Each year there are roughly 15.4 millionhigh school students in America, with 25% of those students from 24,000 high schools. Each of those high schools has a “Best;” the best football player, scholar, performer, linguist, etc. Competition is stiff for both college and university scholarships.
Furthermore, the number of honor students in India is greater than the number of total students in America, and with today’s global market, future college-goers are competing with scholarship dollars and opportunities internationally. Standing out from the crowd will garner your student scholarship money and opportunities that being one of the many will not.
What is a Stand-Out Factor?
A Stand out factor can be many different things but they are most likely to include:
Initiative –student initiated, led and directed
Passion – student has personal investment
Individuality –has to do specifically with the students core values
Strategy –student has strategized to achieve
I would also recommend that a Stand-Out Factor include:
Positive impact on others
Broad Reach & Big Win
With technology so readily available, it’s almost easier to develop your stand-out factor than ever before. Young creative entrepreneurs can self-publish novels, music, videos, and movies. But, publishing doesn’t automatically make something Stand-out. How can you tell if you have developed your stand-out factor?It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!
What’s a stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!
Listen to the podcast!
Lisa Nehring, Director, True North Homeschool Academy
Stand Out Students
Below I’ve listed some of the ideas students that I’ve worked with have actually done to develop their own ability to stand out:
Participate in and win National Competitions- Geography, History, Bible, Poetry
Participate in CAP or Jr ROTC
Turn your interest in performing into becoming a juggler or clown
Turn your interests into an opportunity to impart your knowledge to others and teach a skills you’ve learned in person, or online
Use What You Have
Identify and develop areas where your students show interest or talents and skills they are already using. You might also consider areas that you, as the parent, can coach or develop in your student. If you have a passion or hobby and your student shows interest, I would venture to say that that is an area that would be perfect to develop into a stand-out factor.
Outsource When Needed
On the other hand, each of our kids shows talents and abilities that we might know nothing about. In which case I would encourage you to research and find resources that can develop your student’s interest beyond your knowledge. Resourcing your student doesn’t have to be expensive, as there are so many great online tutorials now. Literally, the world is at your fingertips with the tap of your fingers. At the same time, don’t overlook local resources. My older kids took horseback riding lessons from a National Barrel racer in return for mucking out stalls.
Developing your student’s stand-out factor might garner those students scholarship dollars and opportunities; it might lead to jobs or even a career. At the very least, it will develop your student’s overall sense of ability and accomplishment, as well as soft skills, such as work ethic, communication skills, creativity, and critical thinking.
High School is the perfect time to develop your student’s stand-out factor, through clubs, projects, and course work that helps them understand themselves and opportunities more robustly, such as our Orienteering Course.
If you need help identifying or knowing how to further develop your student’s stand-out factor, we’d love to help! Check out our Academic Advising program and Parent Membership programs!
We are starting our 27th year of Homeschooling. During that time, I’ve grown to rely on some things to keep us all going. These are things I’ve used and loved for at least of few of our homeschooling years, (but probably much longer). Further down,...
Growing up, my mom always said, “Gina, you never finish anything.” And somehow, that got stuck in my head. To be fair, she wasn’t talking about outsourcing homeschool math. She was talking about swimming lessons, gymnastics, projects started and stopped. And, she was right.
It wasn’t until I was (much) older that I realized what a gift those words would be to me.
The introspection they sparked lead me to several realizations about myself, including the truth in her words — I do leave things unfinished.
But, that’s just one way of looking at it. The gift came when I realized why I don’t. It wasn’t a lack of interest, passion, or boredom. It was a way of letting go of things that were meant to be let go.
Coming Back Around to Outsourcing Homeschool Math
Loop scheduling is popular in the homeschooling world. I use it for all.the.things. — especially in my business life. It’s called follow up. So, what’s that to do with homeschool math? Let me explain.
I’ll be frank. The words ringing in my ears of not finishing things kept me looping and looping and looping my children’s math. Why? I didn’t want to fail them. I held on to all subjects tightly.
And you know what? I failed them anyway. Because I should’ve embraced the gift of letting some things go. In this case, I needed to outsource homeschool math.
