Former RHONJ Star and Businesswoman Amber Marchese Offers Advice to Parents Planning the New School Year
Amber Marchese is best known as a former member of Real Housewives of New Jersey cast. However, she’s now a mother of two school-age children who juggles her own business as a real estate agent. This puts Amber in the perfect position to sympathize with parents who need to work but also want to ensure their kids get a good education.
As Amber Marchese notes, there are pros and cons to sending children back to public school. The main advantage of public school is that it frees both parents to go out and earn a living while the children receive a free education. For many, it is the only option as both parents need to work and private school is too expensive. However, as Amber notes, it’s not by any means an ideal set-up. The truth is that no-one knows how the mask situation will play out and what sort of arrangement public schools will make to keep students properly distanced at all times. Some schools may stick to Zoom learning for at least part of the coming year, others may separate classes and teach students in shifts or stagger mealtimes to keep kids apart. Various schools are also considering setting up classrooms outside to prevent the spread of disease.
The ideal set-up, Amber Marchese points out, is for children to be school at home by a member of their family. If one or both parents could work for home, such a set-up would be ideal as children would receive a steady, quality education while bonding with their parents. At the same time, the parents would avoid having to spend time traveling to and from work. As many companies are eager to keep their employees working from home instead of coming into the office, such a set-up may not be out of reach even for individuals who were not permitted to work from home before the pandemic started. It’s also worth noting that an alternative solution for parents who have to work out of the home part-time is to have a grandparent help part-time or join a homeschool co-op that provides outside classes for certain days of the week.
Amber Marchese puts a premium on children receiving a top-quality Christian and academic education; even so, her advice doesn’t just apply to religious parents. As Amber is quick to point out, thousands of secular parents homeschool and there are many secular homeschool groups available to join in just about any major city. What’s more, Amber’s advice only touches on the benefits of homeschool vs. public schools; parents can also consider charter schools and virtual schools when deciding how to provide their children with a good education. Even so, the benefits of educating a child at home, under parental supervision, cannot be denied and those who want to ensure their children are receiving the best possible education should seriously consider homeschooling and how it could work for their family.
Amber Marchese has long made her children a priority in her life. Now she’s offering advice to other parents who are considering pulling their children from school in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns. Following are some tips from Amber Marchese that can help newbie homeschoolers get off to a good start.
Dispel the Fears
Parents worried about the implications of educating their own children will find that careful research will dispel their fears. There are plenty of resources online that explain how to get started, where to find resources, how to keep records, how to help children socialize, how to make it possible for homeschooled teens to get into college or university, etc.
Know the Laws
New Jersey, Amber Marchese’s home state, has some of the least restrictive homeschooling laws in the nation. All a parent has to do is formally withdraw a child from school (if enrolled), purchase suitable homeschooling materials for their child, and get started. However, other states have more stringent requirements. In some cases, homeschools are regulated like private schools; in other cases, parents must ensure that certain subjects are taught. Many states require parents to have a GED or high school diploma in order to teach their own children.
Choose a Homeschool Method
“Box curriculum” sets are ideal for first-time homeschoolers, as they cover everything a child should learn for his or her grade. They include quizzes, tests, answer keys, and other resources to guarantee a child is getting a good education. These curriculum sets are made by both religious and secular firms, making it easy for homeschool parents to find a company that’s in line with their beliefs.
However, one big downside of using a full curriculum is that parents can’t adapt the education to suit a child’s needs and interests. What’s more, some full curriculum options are quite pricey, putting them out of reach of families with a limited homeschool budget. That’s why many homeschool parents opt for a “mix and match” approach, purchasing books and workbooks from various sources to provide their children with an education in line with his or her learning abilities, talents, and interests.
Amber Marchese, as a Christian mother, naturally prefers a Christian education to a secular one. However, the former RHONJ star does not endorse any one company. There are plenty of great homeschool resources available and it’s up to parents to consider homeschooling styles and options and pick the formula and resources that are the best fit for their family.
Local homeschool groups offer support, advice, and assistance. Some also provide co-ops and extracurricular classes. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, homeschool groups also offered group excursions and outings for homeschool families to get to know each other, and these outings will likely resume once the pandemic passes.
Check out potential homeschool groups carefully before joining. Some are religious while others are secular. Religious groups may have a dress code and other rules in place that parents and children alike will need to follow in order to join in on group activities. Secular groups, on the other hand, may not allow religious parents such as Amber Marchese to offer Christian classes and events on their social media sites.
A big mistake many homeschool parents make is to lock their children into a strict schedule. While it’s important to ensure homeschool children are getting a good education, it’s equally important to ensure that they are given an education that meets their specific needs. Some children finish their workbooks early and may benefit from additional activities; others may need to spend more time on a specific subject to master a particular skill. Family changes such as a move, the birth of a new baby, or job changes may require adaptation. Parents will need to be flexible, learn as they go, and enjoy teaching their children rather than putting a premium on adhering to a particular homeschool schedule or method.
Keep Tabs on Progress
Periodic tests and quizzes help parents keep tabs on a child’s progress. Parents can either use the tests that come with the curriculum set or make their own. These tests, along with attendance records, should be kept for future reference and to provide evidence that a child is getting a good education at home.
