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Is Homeschooling Finally Becoming Mainstream?

Homeschooling

Over the last 3 decades, the number of students being homeschooled has increased 10-fold, showing a 919% increase and making it the fastest-growing form of education in America. In part, this can be attributed to the lack of faith in public schools as well as the increase in private schooling costs.

Parents are getting fed up with the public schooling options and are moving more towards a home-based education system. It’s still a relatively small segment of the population, but it’s clearly growing quickly. This infographic by our friends at CourseHero breaks down the trends and demonstrates why it’s becoming so successful.

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Homeschooling Infographic

Fashionable Finances

Fashionable Finances

In a down economy, the last thing on most people’s minds is fashion (at least it should be). The frivolous spending that is required to look great is something that many people put aside.

That is, unless you’re living in America, where it seems that fashion is always a “necessity” in one way or another. As our friends at Mint put it:

“Clothes shopping: for some it’s an addiction, for others it’s a fun pastime or possibly just another chore. A look into our data shows one thing is clear – Mint users dedicate between 15-23 percent of their discretionary spending towards apparel. While nobody spends more per month on a dollar-basis than Manhattanites, their Brooklyn-based neighbors are actually spending a bigger portion of their budget on clothes. Meanwhile, Denver-dwelling Minters spend the smallest percentage of their discretionary cash on clothes, but dollar-for-dollar, it’s Mint users in Tucson who pay the least for their clothes.”

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Fashion by Mint

Trust in America’s Public Schools Continues to Decline

Public Schools

Only 1/3 of Americans have faith in the public school system.

Between lack of funding, gang violence, and general shift in western society’s opinions on just about anything that the government has a hand in, the perception of public schools has been on a steady decline for the last 30 years. The educational system as a whole is viewed poorly, but sending kids to public schools in particular is becoming a much less attractive prospect than it was a couple of decades ago.

According to GOOD:

“According to a Gallup poll released in July, Americans are more confident in their local police force and small businesses than in their communities’ public schools. Whether they attribute the problems to lack of funding or gang violence, policymakers and parents alike believe that the nation’s schools are failing children.”

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Faith in Public Schools

Does Solar Really Work in My State?

Solar by State

There are certain conditions that must be met for a state to be able to fully take advantage of solar energy – clear skies, good land, logistical benefits, etc. Our friends at 1bog explore the question and bring us the some answers.

“One Block Off the Grid organizes group deals on solar energy. Since 2008, One Block Off the Grid has run hundreds of group deals in over 40 U.S. states and helped thousands of homeowners go solar. We’ve been featured in dozens of publications and programs including The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, USA Today, Marketplace, Wired, and GOOD Magazine. In 2010, One Block Off the Grid sponsored the first-ever solar deal on Groupon.com and received a Heart of Green Award for “Best New Innovation.” Want to find out if there’s a group deal on solar in your area?”

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Solar in States

15 Ways To Stay Cool in the Heat

Keep Cool

Summer’s almost over, but it’s still pretty darn hot outside. What are you doing to keep cool? There are many ways, but most of us just turn up our air conditioning and roll with it. This isn’t the only way to do it.

This graphic by Become breaks down 15 ways that we can stay cool even when it’s scorching hot outside.

For example, “This may seem counter intuitive but eating spicy food causes you to sweat without raising your body temperature. Sweating is your body’s way to cool down quickly. This is the reason why so many desert cultures have such spicy food.”

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Keeping Cool

Pets on Pillows: Germs Galore

Pets Pillows

Over half of US households have pets. Many of these pets live inside and roam around the house. Many of these roamers spend time to some degree on the very place where our faces and heads reside for 8 hours a day.

Is it safe?

Take a look at this infographic by SleepBetter. It may be pretty darn eye-opening, as our feline and canine friends may be bad for our health. The solution? Keep your bedroom door shut.

“It’s no secret that our four-legged friends are carrying around a number of “friends” of their own.  Have you thought about what they carry into your bed?  Check out the infographic below (click it to see a larger version) from our Big Germ on Campus series and see how many Americans are sleeping with their best friend – and a few enemies.”

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Pets on Pillows

Smartphones: The New Mobile Workforce

Smartphone Mobile Workforce

Business has become a mobile experience. Many are constantly connected to the point that we can hear business transactions at the grocery store or watch people have corporate meetings while alone in a coffee shop.

Things have changed dramatically and a good chunk of the change that’s taken place can be attributed to smartphones. For better or for worse, they have started dominating the way that we live our lives. Our tools have become out masters in many ways. Whether we like it or not, many of us are now part of the new mobile workforce, as our friends at SocialCast put it.

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Smartphone Mobile Workforce