How To Be Good At Learning Online

Feeling worried about your child’s education?

As a parent it can be a little concerning to see your kids spending so much time on the screen. How can you be sure if they’re working or just playing games? It’s normal to be concerned about these changes. Online school is a completely different situation when it comes to absorbing information,  mainly because the computer provides more opportunities for 

online learningexciting distractions. Your student could have one window up for homework and several other windows open for; messaging friends, playing games, Facebook, shopping, ect. If you can get your student to engage with note taking while their learning, then it is a win-win for everyone. Here are 11 ways to help your students take notes while they’re learning online.

11 Tips to help you learn online:

  1. Don’t be a victim of your own chaos. There’s a saying that a messy room is a messy mind. This principal can be directly applied to your online learning environment. Take time to clear your desk of unnecessary items.
  2. Clean your screen. Your computer is now your learning environment. Analyze your computer screen, are there many tabs/windows open that you don’t need? Is your desktop cluttered with pictures? Try creating 3 folders that you can put documents into so that you have a fresh space to work.
  3. One subject at a time. Set yourself up for success by not having every single notebook, binder and textbook in your workspace. Use your backpack ( even at home!) to store the other materials that you are not immediately working on.
  4. Create a color coding system. Each class can be a color of your choice (even the color of your pen can coordinate with the class your taking notes for)
  5. Use a planner. Itemize each task you need to accomplish for the day (or even a few days in advance), so that when you open your planner you can easily check things off without feeling overwhelmed.
  6. Listen with a pen in your hand. At home in the comfort of your own room there will be many things to distract you. Become an active listener and be alert to the main ideas of the online lecture so that you can make connections while you hear them.
  7. Don’t waste your time with full sentences. When you’re taking notes use abbreviations and leave white spaces for later additions.
  8. Identify your goals. What are the objectives or goals for what you’re learning? Are you taking notes on a lecture that will eventually turn into an essay? Or are you taking notes for a scientific project or procedure? Identifying the goal can help you figure out what information takes priority.
  9. Take notes by identifying the major points and sub-points of the lesson. Organize your notes so that the main points are left-aligned, and the sub-points get indented. Further indent backup points and details. You can number each point and lower-case letter each subpoint.
  10. Take breaks. It’s widely known by many that staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can overly saturate your brain. It’s very important to sit in a chair that helps your posture from hunching over your desk. Grab a few pillows to support the base of your spine. Stand up for a bit every 20 minutes and get the blood flowing through your body (have you heard of burpees?). 
  11.  Don’t be shy. Ask for help when you need it! Learning online can pose new challenges, make sure you are checking in with yourself and getting the most out of each online learning session

How can you support your child’s online learning?

student learning online

School closures due to coronavirus have impacted at least 124,000 U.S. public and private schools and affected at least 55.1 million students, according to Education Week. Some things you can do to help your child with this transition is to mix screen time with other mediums of learning.

Allow your child to have a limited amount of “screen play” for socializing or other games. If they are spending most of their day participating in online learning, there will still be the desire to socialize with their friends. As a parent you don’t want to cut them off from this however there needs to be a cap on the face-to-screen time. Don’t underestimate the power of a daily schedule! Encourage your child to make their own “quarantine routine” and you can sign off on after reviewing it together.

Parents need support too! Call other parents and share ideas about what they’re doing about online learning in their household. Hang in there, we are all in this together!

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FAQ: What Domestic Boarding Families Need to Know

What are the questions domestic boarding students and their families have?

boarding school Dorms Exterior

Maharishi School is more than a place to sleep and study, which is why we have many activities for our students to get involved. Our students gain knowledge at our farm-to-table dining table, in the meditation hall,  and regional field trips, weekend social events like bowling. We also have an eSports night, Iron Chef night, and other excursions designed for our boarding students. Learn more about student activities available beyond the classroom.

Looking for a quick overview of information about Maharishi School’s boarding program, here is your one-stop-shop for all the most commonly asked questions.