Enjoy the Closeness
Homeschooling naturally brings families closer by enabling parents to bond with their children and helping children bond with their siblings. As parents spend time educating their children, they will learn a lot about children’s likes, dislikes, learning styles, dreams, and aspirations. Children will get used to having parents around and will be less likely to push them away as they enter adolescence. Siblings will become close friends as they enjoy engaging in educational activities together.
Amber Marchese, as a versatile mother and businesswoman, has learned a lot about providing children with a top-quality education. Her advice on homeschooling for the first time is sure to be appreciated by parents who are deciding if home learning is the best option for their kids in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdown. Amber Marchese ’s insight into what can be an extremely fulfilling educational option for parents and kids alike isn’t the be-all and end-all; rather, it’s a starting place for parents to get to know what homeschool entails so they can decide if they want to embrace it and if so, get started on the right foot.
Former RHONJ Starlet Amber Marchese Explains Why Homebuyers are Leaving Cities in Droves
After leaving Real Housewives of New Jersey, Amber Marchese took up real estate. Along with her husband Jim Marchese, she specializes in helping people shopping for a first or second home find the house that suits their exact needs and budget. As a seasoned real estate agent, Amber Marchese keeps tabs both on the real estate market and the economy in general to offer real estate advice and insight to help home buyers and real estate investors make smart decisions.
Amber Marchese recently noted that she and many of her colleagues have noticed a new trend in the real estate market as city dwellers begin looking for rural, small-town properties to purchase as a second home or even a primary residence. At the same time, Amber Marchese isn’t the only one to notice a trend that could lead to rural real estate prices rising as the value of homes in large cities plummets. Million Acres, a Motley Fool company, reports that a recent poll shows a whopping 40% of all city dwellers would like to leave the city and move to either a suburban area right outside a large city or a rural community. Other researchers have found that searches for homes in towns with a population of 50,000 or less increased by over 70% since mid-March.
There are two clear reasons why homebuyers are turning away from popular cities and searching for rural residences. The COVID-19 pandemic led to Draconian lockdowns that made it impossible for city dwellers to leave their homes for an extended period of time; rural areas, on the other hand, often didn’t face as many restrictions as large, urban areas. At the same time, the recent protests and accompanying riots have made it clear to homebuyers and real estate investors alike that purchasing real estate in a large city is not a wise idea at this present time. Rioters have already threatened to target the suburbs, leaving many concerned not just about property values but even their lives.
Amber Marchese and her colleagues are right to note that there is a huge exodus from large cities. A growing number of people are turning to realtors such as Amber Marchese for help in finding rural properties at a good price and it’s not hard to see why. While this trend may reverse itself in the future, as it currently stands Amber Marchese and her fellow real estate agents will have their hands full helping new and seasoned homebuyers find suitable homes in small cities and communities. While not everyone who lives in a metropolitan area can move out, the truth is that many people want to and low interest rates are making it easy for aspiring homeowners to leave the city even if they have a limited budget to work with.
Amber Marchese backs up Peggy Sulahian; says RHONJ-related stress will bring cancer back
In a recent discussion about the Real Housewives of New Jersey show, Peggy Sulahian stated for the record that she would never return to the show as she fears it would cause her cancer to come back. Fellow star and cancer survivor Amber Marchese agrees with her, noting that she suffered a relapse six months after filming the last episode.
Fans and non-fans alike are likely to remember Amber Marchese’s first battle with cancer about five years ago. She was a thirty-one-year-old mother of two when she underwent both a double mastectomy and eighteen months of chemotherapy. At the time, she told fans that she intended to handle her health challenges with grace, positivity, and faith; furthermore, she asserted, she would turn it into an opportunity to raise awareness. “Some good has to come from this”, Amber Marchese noted, and she turned out to be right. Amber Marchese is now not just an actress but also a philanthropist who donates time and money to charitable causes that promote cancer awareness and provide support for young women with cancer.
It’s worth noting that Amber Marchese and Peggy Sulahian aren’t the only ones concerned about the impact of stress on one’s health. Lorenz Cohen, Ph.D., Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson makes it clear that chronic stress is not something to take lightly. His colleague, Anil K. Sood, M.D., reports that chronic stress can help cancer grow and spread in a number of ways. The National Cancer Institute concurs, pointing out that there is evidence that “psychological stress can affect a tumor’s ability to grow and spread.”
Peggy Sulahian and Amber Marchese certainly have a lot of experience handling stress, and they aren’t the only ones to note that starring in Real Housewives of New Jersey is not easy. Fellow star Joe Gorga likened it to being pregnant for eight years and told viewers they should be glad they aren’t on the show. It’s a sentiment that both Amber Marchese and Peggy Sulahian are likely to agree with. Fame certainly has its price. Amber Marchese has undoubtedly handled her fame, illness, and subsequent recovery incredibly well; at the same time, Peggy Sulahian is also making wise decisions by putting her health above her career and staying off a show that, according to Amber Marchese, could very well lead to a cancer relapse.