The Struggles with Homeschooling Math
Truth be told, I believed all the slick marketing regarding math in our homeschool. Find the right curriculum and it doesn’t have to be hard to teach math.
I guess that could be true, depending on the child, but it was not true in our homeschool.
Honest moment here: After Algebra 2, count me out when it comes to math. I love statistics, but the rest of it – bleh. Which was holding my kids back. They needed the opportunity to embrace a love of math. This would be crucial for:
pursuing higher level science
all things college
overcoming the stigma of homeschoolers + math = forgetta’ ’bout it!
I needed a better solution. And (unselfishly), I needed to not teach math. I really needed to outsource homeschool math.
Discovery of Outsourcing Homeschool Math as a Solution
Once I’d made the decision, my kids embraced this 110%. I began the search for a homeschool tutor.
Here are some things I did to outsource our homeschool math:
We checked with local homeschool groups and found highly recommended and affordable tutors.
We used YouTube for concepts.
Online and video driven math curriculum became a staple in our homeschool.
Things began to turn around.
Benefits of Outsourcing Homeschool Math
The biggest benefit far and away was their math confidence. And for me, it became totally okay to say, “I don’t know, ask your math teacher.”
Beyond that the more tangible results included improved math understanding, great scores on the ACT, and a budding love of math. For some of the kids, we’ll say an improved toleration. 🙂
Overcoming Concerns and Challenges of Outsourcing
When I talk with homeschool parents today, I can relate to their frustration and overwhelm about teaching subjects that aren’t necessarily our biggest strength or in our immediate wheelhouse. They, too fear letting go. Like they’ll be a quitter or something. It’s not quitting. So let that go.
The other obstacle I hear to outsourcing is finding the right tutor or resource. This is a matter of research, and honestly, trial and error. But, it’s okay to pivot at anytime in your homeschool.
Lastly, the challenge of cost. Back in the day, I paid around $40 an hour for a tutor. I had four kids, so there’s some math for you. 😉 I totally get it. It wasn’t easy, but we found a way.
We don’t buy into the same old, same old. Relying on outdated materials and methods can stifle innovation and engagement. Embracing new technologies and teaching strategies ensures that education remains relevant and exciting. At True North we utilize the SAMR Hierarchy of online education as well as gamification, Socratic Discussion and more to keep interest level high and student learning optimal.
Time Tested Educational Pedagogy
On the other hand, you won’t find us throwing out time tested educational pedagogy. You know, teaching in a way that actually works. While innovation is important, there’s value in retaining effective elements of time-tested pedagogy. Blending the best of both worlds can create a balanced and impactful learning experience. True North homeschool academy teachers are constantly working to find great curriculum and classroom experiences that reimagine education for students’ progress and benefit.
You won’t find a lack of classroom interaction, In the digital age, classroom interaction has taken on new forms. Virtual discussions, online collaborations, and interactive platforms can enrich the learning experience beyond the traditional classroom! Students around the world work collaboratively on projects together, create and deliver presentations, and solve problems collectively. They’re learning real world skills that will set them up for future success!
Faith Based, Creative Educators
You won’t find former public-school teachers who are fed up with teaching, distrust parents and are burned out on student interaction. Our teachers are faith based, creative educators who have homeschooled or worked in alternative education and love nurturing a positive learning atmosphere for each student. We require videos on so that we can get to know each and every student by name to provide a wholistic learning environment geared to personal and academic success.
Speaking of innovation, you won’t find dry and dusty assessments limited to quizzes and tests.: Relying solely on one type of assessment can hinder a holistic understanding of a student’s capabilities. Embracing diverse assessment methods can better capture a student’s true potential and skills so you’ll find our teachers using a variety of assessments, including quizzes and tests as well as papers, projects and presentations, group projects, escape rooms, challenges and more!
At True North Homeschool Academy we don’t put up with mind numbing conformity. We believe in educational freedom that allows for parents and students to determine what fits best with their family, schedule and lifestyle. That’s why you can choose ala carte classes or choose a full program, purchase live online classes, or self paced, connect with one of our experienced educational coaches or purchase our helpful diagnostic test.
People of the Book
At True North Homeschool Academy we are people of the book, committed to a decidedly Judeo- Christian point of view. Teachers, students and families commit to an Honor Code that provides a milieu of mutual respect and a firm foundation to ensure optimal learning and growth.
