The Pros and Cons of Charter Schools

When it comes to your child’s education, you undoubtedly want the very best. If you have the money and the means for private school tuition or supplemental programs such as a performing arts school in Reston, VA, then your child is most likely getting the best education and the exposure necessary to do great things in his or her future. If you cannot afford those things, however, you must be more resourceful and more informed when it comes to your child’s education. The following article is here to help, as it outlines the pros and cons of charter schools to determine if they are a valid alternative to a public school for your child.

The Pros and Cons of Charter Schools

Charter schools are often a hot topic among parents, educators, and politicians. Some think that they are a great alternative to public school, and provide the flexibility necessary to accommodate diverse learners. Still others see charter schools as disorganized establishments that neglect core standards. The following list may be able to help you make a decision, as it outlines the pros and cons of charter schools.

  • Con: Charter schools often lack the amenities that create the traditional school environment. Most charter schools have limited resources when it comes to extra curricular activities. If your child is very passionate about sports, or loves being involved in activities that promote school spirit, a public school may be more suited to them.
  • Pro/Con: Charter schools can be selective about who they enroll. This aspect of charter schools may be a pro or a con for you depending upon your perspective. Charter schools can limit their enrollment, and therefore have smaller class sizes and cater to a very specific audience. This luxury is not at all what typical public schools experience, and many people feel that education should be available to all, and should not be able to limit enrollment. There is also typically less diverse populations in charter schools as well.
  • Con: Charter schools are less accountable than public schools. Charter schools do not necessarily have to follow the same standards and do not always experience the same level of accountability that public schools do. The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to charter schools, and so their test scores do not have to be disclosed to parents or those contemplating enrollment. Since charter schools are less accountable for their test scores, some charter schools are not as reputable or academically rigorous as they could be.
  • Con: Charter schools divert money from public schools. The infrastructure of public schools is slightly undermined by the development of charter schools, as government money is diverted into charter schools when students enroll there. This does not help to improve public schools.
  • Pro: Certain charter schools may be more specialized to your child’s interests. There are many charter schools available that cater to specific certain interests. For example, there are highly competitive charter schools that focus specifically on mathematics and science. There are also charter schools that specialize in the arts. If your child has a very specific passion with regards to their education and future career, these types of charter schools may be more suited for them. For more information about how talent and passion plays a large part of education, seek out a performing arts school in Reston, VA.

How to Keep Your Home Warmer This Winter

In many areas of the country, winter brings soaring heating bills and constant drafts around the house. You may feel like you go for months without truly feeling warm, especially if you can’t afford to run your heat constantly. However, there are many ways to make your home more energy efficient, so that it keeps the warm air trapped inside your home for longer. Some require an investment that will pay itself off over time, while others are relatively simple fixes that you may be able to complete yourself over a weekend. You should look at every inch of your house that’s exposed to the elements, from your walls to your Polar Seal Windows. You’ll probably find tiny cracks and other weak points that you didn’t even know you had.




Many homes are under-insulated, which will cause the building to lose heat rapidly to the cold air outside. Insulation comes in many different forms. The simplest can be blown directly into your walls through a small hole, so there’s no major construction involved. Don’t forget your attic and roof when you’re insulating. Because heat rises, a lot of the warm air in your house will be lost out a leaky roof. Attics are often lined with blanket-like sections of insulation that can be stapled right to the walls and floor. Another place many people forget to insulate is the wall dividing your house from your garage. Because your garage is not climate controlled, it can get nearly as cold as the air outside. Adding insulation between this cold space and your home will prevent warm air from leaking out.


Reduce Drafts


Windows and doors are two more common sources of drafts during cold weather. Glass transfers heat easily, so your warm air will move right through it, even if the windows are closed. Energy efficient windows like Polar Seal Windows can help cut down on this loss of heat by making your windows more reflective to heat. For an inexpensive solution, you could also cover your windows with heavy curtains. Many people install storm windows over their existing windows to form an additional barrier against the cold air; these can be bought at your local home improvement store and can be reused year after year. Make sure you seal any cracks around your windows with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent a draft. You can stop drafts around your doors by placing a towel up against the bottom of the door, especially if you have tile or hardwood floors. Once again, make sure there are no cracks around the frame that might be letting air sneak past.

