High School Students Fail to Pass History and Literature – How Can You Help Your Kids Succeed?

Audiences are usually delighted when late night comedy hosts wander onto the street to ask passers by basic history questions. We think it is hysterical when people fail to answer “Who was buried in Grant’s Tomb?” or “When was the War of 1812?” The laughter dies however, when one considers a 2008 report produced by Common Core, in which they surveyed a random sampling of 1,200 seventeen year olds across the country. The report revealed some disturbing facts.

Thirty-three percent of the students could not identify the document wherein Americans are guaranteed their freedom of speech. Forty-nine percent could not identify the political party attacked by McCarthyism. A whopping fifty-seven percent could not correctly place the American Civil War within the second half of the nineteenth century, while forty percent didn’t know that WWI took place within the first half of the twentieth century. And that was only the beginning.

If, as the report declares, “the first mission of public schooling in a democratic society is to equip every young person for the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship,” then our public school system seems to be failing.

So what’s to do? Blame our teachers and schools? That’s probably not fair. After all, America’s schools are over crowed, under funded, and sadly hampered by scholastic standards that put creative and civic instruction on the proverbial back burner. Just today, I spoke with a local high school curriculum coordinator who bemoaned, “I have plenty of content, but no time to teach it.” Hardly a surprise when US Department of Education data shows that “the amount of weekly instructional time devoted to history and social studies in grades one to six fell by 22 percent between 1988 and 2004. The amount of time devoted to “English and reading arts” increased substantially during these same years, but there is reason to believe that most or all of this additional time was spent on basic reading skills, not literature.”

The Common Core report, which you may read at http://www.commoncore.org/_docs/CCreport_stillatrisk.pdf, did notice that a segment of students who consistently scored higher had a few important aspects of their lives in common. One, they had at least one college educated parent. Two, they were more likely to have read at least one literary book not assigned in school. Three, they were more likely to have visited a museum or attended a cultural event with their family and friends. In other words, parental and family involvement in the cultural and historical education of a child tends to raise that child’s grade point average by one level, sometimes two. The report seems to confirm what many parents and teachers have known for years-the love of history and literature begins at home. Knowledge of our past is a gift we receive from our parents when they take the time to share their passions with us.

So what are parents to do if they have no college education? What if they have no money for museums and theatre? What if they work three jobs and only see their kids a few minutes a day? Luckily, quality of time is truly more important than quantity. If you know your kids are studying US History, rent and watch John Adams with them. Ask them what they think of a bunch of rebels deciding to start their own country. You don’t need to test them; just expose them to your culture’s history and literature and then talk with them about it. If you watch a film about South Africa, be sure to get out a map and let them know where the country is. If they are watching a movie about WWII, look for a timeline that tells them what came before and after. Kids are naturally curious, and parents can’t afford to wait for schools to try and cram a lifetime of learning into one semester. If you don’t have the time, knowledge, or money, look for a mentor who does. Your community and your kids will thank you for it.

I personally would like to see Historybuster Clubs sprout up across America. What is a Historybuster Club? Designed by a history teacher, Historybusters provides parents with the tools they need to hook their kids on history early, encouraging active learning as well as parental and community involvement in the education of our children.


Fix Your Credit History for an Improved Financial Standing

There are many things done in the past that we most definitely want to erase or forget completely. These can be some mistakes or shortcomings that we can only charge to experience.

However, this is easier said than done. Some mistakes will be forever stuck with us. When it comes to financial standing, there are mistakes that can most definitely create a bad precedent for future transactions.

A Bad Credit History

Many people today are suffering from this problem – dealing with a bad credit history. There are those who got into this situation because they took a credit card or loan without knowing the full consequences it entailed.

Some have simply been careless in their expenditures. Some, on the other hand, had to confront family or health problems that forced them to take out a credit. Others are unfortunately defrauded by deceiving people who have no better things to do.

These and more can push a person into taking a loan or credit. However, before one realizes it, the fees, charges and interest are more than what he or she can handle. Then the debts pile up and the bad credit history comes about. This is why many people suffer this dilemma now.

Disadvantages of Bad Credit History

Bad credit history is one of these problems that can hamper your other plans like venturing in a new business or obtaining a home loan. It is a big disadvantage having to deal with a bad credit history. There are the hassles of worrying about how to pay the high interests alone, on top of the constant demand letters and notices. These are some of the considerations why people with a bad credit history should take positive action to change this dire situation.

Fixing a Bad Credit History

The bad credit history situation is a big problem and that is why you must erase it from your records. So aim to fix the bad credit history. This is where you must take positive action to improve on your standing.

Overcoming this problematic situation is a hurdle that you can overcome. Just take the first step to grant yourself a better financial standing that any individual deserves.

Steps to Take in Fixing a Bad Credit History

There are certain steps that you can take in order to get out of this situation. Here are some of the things that you can keep in mind.

1. Consult a Credit Repair Company

There are many credit repair companies that you can find in the market. Many firms have come to terms that there is a growing need for such financial assistance. You can seek the assistance of these companies in order to take the task of clearing your financial records.

However, keep in mind that this service will still cost you some money. That is why you have to be mindful that you scout for the best offer from a reliable firm. Be wary of those who might only defraud you. You want to fix your credit history, not to create another bad one.

2. Repair the Credit Yourself

You can also explore the option of doing the fixing yourself. This may require you to put in a lot of time, effort and dedication. Still, this will ensure that you get to see that things are done properly. Furthermore, you get to save money if you paid for services instead. You can simply go to the government agencies relating to finances and ask for guidelines on fixing such problems.

3. Learn to Manage Current Finances

It is also important for you to learn the proper management of your finances. This way, you can avoid any future mistakes that will endanger your financial standing any further.

4. Save Money

Another important step to be able to fix a bad credit history is to make yourself capable of paying the loan you have contracted, including the interest. If your current income is not enough to cover everything, then it is best to cut on your expenditure. Allot more of the budget to cover the obligations so that you can get out of this financial constraint as quickly as possible.

Save money too so that you will not anymore find yourself in this situation.

To take steps to fin your credit history will definitely require some good amount of dedication on your part. Just take this task seriously, step by step, to give yourself a worry-free and better life.