So, while we’re different than other online class providers, it’s a difference that you can count on. True North Homeschool Academy is your trusted academic partner.
Enroll today, classes begin the week of August 28!
Your teen will be driving without you soon, whether you’re ready for it or not. And teaching your kids about the car is just as much a matter of safety as stewardship. Learning how to take care of a car is one more big step towards independence and launching with confidence! It’s a necessary life skill! And since summertime is traditionally when many of us are heading out for adventure, it’s a great time for your kids to learn about the car and then plan a Road Trip!
10 Things Your Teen Needs to Know about Their Car:
How to inspect and register a car. Every state will have different requirements, but all of them will require paperwork and licensures! Here’s a handy guide to get started.
How to replace and check windshield wipers and fluid. How to repair a windshield crack before it gets out of hand.
What to do if any dashboard lights come on
How to drive safely includes
Checking mirrors and using turn signals
Keeping an eye out for motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians
Driving defensively and with alertness
Knowing where they are going and how to get there
Use the 3-4 Second rule to keep a safe distance from other cars
PRO Tip: Teach your young driver to keep their car clean and fill the gas for the next person who will be using the car.
Now that you Have the Basics Down, it’s Time to Head out on an Adventure!
While your kids are learning how to drive, get them involved in your next road trip! If you kids know how to drive and can read a map, why not let them plan your next road trip! Give your teens a direction, time limit and a budget and let them come up with
A route to the location
A list of places along the way
Final destination & recommendations on where to stay upon arrival
A packing list for the car and recommended packing items for family members.
Car Maintenance items
Have your teen check fluids and tires before you head out, including the spare tire!
The whole point of having a car is to go places, right? What better reward for learning to drive and understanding how to take care of the car, then heading out on an adventure together! After all, these teen years go by so fast, so creating memories together is so important!
Life Skills 101 is a full-year, online, live class that will get your teens primed and ready for the next phase of life- meets weekly.
The 8+ sections of this one-year course are centered on three broad topics: Making the most of your life, transitions, and preparing for your first job. This is a practical, project based course that students love and parents appreciate!
One such approach is outsourcing teaching to online educators, which opens up a world of possibilities for personalized learning. In this blog post, we will delve into the benefits and strategies of outsourcing your teaching to online teachers, empowering you to craft a unique educational experience.
The Teen Homeschool Summit is a gathering of young minds seeking inspiration and guidance in their homeschooling journey. It provides a space to connect with like-minded individuals, access valuable resources, and discover various approaches to education. Attending the summit allows teens to explore the concept of outsourcing teaching and tap into the vast knowledge base available online.
The Advantages of Outsourcing Teaching
a. Expertise and Diverse Perspectives: By outsourcing teaching to online educators, students can benefit from a wide range of specialized knowledge and perspectives. Online teachers often possess subject-specific expertise and are passionate about their fields, ensuring a high-quality learning experience. b. Personalized Learning: Every student is unique, and online educators understand the importance of tailored instruction. By outsourcing teaching, students can find teachers who align with their learning style, pace, and interests, fostering an environment conducive to personal growth and academic success. c. Flexibility and Independence: Homeschooling already offers flexibility in scheduling, and outsourcing teaching takes it a step further. Students can access online courses and teachers from anywhere, at any time, empowering them to take control of their learning and explore subjects beyond traditional curricula.
Strategies for Outsourcing Teaching
a. Research and Identify Reputable Platforms: Begin by researching reputable online platforms that offer courses aligned with your interests and educational goals. Look for platforms that provide comprehensive information about their teachers’ qualifications, teaching methods, and user reviews. b. Utilize Online Teaching Marketplaces: Online teaching marketplaces like Outschool, Khan Academy, and Udemy offer a plethora of courses across various subjects. Explore these platforms to find courses taught by qualified instructors that match your needs. c. Seek Recommendations and Reviews: Leverage the power of social networks, online forums, and homeschooling communities to seek recommendations from fellow students or parents who have previously outsourced teaching. Reviews and personal experiences can help you make informed decisions. d. Maintain Regular Communication: Establish open lines of communication with your online teachers. Ask questions, seek clarification, and engage in discussions to enhance your learning experience. Feedback and dialogue play a crucial role in optimizing the benefits of outsourcing teaching.