A Communicative Disorders Degree Offers Exciting Career Opportunities

Communication is a central part of our human experience. Interacting with others in a meaningful way helps define our sense of self and helps us create personal relationships. Any kind of breakdown in our ability to communicate can cause many difficulties in our ability to function successfully in society. It can be challenging for people with communication disorders to succeed in school or in the workplace. If you are interested in communication disorders such as hearing impairment or speech impediments, you may be interested in a career as an audiologist or speech pathologist. Specialists in these fields work to understand human communication and to help people with speech or hearing difficulties. Helping people learn to communicate more successfully can be a rewarding and meaningful way to spend your time. If this appeals to you, a communicative disorders degree can offer you many exciting career opportunities.


Speech Pathology 

A speech pathologist helps people who have difficulty understanding and producing verbal language. Speech problems may include stuttering, articulation problems, and other language disorders. Often these disorders are the result of neurological problems such as strokes, head injuries, or genetic diseases. A speech pathologist helps people learn to compensate for their speech difficulty and improve their ability to communicate with others. To become a speech pathologist or therapist, you will study topics such as anatomy, physiology, and neurology. You will eventually need to complete a master’s program in speech and language pathology. In the field of speech pathology, you will work closely with physicians, child development specialists, audiologists, and teachers.



An audiologist studies the inner workings of the body’s hearing system. To become an audiologist, you will need to obtain a doctoral degree in the field of audiology. You will study different types of hearing loss, including genetic factors, bacterial and viral infections, injuries, and age. You will learn how to accurately diagnose hearing loss and make recommendations for treatment. An audiologist works closely with physicians, teachers, speech pathologists, and hearing aid manufacturers. Audiology is a challenging field that allows you to spend your time helping people interact with the world around them. Giving people the ability to communicate can improve their lives in countless way. If you are interested in becoming a speech pathologist or an audiologist, a communicative disorders degree can help you get started on the right path. Your local college or university can give you more information about admission requirements and course availability.


Preventing Pet Injuries and Finding Veterinarians

Pets and humans make great teams. Since as early as 33,000 BCE, domesticated animals have been helping humans find and defend their food, as well as, in general, make humans’ standard of living higher. Dogs helped hunting parties track and kill game. Archaeologists and anthropologists have found ancient skeletal remains of domesticated dogs in Siberia and Eastern Europe close to their owners’ graves. Cats were also mummified and buried with owners. Cats were used in Northern Africa to ward off pests, like mice, rats, and insects. The close proximity of the pets’ graves to humans’ suggests a special bond between people and animals, even at this early stage. Today, people are as attached to their pets as ever. Polls show that over 60% of American households have at least one pet. Those people with pets have been shown to have a lower likelihood of developing stress-related diseases, like hypertension, high cholesterol, and anxiety. Pet owners want to give their animals the best lives possible. Properly caring for pets requires the right medical attention. This article will help you care for your pet by telling you the common ways that pets are injured and how you can prevent it. It will also aid you in finding Carmel, IN, veterinarians, or vets in the city where you currently live, who can help you take care of your animals.


How to Preclude Pet Injuries

The most common dangers for pets in suburban neighborhoods are other animals and cars. Although domesticated animals are tamer than their wild ancestors, they still retain instincts. Territoriality and competitiveness make pets wary of people and animals they don’t know. If a wild animal, like a raccoon, opossum, or fox, gets into your yard, some dogs and cats will attempt to attack the intruder. These sorts of altercations can result in serious injuries. To prevent fighting between your pets and other animals, make sure that your backyard and front yard are secure. Many fences are designed to make it difficult for animals to dig underneath, such as those made of chain-link. If your dog continues to escape, you can also buy a dog run or tether. For cats, the issue is much more difficult. Keeping a cat within your property can sometimes only be accomplished by forcing your feline friend to stay indoors.

