Dreams have long been the subject of intense scrutiny, and the subject of lucid dreams even more so. Lucid dreams can be defined as any experience within the dream in which you become aware you are dreaming. If we are asleep and become aware we are dreaming, what good does it do? Well, psychologists have conducted studies that have shown multiple benefits to lucid dreaming. Ward Off Nightmares – Thanks to lucid dreaming, nightmares don’t have to be traumatic, dreaded experiences. Those who know they are dreaming can see threats for what they are—nonexistent. In the face of perceived danger, the knowledge that one is dreaming automatically relieves anxiety because the individual knows events aren’t really taking place and no harm can occur. Enhance Creativity – Because the brain is very active and unconstrained during lucid dreaming cycles, it is more creative than at other times. This creativity carries over into the dreamer’s waking life, allowing for greater problem-solving ability and artistic expression. Embrace Adventure – Dreams offer a level of adventure that often isn’t possible in real life. Due to the realization that one is in a dream, anything can occur. The traditional limits of time or laws of nature no longer need apply. Whatever can be imagined can be fulfilled, and the experience can be very freeing. Learn or Practice Skills – Thinking about or visualizing a task enhances the ability to perform that task. Mental imagination uses the same muscles that would be used if the action were actually performed. A study on the effect of imagery revealed that imagined exercise produced significant elevations in systolic blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen consumption. Alleviate Depression – A study by the Department of Human Development at Cornell University revealed that the frequency of lucid dreaming is directly tied to depression. There is a positive link between lucid dreaming and how much control people feel they have over their lives. Because lucid dreaming gives one a sense of control while asleep, that same feeling of control can be felt while awake. Lucid dreaming, like any skill, can be nurtured and developed. There are many techniques available for those who would like to learn or perfect the art of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a natural state when the conscious brain awakens during sleep, turning dreams into an alternate reality where all senses come to life, enabling one to do things limited only by their imagination. Share your thoughts on lucid dreaming. PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!  
For the first time, PAR will be participating at the Florida Homeschool Convention in Orlando, Florida, May 26-28, 2016. The convention is sponsored by the Florida Parent-Educators Association, an organization dedicated to serving homeschooling families in Florida. The family-oriented event is the largest homeschool convention in the U.S., with more than 15,000 attendees each year. Parents and students make up a large majority of attendees, making this the ideal setting to learn about the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®). If you are attending the FPEA convention, stop by the SDS booth to say hi and learn about the assessment. At a time when many students are deciding whether to go to college, choose a major, or pursue a career, the SDS can help them find the fields of study and career paths most suited to match their skill set. This is an especially crucial function to the homeschooled student, as they may not have access to a traditional guidance office. Conference attendees will be able to see sample SDS Summary Scores and Interactive Reports. They may also purchase the SDS at a special convention price. The SDS is one of the most widely used career interest tests in the world. With more than 1,200 occupations, 1,000 programs of study, and 800 leisure activities, the SDS gives students more choices. In our global economy, the possibilities are limitless…and sometimes overwhelming. The SDS can help these homeschooled students focus their search.  
FAM_120Learning WHY a student struggles in math so you can determine HOW to intervene just got easier! The FAM is a comprehensive assessment of mathematics designed to examine the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support the acquisition of proficient math skills. It not only helps determine if an examinee has a math learning disability, but also identifies the specific subtype of dyscalculia, which better informs decisions about appropriate interventions. With the FAM on PARiConnect, you can:
  • Receive Score Reports instantly for the FAM battery and FAM Screening Form after entering scale-level data.
  • Obtain brief interpretive statements available only through PARiConnect.
  • Generate Reliable Change Reports to track performance after multiple administrations of the FAM.
Try the FAM on PARiConnect today! Free 24/7 training on the FAM is available on the PAR Training Portal!
FAM_ManualCover2Interested in learning more about the new Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM)? Now you can enroll in a free training course on the FAM through PAR’s Training Portal. Whether you have already purchased the FAM and want to learn more about it or are looking for more information to help you make your purchase decision, this training course will give you a quick overview of the product, explain how the test was developed, and provide insight into scoring and administration. And, best of all, the Training Portal is always available, so you can get training on your schedule. The FAM examines the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support proficient math skills. To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now. Training courses are also available on the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™), the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™), and many more!
On a day in early May in 1856 (traditionally thought to be May 6), Sigismund Freud was born, better known as famed psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. Freud’s theories served as the foundation for psychoanalysis as we know it today. While many of his theories have caused considerable controversy, his work shaped views of sexuality, childhood, memory, therapy, and personality. So significant was his contribution to society that many of his ideas have become common terms and catch phrases in our culture, such as repression, denial, Freudian slip, defense mechanism, and anal retentive. Though Freud is highly quoted, one of the most famous quotes attributed to him was likely never uttered by him: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” The story goes that this was his response after a student asked him about the hidden meaning behind his frequent cigar smoking. His supposed response was ironic as it demonstrated that even a famous psychoanalyst can admit that not everything has a profound meaning. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and things are exactly as they appear. As controversial as some of Freud’s ideas have been, here are some things he got right:
  • The Unconscious plays a huge role in our lives: Random feelings, thoughts, and actions often have important, unconscious meanings.
  • Talking lightens the load: The common image of someone lying on a psychologist’s couch discussing their problems directly stems from Freud’s view that many mental problems can be resolved simply by talking about them.
  • The body defends itself: Defense mechanisms are the body’s way of manipulating reality to protect feelings.
  • Change is unwelcome: It is in our nature to resist change, even when that change is good.
  • The problems of the present stem from the past: Difficulties that occur in childhood can carry forward and influence present actions.
Though it has now been many years since Freud’s death in 1939, he is still a household name in the field of psychology. In fact, Time Magazine once featured him as one of their 100 most important people of the 20th century, and his ideas live on as part of the fabric of popular culture. Share your thoughts about Freud and his theories. PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!