The Teen Homeschool Summit is a remarkable opportunity for teenagers to explore alternative education methods. Outsourcing teaching to online educators is an effective way to broaden horizons, access expert knowledge, and personalize the learning experience. By embracing this approach, homeschoolers can embark on an educational journey that is flexible, dynamic, and tailored to their individual needs. So, join the Teen Homeschool Summit, discover the endless possibilities of outsourcing teaching, and unlock your true potential as a self-directed learner in the digital age.
Remember, your education is in your hands—seize the opportunity!
Twelve years ago, our house had burned, my 47-year-old sister had died unexpectedly, my oldest ended up in an E.R. several states away with Bird Flu, our contractor was crooked, we moved three times in ten months and threw away 90% of our possessions. We moved back into our partially finished house during the worst flooding in our region’s history (though last year topped that). My dad died a few months later.
One thing we all have in common right now is that life is uncertain.
And with that uncertainty comes anxiety, fear, and possibly depression. Stress. Will we get sick? Will we get better? And will we have a job? What will the world look like in 2, 4, or 6 months?
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
Maybe right now you can relate to these words that I wrote 10 years ago:
I have been tossing and turning for nights. If there were an Olympic event for turning 360’s under the covers- I’d win. Cause while we are home, we are far from settled. The house remains undone and critically demanding from both a time and money standpoint. I feel pulled in a 100-directions at once for a myriad of reasons. Like Mrs. Beaver in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, flurrying around, scurrying in all directions, wondering if she should pack the kitchen sink for their flight from imminent danger, flustered because she’s worried she won’t make a good impression, concerned that Mr. Beaver will fall into the path of danger. Geez, man, she’s a worrywart.
Oh, how I relate. Cause I’m faithful and true and a diligent and hard worker and busy and industrious and mindful of things, and thinking of what’s next and on and on. But I’m concerned. Concerned about all that’s not being done and what’s up ahead and how I look and what’s next.
When Mrs. Beaver finally meets Aslan, his comment to her, which sets all things right in her life is, “Peace, Beaver.”
And with those two little words, the High King sets it all straight. He recognizes who she is, calls her by name, dignifies her presence and speaking words of power and might, and straightens the crooked places by His ruasch, alive and manifesting His strength and vision for her. The fussing and stressing and striving cease and she can relax in His presence knowing He’s got her back.
Sunday’s Coming! I’ve had a hard time getting there for the past many months. I’ve been grief-stricken and weary and flustered. And it’s not that things aren’t better than before, we have been blessed in amazing and profound ways; it’s the process of how they’ve gotten that way. Inventorying time and materials, thoughts and actions, sorting through possessions that were meaningful because of memories or people, profoundly feeling the loss of family, moving yet again in a matter of months.
Looking at Our Circumstances
I look around at all of the projects and consider how we’ll make due this fall and feel, oh so rocked by the waves of the circumstances. The work is something we enjoy, but the amount of it seems ominous, and while Dr. Dh is confident we’ll get it done, it’s all in the context of a day job and homeschooling and the living that will take place around it. And I see how we get tired and sore in a way we haven’t before. Age, stress, and the demands of the year manifest themselves in practical ways.
This year, in the midst of the chaos and flurry of once-in-a-lifetime circumstances I’ve longed for ritual. For benchmarks that say it’s this season or that. This is what you do when, the words you say now, the posture you take in response. I’ve needed guides, markers, mindless actions to go through that indicate time and life go on in a sensible and pleasing pattern despite disruption and chaos and hurt and fear and unrest and inconclusiveness”- the ritual and meaning and confirmation of faith and death and loss and living.