Keeping your pets safe from cars is also important. Having a secure yard, or keeping your animals indoors, will ensure that they will not get hit. Also remember, when you go on walks with your pet, always put your animal on a leash. This will prevent them from bolting into the road.


What to Do If Your Pet Is Injured

If your dog or cat is acting strangely, you should always do a thorough investigation to make sure they’re not wounded. Animals will often attempt to hide their injuries, afraid that being hurt will make them appear weak or undesirable. Look over your pet’s whole body, making sure to be cautious. Injured animals can act unpredictably, so make sure that you have another person holding and calming the animal. You might even want to don thick gloves if there’s a possibility of your pet biting. If you find an injury, search the Internet for Carmel, IN, veterinarians, or vets in your area. Look for vets with professional webpages, whose offices you can easily access. Take your injured pet in as soon as possible to avoid long-term complications.

The Cleaner Energy Uses of Propane

Propane is a gas that is most commonly used for its ability to heat up exceptionally fast and to burn cleanly. While most people use propane for their barbecues in the summer time, it can be also used for very specialized vehicles. Propane powered vehicles run on liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG. Very few vehicles currently run on LPG because the technology behind it is just now starting to grow and expand. However, the benefits of LPG- fueled vehicles may be enough to get more people to inquiry and even purchases these vehicles. Propane in Colorado Springs is a versatile source of energy that should not be overlooked for future purposes.

Advantages to Liquefied Petroleum Gas Fueled Vehicles

The advantages to LPG vehicles take over where the disadvantages for gasoline begin. First, much of the gasoline that is consumed in the United States must be purchased from other countries. These include Canada and much of Latin America. Propane however, can be sourced domestically. In fact, about 90% of the propane that the United Sates consumes now comes domestically. Propane is also much less expensive than gasoline. Depending on where and when you purchase gas, the prices can range anywhere from two to five dollars a gallon. If you have a car that uses a lot of gas or if you drive a lot, this can add up very quickly over a short time. Finally, because propane burns right when it is being used for energy, less emission are released into the system of the car that leads to build up and less emissions are released into the atmosphere. A major disadvantage right now it the limited availability of these types of cars though.

Propane for Power in Other Uses

Obviously the most common use for propane is in a barbecue. Propane in Colorado Springs can be purchased in easily to refill tanks that can last for quite awhile depending on how often it is used. It heats quickly and cleanly so food reaches the optimal temperature without tasting like the gas itself. Since propane is a volatile and combustible substance, it is important that all propane tanks are treated gently and not abused or neglected. Check for leaking properly functioning valves before using it every time. Other devices like lawnmowers can also be found to be powered by propane. Many of the benefits of a propane powered car above are the same reasons to look into a propane lawnmower. 

Kitchen Remodeling Can Increase Your Home’s Value


If you are trying to increase the value of your home, one way to do it is by updating your kitchen. The kitchen is often viewed as the heart of a home, and if your kitchen is old and outdated, it can affect the overall appearance of your house. If you are planning to live in your home for a long period of time, an updated kitchen can make your life easier and can save you time and money. If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, kitchen remodeling in San Jose can not only increase the value of your home, it can also make it more appealing to potential buyers as well.If you are planning to remodel, you will want to visit showrooms and browse online in order to get ideas about what kind of look you want. Once you have a plan in mind, you can start getting bids from contractors for the work you need to have done.


Creating a Plan


The plan you create for your kitchen will depend in part on whether you are planning to stay in the home long-term or sell it sometime soon. If you are planning to stay, you can design things to suit your own particular tastes. The colors and types of appliances you choose will be entirely up to you. If you are planning to sell, you may want to consider a neutral type of design that will appeal to a wide variety of different people. This way, you will ensure that your home is as marketable as possible. You may also want to consult with a realtor and ask questions about selling your home. A realtor can tell you what types of things are often in demand and will increase your resale value.