 

What is the tuition for a boarding student? $39,000
Can I apply for financial aid?Yes, over 75% percent of students receive financial aid. Click here to find out more.
Is there a payment plan?Yes. You will see that option after you go through the application process.
Do we have a college preparatory curriculum?Yes we have rigorous and dynamic college preparatory classes.
Do we have AP classes?We have 9 Advanced Placement Classes; AP Calculus, AP English Language Arts, AP English Literature, AP Microeconomics, AP Physics, AP Psychology, AP Statistics, AP U.S. History, AP Computer Science
What are the extracurricular activities?At any time you can find students designing independent, creative projects, stepping into leadership roles, spearheading community initiatives, challenging themselves in athletics, performing arts or STEM competitions. To read about specific actives beyond the classroom click here.
Is your area safe?Yes,Fairfield is ranked #14 in Iowa’s Safest Cities.
Do you shut off the internet at night so students can’t game late?Yes, our boarders have “lights out” at 10:30pm every night and devices are collected by the dorm supervisor. Read “Day in the life of a boarding student” to find out more details on boarding life.
Where do your students go to college?Over 96% of our graduates (since the school has opened) have been accepted at accredited universities, including Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Wellesley, University of California at Berkeley.Plus regional and national public universities.
Is College Counseling available?We have an excellent college counselor who is also an alumni of our school, as well as a teacher, his name is Jason Walls jwalls@maharishischool.org
Can you help me understand TM better?Definitely, click here to get started with some basic information.
Is your school a religious school?We are a non-sectarian school.
Do you have counselors for students?Students can meet one-on-one with a licensed mental health professional on a confidential basis around a variety of issues and concerns, such as homesickness, depression, grief and loss, eating, sexuality/gender identity, and relationships. Counseling services are available every other Wednesday afternoon and are free for students.
Can you address students with special needs?We can accept students, on our ability to make the reasonable and necessary accommodations to serve their needs. Please let us know during the application process, what kind of accommodation, if any, your student requires.
My child was bullied. How do you address bullying?We have several procedures in place if bullying occurs in the school, starting with an investigation into the bullying. We actively use Restorative Justice procedures and positive discipline. You can read more about that here
My child is very advanced. Can you keep him challenged?We offer a range of courses in the Middle and Upper Schools that support ability and interest levels, allowing for students to take accelerated or Advanced Placement courses across all disciplines. We also provide enrichment and acceleration within classes. Because we have small class sizes, teachers can provide differentiation and individualized learning plans.

 

To read more about boarding at Maharishi School, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Top 10 Tips for Creating a Balanced Teenager

What is a balanced teenager?

When we think about what we want for our children, it’s nothing less than the best, whether that’s in school or quality of life outside of school. But when those teenage years come around it healthy teensalmost seems like our kids want the opposite of whatever we want for them, even when it’s for their benefit. This can be an extremely frustrating period for both the parents and the children. I believe it’s important to empathize with what teens are going through and this blog will give include helpful tips from Ayurvedic Health Coach Sankari Wegman. Ultimately you can’t protect your children from everything, and you shouldn’t try to! During the teenage years the best thing you can do is hold space for your teenager and be there when they need you.

 

The individuation process

Some may call it ‘teen angst’, but the scientific term is the individuation process. Carl Jung (a Swiss psychologist who founded analytic psychology) describes this process as;

 “Individuation is a process of psychological differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality. In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed and differentiated; in particular, it is the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology.”

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then it’s very likely your child is going through the individuation process.

individuation process in teens

  • Has your teen been spending more time isolated in his/her room?
  • Has your teen dyed their hair or drastically changed their outward appearance/style?
  • Is your teen not opening up like they used to?

What’s going on in their brain?

As adults we think with our prefrontal cortex, the rational part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgement. Our prefrontal cortex also provides us with an awareness of teenagers brainconsequences in the long-term. However teens process information with the amygdala, the emotional part of the brain. As you can only imagine, when you’re acting purely out of raw emotion, there can be less “thinking” and more “feeling” types of behaviors. This is very normal because the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing and not always at the same rate! That rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.

Top 10 tips for creating a balanced teenager

  1. Sleep: Create a regular sleep routine. As hard it might be to establish, going to bed before 10pm is ideal.
  2. Screens: Monitor use of computer/device screen time. Studies are showing screen time increases anxiety and focus.
  3. Volunteer: Encourage your teen to serve others. This will cultivate empathy and inspire your teen.
  4. Eating: Regular meals – no skipping allowed. Healthy, nutritious breakfast and a hot lunch.
  5. Yoga: Start the mind-body connection early on. Experience feeling good and connecting back to yourself. Once you see the progress, confidence increases. Yoga is great for cardiovascular health, click here to find out all the health benefits of yoga.
  6. Meditate: We recommend the Transcendental Meditation technique. It works like a charm!
  7. Avoid Caffeinated Beverages: Have your teen monitor their water intake (50ml per 100 pounds of body weight).
  8. Abhyanga: Encourage your teen to give themselves a daily massage before their shower. It’s a great way to purify any stresses out of their physiology. Click here to watch how to do this.
  9. Create a Vision Board: Get to know your child’s vision and passions by making a vision board. Parents can help their teen connect their actions with reaching their goals. If the parents make their own board, it can also help the teens make connections that help them relate to their parents.
  10. Consequences: Establish a set of rules or consequences that your teen needs to follow. This way if there is a misbehavior, your teen will know exactly what to expect in terms of disciplining from you and there won’t be any surprises.