God is Our Refuge
My youngest came up to me where I was sitting a few days after we moved back home and said, very quietly, “Momma, the fire scared me.” Just so plain and simple and straightforward, but sad and apologetic, like her little 7-year-old self should be braver. The very fact of being home again, I think, finally allowed her to say these simple words. I said, “I know, Baby, of course, it did.” And she crawled into my lap and snuggled against me, curled up like when she was two, and stayed there for a while. Later she looked up at me and smiled and gave me a big hug and hopped up and went to find kittens to play with. I’m grateful she could be as little as she needed to be and snuggle up with someone older and bigger and stronger and sit and soak in my strength and comfort until she’d absorbed as much as she needed.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever–present help in trouble. … Come and see the works of the LORD. Psalm 46:1
On so many levels, I’ve felt like my little girl and I’ve wanted to say the same thing; “The fire scared me, Sue’s death rocked me, I feel the loss and lost.” And I want to feel and hear and know Abba is saying, “I know, Baby, of course. Rest in My peace. I’ve got you. Despite the worry and chaos and confusion and disorder and the house undone and work ahead, I’ve got your back.”
And He does.
I know He does for me and I know He does for you!
Sunday’s coming! And with it, the Living Christ!
Spend time with the Living Christ and have fun in your homeschool with the free Holy Week Breakout Room!
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I read a book in parts and pieces at a book store and liked it so much that I later purchased it. The main premise of the book is that Everything is Figureoutable; the ultimate growth mindset. It is a perfect phrase to be continually testifying to yourself. I say it to myself all the time. Cause, true confessions, life makes it easy to get stuck.
We get stuck with people and circumstances. All.the.time.
And Homeschooling, by its very nature, gives us many, many opportunities to get stuck. Stuck, but good.
Homeschooling is Figureoutable!
Most of us have little-to-no training about child-rearing, education, or even the basics of homemaking or bill paying. Many of us can’t cook in early adulthood, don’t like to clean, and avoid paying bills. But adulthood requires that we figure stuff out. That, or we stay stuck and feel frustrated. Sometimes we stay stuck for a very long time. We think we aren’t good with money. Or we missed the grammar gene. Or we are not creative. We keep ourselves stuck because we don’t believe we have what it takes. Can I get a witness?
The good news about homeschooling and home management is that it is figureoutable. And honestly, once we’ve figured it out, it can be gratifying work: soul-filling and world-changing work.
Don’t Get Stuck
However, if you’ve been thrust into homeschooling, or are trying to do it while working, or brought your kids with an undiagnosed learning difficulty home, getting things figured out can be overwhelming. So, let me help with some basic lists of things you might want to figure out. It’s not exhaustive or personalized; it’s just a starting place. A place to take a stand and feel successful once you’ve figured out a few things so that you can continue gaining skills and so that the next success seems even more attainable.
Things you will need to figure out to homeschool well:
What is your teaching style?
How much time do you have to teach, given your other responsibilities?
What are your kids’ learning styles (to shore up your students’ areas of challenge and to utilize their areas of nature ability)
What educational pedagogies produce the results you are looking for?
Is your student gifted, 2E, LD, or at a traditional grade level? The greater the disparity between your student’s ability and areas of challenge, the more easily frustrated they might feel –and that goes back to the figureoutability – but that’s a whole different conversation.
What is your minimum and maximum budget for books and curriculum?
What resources do you have for travel and experience-based learning?
What will you give up to homeschool? Time, money, resources, a career, advancement, etc.?
Where in your house (or out of it) will you homeschool?
What storage areas do you have available to house homeschooling supplies such as books, curriculum, writing utensils, computers, printers, etc.?
What will be your basic schedule?
What is your goal for homeschooling?
What is your strategy for accomplishing your homeschooling goal?
Which parent will be primarily responsible for homeschooling?
Who will you homeschool with? A co-op, in-person classes, online programs, a hybrid, or UMS?
What unique resources do you bring to the table as you homeschool? Are you an RV family? Do you own your own business, travel extensively, or is Grandma available to take one or more of the kids regularly?
What will free time look like for your kids?
What will your morning and evening routines consist of?
How will the homeschooling day begin?
How will the homeschooling day end?
How will you manage electronics in your home?
How will you know if homeschooling is a success?
Will you homeschool all of your kids?
Will you homeschool them using the same pedagogy and curriculum?
Related things to figure out:
How will meal planning, shopping, prep, and clean-up be managed?
How will clothes and laundry be managed- gathering, sorting, washing, drying, folding, and putting clothes away?
How will schedules be managed? This becomes more important to figure out as the parent(s) have more outside responsibilities like jobs or caring for an elderly relative?