Finding a Contractor


When you are planning to have a significant amount of work done on your home, it is a good idea to get bids from several different contractors. If you have never used a contractor for kitchen remodeling in San Jose, you may want to start your search by asking your friends and neighbors for recommendations. If someone you know has had a good experience with a particular contractor, this can take some of the guess work out of hiring someone to work on your home.



Regular Gutter Maintenance Will Protect Your Home All Year Long

Not every homeowner is willing to pull out a ladder and climb on the roof to clean out the gutters twice a year. In fact, most homeowners ignore this bi-yearly chore. However, a clogged gutter is a disaster waiting to happen. The thing that destroys more homes than any other natural occurrence is water. Water beats out wind and fire every year. Without proper gutter maintenance, your home is at risk.

Water Problems

Many of the foundation issues that occur are caused by poor drainage around the house. Cracked foundations happen because water runs off the roof, slides down the outside of the wall and puddles next to the concrete. Over time, the concrete absorbs the water. This can happen very quickly and then you have a flooded basement or crawl space. Or, it can happen slowly, and you have a damp smell and crumbly concrete. When the water penetrates the concrete, the concrete weakens and the weight of the house causes it to crack. If left untreated, the foundation will eventually fail.


There are a couple things you can do to prevent water damage to your foundation. The first is to build up the dirt around the foundation. You can change the slope of your yard so that water runs off the roof and away from the house instead of toward it. Next, install gutters if you don’t have them. Directing water to the proper channels will prevent it from causing damage. Finally, clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause more trouble than foundation issues.

Structural Damage

Since the water running off your roof can be a problem, you may think ice on the roof isn’t a big deal. Unfortunately, ice is as big of a problem for the structural integrity of your home as a damp basement. Ice dams can ruin your roof. The water gets beneath the shingles or tiles and can create leaks into the attic space. The leak can continue for months or even years, quietly causing damage. Then one day, you find yourself with a roof and some walls to replace; not to mention the damage to furniture, flooring, and paint. Who would have thought that gutter maintenance would save so much trouble?

How to Find a Good Tree Service

The trees on your property are very important. They add beauty and value to your home. However, in order for them to add value and beauty to your home, they’ll need to be properly cared for and maintained. There are things you can and should be doing on a regular basis to take care of your trees, but there are some things that should be taken care of by a professional San Jose tree service in order to get the desired effect. This article will explain everything you need to know about finding a good tree service to take care of your trees.


It’s important for you to understand the types of services you can receive from a quality, professional tree service company. These services will provide you with a better understanding of how your trees can benefit. Professional companies will provide services such as:

  • Trimming and pruning
  • Ornamental trimming
  • Removal of dead trees
  • Watering and fertilizing
  • Planting and landscaping
As you look at some of these services, you’ll need to evaluate your own trees’ needs and determine what kind of services will benefit them the most.

Finding a Company

You’ll want to spend a lot of quality time finding a great company to provide these services for you. There are a lot of different tree service companies out there, and you’ll want to make sure you’re hiring the right one for the job. A bad tree service company can do some serious damage to your trees. For example, never hire a company that offers to top your tree. If you take the time to do your research, you’ll be sure to find a good company.

Getting an Estimate

To make your final decision, you’ll want to get two or three different companies you to give you free estimates for the work that needs to be done. These estimates will give you a good idea of how much things will cost on average and will also give you an opportunity to make final decision on who to hire. Make sure you ask probing questions to the representative that comes out to look at your trees. A good San Jose tree service will make you feel comfortable and confident that your trees will be taken care of.

