The School Subjects of Today Still Relevant?

library-488678_640Most children spend six years in elementary school, six years in middle school and high school and some go on to college for four or five years. Others continue still on to take graduate courses to pursue mastery in the fields they chose. But are the school subjects today still relevant?

When children grow up and enter college, they become adults, thus they are treated like adults. They are given the chance to learn and sometimes even choose the subjects they are to take. However this is not the case for elementary school, middle school and high school.

Standardized Subjects Vs. Elective Subjects

As a general rule, most schools follow standardized subjects. The government has a say on the lessons that are being taught in class. Standardized lessons ensures that children will get equal opportunities. Standardization also helps the government measure success and progress easily. However standardization may not work for everyone. Some children may not learn in this method.

Standardization though has many benefits. Children can learn and grow together because they know that they are learning the same thing. Teachers do not have to work on 30 different projects for 30 different students. She needs to prepare one lesson plan and just tweak it a little to help those who are struggling. Aside from that, standardized learning can help parents, teachers and children put a bench mark for learning and studying goals.

However, not all children are the same. If you put children in a box, they may find it difficult to grow and learn. The pressures of conforming and achieving can be harsh on them. Bullying can be an issue for children who cannot follow the norm set by the school. Some students may even fall into depression because he or she feels that she is inadequate and therefore unintelligent.

Learning is for Everyone

Learning should be for everyone. Every child should be given the chance to learn. You cannot a judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. Kids should be allowed to learn concepts and ideas that suit their needs.

Providing elective classes can be a solution for this issue. Children can still learn the standard lessons but still have the chance to learn what he or she feels is suited for him or her. Classes such as art, dance, music and the likes should offered. This would help the creativity of a child.

Aptitude tests should be given to children to know their interests, strengths and weaknesses. This would help people gauge what future the child is to have and what subjects are suited for him or her.

This blog is written by a teacher and a mother, and tells us lots of interesting things about the way children learn, including using imaginative play.

Another option is homeschooling. In homeschooling, the parents can choose the activities and programs that their children can have. They can teach them art if the child wants to learn art, cooking if the child wants to learn how to cook.

Why not take our poll about homeschooling to let us know if this is something you have ever considered.

Relevance of School Subjects

A lot of times, we can hear students say that why they need to study Algebra or Chemistry when they will not go into these fields. A basic knowledge in science, maths, languages and history to form a well rounded individual. However, there are school subjects that may not be for everyone. Learning life skills should also be given importance. Children need to learn as early as their elementary school the things that they would be doing in the future.

Yes, you may say that they may change their minds but they need to learn things not just bound for school but also for life.

Read the next post

Traditional Schools Vs. Homeschooling

leave-364178_640Schools are places of learning. In the beginning, only the wealthy or the children of the ruling class can learn and study. Later on, people from the higher classes offered to teach those who are from the ordinary ranks of life. And thus, schools were born.

Schools first began to teach mostly male students. And then they included girls and then children of every color or raise. However with the rise of school system, there is also the rise of problems that come along with it.

Benefits of Traditional Schools

Traditional schools are the foundation of social skills of a child. Here, he or she learns to socialize and relate with others. Traditional schools also teach children about the reality of life and the up and downs of being in a society.

Children who go to a traditional school normally face competition with other children. They learn how to work hard in order to be the best. They also learn what it means to be better than others.

On the other hand, friendship, cooperation and camaraderie is also fostered in traditional schools. Here a child grows to be a person who sees others as his equals and becomes friends with them. He or she learns that in order to survive, one must have friends.

Emotions are fostered in traditional schools. Relationships and love grow from there. But there is also the case of peer pressure and bullying. Traditional schools of course cater to different people and differences can cause friction.

Benefits of Homeschooling


Homeschooling has been on the rise for the past couple of years. It has been established due to bullying and many factors in traditional schools. Homeschooling allows children to learn in their own phase which means they learn without pressure.

Pressure free learning is beneficial because children can grow in studying with fearing learning or school. They see activities in different subjects as enjoyable learning experiences. Though there may be some hurdles that they may encounter, they will normally find learning as something pleasant.