Who will pay the bills and set the budget for homeschooling expenses, activities, experiences, and travel?
Who will transport kids to activities, programs, therapies, and the like?
Figuring it All Out
Homeschooling does not have to be complicated. But homeschooling is work. We dedicate time and resources towards it, and like all work, the more we can adequately do the prep work and plan the execution, the more successful we’ll be at meeting our goals and launching our kids.
But don’t worry. What you don’t know currently is figureoutable. And every success you have will lead to another success. Every obstacle overcome is one step closer to your goal. You’ve got this, Momma!
If you’re looking for a community of like-minded homeschoolers headed True North, we’d love to have you join our community! Let us help each other “figure it ALL out” with encouragement and support – plus free training, advice, and resources to help you figure out the challenges you face!
Dyslexia Outside the Box by Beth Ellen Nash is so hopeful! I can still remember the day the testing results came back. I was looking at all of the scores, trying to interpret what I saw from an educator point of view while knowing that this was my child. Normal, normal, lower than average and then the diagnosis of…dyslexia. It was like a punch in the stomach, and yet a strange relief. I felt like crying, and then a huge weight was lifted all at the same time.
It is so hard when you have always known. You recognize something, but people tell you that you are seeing things. There are other delays, most notably with reading and retention as well as with writing and comprehension. Comprehending the sounds of words has never been easy. While my youngest daughter was a late talker, her older siblings were quick to mimic sounds and words as babies and toddlers. We aren’t supposed to compare our children, but we do. For each milestone our children reach, we rejoice. And when some of those milestones don’t come? You question.
I am an educator. Before I became a mother, I was teaching and caring for children. The programs I worked in were often preparing children for school and what would come ahead. It wasn’t abnormal to have a child walk out of the classroom I worked in ready to enter kindergarten. Yet, when it came to teaching my youngest child, nothing really stuck. I thought it was me, so I put her in preschool. It still didn’t click, so I put her into Kindergarten. The first day she came home she had two complaints. “I can’t read and naptime wasn’t long enough. I don’t need to go back.” We finished that year and then I began to homeschool. Progress was slow, but there was progress. I knew for sure that what was happening wasn’t quite right.
Why did I need the diagnosis?
I guess I didn’t, but I needed to know it wasn’t all my fault. It wasn’t that I wasn’t trying, but I wasn’t teaching her in the way that was right for her. I had strategies, but they weren’t working for my child, despite the successes I had with children. Dyslexia Outside-the-Box gave validated what I knew intuitively.
Enter Dyslexia Outside the Box
Reading Dyslexia Outside the Box by Ellen Nash was so helpful as it opened up possibilities of what could work with my child. More importantly, it gave me the flip side of dyslexia. While so much of what I had found on my own was negative and highlighted the problems children may face, this book helped me to see the strengths that these students have. The most important game-changer with this book was rethinking our struggles. This book also has a wonderful appendix that has so many resources. All of the information I needed was put into one space. Not only has it resourced me to teach my child, but it has also helped me to understand her struggles, abilities and the way she thinks.
This book has helped me to be a better teacher for my daughter and a more effective parent as well.
Beth Ellen Nash has put wisdom and experience into this book. Reading it was like sitting down with someone who could gently remind me of different ways to look at what challenges we have and remember that a diagnosis is simply a starting place. I can’t recommend this book highly enough for all parents and teachers working with dyslexic children.
Rebecca Lundgren lives in South Dakota with her husband Jeremy, three daughters, and their zoo of adopted animals. While her family never intended to homeschool, she has learned a lot along the way. Her background includes a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from South Dakota State University. Before she began her homeschool journey, she taught in Public Schools k-12, English as a Second Language (ESL) k-6, and directed an Early Childhood program. Since she began homeschooling, she has been involved with working in and then directing homeschooling groups in her area and now teaches ESL online. She loves camping and hiking with her family, reading, crafting, and children’s ministries. Rebecca will be teaching Jr High Science, World Geography and Logic.
Regardless of how over or underprepared you might feel for a standardized test, bring it up amongst homeschoolers, and you are sure to elicit strong opinions! I would propose that standardized testing, while not the only standard of measure, can provide some excellent...