Freezer Smoothies Make for Quick Snacks & Breakfasts

Build a stash freezer of freezer smoothies so that you can enjoy quick snacks and breakfasts without having to clean the blender every day! Do your kids love the sweet taste of smoothies? Do you love how smoothies lend themselves to life on-the-go — and how you can hide vegetables in them without the kids […]

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Find the Best Schools for Your Kids

If you want your children to succeed academically, it is vital that you place them in the right schools to learn. With so many options to choose from, it can be pretty confusing to know which will do your child the most good. Though the final decision will be yours, knowing what to look for in a school can help you to narrow down your options and make a choice that is best for your kids.

Types of Schools

The first thing to be aware of are the types of schools that are available to your children. Some parents make the assumption that the nearest public school is their only option, however, that is often far from true. Some of the most common choices for children grades K-12 include charter, private, magnet, alternative schools, and public schools. Each has their own set of advantages which require more in-depth research. You can learn more about what makes each school environment different. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you search for educational facilities in the area.

Find a school that fits your child’s needs 

Above all else, you want a learning environment where your children’s needs are met. This includes considering things you want your children to learn, various learning styles used by the educators, social interaction, scheduling, after-school activities, etc.

Educational focus 

What do you want your child to learn most in school? Do you prefer their education have religious teachings? Is your teen more interested in creative arts? Are you looking for a school that focuses on life skills, foreign language, etc?

Review test scores

Though test scores aren’t to be the deciding factor they can give you an idea of how effective the schools are in their methods of teaching. If students are scoring higher, this essentially means the teachers have found a way to connect with their students and teach lessons in a manner that stick.

Schedule visits

You should never blindly select a school for your child without first paying it a visit. Sometimes things can seem great on paper or online, but in reality, it may not be the environment you and your children are most comfortable with. If you can, schedule visits when the kids can be there. Ask to peek in on the classes, talk with educators, and get a tour of the facilities to see if this is someplace you and your kids can see themselves learning for the next few years.

Have your questions ready

Not everything about a school will be easy to find or comprehend. There may be things you want more details on. You should always come to your school visits with questions to ask. Whether it’s about the teacher to student ratio, the lunch program, music, and sports, or morals and ethics policies, an administrator should be able to provide you with answers.

Talk to other parents

Having opinions from other parents can make your decision easier as well. They, unlike the school, aren’t trying to pitch you the idea of enrolling your child. Ask them questions about their experiences, things they like and don’t like, and perhaps how they were able to cope with or resolve the things they didn’t like. If your child is older, they too may be able to get other opinions from students who attend the school.

Get your child’s input

Although the final decision is yours to make it is a good idea to find out what your child thinks of the new school. It is, after all, them who will be attending the school daily and you want to make sure that they are going to be happy there over the next few years. Since it can be hard for them to transition, knowing that they’ll be someplace that they had input on can make a world of difference.

At the end of the day, it’s all about trusting your gut. The final decision is in your hands, but it is made a lot easier when you’ve equipped yourself with the facts. If you’re getting ready to enroll your child in a new school, make sure you’ve done your due diligence to ensure you’re selecting an educational environment that will help prepare them for a brighter future.

 

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5 Internet Safety Tips For Families

Smartphones, tablets, and laptops are all convenient. They keep you connected to the world whether you’re at home or on the go. But how do you prepare yourself and your family for the dangers that lurk in the shadows of the virtual world? Check out these tips to learn how to stay safe while browsing the internet and your favorite social media sites.

Double Check App Privacy Settings

You take additional steps to keep your mobile devices safe, like purchasing iPhone 8 cases by BodyGuardz, so why wouldn’t you take extra steps to protect yourself and your family from online threats? Many people completely ignore privacy settings when they download popular apps, leaving their family’s personal information exposed. Every time you download a new app, especially one for social media, you should check the privacy settings to make sure your info is only viewable by people you know.

Most apps have basic privacy settings already in place. But you should double check the settings to make sure things like photos and your location can’t be seen by the general public.

Restrict Online Communication

Avoid communicating with people you don’t know personally online. It’s easy for anyone to create fake social media profiles, so unless you know someone personally, you can’t be completely sure that the person you’re talking to is who they say they are.

If you have children who use phone apps, be sure their apps only allow them to communicate with friends and family members you know personally. For example, Facebook Messenger is available in two different versions — they have the normal app and a messenger app for kids. When you download Facebook Messenger for Kids, you have full control over who can communicate with your children through the app.

