Choosing A Home That Matches Your Lifestyle

Written by Lois A. Vitt

Continued from page 1

A home can support a variety of lifestyles, but only if decisions are carefully made. Each person's housing history, habits and cultural preferences are rooted in social relationships. Ideally, these relationships are respected and reflected through their home.

It's a very good idea to identify your preferred lifestyle before making a move. Do you prefer…

* A solitary lifestyle: You go your own way and do your own thing, unconcerned about what others think of your choices.

* An accommodating lifestyle: Your preference is shared living, possibly even nurturing others.

* An essential lifestyle: By choice or by necessity, you live simply, withoutrepparttar array of modern conveniences many others take for granted.

* A communal lifestyle: You prefer community living arrangements, enjoying group activities with others who share your interests, hobbies or life stages.

* A public lifestyle: You like to influence others or you are motivated to lead and be active in organizations, so you choose housing that allows you to devote time and energy to activities important to you.

Whatever your lifestyle, examine your social needs carefully as you look for your next home. The time you spend will is guaranteed to help you make a much better housing decision.

Lois A. Vitt is a housing expert and financial sociologist, and is the author of "10 Secrets to Successful Home Buying and Selling: Using Your Housing Psychology to Make Smarter Decisions", the first book in the real estate market to demystify the psychological forces behind our housing decisions. To learn more about Lois and this book, visit

Public Schools Can Cripple Your Children's Ability To Read

Written by Joel Turtel

Continued from page 1

Author and education researcher Charles J. Sykes describes whole-language reading instruction in one first-grade classroom in his book "Dumbing Down Our Kids":

“Reading instruction begins with “pre-reading strategies” in which “children predict whatrepparttar story is about by looking atrepparttar 144104 title andrepparttar 144105 pictures. Background knowledge is activated to getrepparttar 144106 children thinking aboutrepparttar 144107 reading topic.” Then they readrepparttar 144108 story. If a child does not recognize a word, they are told to “look for clues.”

“The whole-language curriculum gave specific suggestions that children: “Look atrepparttar 144109 pictures,” ask “What would make sense?” “Look for patterns,” “Look for clues,” and “Skiprepparttar 144110 word and read ahead and then go back torepparttar 144111 word.” Finally, if all this fails, parents/teachers are told, “Tellrepparttar 144112 childrepparttar 144113 word. . . .”

“When kids couldn’t figure out a word, educationists gave these further ions: “Ask a friend, skiprepparttar 144114 word, substitute another meaningful word.” Sykes then asks, "Look atrepparttar 144115 pictures. Skiprepparttar 144116 word. Ask a friend. Is this reading?"

Duringrepparttar 144117 1990s, when whole-language instruction was in full force, outraged parents bitterly complained about their children's deteriorating ability to read. In response, public schools acrossrepparttar 144118 country then reverted to their usual tactics --- they keptrepparttar 144119 failed policy but changed its name to fool parents.

Many public schools today say they now teach kids to read with "balanced reading instruction." What this means is they combine whole-language instruction with a smattering of phonics. "See," they can say to parents, "we are now teaching your kids phonics." The only problem is that too oftenrepparttar 144120 "balance" is still about 80 percent whole-language, and 20 percent phonics, if and whenrepparttar 144121 teacher thinks phonics is "needed" in "special cases."

If you were a doctor and were treating a patient for a serious infection, would you giverepparttar 144122 patient a "balanced" cure of arsenic and antibiotics? That isrepparttar 144123 moral and practical status of "balanced" reading instruction where whole-language instruction still predominates, because whole-language isrepparttar 144124 arsenic of reading-instruction methods.

Parents, don't let public-school officials fool you with their glib talk of "balanced reading instruction." You need to personally investigate how your local school teaches your kids to read. The best thing to do is to test your children's true reading abilities with an outside, independent testing company. You may be shocked byrepparttar 144125 outcome ofrepparttar 144126 test. The Resources section of "Public Schools, Public Menace," lists many such independent reading-testing companies.

Joel Turtel is an education policy analyst. He is also the author of "The Welfare State: No Mercy For The Middle Class." Contact Information: Website:, Email:, Phone: 718-447-7348, Article Copyrighted © 2005 by Joel Turtel, Article can be reprinted on ezines or newsletters only if Contact information to Joel Turtel and his website is included.

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use