maharishi school student doing yogateen exercising teens happy and being silly at winter formal

To apply to Maharishi School, click here.

To read more about our stress management, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Top 10 Benefits of Living in a Small Town

Why we love a small town vibe

Maharishi School is located in Fairfield, Iowa. It’s a tiny town of 10,000 nestled among small benefits of small townfields of corn. But don’t let the size fool you. We have a vibrant startup community that includes 400 small businesses that provide jobs to 3,000 people. Many business owners and leaders are alumni from our school and they have raised a combined $200 million in venture capital. Let me tell you some of the benefits that living in a small town can offer you.

Top 10 benefits of living in a small town

  1. Less Crime: Statistically speaking there are less crimes in smaller towns.
  2. No Traffic: Because the population is so small, you can say goodbye to rush hour! Also you don’t have to drive everywhere because many places are within walking distance.
  3. Strong Community: In a small town, most people know each other either directly or indirectly, which gives a sense of belonging.
  4. Cost of Living is Less:  You can rent an entire house for the price of a tiny studio apartment in a big city! In addition the price of groceries, services, and gas is cheaper in a small town.
  5. Community Involvement: Fairfield has residents that are big believers in giving back to the community and Fairfield’s Jefferson County ranks fifth among all U.S. counties in per-capita charitable contributions.
  6. You Can See the Stars: A small town means no light pollution because there are no skyscrapers, large neon signs, or big stores to block out the light.
  7. Family Run Business: It is not unlikely in Fairfield that a friend of your friend owns a cafe, or is opening a new restaurant on the town square. Many of the businesses you go into are owned and run by local families.
  8. Locally sourced food-Our town has a deep commitment to sustainability. This has led to a boost in organic farming which allows us to offer fresh farm-to-table food at Maharishi School and has made Fairfield, Iowa the 5th largest market for organic foods in the country.
  9. Farmers Markets- Fairfield hosts weekly Farmers Market during May through October. Vendors offer locally grown produce, as well as baked goods and a large selection of handmade arts and crafts.
  10. Safety- Small towns, especially Fairfield, give the residents an overall feeling of safety. Fairfield is ranked #14 in Iowa’s Safest Cities.

Why should you move to our small town?

Buzzfeed calls Fairfield one of “11 Coolest Small Cities It’s Time To Road Trip To.” Named one of America’s best small towns to visit by Smithsonian Magazine, Fairfield is big on culture and thriving on creativity. Meditation is fuel for creativity and this has led to some truly amazing accomplishments.

One of those accomplishments includes the Fairfield Go-Green Sustainability Commission which started in 2009. It’s a community-wide plan to incorporate sustainable practices benefits of a small town solar powered energythroughout the city that has resulted in many all-green buildings, and huge impacts in the areas of energy, transportation, and infrastructure. Fairfield has one of America’s largest concentrations of solar homes. For example, our EcoVillage is a community of permaculture homes that run completely on solar and wind power.

Having the option to enroll your children in the Maharishi School is reason enough to move! In October 2011, Oprah Winfrey visited Maharishi School and Fairfield to film an episode for “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

oprah benefits of meditationAfter this experience Oprah wrote in her OWN blog, “TM teachers have taught everyone in my company who wanted to learn how to meditate. The results have been awesome. Better sleep. Improved relationships with spouses, children, coworkers. Some people who once suffered migraines don’t anymore. Greater productivity and creativity all around.”

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/oprah-on-stillness-and-meditation-oprah-visits-fairfield-iowa#ixzz6Fqs0U43z

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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My Sick Child: How much illness is too much?

My child is sick…..again!

I have a three year old boy and just when I think we are on the right track towards staying healthy, he gets sick again! As a parent this can be the most frustrating thing. Sick kids cause late nights and a grumpy parent who has to rush off to work in the morning. No one is happy in these scenarios. You may be starting to wonder, is there something wrong with my child? Does my child get sick too much? This blog will talk about specific symptoms and what you can do to help from home.