Salvaged Car Parts Are a Good Choice

If you own a car, then you know all about spending money. There isn’t much about cars that isn’t expensive. From the initial purchase cost, to putting fuel in the tank for the rest of the car’s lifetime, you will be putting money into your car. Perhaps the most frustrating portion of car ownership is when your car breaks down. When your car breaks down, you not only have to put out money, but you can’t use it until it is fixed. Usually these kinds of breakdowns don’t happen when it is the most convenient. A breakdown in your car can add to the stress in your life considerably. If you are concerned about the money you will have to spend to buy new parts for your car, consider buying parts from a local car salvage in Los Angeles to save money.

If you are interested in learning more about car salvage yards and used parts, read this short article to get started. There are many advantages to using salvaged car parts. The first and often most important advantage is that salvaged car parts usually cost much less than their newly manufactured counterparts. This is probably the driving factor behind the used car parts business.

Although price is an important factor when it comes to salvaged car parts, there are other advantages as well. One of the other advantages is value. Not only are salvage car parts affordable, they often last nearly as long as a new part will. Because of this, many salvage yards will offer a warranty on their parts because they know they will most likely last a long time. When compared to new factory parts, used parts with a warranty might be a very great value.

Another reason that salvaged car parts are important is that the used car part industry helps to drive our economy. The used car part industry employs many people, and offers a great service to car owners. If no one bought used car parts, many more people would not have work.

Not only does using salvaged car parts save you money and help the economy, it can be good for the environment as well. The reason for this is quite simple. For every part that is reconditioned, and resold to use on a car that is still running, there is one less part that needs to be manufactured by car parts manufacturers. Each salvaged car part that is reused helps reduce energy consumption and emissions, as well as any of the resources that are used to create that specific part.

There are many reasons that people choose to use salvaged car parts. Although the primary one may be price and value, another very important reason some people use salvaged car parts is availability. If you have an older car or an exotic car, then you may benefit from looking into the salvaged car parts market.

You can visit your local car salvage and talk to them about the car parts you are looking for. A savvy car salvage owner will help you find the part you need quickly. Even if they do not have the part in stock at the moment, many car salvage companies will keep a list of needed parts on file. If this happens, they will call you when they received the part that you are looking for. This is helpful because you don’t have to call them multiple times. When you are heading out to look for salvaged car parts be sure to do your homework first. Take a copy of the 17-digit VIN number from your car and be sure that you know the make, model, and engine size. This will help you be successful when you search your local car salvage in Los Angeles for used parts.

How to Calculate a Free Estimate

If you’re running a tree service, it’s your duty to set reasonable prices that will please both you and the customer. These rates can really make or a break a business, since this factor is what sets you apart from competitors. Many tree services frequently offer a free estimate so customers will be able to see what they are getting into as they “shop around.” If you are stumped (no pun intended!) over what and how you should charge customers, follow this guide that provides average rates and tips on writing up the estimate.

Average Prices

There are a few factors that impact the price of a job. In many cases, the size of the tree makes a huge difference. A small tree should be priced differently than a larger tree. A little tree is generally a quarter inch to a foot in circumference and not past 25 feet in height. The typical going rate for a small tree is $8 per foot. So, for instance, if a tree is 20 feet tall, charge the customer $160. A medium tree is usually 1 to 2 feet in thickness and 25 to 50 in height. Many tree removal services ask $9 for each foot. As for the big trees, these guys are 2 to 4 feet around with heights reaching anywhere from 55 to 90 feet. A reasonable rate for these trees would be $10 per foot. Feel free to add costs if the tree removal process is particularly hazardous. The tree may be dead, be located near a power line, or contain wasp nests, so explain these dangers when providing the estimate.

Writing the Estimate

No matter what sort of business you’re running, it’s essential that you provide the free estimate in writing. Be sure you have a form for filling out estimates. This form can be purchased at an office supply store or be custom-made on your computer. Write down all the details for what you’re charging. Include machinery rental, hauling, and special charges in addition to the basic rates. Separate these prices into distinct sections so the customer can understand what is involved in the process. Additionally, put down guarantees and what you are not responsible for during the tree removal process. Sign and date the estimate when you’re finished and keep a copy for yourself.