Another benefit of homeschooling is that parents can have a direct supervision on their child. This means no bullying and no partaking of alcohol or drugs. Children are not put in situations that put them in emotional torture, embarrassment or depression.

During homeschooling, a child or a teen can pursue other endeavors like sports, arts and music. Many Olympians are home-schooled. Young dancers or ballerinas study at home or have special learning scheme made for them. This allows them to do things that they would not be able to do if they went to a regular school.

On the other hand, a child who has never experienced social encounters such as in a school may grow shy and withdrawn. He or she may not be able to carry out heavy emotional issues in the future since he has never experienced them as an adult.

Which One is Better?

Both traditional schools and homeschooling have their pros and cons. Most parents opt for traditional schools because they want their children to experience school first hand. Aside from that parents who work many be unable to attend to their child’s studies.

Homeschooling is for those whose children are extremely smart or may be lagging behind. These children feel like they do not fit in to the normal school They feel that they cannot learn with others well. Also children who are often bullied should be home-schooled so that they may be free from the pain of bullying.

When choosing a style of learning for your child, you must be able to consider what he or she wants as well. You need to consider what would benefit him both emotionally and mentally.

Learning can be done anywhere. Take note that a happy child learns better than an upset child.

Liberation Through Education

Liberation Through EducationEducation has always been a controversial topic over the ages. It has been the source of power for many. To be educated means being able to think and decide soundly. Education has always helped humankind to leap forward into the future. Education has opened doors for many people. Learning new concepts has inspired many to be intuitive and be inventive. But in this modern time, there are still those who are kept away from the light of learning. There are still people who are not able to get a decent education. On the other hand even people in first world countries who have access to schools also have the dilemma of being imprisoned in a boxed method of learning which hinders creativity and the natural thirst to learn.

To Educate is to Liberate

In many developing countries free education has already been given to the impoverished. However, even if there is free education there are still many children who are unable to go to school. They are victims of a viscous cycle where in their parents are unable to go to school, and thus cannot find a decent job. They in turn live in a hand to mouth existence where the mere daily survival is problematic and cannot even dare to think about going to school. The few children who are given the opportunity to go to school have to either attend class hungry, walk kilometer on barefoot and some have to scavenge or work to earn money. Only one out ten children who go to elementary school are able to go college in these poor countries.

Being uneducated imprisons them in archaic beliefs and endangers their existence. They cling on beliefs passed down to them rather than using their own intellect in living their lives. They are unable to find good jobs when they grow older. They are unable to provide food to their children when they have families.

Some though are able to escape the inability to go to school. Many impoverished parents would move heaven and earth just to make sure their sons and daughters step in to the threshold of a school. These children value the gift of learning so much. They take part time jobs in their high school years to support their schooling. Some even go to college and change their lives.

The ability to learn and be educated can liberate so many because it gives them the opportunity to be employable members of the society. They do not need to rely on government sustenance and relief goods or donations to live. The children who are born poor will not die poor. They can rise up from the prison of poverty and help in molding their society into a better place. And going to school does not just allow them to find decent jobs, it also teaches them concepts which is beyond day to day survival. They learn to appreciate art and music. They dream dreams and desire to contribute.

Education Should Not be a System of Tyranny

Liberation Through Education

First world countries provide ample education for almost everyone. There is no shortage of teachers and classrooms. On the other hand there are times that there is a shortage of freedom. Many schools in first world countries train their pupils to study to be worker ants in the future. They are subjected in to sitting in classes that are not imaginative but monotonous. They are given tests that sometimes do not really measure their real learning but subjects them to ridicule among their peers.

Studying should be an adventure that children are excited to undertake. It should be a learning process for both the teacher as well as the student. When learning becomes exciting, then no one will feel reluctant to learn. Learning should not be like a race to the top, it should be a playground where everybody is equal. At some point, children should be able to choose something they would like to learn about, yet they should also be provided a structured set of studies. All these may still sound Ethiopian but at some point these concepts will be able to meld into one allowing the school system to produce minds that think and create rather than just follow and do.

Education is a never ending process. Even if you have finished school, even if you have had several degrees you should engage your mind into learning something new every day. Once you fall in love with acquiring knowledge you will become a tree that not only feeds but also provides life into this world. You should never stop learning; once you stop learning that is the moment you die.