Does your child suffer from headaches and/or migraines?

Alumni Brea Hallen and son RyderBrea Hallen, mom of Ryder (7) and Ella (2) has been helping her son with his migraines for several years. Brea explains, “Ryder was about 5 years old when the migraines started. Every time he gets one they come on really fast. One minute he will be OK, then all of a sudden he’s holding his head in his hands and whimpering in pain.

After Ryder starts having these symptoms he is quickly nauseous and likely to vomit. After which he takes a long nap, then wakes up without any migraine symptoms.

Unfortunately Ryder is not alone,  10% of school-age children suffer from migrainesaccording to the Migraine Research Foundation. Even headaches are becoming more common in school age children. Headaches are often accompanied by stress, or emotional manifestations.

 

How can you help at home?

Headaches                                                   Migraines

Hot or cold compress on the templesHave your child’s vision checked
Lay down with head elevatedA single dose of over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Head massage to bring blood flowCould be deficient in: B12, Magnesium
Essential oils (peppermint) on the templesBoth standard and needle-free acupuncture can be done on children
Rest in a dark roomStart a migraine journal and record each migraine to look for triggers/patterns
Start a food diary to eliminate food triggersInvestigate a possible head injury or concussion that went untreated
Sleep More sleep
WaterExtra water
Stress ManagementReduce stress

 

Colds, flus, fevers?

Do you ever feel like you wish there was some way to keep your child from getting sick? I know I have, however the nurses at Comanche County Memorial Hospital discuss how natural and

my sick child boy with fever

normal it is for children to get sick over and over in the earlier years of life. Could the illness actually be considered a good thing?

The CCMH website writes, “Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers get about seven to eight colds a year. During school age, they average five to six colds a year. Teenagers finally reach an adult level of four colds a year. In addition to colds, children get the lovely diarrhea illnesses, with or without vomiting, two to three times a year. Some children tend to get high fevers with most of their colds or they have a sensitive tummy and develop diarrhea with the cold symptoms.”

After children turn 6 months old their mom’s immunity, that they received in the womb, starts  my sick childnaturally fading to build their own immune system. Toddlers today can be exposed to viruses everywhere, no matter how much you sanitize. Developing immunity to these infections during childhood is actually a good thing! While staying home with your sick child is hard to deal with, parents at Maharishi School have another tool to help combat illness called Transcendental Meditation®.

How does Maharishi School combat illness?

At Maharishi School, we use Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique to provide students with a way to balance their own body, mind, and to promote optimal learning. Maharishi School wants to set our kids up with the best tools in order to succeed. We believe TM® is one of those tools. By offering our students a way to release stress we are combating inflammation in the body which A Maharishi School student practices Transcendental Meditation in Fairfield, Iowa. Photo credit Fotoveda.leads to illness. For example, a 2012 review of 163 studies that was published by the American Psychological Association concluded that TM® had relatively strong effects in reducing anxiety, negative emotions, trait anxiety and neuroticism while aiding learning, memory and self-realization.

To read more about our stress management, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Maharishi School: Our Mission and Core Values

What is our mission at Maharishi School?

graduating Maharishi school with core values

Our mission is to create an innovative Consciousness-Based educational environment where students can think deeply and become creative, compassionate,  contributing citizens of the world. At Maharishi School, the foundation of our college preparatory program is optimal alertness. Our philosophy is that through knowledge of the self, comes knowledge of all subject matters. Through our unique program that is part theory, part practice, students learn to operate from a place of center. They learn how to imbue life with stillness, self-awareness, and presence. This lays the foundation for academic success and prepares students for all areas of life after High School. Our goal is to help our students be the best version of themselves—starting with knowing who they are. Through our strong core values we are able to accomplish this goal.

What are the core values at Maharishi School?

·         RESPECTIn our words and action, we treat others with the respect we want and expect.  core values respect
·         RESPONSIBILITYWe accept responsibility for our own thoughts, words, and actions. core values responsibility
·         SERVICEWe seek ways to serve others and to be good stewards of our environment.core values service
·         SOLUTIONSWhenever confronted by challenges or problems, we seek creative solutions. “Don’t agonize, organize.”  graduation students gain core values
·         TRANSCENDENCEOur daily practice of Transcendental Meditation builds depth in our thinking and provides the support of Natural Law to fulfill our goals, desires, and Core Values.maharishi school students meditating transcendence

Our mission and core values give us the Maharishi School edge:

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Restorative Justice in Maharishi School

What is restorative justice?

