RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Storm Watch: Severe Weather Tips for Homeowners

September 8, 2015 2:51 am

Severe weather has the potential to impact property more at this time of year than during any other season. “September is the ideal month to address proper storm preparedness,” says Generac Power Systems Senior VP of Marketing Clement Feng. “At the same time homeowners begin preparing for winter storm season, the potential threat from hurricanes becomes more apparent, all while many parts of the country are still experiencing summer heat threats. The timing is truly an influx of extreme weather.”

Homeowners who may feel overwhelmed should break down winter preparedness projects into manageable tasks they can tackle a bit at a time. Taking the time to seal a window or have the heating system serviced will pay off in the cooler months with energy savings and a toasty inside temperature, helping keep families comfortable despite what's happening outside.

Sealing the envelope of the home has become one of the most important tasks for homeowners in terms of energy efficiency. A few simple steps homeowners can take to keep the warm air in and the cold air out with the change of seasons include:

• Sealing drafty or single-pane windows with a DIY insulating roll-on kit
• Making doors airtight with weather stripping and draft seals
• Having a professional check for leaks in ductwork and service the heating system

In addition, homeowners should prepare for outages this winter. The increasingly unpredictable nature of weather patterns and threats to our infrastructure pose a hefty warning to our electrical power systems. Consider purchasing an automatic home backup generator to remain with power in the event of an outage.

Source: Generac Power Systems

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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4 Ways Parents Can Promote Positive Behavior in School

September 7, 2015 2:48 am

Word arrives from school that the parent’s child is in trouble. Maybe it was a minor offense and the student simply faced a trip to the office. But maybe a suspension or expulsion is in the near future, leaving the parents wondering whether they could have done something before the situation became so dire.

Before parents beat themselves up too much, though, they should remember that student discipline isn’t always a clear-cut thing, says Renae Azziz, founder and director of Virtuoso Education Consulting, which provides professional development training to teachers and school district leaders.

“The reasons students are sent to the office are not always well defined,” says Azziz, a school psychologist. “So-called problem behaviors are often too subjective, which leads to different teachers having different perceptions and definitions of what a problem behavior is.”

The situation can be especially frustrating for the parents of these students. When there is a mismatch between what the teacher sees as acceptable behavior and the student’s view, problems can surface.

Teachers can learn to account for those cultural differences through explicit and ongoing training focused on culture. But there are also steps all parents can take that will go a long way in helping their children understand the school’s expectations, Azziz says.

She offers these tips:

• Educate yourself.
Parents should read the school’s discipline handbook and become familiar with the expectations for behavior in their child’s school. That way parents will have a clearer understanding of the rules and can discuss them with the child. Handbooks lay out all kinds of information, such as what constitutes bullying or how unexcused absences affect participation in extracurricular activities. “Knowing and talking about the rules can help you head off problems,” Azziz says.

• Offer positive reinforcement at home. Parents can set up positive ways to acknowledge their student for doing the right thing at home that connect to the behavior expectations at school. Children usually respond better to positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement, so praise at home for correct behavior can translate into good behavior in the classroom.

• Learn the rules face to face.
Early in the school year, parents should meet with their child’s teacher and principal to define and clarify behavior expectations and discuss how you will communicate with each other. Often, email is a good way to communicate with teachers because they can read and respond to the correspondence after class is over for the day. But find out what the teacher prefers. Good communication can help the parent and the teacher work together to make sure behavior expectations are understood and followed.

• Champion the child. A parent should be the child’s advocate. “After all, if you aren’t in your child’s corner, who is?” she asks. But that doesn’t mean taking the attitude: My child is always right. “You will need to be fair and balanced,” Azziz says.

Source: VirtuosoEd.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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