Monitor Your Children’s Online Activities Closely

As a parent, it’s important to monitor your children’s online activities closely. Not only do you want to monitor who they communicate with, but you should check out what they are actually doing while they are online as well. To do this, consider installing Familoop Safeguard on all of your children’s devices — phones, laptops, and tablets. The app monitors all of your child’s online activity, including their mobile app activity. Then, it analyzes the activity to provide you with actionable insights. This helps you create age-specific guidelines for your children to follow any time they are online.

Additionally, you should pay close attention to any app that deletes messages and other activities automatically. For example, Snapchat deletes messages after they are viewed, but kids love it because the app has fun photo filters for them to use. A good alternative is Facebook Messenger for Kids. This app also has fun filters for kids to use, but it doesn’t automatically delete messages, making it easier for you to monitor your kid’s activities.

Set Household Internet Rules

Create internet safety rules for everyone in your house to follow — even the adults. This way it’s easier to teach your children about internet safety. Some options to consider include:

  • Limiting the amount of time each family member spends online each day.
  • Ensuring online communication is restricted solely to people you know and trust.
  • Approving all new apps and programs before your family is allowed access to them.
  • Set rules and limits for online gaming.

Encourage Family Members to Be Careful Exposing Personal Information Online

With the number of apps available and internet access practically everywhere, it’s pretty much impossible to monitor every single online interaction. So it’s important to discuss internet safety openly, as a family. Talk to your children about the dangers of disclosing personal information online. Also, explain to them that once something is posted online, it’s out there — somewhere — forever, even if it’s deleted at a later date.

The fact is, the more your family knows about internet safety and takes action, the safer you’ll be. It’s important to protect your personal information and be careful when communicating online with others. Keep your family aware of online dangers and talk about it frequently so that they know to what to do in potentially dangerous online situations.

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7 Unique Ways To Teach Home School Writing

7 Unique Ways To Teach Home School Writing

As a home schooling parent, you probably have some concerns about teaching writing, especially if you are not too keen on restraining your children with a curriculum. Luckily, there are plenty of fun and enjoyable ways for you to teach writing – you can create your own curriculum.

Here are some of the steps you can take in order to have amazing writing lessons.

  1. Allow them to create their own blogs

Each of your students is an expert at something. That something can be football or gardening or painting – it doesn’t matter. Let them create their own, unique blogs where they can share their passion and write about what they love. As they do that, their love of writing will develop and improve and you can oversee the entire process. You can also introduce them to writing guides like StateOfWriting and Via Writing.

Their first few posts may  be a bit shy and prone to style mistakes but as you continue teaching them through fun exercises, you’ll be able to measure just how much progress they have made in that time period.

  1. Implement writing prompts

It’s often hard to find ideas when you need them. This is why you could fill a jar with writing prompts either found online or the ones you think of yourself. Each student should draw a paper and they have to write on that subject. This way, they won’t be able to choose and they will develop their skills on multiple subjects and areas.

Another thing you could do is use apps that provide prompts or use Google Search to find images that will give your students both prompts and inspiration to write.

  1. Think of fun ways to entice them to write

As anyone in this world, your children need inspiration too. This is why it’s a good idea to start your lessons off by letting them read aloud, listen to poetry, memorize poetry or analyze popular literature appropriate for their age.

However, it’s also a good idea to find the time to point out what some common grammar and spelling mistakes might be as those affect the quality or written work. There are great and simple ways to reach your students and negativity is not one of them.

  1. Fun with words

Let them have fun once in a while by proposing funny topics, games with words or something similar. They could even create their own game and have fun while learning some things that might come in handy later.

All of this may seem to you like a waste of time, but to them it will be a necessary relief and they’ll learn to love your lessons even more.

  1. Encourage them to write journals

Writing journals is a good creative outlet and a good space to practice free writing. They could write down their thoughts, dreams and everyday events without having an obligation of showing them to you.

This way they will love writing on their own once they realize how good keeping a journal feels.

  1. Positive criticism

It’s never a good idea to criticize your children in a way that will create negative feelings about the subject at hand. Especially with writing, you need to be careful with what you say to them since what they write is a big part of what they think and how they feel.

For instance, if you feel like the formatting could have been done better, you don’t have to say ‘Oh, this is bad, you should do this… ‘. Instead, you might want to say ‘I like the way you did that. Here is how I did it. Which do you think is more readable?’ etc. Then proceed to show them some tools like UK Writings or Boom Essays that they could use to improve their formatting.