Restorative justice refers to a practice that empowers students to resolve conflicts on their own, in small groups that could be called ‘circle time’. Restorative justice is a growing practice at schools around the country. Essentially the idea is to bring students together in peer-mediated small groups to talk, ask questions, air their grievances, and discuss how to amend or make it right.

How did we find restorative justice for our school?

kaye jacob administrator of maharishi school

Our head of Middle and Upper School, Kaye Jacobs, is responsible for bringing restorative justice to Maharishi School. Kaye says, ” When I started to read Positive Discipline I thought, wow this makes a lot of sense! You actually work on empowering the student, which flips the way you look at their misbehavior, to get to the root of the problem.” The only thing Ms. Jacob’s felt was missing is the model that gave more structure for older children. Positive Discipline works well for younger kids but we needed a more structured model for older students.

postive discipline by Jane Nelson

Kaye realized that we needed the most help with Middle School students as they are at a complex phase where the triggers for defiance/misbehavior are more solidified than they have ever been before.

How can Maharishi School help?

Kaye wanted to give her teachers a method that systematically helps them get out of the pattern of punishment. This is where restorative justice comes in by creating a space to get the kids talking and sharing about a problem within the students in circle time restorative justice outsideclassroom. In this ‘circle time’, the kids talk reflectively about the problem while the conversation is led by the teacher. Kaye says, “the idea is to have these circle times frequently so the kids are adept at reflecting and know how to get into the mode of problem solving. This way when a problem happens they already know what to do. I want parents to understand that this is a work in progress! Parents should use restorative justice practices at home and consistently in order for it to be the most effective. We want the students themselves to feel like this is working for them too, as if to say “if I do this, then it goes better for me as the student.”

Lower and Middle School teachers have been reading a book called Hacking School Discipline by Brad Weinstein. The book makes the case for establishing expectations rather than rules and for holding students intrinsically accountable to the group for their actions and behaviors.

hacking school disciplineExample of restorative justice from Hacking School Discipline:

Suddenly two Middle School girls get into a physical altercation during class. The teacher immediately separates them from the class and sends them to the principal’s office. Then the teacher calls “circle time” with the rest of the class. The teacher will ask the class, “how did that make you feel?” and then the students have an opportunity to speak about how their learning was disrupted, or that they were scared, or upset. The teacher is resetting the classroom culture.

The teacher will go to the girls who fought and talk to them separately, asking “are you ready to talk to each other again?” and bring them back into the classroom. Once the girls are ready, the teacher will create the rules for the restoration process. Some of the rules could include saying “if you get too hot or angry then you can step out of the room, but you have to come back  in when you’re ready.“ Eventually the teacher can talk about what led to the flare up not by saying “why did you do that” but “how were you feeling before you got into a place of fighting?”restorative justice

The last piece of this restorative justice sample is led by the teacher. She turns to the two girls and says “how do you think this fight has affected the rest of the class and myself, your teacher?” This puts the girls who fought into self reflection mode on a broader scale of including the whole environment in the classroom. Then the restoration happens, not just between the two girls but everyone involved. After this, the girls get welcome back into their classroom and that is the goal of restorative justice!

What is the future of restorative justice for our students?

We often understand that the kids who are acting out come from unsettled home environments. Perhaps the parents are separated or going through a divorce. These are what set the context for a child who is misbehaving. They’re not acting out of isolation, they are acting because something else in the broader context of their lives is troubling them. Misbehavior is a default way to deflect those troubles.

If a child feels dis-empowered in one place, then they will deflect that behavior into the school setting, or with friends. Restorative justice is trying to avoid this deflection by empowering students to reflect and make the right choices. Restorative justice practices in school create a pattern of teachers relating to students then getting them to take down their defenses so a conversation can happen. If the action/upset happened in a classroom setting, then the restoration needs to happen there, too.

We don’t have all the answers but we want to be consistent in school and hope that things at home will improve. It’s almost always the case that there’s something in the student’s life that feels out of their control – something they can’t understand. Some trauma that they can’t digest. At school we inevitably get to see their reactions to this and our desire is to help break the cycle. The student may not even be able to articulate how they feel but we believe restorative justice practices empower our students without playing into the victim mentality.restorative justice tree of knowledge

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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