Conclusion

However hard teaching may be – especially teaching something as creative as writing – it also creates many wonderful moments for you and your children. It lets you get to know them better and they get to show you bits of what they are thinking and feeling. This is why you need to be supportive and keep up with your efforts to inspire love of writing in them.

About The Author:

Freddie Tubbs is an educator and paper editor at Academized. He is running Academ Advisor educational blog and is a regular contributor at Essayroo blog.

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Snacky Lunch – Simple & Easy to Make Everyone Happy

The Snacky Lunch is just that – a lunch of snacks. Assemble a variety of proteins, vegetables, fruits, and breads for a DIY meal to please the masses. You need a quick and easy meal to feed your family. You don’t want fast food, but neither do you want a messy kitchen when you’re done. […]

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How to Make Frozen Chocolate Bananas at Home

Frozen Chocolate Bananas are a fun, whimsical treat that your kids will love to assemble themselves. What’s more fun than dipping bananas in chocolate and adding all kinds of yummy toppings? Who doesn’t have a fun memory of enjoying a frozen banana on a hot day, wiping melted chocolate off a cheek? The classic combination […]

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How to Deal with Poor Sleep During the Summer

After a long, sweltering summer day, the one thing your family needs is some refreshing sleep. But summer can spell trouble for the family’s shut-eye time.There are various issues that could be causing sleeplessness during the hot months of July and August.

First, when temperatures are high, even in the evenings, it can be challenging to relax enough to fall asleep. Instead, you or your kids may spend what feels like hours rolling about, feeling hot and increasingly frustrated.

Second, because of the longer days and more sunlight hours, our bodies’ circadian rhythm gets thrown off.

Additionally, there are non-season specific issues that might be keeping you or a member of your family up at night. For example, if your partner has sleep apnea, it could mean sleepless nights for you. Sleep apnea treatment from a dentist might be the key to more restful nights because, according to Celebrity Dental, some of the more common signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring among other symptoms.

But if yours are summer-related sleep difficulties, we have a couple tips here that help alleviate some of the stress from your nights. Try out these methods for better sleep for you and your loved ones.

Dealing with hot evenings and nights

Sleep experts believe that the temperature that helps a person fall to sleep, and stay asleep, is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. So if your and your children’s rooms are cool, you will all be able to fall asleep faster. But since evening temperatures during the summer are often above this range, what’s a family to do?

It often pays to shell out a little more when it comes to running the AC than to deal with family crankiness the next day due to a sleepless, restless night. If your AC is out of order, or you do not have that option for some other reason, set up a nighttime camp on the first floor of the house. During the day, hot air rises to the upper floors of your house and the upper rooms are the last to cool off when evening comes. Or, if you have a basement rec room, consider designating that room as your sleep-time quarters for the whole family during the summer months. It can be a slumber party for all!

Another tip is cooling down the house from mid-afternoon. You can do this by drawing the shades, to keep the heat from making its ways indoors.

Additionally, if you sleep in a room with a strong cross breeze, this can help you drift off, even if temperatures are high. A wet towel placed over your head in a room with a cross breeze or a fan can also help lower your body temperature.

Handling the longer days

When the days grow long, our circadian rhythm gets disrupted as the hormones in our bodies that tell us its sleepy time no longer do so at regular hours. This is because melatonin production, the hormone that helps us fall to sleep, is interrupted when we are exposed to light at the wrong times.

So even if your thermostat is set to cool, what is a family to do when sunset is at 9 PM, which is well past the little ones’ bedtime?

Create nighttime indoors, even if it is still bright as day outdoors. Do this by purchasing thick, sun blocking curtains. Two to three hours before you want your kids to go down, close all the curtains and dim the lights throughout the house. It might also be wise to avoid screen time before bed if you are serious about protecting your sleep hours. The light from iPad, computers, and television screens can cause wakefulness.

Even having a light on in the bathroom can be detrimental to going back to sleep. So consider replacing the bathroom bulb with a red spectrum light bulb. Light at this wavelength does not disrupt melatonin production, and in fact might even prompt it.

Depending on the type of bulb you purchase, the red light does not necessarily glow red in color. There are types of red spectrum light bulbs you can buy that look like regular light, even though the spectrum is red. Sleep plays an essential role in helping each member of your crew enjoy the summer to the fullest. Using these tips should help the whole family enjoy good sleep hygiene and the benefits that accompany a night of deep sleep.

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